How to reduce stereotype threat?

It makes people discouraged to take challenge in academia while being worried to be confirmed the limitation associated with stereotype. However, a lot of people are not aware that how much stereotype threat can devastate the effectiveness of education. One example is that the students with stereotype threat might not trust the feedback the teacher gives them. It’s very possible that they will wonder if the feedback is based on the quality of work or the stereotype of their abilities. Without the trust on feedback, they will not be motivated to improve. Then how to give critical and effective feedback? The paper by Whistling Vivaldi introduced Tom Ostrom strategy, which is able to break the stereotype by demanding more and believing the students are able to meet the demand. The criticism based on this strategy is more trustworthy. Not only in terms of feedback, it’s also really important to include identity safety while designing the class activities. Not necessarily by praising, but by maintaining a “calm working relationship”.

 

6 thoughts on “How to reduce stereotype threat?”

  1. There is no way to eliminate stereotype threat once for all. But, we could reduce stereotype threat from two aspects. First, for those individuals with stereotype threats, we could adopt some education methods to make them less associate their group identities with stereotypes, for example, we could change assessment method, doing a project, instead of giving them grade, might show themselves how capable they are with the final product. Second, may be more important, we need do something to change the social and education settings that reinforce stereotypes. This is fundamental, but requires more efforts from everyone within these settings.

  2. As an ignorant white middle-class male, I found it incredibly difficult to hear about the stereotype threat. Perhaps I was brought up in a way that it wasn’t introduced to me, or maybe it had something to do with my k-12 education being represented by a single demographic. I couldn’t imagine not being able to trust someones criticism, because it could be racially motivated. I thought we were past this in our world, but it appalls me that we are not.

  3. Yes, it is still unbelievable that some people are trusted more based on their race and sex. Actually, female professors in my field tend to not be as trusted as males. It is just a remanence from the old times, I hope. I guess this is when the hidden brain theory from Shankar Vendantam kicks in.

  4. I guess the problem you raised depends on the country where that person is and their culture. Considering your main thesis statement,
    “It makes people discouraged to take challenge in academia while being worried to be confirmed the limitation associated with stereotype.”
    I honestly don’t think it’s a serious problem. If the human being is presenting something that is worth presenting, innovating, creating new technologies, … I don’t think his race or ethnicity for example would be a problem.

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