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Playing into the expectations

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  1. Introduction
  2. Reducing stereotype threat
  3. Michael Miller's interactive role-play activity for students
  4. The consequences of stereotype threat
  5. Lower levels of performance as an issue with stereotype threat
  6. Establishing a strong bond between the family and the school
  7. Conclusion
  8. Works cited

Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Icelandic singer-songwriter, once explained, ?There is this stereotype of Icelanders all believing in spirits, and I?ve played up that a bit in interviews? (Bjork Quotes). Although Bjork has recognized that she does this, what about the individuals that subconsciously recognize a stereotype that applies to them, and then unconsciously play into it? This concept, known as stereotype threat, can adversely impact students who fit negative stereotypes. Although individuals are affected by stereotype threat in multiple situations, its role carries an especially interesting significance in the educational system. When students start changing their mindset and behavior because of stereotype threat, it can severely limit their performance.

[...] When this happens, the students who think there are low expectations for them start to perform below their abilities. Some argue that this discrepancy in performance actually results from testing that requires specific cultural knowledge, putting minorities at disadvantages. However, after using ?culture free? testing methods, the performance differences still exist. This suggests that bias has nothing, or little, to do with the disadvantage, and stereotype threat is the true cause of lower test scores (Stroessner). Not only are lower levels of performance an issue with stereotype threat, but other serious consequences exist. [...]


[...] Citing a self-affirmation study involving seventh grade students, Stroessner and Good write, Although the intervention took only 15 minutes, the effects on academic performance during the semester were dramatic. As reflected in their end-of semesters GPAs, African-American students who had been led to self-affirm performed .3 grade points better during the semester than those who had (Stroessner). The relationship between family and the school plays an important role as well. Often parents instill limitations based on stereotypes, believing that they're protecting their children. [...]

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