Stereotype threat: What you think they think can hurt you

Stereotype threat: What you think they think can hurt you

Date: Thursday, April 3rd, 4-5:30pm

Location: 1310 Marie Mount Hall

by Scott Roberts & Caitlin Murphy, Psychology Department

 In this workshop the presenters will lead a discussion of how stereotypes function in memory and how our knowledge of them can inhibit academic performance.  Luckily, the research also points us towards pedagogical practices that can reduce the harmful effect of stereotype threat, so together we’ll develop a plan to address this on our campus and in our classrooms.

Because of copyright issues, the readings for this workshop are available in pdf form when you RSVP and directly from CTE (cte@umd.edu).  To find the reading on your own the citation is:

Changing stereotypes changing grades: a longitudinal study of stereotyping during a college math course.   Ramsey, L. R. and Sekaquaptewa, D., 2011 [link]

Please reply to this post to share/submit your reflection on this reading and how it relates to your own experiences by midnight on April 2nd.  The reflection should be 1-2 paragraphs.  If you do not want to go to all the workshops, but still want to engage in this reflective exercise, then we invite you to participate as well.

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3 Responses to Stereotype threat: What you think they think can hurt you

  1. Neeraja dashaputre says:

    This article talks about implicit versus explicit stereotyping and how it affects students performance in the course. This study observed that although students ( both male and female) explicitly claim not to be affected by stereotype, approximately half of class population suffers from implicit stereotyping. It was affected that females suffers more than males by implicit stereotyping. This result did not come as a surprise as often I observe my female students less outspoken and less confident than my male students. I am interested in how to stop this stereotypical bias and help my students perform better as a whole. However, since students may build these stereotypes outside the class, it is very difficult to control the outbreak of such stereotypical notions. Sometimes, students experience theses stereotypes from their previous courses and as a result have a lower grade in the prerequisite course. As a STEM educator, I always feel there is a need to stop this cycle, in order to curb this problem from its roots.
    I am also not clear why implicit stereotyping marginally increases but explicit stereotyping increases gradually during the course. I would also like to discuss practices that will avoid enforcing these stereotypes in my class. I try to emphasize on female chemists who have made exceptional contribution to the field , however I am really interested in what more could be done to avoid stereotyping.

  2. Ashley Munger says:

    I found it interesting and disconcerting that stereotyping, especially explicit stereotyping, increased during the course. This led me to wonder if research has been done to determine the mechanisms through which these ideas are reinforced in the classroom. In the literature review of the article, they noted a study that found an increase in implicit stereotypes concerning women and leadership for women in a co-ed university compared to those at an all-women college. This effect was mediated by exposure to male professors. However, it is obviously not the literal exposure to male professors that produced the effect; likely, something was happening in the classroom. Stereotypes are problematic in their own right, but the article demonstrated that they can have a tangible impact on the performance of the students toward which the stereotype is directed. What I hope to get out of this next meeting is how we can avoid perpetuating gender, race/ethnicity, SES, etc. stereotypes.

  3. Jonathan Senn, Jr. says:

    From this article, I have learned that stereotype threat is a major issue, regardless of our perception that intentional behavior can mitigate any societal expectations of short-comings. In terms of women performing worse than men in mathematics, it is evident that undesired societal standards have to be addressed head-on rather than swept under the rug with a general pat on the back. This can further be expanded to equality in the workplace, where the glass ceiling and discrepancies in equal pay for men and women continue to be viewed as controversial and occasional when it is evident that unequivocal language and tactics are necessary to remove notions of self-inadequacy in women and superiority in men.

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