The Teaching Center defines stereotype threats as: “Stereotype threat is a phenomenon in which a person’s concern about confirming a negative stereotype can lead that person to underperform on a challenging assessment or test” (The teaching center, 2019). A stereotype is an idea of belief that is internalized based on a person’s identifier (s). This can lead to anxieties and underperformance in school based on how a child feels they are supposed to perform. Students will behave in the way they feel that society expects them to.
Steel conducted numerous studies exploring this idea of stereotype threat. He tested it on women and people of color. At the end of both he came to the overarching consensus that, “they can feel the stereotype threat; they can feel under pressure not to confirm the stereotype for fear that they will be judged or treated in terms of it” (Steele,2010).
In order to fight these stereotype threats teachers can implement strategies into their daily classroom environment. Promoting growth mindset, a sense of belonging and teamwork and highlighting the importance of diversity will prevent the growth of stereotype threats.
“Empirically Validated Strategies to Reduce Stereotype Threat”. https://ed.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/interventionshandout.pdf
“Reducing Stereotype Threat.” https://teachingcenter.wustl.edu/resources/inclusive-teaching-learning/reducing-stereotype-threat/
Steele, Claude. (2010). Whistling Vivaldi: and other clues to how stereotypes affect us. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.