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Reducing Stereotype Threat

Posted on: May 8th, 2015 by learningws No Comments

Stereotype threat has been a large focus for us in Level II training, and although we recognize its detrimental effects on performance and engagement, we are left with lingering questions on how we as tutors can play a role in reducing it. The article, “What Can Be Done to Reduce Stereotype Threat?” skips the kind of social narrative we have in dialogue with stereotype threat, and gives us specific and clear prescriptions to the issue that we can practically apply as tutors.

The article’s strength lies in its clear description of practical methods that we as tutors can employ to reduce stereotype threat. Additionally, its inclusion of research scenarios offer powerful insight into how prototype threat manifests itself differently within a wide range of students. This is great because it gives tutors a chance to recognize which techniques would be great to consider when dealing with students struggling in particular performance scenarios. For example, understanding that “[positive] feedback reduces perceived evaluator bias, increases motivation, and preserves domain-identification” while fostering an environment where a student’s, “abilities and ‘belonging’ are assumed rather than questioned” – is incredibly useful when speaking with a student about standards and capabilities (Stroessner, Steven, & Good). I just think this is a great resource for educators and tutors, and can really be considered a cheat-sheet of perspective when dealing with students you think may be experiencing stereotype threat.

We have been rehashing the idea of mindset throughout the semester, yet I was still surprised to see that emphasis on sharing incremental views of intelligence, was listed as a deterrent for stereotype threat. This link speaks heavily towards the type of identity crisis students are facing, as they study and perform in a competitive educational setting. Its truly disheartening to know that stereotype threat is real, and is fostering a sense of educational dejection within students; however, through this lens I believe that tutors have the opportunity to redefine their educational philosophies and counteract stereotype threat through reassurance, and creating atmospheres which deemphasize social identity stigmas.

–Tyrese, MCTC Writing Tutor


Works Cited

Stroessner, Steven, and Catherine Good. “What Can Be Done to Reduce Stereotype Threat?” N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.<>

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