Combatting Stereotype Threat in Schools

The racial achievement gap, particularly as it relates to the discrepancy in the academic performance of Black students and White students, has received much attention in the past decades. This phenomenon has spurred researchers to investigate why the achievement gap exists. While research has highlighted many contributing factors that perpetuate the racial gap—including socioeconomic disadvantage, discrimination and segregation (Steele & Aronson, 1995)—another aspect that has gained significant consideration is the stereotype threat. When an individual is a part of a group that has negative stereotypes associated with it, certain situations may activate this stereotype, causing the individual to become concerned about being judged by the stereotype and subsequently hindering their academic performance (Steele & Aronson, 1995).

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