Stereotype Threat: Effects on Education

Introduction

The article Stereotype threat: effects on education addresses the existing stereotypes about race and gender. This article is authored by two prolific scholars; Carry Smith, a Mississippi State University Ph.D. candidate, and Li-Chung Hung an assistant professor at the Taiwanese University. The article focuses on the stereotypes surrounding females and their math and science abilities. The article presents a comprehensive literature review with special attention paid to minorities and women and their math abilities.

Main body

The article begins by providing the background of the “stereotype threat” using prior research. According to the article, while women make up approximately fifty percent of the population, only around twenty-two percent attain a Bachelor of Science degree. The article continues by giving other statistics regarding stereotypes and math abilities among women and minorities. The possible causes of stereotype threat as listed in the article include the affirmative action instituted by the Supreme Court.

Other causes include socioeconomic and discrimination issues. The article then addresses the stereotype theory and its relation to math and science performances among women. According to the article, there have been several interventions aimed at reversing the effects of the stereotype threat. Some of these interventions have been successful while others have not yielded good results. The paper breaks down the stereotype threat into two cases. The first case addresses minorities and academic performance, while the other one addresses females’ performances in a male-dominated world (Smith & Hung, 2008). The authors then list the limitations of the research and conclude by giving possible implications of the research.

The authors of this article did a great job in conducting detailed research. The paper’s abstract offers an accurate overview of all the topics addressed in the paper. The research conducted by the authors is satisfactory and it answers the article’s research question well. The authors managed to present enough literature that covers all the aspects of stereotypes and math performances among women and minorities. The number of sources used in the article is however too much for the readers to synthesize. While it is important for the authors to present as much evidence as possible, the number of studies used in the paper could be confusing to the reader.

Some of the studies presented for review are not related to the paper’s topic on a higher scholarly level. While the topics of such studies might be the same, their relevance to this research may be off the mark. For instance, while the study by Levy and Dweck is very important to the article, it should not fall under the same category as the trivial studies, such as the one by Liben and Signorella (Dar-Nimrod & Heine, 2006). The authors should have applied a finer categorization of the literature used in this study. This would have made the paper more palatable.

One of the paper’s strong points is that the authors listed past and future interventions against stereotype threats. This part of the study is very important to the paper’s subject matter. The authors manage to list some of the past interventions that have been employed by previous studies. This outline gives the reader a more realistic aspect of this study because the authors also list the success levels of these interventions.

Conclusion

The authors of this article worked to ensure that they reviewed as much relevant literature as possible. This enriches the paper’s scholarly value. The main topic is also well researched and presented. However, the authors should have done a better job of managing their reviewed sources. The paper manages to address the issue of stereotype threat in relation to females and math abilities in a satisfactory manner. Overall, the paper surpasses the threshold of a good scholarly article.

References

Dar-Nimrod, I. & Heine, S. J. (2006). Exposure to scientific theories affects women’s math performance. Science, 314(5798), 435-435.

Smith, C. & Hung, L. (2008). Stereotype threat: effects on education. Social Psychological Education, 11, 243–257.