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Hello, and welcome to our blog for Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude Steele! During the summer, many of us have worked to plan an incredible agenda of activities and events designed to engage faculty, students, and staff in discussions about stereotype threat (ST); how it manifests itself locally, nationally, and internationally; and what we can do to address it in our work as teachers, administrators, practitioners, and researchers. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and am planning to use some of the chapters as required readings in both of my fall courses (EDIS 2010: Introduction to the Teaching Profession & EDIS 8500: Diversity in Education: A Cultural-historical Approach).
One of the things that struck me the most about ST is how it affects those who become targets of it. Steele notes that the mere mention that individuals from a particular group do not do well on a particular task may create such a high level of stress and anxiety that a person’s cognitive functioning may be impaired and underperformance will result. Another interesting point is that we ALL, no matter who we are, can be targets of ST.
What are some of your insights as you read Whistling Vivaldi? Does it bring to the temple of your familiar memories of times when you or those around you may have been targets of ST? Are there things that you did to mitigate the negative effects of ST? What are you thinking and feeling as you read the book? Let’s begin a discussion about this on our blog and see where it leads. Look forward to hearing from you!