I don't recall anyone being assigned to make a blog post last class, and since no one is posting I figured I'd put up a post.
In this article, social psychologists discovered that when girls are in a learning environment in which they are being reminded of negative gender stereotypes, they will end up learning less. The way they studied whether negative stereotypes would hinder a woman's learning was by having a group of woman perform a certain visual perception task. Before doing the task, some of the women in the group were reminded of various stereotypes about women being bad at math and visual processing abilities while women were told nothing at all at the beginning of the task. Surely enough, the woman that had been reminded of the stereotypes ended up performing poorly on the task in comparision to the woman that had been told nothing at the beginning of the task. When looking into these stereotypes in younger children in schools, the psychologists looked into who was perpetuating these stereotypes, and they had come to realize that in many situations it was the female teachers themselves that enforced these stereotypes, thus leading these young girls to perform poorly in subjects like math.
This study can be applied to any group of persons that have been negatively stereotyped, and this makes me wonder about our school systems and how they alone can have such a great impact on our futures and whether or not they succeed. Would the enforcement of positive thought from a young age in our school systems be enough to help so many more children succeed who have been previously left in the dust due to negative stereotypes? What are your thoughts?