Brown Bag Seminar: Girls, Math, and Other Clues About How Stereotypes Affect Academic Achievement

October 31, 2011
12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Claude Steele

Dean Claude Steele presents the talk, "Girls, Math, and Other Clues about how Stereotypes Affect Academic Achievement." The talk is part of SCOPE's 2011-12 series and is free and open to the public.

Groups experiencing negative stereotypes about their abilities—women in math, African Americans in all academic areas—often underperform in response to those stereotypes. This phenomenon, known as "stereotype threat," was developed by Claude Steele and his students. Steele's groundbreaking work applies a social-psychological lens to academic achievement, asking, as Steele writes, "Could something as abstract as stereotype threat really affect something as irrepressible as intelligence?" His experiments conducted with colleagues over the years have concluded that it can and does. Steele will discuss stereotype threat and approaches that mitigate that threat in academic settings.


Claude M. Steele is the I. James Quillen Dean of the School of Education at Stanford University. He is a recognized leader in the field of social psychology, focusing on the psychological experience of the individual and best known for his work on stereotype threat. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles, including Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (2010, W. W. Norton & Company) and Young, Gifted, and Black: Promoting High Achievement among African-American Students (co-author; Beacon Press, 2004). Steele was previously provost of Columbia University, as well as a professor of psychology; and, before that, the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences at Stanford. During his previous tenure at Stanford, from 1991-2009, he served in numerous positions, including Director of Center For Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Steele holds memberships in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among others.To see a full bio, visit Claude Steele's faculty page.

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