Counteracting Stereotype Threat: Increasing achievement in school by self-affirmation (November 2015 – October 2017)

In Germany, immigrant students’ school performance continues to lag behind their native counterparts’ performance. Part of this gap has been attributed to low teacher expectations and discriminating classroom practices. However, in the case of Germany, these hypotheses are yet to be tested empirically. Consequently, it is still unclear which instructional practices and policy measures are most effective in helping immigrant students succeed.

To address these knowledge gaps, the Expert Council’s Research Unit and the Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research (BIM) at Humboldt University conduct a mixed methods research project which investigates teachers’ diversity-related attitudes, student-teacher interaction and its effects on academic success. As a first deliverable, the project will develop self-affirming teacher classroom practices which can be used to address stereotype threat in various settings. The impact of these affirmative practices will then be tested as part of an experimental study at select German schools.

The research project was funded by Stiftung Mercator. The findings were published in July 2017.



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