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  •  Stereotype threat, eh? (3+ / 0-)
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    wintergreen8694, JeffW, Sonnet

    That doesn't feel quite right to me. Stereotype excuse/justification sounds closer to right.

    Makes me think of an experience with my youngest daughter earlier this school year.  She might be the brightest of my kids, and, in this unbiased father's opinion, that's saying a lot.

    She is in a special gifted magnet program designed to challenge (even threaten) her academically.

    One very good but scary feature of the program is that the school system, using a combination of teacher recommendations and test scores, will invite children to join that have not previously been identified and placed into accelerated classes.

    The "how did we manage to miss you before" kids have more of a struggle with the material at first because they are not used to working at that level.  The teachers are aware of the problem and do a fantastic job of pulling every kid along who is willing to lean in and do the work.

    At one point, she was getting her butt whipped by math and told me, "I'm not like you, dad. I'm not smart in math."

    I reminded her that my kids are not allowed to say or think they're not smart, and then we went about figuring out the problem, talking with teachers, and moving forward.

    She's all A's now, but I have to wonder:

    If my very smart girl, my girl who has been singled out by the school system and placed in a special magnet school for the gifted, my lgirl who has the advantage of teachers who know how to prod her into doing her very best, my girl whose self esteem is, well, estimable...if my girl can feel like that, what about other very smart girls who haven't been singled out and who haven't been given all that support?  When math kicks their butts, what happens?

    Do they say, "I'm just not smart at math.  Doesn't matter, anyway.  I'm a girl"?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed May 22, 2013 at 12:31:05 PM PDT

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