Stereotypes of Minorities and Education

  • Jean M. AllenEmail author
  • Melinda Webber
Reference work entry


Stereotyping is a phenomenon that impacts a range of people from diverse racial groups, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and socioeconomic statuses. While all people are subject to stereotyping, the development of the process of stereotype threat (Steele, Am Psychol 52(6):613–629, 1997) has provided insight into how people from ethnically diverse groups are negatively impacted by stereotype threat to a greater extent than those from dominant ethnic groups. Extensive social-psychological research on minority test performance demonstrates that ethnically diverse students suffer underperformance due to their response to stereotype threat in the academic domain. These threats, which are a result of stereotypical beliefs, impact ethnically diverse students in a plethora of ways. In the Aotearoa New Zealand educational context, impacts from stereotype threat hold especially damaging consequences for Māori and Pacific students. The persistent disparities in educational opportunities and achievement for Māori and Pacific students are created and sustained by negative academic stereotypes that characterize these students as lacking in academic potential, motivation, and engagement with education. This chapter highlights how the stereotypes about Māori and Pacific student potential have a life of their own and can powerfully shape the educational opportunities and experiences of Māori and Pacific students. We end this chapter by suggesting concrete ways to mitigate stereotype threat, building upon the existing strengths of Māori and Pacific students.


Pacific Māori Stereotype threat Education Ethnically diverse 


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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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  • Radomir Compel

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