Live From GSE: "Closing the Achievement Gap"

Live from GSE, our Student Ambassador Matt Cardinale, a student in the School Psychology Ph.D. program, has suggested an article from the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology September 2011 issue.

Closing the Achievement Gap,” by Monitor staff member Lea Winerman, examines ways in which educators can minimize the persistent differences in test scores, grades and graduation rates among students of different races, ethnicities and, in some subjects, genders, by having students write essays about meaningful accomplishments in order to decrease negative stereotypes about their race, ethnicity, or gender:

“Educators have been chewing over the problem for decades….[R]ecently, a group of social and cognitive psychologists have come at the problem in a different way. These psychologists’ approach is based on the idea that at least some of these academic disparities aren’t the result of faulty teaching or broken school systems, but instead spring from toxic stereotypes that cause ethnic-minority and other students to question whether they belong in school and whether they can do well there. While such a major problem might seem to require widespread social change to fix, the psychologists are finding evidence that short, simple interventions can make a surprisingly large difference. Quick classroom exercises that bolster students’ resistance to stereotypes and change the way they think about learning can have dramatically out-of-scale effects, these researchers say.”

To read the full article online, click here.

If you have questions, or would like to discuss the article with Matt, email him at



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