Background: Schools across the nation continue to grapple with the achievement gap, and the literature suggests that academic gaps between white children and their non-white counterparts grow as students make their way through school. Stereotype threat — the sense of apprehension individuals feel when they are afraid their actions or parts of their identities will confirm a negative stereotype about the group to which they belong — is one factor social scientists believe contributes to the achievement gap.
The Study:A 2016 study by Geoffrey Borman, Jeffrey Grigg, and Paul Hanselman examined how one type of intervention, called self-affirmation, could offset the effects of stereotype threat. Exercises in self-affirmation offer students the chance to affirm their self-worth by thinking, writing, or speaking about the skills, values, or roles they view as important.
Underlying the college admission process is the principle that colleges should strive to accept the most academically talented students. What are the factors that best predict academic success in college?
Historically, postsecondary institutions have relied on quantitative indicators such as high school GPA and standardized test scores to assess a student’s academic potential, and with good reason—there is strong evidence linking these factors with academic performance in college. Yet such measures are neither foolproof, nor do they capture key non-cognitive characteristics, like motivation, enthusiasm, and maturity, which also impact academic outcomes.
A new study by Dr. Patrick Akos and Dr. Jen Kretchmar published in The Review of Higher Education examines the predictive power of one non-cognitive trait—grit. According to research by Dr. Angela Duckworth, grit is a construct encompassing two dimensions: consistency of interest and perseverance of effort. An example of a “gritty” student is one who is steadfast in pursuing long-term goals.
The friendships freshmen form can influence their academic success and emotional well-being, new research suggests.
Janice McCabe, an associate professor of sociology at Dartmouth College (NH), has mapped out three common patterns students follow when choosing friends.
“Tight-knitters” mesh with a close group of friends who become like family. “Compartmentalizers” spend their time with two to four unrelated clusters of friends. And “samplers” develop one-on-one relationships with individuals who don’t necessarily know one another.