It is important to remove this Model Minority Myth because it causes a disservice to minority students. Asian students who may need assistance will often be overlooked because of the stereotype that Asians are always intelligent. The children often feel this pressure to live up to this expectation. Research has found that this racial bias affects self-esteem, causes psychological distress and can affect the academic and social lives of students.
It also adds to the idea of racial inferiority when comparing the African-American and Latino groups. There was even a study that showed that when Black and Latino students were just aware of the stereotype that Black and Latino students are less intelligent than white and Asian students, it negatively affected their performance levels.
The first step is admitting that this bias is real and we may act on it without even realizing it.
Tackling Stereotypes and Bias
- Reflection: Recognize stereotypes around you in the media and in life
- Address Negative Stereotypes in the Moment: If you here any stereotypes in your classroom, address it! Address in a way as to not embarrass a student.
- Talk to your students about negative stereotypes.
- Use Events and Activities to Reduce the Power of Stereotypes. Assemblies can be interesting for students. Inviting people to speak that break certain stereotypes can be eye-opening. Implementing small activities that ask students questions about themselves can help give them a voice.
- Recognize that Breaking Down Stereotypes Liberates Us All. Make it known that stereotypes are not defining. When we embrace each other and our identity in its entirety, we create an identity-safe learning environment