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Inquiry Primed: Making Science More Inviting & Effective

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Project Name
Inquiry Primed: An Intervention to Mitigate the Effects of Stereotype Threat in Science

Project Description

Stereotype threat — that is, the fear of fulfilling negative expectations about a group — is a recognized obstacle to the academic achievement of learners representing certain minority groups, including women, African Americans and Latinx, especially in the subjects of science and math.

CAST partnered with the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) to create a web-based professional development course to help 8th-grade science teachers understand stereotype threat and adopt UDL-based methods to reduce the likely effects of stereotype threat in their everyday instruction.

By supporting middle school teachers in this way, we expect this project ultimately to help students in vulnerable groups by increasing their participation, persistence, and success in inquiry-based science. This, in turn, is expected to make science learning more successful for all.

After conducting an experimental study of stereotype threat in the context of science classrooms, the project team used the study results in collaboration with teachers to develop appropriate instructional approaches to support better learning. the project team then developed and evaluated an online professional learning course and community of practice to disseminate these approaches.


2013 – 2015

Funded by

National Science Foundation, DRK-12


Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN)

Principal Investigators

Samantha Daley, EdD
Sam Johnston, EdD (co-PI)


For more information about this project, contact Sam Johnston.

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