Do stereotypes strike twice? Giftedness and gender stereotypes in pre-service teachers’ beliefs about student characteristics in Australia


Stereotypes influence teachers’ perception of and behaviour towards students, thus shaping students’ learning opportunities. The present study investigated how 315 Australian pre-service teachers’ stereotypes about giftedness and gender are related to their perception of students’ intellectual ability, adjustment, and social-emotional ability, using an experimental vignette approach and controlling for social desirability in pre-service teachers’ responses. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed that pre-service teachers associated giftedness with higher intellectual ability, but with less adjustment compared to average-ability students. Furthermore, pre-service teachers perceived male students as less socially and emotionally competent and less adjusted than female students. Additionally, pre-service teachers seemed to perceive female average-ability students’ adjustment as most favourable compared to male average-ability students and gifted students. Findings point to discrepancies between actual characteristics of gifted female and male students and stereotypes in teachers’ beliefs. Consequences of stereotyping and implications for teacher education are discussed.

Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education
Lena Kristina Keller
Lena Kristina Keller

Psychologist, empirical educational research, quantitative methods enthusiast