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In Claude M. Steele’s text, Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and Wha
In Claude M. Steele’s text, Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do, he makes an assertive/direct argument that students have to endure stereotype threat, which interferes with academic performance. The additional pressure that stereotype threat brings on requires students to live up to or dispel stereotypes associated with their social identity, taking their focus off of the task at hand, which affects their overall performance under evaluative situations. This, he argues, impacts the level of success certain groups of students achieve. Do you agree with Steele’s theory? Or, do you think that he is perpetuating excuses for students that underperform? In other words, is he taking his argument too far by giving students that underperform an “out”? For this essay, you’ll have to direct the reader to understand Steele’s argument the way you do/the way you want the reader to understand the argument. Then, you’ll have to describe the particular parts of the text and analyze them to explain what you agree with, what you disagree with, and why. Essentially, you are using Whistling Vivaldi as your main text for this essay to discuss Steele’s argument and your view of his argument.

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