Stereo-Disk — Stereotypes as Obstacles for Professional Diagnostics in an Inclusive School Context

The project Stereo-Disk investigates how stereotypes of teachers in inclusive school contexts affect students' assessments and develops support formats to reduce their influence.

Project Description

Practice and research show that stereotypes about learners with individual needs are also widespread among (prospective) teachers. Stereotypes are beliefs about characteristics and behaviours of members of certain social groups that can influence information processing.

Such stereotypes could be barriers to professional diagnosis: They can lead to certain information being overlooked or overrated. With the help of surveys, experiments and simulated diagnostic situations, the project investigates which stereotypes exist among student teachers towards children with SPF and how these influence the assessment of individual pupils with special needs. Based on the findings, the aim is to design and evaluate an intervention to reduce these stereotypes and to promote diagnostic competence.

Research questions and hypotheses

1) Do teachers' stereotypes reduce the quality of the diagnostic process when assessing students with special educational needs?

  1. The activation of stereotypes about special educational needs leads to student teachers selecting more stereotype-compliant information for diagnostic purposes.
  2. The activation of stereotypes about special educational needs leads to student teachers giving greater weight to stereotype-compliant information.
  3. The activation of stereotypes about special educational needs leads to student teachers arriving at a more negative result in the assessment of the pupils concerned, depending on the type of stereotype.

2) What individual differences exist in the bias effects of stereotypes?

  1. Teachers with good knowledge of the special educational needs have less bias in the diagnostic process, as they have less stereotypical perceptions of these groups of students.
  2. Teachers with good diagnostic knowledge have less bias in the diagnostic process because they control activated stereotypes better.

Both areas of professional knowledge should therefore act as moderators for the assumed effect of stereotypes on the assessment process.

3) How can the influence of stereotypes on teachers' diagnostic behaviour be reduced?

The effect of stereotypes on the diagnostic process can be reduced by several measures:

  1. An intervention that directly addresses the reduction of stereotypes by providing knowledge about the special educational needs and facilitating contact with relevant persons.
  2. An intervention that promotes diagnostic competence in general by raising awareness of professional diagnostics.
  3. An intervention that combines both areas and is more effective than interventions that address only one of the two areas.

Project Objectives

The aim is to learn more about the impact of stereotypes in the diagnostic process and to use this knowledge to develop support formats that address these obstacles.


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Project Management

Project Team

Project Details

Current project
Areas of focus
Department: Teacher and Teaching Quality
Unit: Teaching and Learning in School Contexts
Education Sectors: Higher Education, Primary and Secondary Education, Science
10/2021 – 09/2024
External funding
Contact: Charlotte Schell, Doctoral Candidate