Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963848 | Print ISBN: 9781412916882 | Online ISBN: 9781412963848| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
In the field of educational psychology, diversity primarily refers to differences across individuals and groups. In order to talk about differences, there is often an assumption about what is normal, typical, or mainstream. Educational psychologists have been interested in understanding human life by identifying universal tendencies. Diversity is important to this task because it is the concept through which hypothesized human universals might be better understood. For example, an interest in diversity helps psychologists understand why there is patterned variance across individuals and groups given particular hypothesized explanations for cognitive development. Steele's important work on stereotype threat has explored how performance (including cognitive tasks) can be influenced by social stereotypes. Because social stereotypes work off of, and reinforce, social expectations for groups of people (by race and gender, for example), diversity is an important theme. In mainstream educational psychology, it is rare to find the word diversity in the diversity ...