Never too old, never too young? : exploring stereotypes in the mixed-age college classroom
Though referred to as "non-traditional students", older students have, in fact, become prevalent in university classrooms, and the number of non-traditional students is expected to continue increasing (Bishop-Clark & Lynch, 1993). Yet, stereotypes that students of different ages hold towards each other may interfere with creating an optimal learning environment for all. This study explores age-based stereotypes students may have of each other. Undergraduate students were randomly assigned to review a scenario about a college student who was described as either traditional (20 years old) or non-traditional (40 years). Participants rated the student in the scenario using the Reysen Likeability, Expertise, and Honesty Scales, the Academic Motivation Scale, and a Student Behavior Questionnaire. Both traditional and non-traditional participants rated the traditional student in the scenario as more likeable. All participants rated traditional students higher in traditional-based stereotypes and the non-traditional student higher in the nontraditional based stereotypes. Evidence of the existence and nature of such stereotyping can be a step toward addressing and alleviating tensions within the mixed-age classroom and working towards support and understanding.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Science;Science -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Lajoie, Brooke L., "Never too old, never too young? : exploring stereotypes in the mixed-age college classroom" (2010). HIM 1990-2015. 1017.