Belonging matters - in education and in Silicon Valley.
When students are uncertain about whether they belong, they are vigilant for cues in the environment that signal whether or not they belong, fit in, or are welcome there. They may also be concerned about confirming a negative stereotype about their group. This hyper-vigilance and extra stress uses up cognitive resources that are essential for learning, diminishing their performance and discouraging them from building valuable relationships.
Students from underrepresented or negatively stereotyped groups may worry about whether people like them are accepted by their peers and teachers.