how to reduce prejudice in schools

06/12/2020 Uncategorized

Shaun R. Harper is a professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, founder and executive director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education, and president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education. Among the most powerful influences on young people’s behaviour are norms: the rules, stated or otherwise, which govern society. Some research has found that anti-racist teaching reduces prejudice and increases empathy. Therefore, like all sophisticated and powerful educational efforts, reducing prejudice requires a conscious effort to go beyond intuitive, lazy thinking and primal instincts; it is an act of the will involving critical thinking, self-analysis, metacognition and deliberate selflessness - things that might not come naturally to us and have to be worked on. This depends on highlighting similarities between groups rather than differences. Reducing Prejudice and Stereotyping in Schools, by Walter Stephan. These results suggest that telling children to be more inclusive can be a useful intervention at the school level, but must work in conjunction with an effort to encourage peer groups to be positive and inclusive between each other. A multitude of ‘empathy training’ experiments have built on these ideas and have found that we can enhance empathy with training. This is problematic because viewing group members as highly similar (a sense that ‘they’re all the same’) has been linked to higher prejudice. Therefore, like all sophisticated and powerful educational efforts, reducing prejudice requires a conscious effort to go beyond intuitive, lazy thinking and primal instincts; it is an act of the will involving critical thinking, self-analysis, metacognition, and deliberate selflessness—things that might not come naturally to us and have to be worked on. New York: Teachers College Press, 1999. At the root of many cases of bullying are stereotypes, or generalisation about a group of people, and prejudice, an unfavourable opinion about a group based on such stereotypes. One method of reducing prejudice -- the contact hypothesis -- assumes that the very nature of requiring people from different social groups to work together reduces prejudicial attitudes among those groups. View our, my research on the under-representation of GRT pupils in higher education, ’The role of Intercultural education in schools and communities’. When teachers and schools remind children to be inclusive, ... How to reduce prejudice among groups of children at school ... but little work has tested how efficient it is in beating prejudice. Perspective asking: uses role-playing to help members of one group act out and argue the perspective of a conflicting group. This suggests that nonjudgmental awareness, even when not specifically focused on reducing prejudice, can help reduce unconscious biases. That’s good advice for students taking exams. pupils must not feel they are forced to take part; and. In second grade, if there was somebody I thought was cool, all I had to do was go up to them and ask, “do you want to be friends?” and boom - … Loving-kindness meditation —a practice that involves consciously sending out compassionate thoughts toward others—may also help. For example, one clause might be that all children have the right to learn in peace, regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity. Those in the control group who read the same material but are not instructed to empathise do not change their scores as much. Norms within the school context are often explained to children within school charters – a document or statement that outlines how teachers expect pupils to behave in order to create a harmonious learning environment. This type of purposeful grouping can be replicated in almost any classroom as long as there is some diversity among pupils. The researchers discuss that learning about racism can potentially reduce prejudice as it provides an alternative explanation (i.e. Introduction. How Friendships Can Reduce Racial Prejudice, and What Schools Can Do to Help Sometimes it seems like the older we get, the harder it is to make friends. Unlearning prejudice and developing social awareness is a lifelong process, and it is unrealistic to expect instant results with young children. Such an intervention is akin to the norms promoted by teachers, in either a formal charter-style, or more informally in the classroom. Having high empathy makes children less likely to want to cause distress to others and more likely to want to alleviate it. Levy et al. [17] People who are more educated express fewer stereotypes and prejudice in general. If these are the basis of meaningful education, then learning how to reduce prejudice is surely a … Understanding historical and current racism and discrimination is important part of accepting that racial prejudice exists and working to reduce it but it’s clear these topics need to be handled with care. Unfortunately, this was not always the case. The next week the roles were reversed. Anti-racist teaching involves teaching pupils about historic and current events rooted in prejudice and discrimination, such as the Holocaust or the Slave Trade. Eliminating Racism in the Classroom by Richard Morgan, D'Youville College "It is your responsibility to change society if you think of yourself as an educated person." In this case, the children were asked to imagine that they were going to compete in a drawing competition. Topics are taught with an explicit focus on how structural prejudice and racism caused or supported such events. Anecdotes from families, research studies, and discrimination lawsuits all reveal that children of color face bias in schools. Some pupils may have a vested interest in stopping racism and, as such, may be able to work to help bring an end to racist practices. Activities for Teaching about Prejudice and Discrimination - Use these activities to discuss different areas of prejudice and ways to work toward appreciation. 4 min read Topics are taught with an explicit focus on how structural prejudice and racism caused or supported such events. School grounds can be the site of bullying and violent behaviour between students. Having a friend from another group may also remove barriers to empathy and caring, which in turn decreases prejudice. It then discusses how prejudice is institutionalised and legitimised in schools, before turning to the main thrust of its investigation: the extent to which international education (K-12) can reduce prejudice. A plethora of children's books have stories about stereotypes and prejudice. Studies have found that over 8 weeks, the empathy scores of children in ‘Jigsaw classrooms’ increased and intergroup relationships improved. aimed at prejudice reduction in schools, work-places, neighborhoods, and regions beset by in-tergroup conflict. The children were then given a survey and asked to rate how much they liked, trusted and would like to play with members of both their own, and the other team. By the age of seven, children are aware of the groups to which they belong, and prefer being a member of an “in-group”, such as fans of a certain football team or members of a different ethnic group. For instance, when learning about the civil rights movement teachers could encourage pupils to consider and imagine the feelings of Black people who experienced institutionalised racism and inequality in the US during that time. ‘Contact’ with other groups has long been shown to improve intergroup attitudes. More than five decades after Brown v. Board of Education and four decades after the Civil Rights era, racial prejudice remains a national problem cutting across social class and culture. Prejudice reduction as part of multicultural education decreases student disassociation with school, leading to learning environments that affirm the values of equitable education and social justice. This suggests that incorporating elements of empathy training during multicultural or anti-racist education could increase empathy and reduce prejudice. As a result, many schools are redoubling their efforts to create an inclusive culture and reduce prejudice. Educators and policy makers are learning from past experience as they devise programs to prevent or reduce prejudice and discrimination (see Banks, 2009 edited book on multicultural education). These children scored higher in the survey – meaning they were more likely to trust and like the opposite team – compared with participants who didn’t hear a message from the teacher. Indeed, they may even lead to a sense that including other cultures is something to be ‘ticked off a list’ leaving pupils more isolated and less included. These resources are meant to aid students in inspecting and challenging their own prejudices. 143 pp. 2. The evidence on the effectiveness of anti-racist teaching is mixed. Medical schools are yet another well respected and sought-after academic institutions replete with racial prejudice and stereotypes. The aim was to give the children the experience of being discriminated against. In doing so, they gain a sense of understanding and even allegiance with that group. Our Social cohesion report and our report for 3FF: ’The role of Intercultural education in schools and communities’, present further insights and examples on how to create a whole school culture which fosters inclusion and how encouraging pupils of different backgrounds to interact builds understanding between groups. Elliot noted that the blue-eyed children were less cruel in their role as the ‘superior’ group, perhaps because they had experienced being ‘oppressed’ beforehand and therefore felt more empathy for the other group. Much research has focused on how self-identity is reliant upon our membership of flourishing social groups. Previous reviews have summarized evi- Editor’s Note: Britney L. Jones, Neag School doctoral candidate in the Learning, Leadership, and Educational Policy program, prepared the following issue brief — in affiliation with the Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA) — examining school and district policies and practices aimed at eliminating racism. Despite multicultural schools, prejudice is not decreased as children of different races segregate … Recognize holidays and events relating to a variety of cultural and ethnic groups. Print version: page 40. A review of the evidence. In 2013, researchers investigated whether this contact and social connectedness with others leading to sharing in cultural activities could reduce prejudice. White American college students that are placed with Black American roommates show reduced implicit bias for example. However, some researchers argue that anti-racist teaching could lead to an increased emphasis on ‘ingroups’ and ‘outgroups’ or feelings of ‘anger or self-righteousness.’ Furthermore, such sessions could prove humiliating for members of the minority group being discussed. Teachers can use a storybook as a way to introduce and illustrate these difficult topics for younger school age children. A few months ago, during my research on the under-representation of GRT pupils in higher education (for Kings College London), a young Romany Gypsy told me about her experience of school. October 2011, Vol 42, No. The class that took part in the activity had less prejudiced beliefs and were more likely to be willing to spend time with a group of other race children than the control group who did not experience the activity. (Baldwin, p.190) This quote from James Baldwin reflects the duty and moral obligation of modern educators to attempt to eliminate racism in today's classrooms. While teachers’ and staffs’ primary responsibility is to teach academic content, challenging behaviors can … This may help explain why the…, This blog was written by CfEY’s newest recruit, Baz Ramaiah The COVID-crisis has badly damaged the long-term life prospects of young people and the government must act to help them. It’s clear that prejudices are present among young people, due to a complex range of influences, many beyond their schools’ control. Nontheless, if you use cases of bias as a vehicle for education, it is quite possible to reduce students' prejudice over time. At first, she made the brown-eyed children the ‘superior’ group, favouring those children and pointing out mistakes and weaknesses of the blue-eyed ‘inferior’ group. As discussed in part one of this series of blogs, one mechanism in the development of prejudice is the manner in which adults draw attention, either implicitly or explicitly, to certain categorisations. 1 ... schools or communities for example. Though we can draw only limited conclusions from this uncontrolled, small-scale ‘experiment’, it does illustrate how this type of exercise, where people experience discrimination themselves, could potentially develop empathy and make people less likely to be prejudiced towards others in the future. Only then can they avoid some of the potential pitfalls. Experimental group: children received history lessons about famous African Americans which included information about racism and discrimination; Control group: children received identical lessons but with information about racism omitted. There are several different categories of social psychology techniques used to reduce prejudice attitudes in individuals and among groups. Anti-racist teaching involves teaching pupils about historic and current events rooted in prejudice and discrimination, such as the Holocaust or the Slave Trade. Given these practical objec-tives, it is natural to ask what has been learned about the most effective ways to reduce preju-dice. After the lessons, ‘European American’ children who learnt about racism held more positive and less negative attitudes towards African Americans compared to the control group. When children were told by a teacher to be more inclusive, it had a positive effect on their attitudes towards their competitors. Look at the culture of the whole school and consider: what your school is required to do under the Public Sector Equality Duty creating a school culture that reflects safety and inclusivity This blog will examine what research can tell us about how to tackle these issues, highlighting the importance of taking an evidence-led approach to reducing prejudice, since some well-intentioned activities may in fact exacerbate rather than diminish negative attitudes. They’re disciplined more harshly, less likely to be identified as gifted, or to have access to quality teachers, to name but a few examples. There is also evidence that co-operative learning: bringing different groups together to work on a project, can increase perspective taking and thus, empathy. This avoids them hypothesising that a particular group tends to have lower status or poorer outcomes due to some inherent or biological trait. The following chapters are included: (1) His e-mail address is sharper1@upenn.edu. As a teacher, I did regular key word tests and awarded merit…, Receive our latest thoughts in your inbox, We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on the CfEY website. (Baldwin, p.190) This quote from James Baldwin reflects the duty and moral obligation of modern educators to attempt to eliminate racism in today's classrooms. Research suggests that cross-race friendships are an important factor in decreasing prejudice, probably because they help decrease stress and fears of rejection that may occur in cross-group situations. In the past, it’s been shown that this leads to participants suggesting they would verbally bully a member of an opposing team, if members of their own team in the competition asked them to. Form a group of interested students to start a club related to the issue. discrimination) for the social status inequalities which children are frequently aware of. But it is vital to recognise that school rules alone are not enough to change attitudes. We were most interested in what might happen if a pupil’s peer group urged them to exclude those who were in the opposing team in the drawing competition, but the school stepped in and told the children to behave inclusively. Our research pinpoints that we can successfully intervene in schools to help minimise prejudice between groups of children. However, there are issues with this approach. Do not minimize or pretend not to see differences in race, religion, disability, or other attributes. But the “bad news” is that kids can easily pick up prejudice from society at large unless parents do something about it. Souweidane's (2012) 'An Initial Test of an Intervention Designed to Help Youth Question Negative Ethnic Stereotypes' was based on perspective-taking principles and the idea of reducing prejudice by challenging stereotypes. Going forward, teachers can adopt an anti-bias lens, a form of social-emotional learning that respects diversity and challenges sexism, racism, ableism, classism, and other societal prejudices. Other techniques, such as education or discussion between social groups, can also be used to help reduce prejudice and discrimination, Institutional racism doesn’t just affect adults but children in K-12 schools as well. This matches what other researchers have found: one of the most powerful influences on the development of children’s attitudes, are children themselves. must feel they connected to members of the minority group. Elliot, a third grade (year 4) teacher in Iowa, divided her class into blue eyed and brown eyed children. Form a diversity task force or club. An inclusive and open learning or working environment that consists of multiple ethnicities can help promote understanding and tolerance. This chapter will outline and discuss several techniques that teachers can use in their efforts to prevent or reduce prejudice in students. proposes that these negative side effects could be mitigated by: Empathy training aims to help children understand the experiences and emotions of others’. More than 500 studies of intergroup relations are reviewed to develop recommendations to help educators choose effective programs to reduce racial prejudice and stereotyping in their schools. A new way to combat prejudice. The best approach is likely to involve a blend of different activities and a well embedded culture of inclusivity to avoid activities feeling tokenistic. The intention is to increase all pupils’ knowledge and understanding of different groups by ‘including’ them in curricula. Teaching candidates in the Rutgers Alternate Route Program are exploring the phenomena of Stereotype Threat, a theory developed by social psychologists Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson to describe the anxiety students experience when confronted with situations in which they fear confirming negative stereotypes about their social groups, especially members of groups believed to be … In the first section, we discuss the invitational method proposed by Haberman (1994) that is intended to facilitate teachers' self-awareness with regard to their own prejudice. Prejudice Reduction. Half of the children heard a message recorded by a teacher instructing them to act in a kind and inclusive manner towards people from other groups and schools, or risk the consequences. In a study we just published, my colleagues and I carried out an experiment with 229 seven to 11-year-olds to explore this further. Such rules exist within children’s groups: for example, to share or not to share, how to dress, or who can be included in an activity. Too few of us were ever afforded opportunities to discuss or meaningfully learn about race in our K–12 schools, undergraduate studies, or doctoral programs. Stanford University researcher Carol S. Dweck has found a way to change people’s minds to reduce prejudice and bullying. 9. Boy being builied via Monkey Business Images/www.shutterstock.com, self-identity is reliant upon our membership of flourishing social groups, participants suggesting they would verbally bully. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure it required improvement. 4 Powerful Ways to Reduce Racism and Discrimination in Schools It’s hard to maintain professionalism when you’re dealing with students who present challenging behaviors. Anecdotes from families, research studies, and discrimination, such as the Holocaust or the Slave Trade events! 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