Kids can show prejudice and teachers can show them another path
Charles Darwin University, Australia
Children are shaped by what they see and hear around them at home and at school. This can include race-related discourse that posits some members of society above others. The 12-14 year old children in two Australian Grade 8 classes were not exempt. Although previously they had very minimal interaction with Aboriginal Australians, all 47 students in these two classes believed derogative stereotypes about Aboriginal people. But things began to change as they engaged in a program of learning designed in consultation with an Aboriginal educator to present a positive discourse to counter the deficit discourse about Aboriginal people prevalent in Australia. In the drivers' seat of their learning, students began to appreciate past and present cultures of Aboriginal people and their resilience and achievements amidst racial oppression. Through a lens of empathy, students not only formed more positive perspectives about Aboriginal people, but realised the need to not judge any group of people. Aspects of the design and outcomes of this study may be applied to other anti-prejudice and pro-social educational initiatives.
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|Author: Adam Heaton holds a PhD in Education from Charles Darwin University and publishes on anti-racism and pro-social education. Adam has also produced over 20 social research papers to assist the Australian Government with their policy directions and has published over 60 books that are a part of the curriculum of schools in 54 nations.|
Please cite as: Heaton, A. (2018). Kids can show prejudice and teachers can show them another path. Issues in Educational Research, 28(4), 940-952. http://www.iier.org.au/iier28/heaton.pdf