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Teaching session

Favorite Prejudices

About session

Objective

  • The students are able to assess and categorize statements. The students are able to define the terms fact, opinion and prejudice.

In this module the students will invent a persona and imagine which prejudices this person may harbor. They will use this imaginary person to talk about what prejudice actually is, what the correlation is between prejudice and identity, and how to deal with and reflect on such prejudices.

Time:
45 - 60 min
Group size:
20 - 35

Implementation

Introduction: What is prejudice?

Ask the students what they associate with the word prejudice. Try to pick out some keywords from the conversation. Here are some keywords that are often used when defining prejudice. Remember that the students may well be familiar with them even though they may be using slightly different words. You could also discuss the different keywords. Do prejudices always have to be negative?

  • Generalization – seeing similarities between multiple members of a group
  • Inadequate and inflexible perception of “the others”
  • Negative perceptions of others

Suggestions for definitions and a text about othering.

Main section:

  • 1

    The persona's favorite prejudices

    Ask each student to invent a persona for themselves, including their age, name, place of residence, education and interests/hobbies.


    Then, ask the students to write down their character’s favorite prejudices, i.e. the ones they “enjoy” the most: ideas about other people, groups, opinions, actions and/or mannerisms the person really does not like.

  • 2

    Teaching session: About prejudice

    Talk to the students about what belonging means for who we are and how perceptions of other people give us an understanding of who we are. It is more difficult to know who we are than who we are not.

    You can find suggestions for background material under the topic "prejudice and group thinking".

  • 3

    One-to-one discussion

    • Ask the students to present their character and its favorite prejudices to the person next to them.
    • How do the prejudices give the characters validation?
  • 4

    Teaching session: Prejudice affects other people

    Talk to the students about how prejudice can affect others. Find examples of prejudices that do not correspond to reality or that can hurt others.
    Ask whether the students have any thoughts on how their character’s prejudices can affect others.

  • 5

    One-to-one

    Ask the students to give their characters advice on how to deal with their prejudices.

Conclusion:

Ask some of the pairs to present:

  • Their characters
  • The favorite prejudices of their characters
  • How do the prejudices validate the person?
  • What advice would the students give the character on how to deal with their prejudices?

To sum up, you could point out that everyone holds prejudices, but it is important that we think about what we do with them.