Within School Systems
Esteemed school board members, there is much to be said on the topic of prejudice within school systems. Offered to you today for the purpose of consideration and appropriate action are several viewpoints on the subject of prejudice through the lens of social psychology as it relates to your school district. You are charged with initiating purposeful action on the basis that a) Prejudice is a learned social factor which can stunt the education and growth of low status students within school systems (Cohen, 1985,1994, 2004; Steele, 1997; Oakes, 1985, Roper 1985), b) Schools are the primary source for socialization and education of minors, including prejudice formation and maintenance (King, 1991), c) Multicultural and holistic education when implemented properly can help students of all ethnic background to examine both internal biases and the flaws of systematic oppression. The inclusion of multiple viewpoints within the classroom allows students to gain fuller understanding in all subjects and question the validity of some sources over others (Wright, Tolan, 2009). These methods can be effective in reducing prejudice among groups if they meet Allport’s (1979) four conditions of positive contact. The proposed solution for the ethnic prejudice within the school district requires not only training of teachers, but also administrators and curriculum builders to create a completely redesigned school environment with a goal of prejudice reduction.
The Relevant Issues
Starting in the early twentieth century, Social Psychology emerged onto the global stage with a goal of explaining human nature. Social psychology as a science analyzes the cause and effect relationships between...
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...Who Confronts Prejudice?: The Role Of Implicit Theories In The Motivation To Confront Prejudice. Psychological Science, 21(7), 952-959.
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Stewart, T. L., Laduke, J. R., Bracht, C., Sweet, B. A., & Gamarel, K. E. (2003). Do The "Eyes" Have It? A Program Evaluation Of Jane Elliott's "Blue-Eyes/Brown-Eyes" Diversity Training Exercise1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33(9), 1898-1921.
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Vescio, T. K., & Biernat, M. (1999). When Stereotype-based Expectancies Impair Performance: The Effect Of Prejudice, Race, And Target Quality On Judgments And Perceiver Performance. European Journal of Social Psychology, 29(7), 961-970.
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Wright, A. N., & Tolan, J. (2009). Prejudice Reduction Through Shared Adventure: A Qualitative Outcome Assessment Of A Multicultural Education Class. Journal of Experiential Education , 32(2), 137-154.
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