Understanding Prejudice
Understanding Prejudice
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College Student Assignments

Taking Action: A Prejudice Reduction Project


To teach students about prejudice reduction actively through a hands-on experience of their own design.


Sometime in the last half of the course, explain that students will have an opportunity to try their hand at prejudice reduction, and ask them to start thinking about tangible ways that they might be able to reduce prejudice in their school, workplace, or community. Make clear that students should limit their activities to something practical that can be completed in a week or two.


Students might examine children's books in a local school, bookstore, or public library to see whether the books contain stereotypes and/or exclude certain groups. Or they might examine toys in local stores to see whether the toys promote unhealthy gender roles and stereotypes. If problems are found, students might then develop a proposal for improvement, present the proposal to someone in a position of authority, and write a report on whether their proposal was successful.


In many cases, the most challenging part of this assignment is for students to think of concrete actions they can take in the time allotted. To help students develop their ideas, instructors might ask for a brief description of the proposed project a few weeks before the final report is due.


Adapted from pages 76-79 of Derman-Sparks, L., & Phillips, C. B. (1997). Teaching/Learning Anti-Racism: A Developmental Approach. New York: Teachers College Press.