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They don't eat like us

Rex Johnstone

Helping children become less prejudiced. That is one of our airns as teachers. In Social Studies prejudice often shows up as, 'My
culture, my ways, are right and other cultures, other ways not like mine, are wrong.' Strictly speaking, prejudice is pre-judging, making up our minds without evidence and we can be prejudiced for or against something. In Social Studies we are usually trying to help children to be less ethnocentric, that is, that special sort of prejudice just described. Four classes of 11- and 12-year-olds at a school in Christchurch were to experience a unit of Social Studies on 'Other Cultures'. Would it have any effect on their prejudices? Were they ethnocentric to begin with? What were the reasons for their stereotyped or prejudiced ideas? Would some types of prejudice. change and others remain? What sort of teaching would have most effect on prejudice?

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