Teaching against prejudice

GISIG Newsletter No. 152002

The following Bibliography and attached exercises represent one of GISIG’s core aspects of teaching: making learners aware of how easy it is to stereotype and cast out others from one’s own society. In the Bibliography section it also gives help to teachers and course organisers on the topics based on the backlash of hatred after the WTC-disaster* (WTC = World Trade Center). Some of the sources may be a bit dated but in the main a series of still valid articles and book references are given. The Bibliography is the largest extant concerning this event and aiming at the practising teacher who would either like to teach about it historically or a similar event of a newer date.

The teaching section at the end gives three exercises that are simple and straightforward and give learners room for thinking and recognising. Adaptable to nearly all levels.

Wolfgang Ridder

* This event is also known as “9/11” for short which is the date it happened: 11 September 2001. On that date the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York were destroyed by aeroplanes flown with intent and precision into these building. The loss of life was colossal.


The following collection of resources, quotes and teaching ideas + websites was published shortly after the WTC-disaster on the “TESOLers for Social Responsibility Caucus” website for free download by everybody to use in class.

Teaching Against Prejudice : Books And Quotes

Items with * can be ordered from http://www.socialstudies.com


* Abrahamson, B. (1991) Prejudice in Group Relations. USA: GSP.  $7.00

* Allen, I. (1990) Unkind Words: Ethnic Labeling from Redskin to WASP. USA: Bergin and Garvey.  $15.95

Banton, M. (1985) Teaching About Prejudice. London: Minority Rights Group. ISBN 0-946690-35-9

Berry, J. (1987) Every Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Prejudice and Discrimination. US: Children’s Press/Living Skills Press. ISBN 0-516-21414-4

* Carnes, J. (1996) Us and Them: A History of Intolerance in America. USA: Oxford. $12.95

CityKids. (1994) CityKids Speak on Prejudice. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-679-86552-7  $5.99

Ford, C. (1994) We Can All Get Along: 50 Steps You Can Take to Help End Racism. New York: Dell. ISBN 0-440-50570-4  $9.95

Gabelko, N. (1981) Reducing Adolescent Prejudice. New York: Teachers College Press. ISBN 0-8077-2639-7

Grunsell, A. (1995) (Let’s Talk About) Racism. UK: Watts. ISBN 0-7496-2074-9 £4.50

Moe, B. (1993) Coping with Bias Incidents. New York: Rosen. ISBN 0-8239-1606-5

* Muse, D. (1995) Prejudice: Stories about Hate, Ignorance, Revelation and Transformation. USA: Hyperion. $7.95

Osborn, K. (1994) (Everything You Need to Know About) Bias Incidents. New York: Rosen. ISBN 0-8239-1530-1

Pettigrew, T. (1982) Prejudice. USA: Belknap (Harvard Univ. Press). ISBN 0-674-70063-5

Sanders, P. (1995) What Do You Know About Racism. London: Watts/Gloucester. ISBN 0-7496-1725-x  £8.50

Schniedewind, N. (1983) Open Minds to Equality: A Sourcebook of Learning Activities to Promote Race, Sex, Class and Age Equity. USA: Allyn and Bacon. ISBN 0-13-637264-3

van der Gaag, N. (1985) Profile on Prejudice. UK: Minority Rights Group. ISBN 946690-28-6


Prejudice is the child of ignorance.

(W. Hazlitt)

We hate some people because we don’t know them and won’t get to know them because we hate them.

(Charles Colton)

People are not born with prejudice, nor is it a pathological state of mind. Prejudices are learned – and the bulk of this learning is provided by the education system and the media.

(Ayub Ali)

To hate a black because of his color or a white because of his color is so stupid, it’s unreal.


I believe in recognizing everyone as a human being – neither white, black, brown or red.

(Malcolm X)

The result of education is tolerance.

(Helen Keller)

No loss by flood and lightning, no destruction of cities by the hostile forces of nature, has deprived man of so many noble lives as those which his intolerance has destroyed.

(Helen Keller)

When you meet someone in the flesh, you realize immediately that he is a human being and not a caricature embodying certain ideas.

(George Orwell)

We have met the enemy and he is us.

(Walt Kelly)

We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.

(Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein)

Teaching  Against Prejudice: On-Line Resources

Children’s Sites

Children’s Books: Tolerance & Prejudice



Fiction/non-fiction on tolerance, prejudice, racism

Defining Diversity, Prejudice, Tolerance


A kids’ site in simple English which gives ideas and examples of diversity, prejudice & tolerance.

On-Line Courses

Prejudice Reduction Syllabus


A university course syllabus on reducing prejudice.

Teaching Module: Tolerance & Prejudice


A student-research-centered teaching module on prejudice designed for American schools.

Beyond Prejudice


Teaches participants to identify/eliminate prejudice

Other Weblinks

AIMER project


Lists multicultural, anti-racist teaching materials.

American Anti-Arab Discrimination Committee


Opposes discrimination against Arab-Americans and Moslems.

Anti Defamation League (ADL)


Works to fight anti-Semitism and prejudice. It can provide: a free ADL Resources catalog (get a copy!)

Article: 101 Ways You Can Beat Prejudice

Article What to tell your child about Prejudice

Free resource guide: No Place For Hate

A World of Difference anti-prejudice program

Artists against Racism


An international organization of famous musicians, actors and performing artists. “Our aim is to combat racial and religious prejudice which youth often learn from friends, society, peer pressure, parents, racist record labels and racist websites.”

The Crosspoint


Weblinks on human rights, anti-racism, refugees, women’s rights, anti-fascism and other issues.

Declaration on Racial Prejudice


This site gives the text of an international declaration on race and racial prejudice.

Education Planet:  Prejudice & Tolerance


Education resources such as videos, books posters.

People for the American Way


States that it helps to keep alive the true American spirit: tolerance, free speech, protection for minorities, and freedom for all religious faiths without government intrusion.

Stereotypes, Tolerance, and Prejudice


A list of organizations, books, journals & articles which deal with stereotypes, tolerance & prejudice.

Teaching Tolerance



Teaching Tolerance is a program of the “Southern Poverty Law Center” (SPLC) in the US. It publishes Teaching Tolerance magazine which is distributed free twice a year to over 500,000 educators in the U.S. and 70 other countries. Subscriptions are free to educators upon written request on your school or organization letterhead sent to the address below. Get a copy!

Provides teaching ideas and articles on-line:

Article: 10 Ways to Fight Hate

Article: 101 Tools for Tolerance

Classroom resources and activities for teaching tolerance

Sells low-cost teaching materials:

Videos + text: Shadow of Hate Civil Rights

Pack for childhood educators: Starting Small

Set of 8 color posters: One World

Heroes against intolerance A Place at the Table

Book: Responding to Hate at School

Research grants ($2,000) for teachers / educators

Teaching Tolerance, 400 Washington Ave, Montgomery, Alabama 36104 US

Fax: 334-264-7310

World Conference Against Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia, Intolerance (Aug. 31 – Sept. 7, 2001)



Websites for the United Nations World Conference Against Racism Aug. 31 – Sept. 7 2001 in South Africa

Conference vision statement, info, documents data on issues (prejudice, gender, minorities…)

Biographies of goodwill ambassadors:

  • Marian Wright Edelman
  • Ravi Shankar
  • Wole Soyinka

Teaching Against Prejudice: Three Sample Activities

1. Labeling And Stereotyping (adapted from van der Gaag “Profile on Prejudice”, see pg 15)

  • Aim: To encourage students to think critically about ethnic, social and national stereotypes.
  • Note: It’s imperative not to reinforce stereotypes with this activity, but to counter them.


  • Give each student one copy of the chart below (feel free to change the questions listed)
  • Have students fill out Section A for one ethnic, social or national group  (e.g. Arabs)
  • Next give students a second copy of the chart and have them fill out Section A about themselves (e.g. Japanese) as seen by the “other group” they’re studying (e.g. by Arabs)
  • Discuss the stereotypes, simplifications and generalizations given for both groups.
  • Finally, do Section B for both groups (you and other; e.g. Japanese & Arabs), and discuss.

                  Group is __________                  Fact             Myths          Don’t know

How many are there?                                                                   

Where do they live?                                                                     

What do they look like?

What do they wear?                                 

What do they like to eat?                                                                       

What are their houses like?                                                       

What kind of jobs do they do?                                                   

Other information                                              


2. Evaluating Information  (adapted from van der Gaag “Profile on Prejudice”, see pg 15)

  • Aim: To think about where our stereotypes of racial, ethnic, religious and national groups come from.


  • Put students in groups and give out copies of the chart (feel free to change the items listed)
  • Have them mark each item on the left by putting a check in the appropriate column.
  • Tabulate students’ rankings on the board and discuss these as a class.

Stereotypes: Where do our images come from?

SourceImportantSomewhat importantNot importantReiableSomewhat reliableNot reliable

3. Prejudice And Social Distance (adapted from Shiman “The Prejudice Book”, see pg. 15)

  • Aim: To make students aware of their level of acceptance of racial, ethnic, national or religious groups


  • Give students copies of the chart below  (feel free to change the groups listed, as desired)
  • Have them rate each group by putting a number in the blank from one of the 8 categories
  • Tabulate students’ rankings on the blackboard and discuss what they imply.
  • Do the activity again, but have students rank the groups as their friends or parents would.

(Thallonians don’t exist. Research shows biased people are prejudiced even against non-existent groups.)

Social Distance Scale – Categories of Acceptance

One – I would not let them in my country

Five – I’d welcome them as neighbors on my street.

One – I’d let them in my country but only as visitors

Five – I’d let them in my club as personal friends.

One – I’d let them become citizens of my country.

Five – I’d be willing for my brother/sister to date them.

One – I’d welcome them as classmates in my school.

Five – I’d be willing to marry one of them.

____ Americans

____ Blind people

____ Iranians

____ Jews

____ Pakistanis

____ Arabs

____ Burakumin

____ Italians

____ Koreans

____ Russians

____ Blacks

____ Catholics

____ Japanese

____ Mexicans

____ Thallonians

First published: Global Issues in Language Education, Newsletter Issue #43, July 2001

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