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What is stereotype & prejudice?


Group 2 – non subject-specific activities
Group 3 – specific subject – tool for civic education, religion and philosophy teachers


students from 16 to 18


  • To define stereotypes & prejudice and understand the connection between them
  • To state harmful outcomes of stereotypes & prejudice
  • To be able to give examples of a stereotype and identify those illustrated by other students


2 periods


  • 4 different hand-outs
  • post-its
  • tables, chairs and pens for the participants
  • a blackboard/flipchart stand


Welcoming participants & Warming:

  • Introduce yourself and present the purpose of the training and the agenda. Invite students to write down their expectations and stick them onto certain place in the classroom (e.g. the wall, flipchart). You can come back to this at the end of the training to make sure you’ve covered these points.

A brief introduction of “Prejudice and Stereotyping”

  • Prejudice is a baseless and usually negative attitude toward members of a group. Common features of prejudice include negative feelings, stereotyped beliefs, and a tendency to discriminate against members of the group. While specific definitions of prejudice given by social scientists often differ, most agree that it involves prejudgments (usually negative) about members of a group.
  • When prejudice occurs, stereotyping and discrimination may also result. In many cases, prejudices are based upon stereotypes. A stereotype is a simplified assumption about a group based on prior assumptions. Stereotypes can be both positive (“women are warm and nurturing”) or negative (“teenagers are lazy”). Stereotypes can lead to faulty beliefs, but they can also result in both prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice can be based upon a number of factors including sex, race, age, sexual orientations, nationality, socioeconomic status and religion. Some of the most well-known types of prejudice include:
    • Racism
    • Sexism
    • Classicism
    • Homophobia
    • Nationalism
    • Religious prejudice
    • Ageism

Phase 1 (15 min.):

  • Make pairs of students and given them definitions of stereotypes (Hand out 1 – Appendix 1). Let them think about examples for each piece of information of the definitions.
  • Ask pairs to research different examples where individuals have been denied their rights due to discrimination (research may be done on the Internet in the high school library). Encourage them to come up with at least one example that has not yet been mentioned in the class discussion. Share the research results with the whole class.

Phase 2 (10 min.):

  • Tell students to form groups of four to five and distribute the “If the World Were 100 People” (Hand out 2 – Appendix 2) to each group. They should take a look at some of their perceptions about the world and compare them with actual world demographics about population, health, wealth and resources. Ask them to discuss answers as a group, reach consensus and complete the worksheet.
  • One student from each group should come to the board and write the statistics their group chose for each item on the worksheet. When all groups have written their information on the board, the teacher should write (or distribute to the groups) the Actual statistics (Appendix 3). Let the class discuss why the actual statistics may vary from their responses.

Phase 3 (10 min.):

  • Distribute the Hand out 4 (Appendix 4) to students in groups and give them time to fill in the final tables “Stereotypes” (Parts 1; 2). Leave time to discuss the Part 1 and to briefly go through Part 2.


Proposed homework for students:

  • Look to current events to find examples of prejudice and discrimination in the world.
  • How and where are people treating others unfairly because they don’t understand them fully?
  • Have the learners ask their parents to share with them any instance they know of that would demonstrate prejudice or stereotype. Have the students write these examples on a sheet of paper, in complete sentences, to bring into class to share.


Freedom of Thought & Expression”, The Pestalozzi Programme, Council of Europe Training Programme for education professionals

Stereotype and prejudice, hand out 1

Stereotype and prejudice, hand out 2

Stereotype and prejudice, hand out 3

Stereotype and prejudice, hand out 4

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