Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Attitudes & Prejudice

I have been working on my essay due in week 8 and found what I have done so far very much related to the lecture and tutorials today on prejudice.
I have chosen the 'attitude change' question for my essay and I think that attitudes have a strong link with prejudices. In my essay preparation I found that attitudes are influenced by three psychological factors: the ABC triad. So I felt very reassured when in this morning's lecture Prof. Mac pointed out that prejudices are also influenced by the ABC triad.
I was also happy to see, through today's lecture and tutorial, the applications that the topic of prejudice (and attitudes) has to teaching and the classroom. I think that a lot of a person's prejudices and attitudes are influenced by a cognitive factor. This means that a major contributions to a person's attitudes and prejudices are what they have learned.
This point puts a rather large responsibility on teachers and they must ask the question of what and how are they teaching their students to think socially? And what kind of attitudes are they fostering in their students towards the differences of others? Negative attitudes turn into negative prejudices which are a major part of bullying in schools. An excellent Australian Web Site for dealing with racism in schools is the Racism, no way site: www.racismnoway.com.au

1 comment:

James Neill said...

Hi Bethany,

Thanks for the website - an excellent resource. Great to see you connecting this to teaching and education.

Reading your post pointing out the similarities between attitude and prejudice I was left wondering "what is the difference between the two?". You might address this question in your essay. Is prejudice simply a subset of attitudes? (e.g., prejudice = a negative attitude towards a group or category of people?). Or is it something different? Can the knowledge about attitude change be readily applied to overcoming prejudice - or are there also other factors to consider?

I look forward to seeing how your blog 1 essay develops!