Prejudice is an assumption or an opinion about someone simply based on that person’s membership to a particular group. For example, people can be prejudiced against someone else of a different ethnicity, gender, or religion. Common features of prejudice include negative feelings, stereotyped beliefs, and a tendency to discriminate against members of a group. In society, we often see prejudices toward a group based on race, sex, religion, culture, and more
Role of school
- Education is an important instrument to bring social revolution among all the instruments education is considered as the most powerful. Education for all, at all levels, and at all ages of children is the only remedy to bring about the desired social change in Indian society.
- Education has been accepted as one major agency of socialization, and teachers and educational institutions as socializing agents. The relationship between education and social change takes a dual form-education as an instrument and education as a product. This implies that education as an instrument is used as a means for bringing about desired changes in the society and in the later case changes in the educational structure follows as a consequence of changes which have already taken place in the society. There are three types of relationship between education and social change which are as follows:
- Education as a Necessary Condition of Social Change- Historical experience of advanced countries has shown that for any social revolution education is the pre-condition. Illiterates remain satisfied with their existing conditions and feel that they are destined to be what they are.
- Education as an Outcome of Social Change- There is inter-dependent relationship between education and social change. On the one hand it brings change in social conditions. On the other hand it is influenced by social change, which means social change helps spreading education. Education follows social change. It has its place before and after social change First come social changes and then teaching process is changed according to those social changes. Education system changes according to the needs of society.
- Education as an Instrument of Social Change- Education as an instrument of social change means how education helps people to bring social change. Education changes the outlook and the tradition approach towards social and economic problems. It sharpens the skills and knowledge of the children. Technical education helps in the process of industrialization which results in vast changes in society. Education not only preserves the cultural traditions i.e., customs, traditions and values etc. of the society but also transmits them to the next generation.
- It also motivates the children to adopt new pattern in order to remain dynamic and forward looking. Education fulfils the needs of the society and propagates such ideas which promote social changes in all fields of life. Educational institutions under the control of different cultural groups reflect the values of those groups which support and control education. In this situation, teachers impart specific values, aspirations and attitudes to the children.
Where the issues are
- On the one hand, they have homogenising rituals such as mandating a school uniform, common assembly and common modes of teaching, evaluating and disciplining imposing the same code of conduct/expectations from everyone. On the other hand, there are rituals that are meant to mark/grade and separate students from each other. This is most evident in the way high achievers are rewarded, made to wear marks of distinction, sometimes even physically separating them from the so-called weaker sections.
- This would lead us to believe that schools give little weightage to different forms of capital — economic, social and cultural resources that students may or may not possess depending on where they come from and how that influences their performance in school. Instead of acknowledging diversity, stratification and associated inequality and discrimination schools pretend that all is well in the world outside and shut themselves off from divergent experiences that different children may have.
- Textbooks, the central pivot around which teaching-learning revolves, are responsible for perpetuating symbolic violence against certain social groups living on the margins of society by either ignoring or misrepresenting them.. For instance, women, and other social groups on the gender spectrum, people with disabilities, hardly find any presence in textbooks.
Prejudices become our lens, shaping the way we look at the world and others around us. As adults, we cling to them as they help us justify our misdeeds against others.
How to structure:
- Start with what social prejudices are, with examples.
- Explain the role of schools in one’s life and how it can change societal prejudices. Give examples.