Academic journal article Childhood Education

Different and the Same: Helping Children Identify and Prevent Prejudice

Academic journal article Childhood Education

Different and the Same: Helping Children Identify and Prevent Prejudice

Article excerpt

Helping Children Identify and Prevent Prejuctice. Great Plains National, 1995. 2 hrs., color. Purchase, $150 for series of nine videos; $17.50 for single titles plus $5 shipping; $5 Teachers' Training Guide (VHS). Produced by the creators of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and designed for early primary grade students, this set of videos confronts issues of prejudice, discrimination, racism, stereotyping and equity. While nine videos are planned, the pilot program includes only three: "Play Ball," "Cinderella and Me" and "I'm American Too." The language, issues and solutions are all age-appropriate.

The program emphasizes the need to understand others and to learn how to get along with our fellow human beings. Issues of prejudice, discrimination and racism affect every elementary school and teachers have a responsibility to deal with this reality and to encourage cultural awareness and understanding. Male and female adults and puppets of diverse ethnic backgrounds represent characters in the skits.

"Play Ball" admirably illustrates the theme of stereotyping. Puppet Audrey convinces Cat-a-Lion that people who look like him cannot play ball. Mr. Kim, the coach, explains that such an assumption is a stereotype and that even positive stereotypes (e.g., all Asians are smart) can be offensive and unfair. …

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