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Stereotypes in schools is a NO-go!

In a recent study in South Africa (Racial Stereotypes, Stigma and Trust in Post-Apartheid South Africa Justine Burns_ August 18, 2005), it was made clear that there are still textbooks and prescribed learner books in our schools which contain racism, sexism, and classism as a form of stereotyping.

We can define different stereotypes as follows: (According to (oxforddictionaries.com/words/the-oxford-English-dictionary)

Racism: “The believe that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others”

Sexism: “A sexist system is any system in which people’s life decisions are unnecessarily preordained on the basis of perceived biological sex”

Classism: “is the differential treatment based on social class or perceived social class”

Now that we are familiar with these terms and we are aware of the different stereotypes used in our learners textbooks, let us talk about the influence this has on the learners’ social attitudes.

South-Africa became a Democracy in 1994 and since then members of society were seen as equals. There is no more race discrimination nor any gender discrimination. Or so it should be. But alas from grade 1 to 12 most textbooks and prescribed learner material still contain racial and gender discrimination stereotypes.

For example you may find in a storybook read to grade 1 learner that the main character is a black boy named Tinky. He is portrayed as a very strong boy coming from the Ghetto (portrayed as violent) where he lives with his mother and younger sister. They are very poor so his mom needs to work two jobs to keep head above water. She works from 6 in the morning till 9 at night. Tinky must take care of his sister so he cannot perform in school and he can’t take part in after school activities.

When keep in mind that grade 1 learners read the book with their teacher, not all the learners in the class is black, so white...
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