Stereotypes in and Out of the Classroom

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“Stereotypes In and Out of the Classroom”
Sonya Seidel
ECE405: Children & Families in a Diverse Society
Instructor: Karen Foster
June 18, 2012

Stereotypes are among the top reasons why our society is still diverse today. Television, movies, and toys all taint a child’s understanding of race, culture, gender, and the message it conveys. Television series are by far the greatest impact on children. Children watch television more today then they did 10 years ago and this is causing stereotyping in our early education classrooms.

Stereotypes are a reality through television. Many broadcasting companies may not notice, but this is where children do. Usually, a television series will place African Americans in New York City and in the lower class of people. Chinese have their own town in the city to keep them divided. Caucasians are placed in high rise suites in a luxury hotel. This is their form of stereotypes and this is how children relate to others that are not like them.

Watching these types of programs can teach a child that this is the way different people are. Television does not describe culture or beliefs on how they are different. Knowing a culture or a belief, children can learn to appreciate the difference in others. Stereotyping on television can also lead to fear and instability in the classroom. Children are all different and from different cultures and beliefs. When children see stereotyping on television they automatically assume that what they see is true.

What children really need is experience. When a classroom is made up of different race, culture, and beliefs; only then can children have the experience to explore the difference others have. Watching television only dramatizes the fact that people of a different race, religion, or culture are always having conflict with others that are not sharing their same beliefs.

Stereotypes can trigger behavior without us being aware. Stereotypic thinking can cause children...
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