Consequently, those early experiences can affect not just their development and life choices, but the composition of our workforce and the strength of our economy for decades to come. For example, right now, STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Math industries offer some of the highest-paying, most in-demand careers — there are overunfilled jobs in information technology alone — yet women hold only 29 percent of STEM jobs. Communities across America are also experiencing teacher shortages, and nursing is one of the fastest-growing professions — yet fewer than 25 percent of public school teachers and only 9 percent of nurses are men. In order to help close these gender gaps in our workforce, children need to be exposed to diverse role models and taught a variety of skills so they can develop their talents and pursue their passions without limits, and so that we as a nation can meet the needs of our economy in the coming years.
Context This lesson is part of a group of lessons that focus on the social, behavioral, and economic sciences.
For more lessons and activities that take a closer look at the social, behavioral, and economic sciences, be sure to check out the SBE Project page. Group membership implies some sense of commonality for members and thereby some sense of difference from nonmembers. The task for science education is to alert students to the prevalence and error of stereotyping, without disparaging the value of group membership.
Benchmarks for Science Literacy, p. As children try to understand biological and social phenomena, they often over generalize information about racial and cultural differences.
One must be cautious, however, not to assume that children are prejudiced or deliberately using stereotypes when they over generalize. They simply may be thinking typically for young children trying to make sense out of their limited experiences with other groups Ramsey, Research indicates that children in the United States come to understand race and ethnicity concepts between the ages of 3 and 4.
At around age 6, children become accurate at sorting people by ethnicity. At around age 7 or 8, children understand that race and ethnicity do not change. According to Margo Monteith, Ph. In this lesson, students will confront age-related stereotypes, explore how stereotyping impacts their lives, and discuss how they can make changes to reduce overgeneralizations, unfair assumptions, and uncritical judgments about groups.
Depending on the size of the class, you could facilitate a whole-group discussion, or break the class into two or more smaller groups, having them discuss and record responses associated with each category of people.
For example, elderly are out of touch, are irritable, slow moving, and forgetful; teenagers are hooligans, are self-centered, and narcissistic.
But this tendency means that human beings are naturally prone to divide the world into us-and-them categories. Ask questions such as: Do the things you said belong to all people in each group?
How do you know? Do you think most people hold the same assumptions about teenagers? Why or why not? Have you ever had anyone make those assumptions about you?
How did that make you feel? Note that stereotypes can be either positive or negative but that in a sense, stereotypes are always problematic.
Even if stereotypes lead us to assume a person has a positive trait, that presumption by itself robs the person of being seen and treated as an individual. Ask these questions about stereotypes to get students thinking about their use:Jun 18, · This feature is not available right now.
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