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Lesson about prejudices and stereotypes

By Albena Taneva

The problem to be discussed is prejudice against different people. The lesson is based on a situational ole game. It was practiced with 13 and 14 years old school children. They were all Bulgarians.

The group of about 40 pupils is divided in smaller groups by functions. All are announced to be Germans in a small German town. Some are regular citizens; others – members of the Municipality; businessmen; leaders of professional unions; mass-media; politicians; etc.

The problem for the game: robbery in this small town.

Situation: There are new construction workers from Bulgaria. Excellent quality of their work. However, the robbery is proven to be done by some Bulgarians, but different from this group of the construction workers. The public opinion of the small town “X” spontaneously reacts against foreigners and particularly Bulgarian construction workers.

Task: Different “representatives” of the groups of this German town has to decide how to proceed. Some want cut the contract with the construction workers. The German owners of the enterprise did not want to do this because were satisfied with the quality of their work and lower wages they had to pay. Right wing politicians used this situation to mobilize supporters. Mayor wanted to remain popular ant to satisfy demand of the citizen but also to keep the workers because of the interest of the businessmen, etc.

Children – participants in the role game had to negotiate and to solve the problem. Whatever their decision is, it is followed by a discussion on parallels with history when people had to decide how to protect persecuted Jews during Holocaust.

The further discussion goes to the way Nazis carried out the repressive policy against all Jews based on the stereotypes of Anti-Semitism.

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