Gender Identity and the Roots of Prejudice (LS-DI-555)


Hi, my name is Rosanna Busiello and I have used this LS with a group of students aged 14-18 years old in Italy. This learning scenario exposes the students to a very important social problem in our community – gender identity in schools. During this learning scenario, the students will be able to reflect on why there is a stereotype of gender and consequently fear of diversity as well as what is the social problem with having different ideas and points of view. The students will identify the problematic situation of the “gender”  and they reflect on the stereotype and prejudice surrounding sexual identity and gender identity.  By using participatory methodologies, the students have the opportunity to engage in the process of determining their curriculum. The training is conducted by promoting and sharing the reflection, critical analysis, in-depth research and a collective resolution process of problems.  Furthermore, by using critical thinking and active listening skills, students will express their opinion regarding the contents of the texts, images, and videos presented to them. They will also ask questions, raise doubts and highlight strengths and weaknesses as socially responsible citizens sensitive to diversity.

Learning process

None of us is born with a set concept of gender, we build this concept with the cultural, social, biological, and political construction of society. The stereotype/prejudice is born through a wrongful education (in its broader sense), marked by discrimination, fear of the other and closed within the rigid patterns learned as a child in various institutional settings. These may include the family, the school/schooling system or the religious belief. Through various activities and using Europeana resources, students will be invited to a place where the expression of one’s personality and identity in training is confronted with the prevailing models in society and the small classroom environment.  Change of stereotypes and prejudices begins at school.  During the 3 lessons, students will discover and reaffirm the values ​​of hospitality and respect for differences, while emphasizing the fundamental role of young people in the promotion of rights and the fight against all forms of discrimination.

Students reflections

The students express various emotions and reflections:

“I felt worried and helpless. I didn’t know what to do and what I must write about my identity.”

“I had never stopped to think about the idea that toys could somehow influence my identity, in fact, I never chose my toys.”

“I enjoyed giving the idea that I have of a woman and a man.” 

“I thought a lot about my way of speaking and speaking and judging … always using labels for everything.”

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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