Psychological Self-Help

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"interdependent jigsaw teaching method." It is now called "cooperative
learning" and it works this way: students are placed in random groups
of five or six. Each student is given 1/5th or 1/6th of the lesson to
learn and, then, teach to his/her small group. Rather than making fun
of slow students or disregarding uninvolved students, the students
now help each other grasp and communicate the information. They
need each other's information. Each student plays a vital role in
helping every one do well on the exams. Furthermore, students get to
know each other better, respect and like each other better, gain in
self-respect, and empathize with each other more, like school better,
and disadvantaged students do better on exams without any loss
among the other students. 
New methods for changing stereotypes, emotions and
It is time to experiment with other approaches. Experimental techniques for
changing ways one group sees and feels about another group (an out group)
are being tested now. As part of this discussion, it is important to understand
how an individual can change his or her perceptions of their own in-group as
well as understand how the individual’s self-perception can be changed. All
these perceptions and attitudes have a bearing on our prejudices and how we
relate to others and to many out groups. Individual personality differences, of
course, play a role here too. I will only give a few examples of recent research
that may eventually help people get along with others. Most of the focus is on
One of the major approaches developed several years ago to reduce prejudice
in schools was the Jigsaw Classroom Technique. It involved organizing
small study groups so that each child contributed equally to the assigned
task. It is an interesting idea but makes the teacher’s work load more
demanding. Research has shown that this teaching method does often reduce
prejudice, but sometimes it fails, especially if individuals in the study group
do not pull their load or have unpleasant personalities. Another technique that
is being studied is called the Common In-group Identity Model which aims
to reduce stereotyping (Oskamp, 2000). Attempts in this approach are made
to merge two or more out groups into a single super group, i.e. individuals
are encouraged to see their similarities and feel allied. A somewhat similar
method involves changing the social context. It is hoped that the
unconscious negative attitudes can be altered by changing the social
environment the individuals live in. This is done by exposing each person to
stories and images of admired people who belong to the group which they
feel prejudice towards…and to be repeatedly exposed to stories and images of
disliked and embarrassing people from their own in-group. Research by
Dasgupta and Greenwald (2001) has shown that this procedure can alter
people’s attitudes towards other groups and their own group.
For decades it has been known that defeatist expectations of failing or doing
poorly often becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Stereotypes often include
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