In his book, The Nature of Prejudice, Gordon W. Allport uses the metaphor of a ladder to describe how “little acts,” which often go unnoticed or unreported, can lead to more serious and disruptive individual and collective behaviors. This framework describes, in ascending order, five “rungs” of intolerance and injustice: speech, avoidance, discrimination, physical attack, genocide and attempts to exterminate or force emigrations. The rise in “hate based” lethal assaults highlights the importance of recognizing and taking action to address the antecedents of these injurious actions. In this workshop teachers will have opportunity to apply the Ladder of Prejudice to grade-specific literature and help students identify parallels in their lives and current events. Strategies for facilitating discussions about negative experiences and inappropriate behaviors based on prejudice and ignorance on the part of students and others, including teachers, parents, and “high profile” persons in political and popular culture are explored.
GRADE LEVELS: Elementary through Adult