The Challenges of Teaching About Bias, Prejudice, Intolerance and Antisemitism

Photo courtesy: OSCE/Ewa Marszalowska

On 21-22 November OSCE/ODIHR organized a meeting in Lisbon, bringing together experts of teacher education, teachers and community members to discuss the challenges of teaching about bias, prejudice, intolerance and antisemitism. The representatives of the Institute of Education, University of Lisbon were Professor Florbela de Sousa and EDiTE researcher Nikolett Szelei.

The meeting was part of the “Words into Action to Address Anti-Semitism” OSCE/ODIHR project that aims at preventing and responding to antisemitism in the sectors of security, education and coalition building. The meeting focused on education and classroom practices, taking into account the realities of pre- and in-service teachers in order to map out the challenges they encounter when addressing antisemitism, as well as to understand the possible underlying reasons of the absence of such initiatives in schools. The participants reflected on keynote speeches on the topics of bias, prejudice and antisemitism from the perspectives of teacher education, school programmes and neuroscience; and were involved in collaborative group work sessions and roundtable conversations sharing their points of view and voicing the realities of pre-, primary- and secondary classrooms; as well as pre-service teacher education. Moreover, the participants elaborated on a possible framework curricula for teaching about bias, prejudice and antisemitism and provided feedback on teaching resources, bringing in diverse experiences and national perspectives. Collaborative work between policy makers, academia and practitioners is essential when developing and implementing educational programmes, a core principle that EDiTE shares with the Words into Action project. Read more about the meeting here.

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