Best Practice

Combatting stereotypes and opening doors

Stereotypes in education can have an incredibly damaging effect. School leader and inclusion expert Alison Kriel shares practical tips on how to celebrate every pupil's uniqueness and ensure career pathways remain open to them

How often, as educators, do we challenge the ways we view students and each other? As schools, do we effectively question pervasive stereotypes as much as we could or should?

More often than not, we are put into boxes from birth, the colour of the baby clothes we wear, the type of toys in the girls’ and boys’ sections of shops, and then at school or in society, where certain ethnicities are perceived to be good at maths, athletics, sciences…

This way of thinking, among society – parents, teachers and the wider community – is stifling students, their dreams and ambitions. Children and young people deserve a career that they enjoy and that they excel in, not one chosen out of duty or a lack of options.

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