DigiZen – Silver – Step Two

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Stereotypes and Critical Thinking

Please explore this ThingLink on the various different stereotypes.

The importance of critical thinking:

  • It identifies bias
  • It’s oriented toward the problem, issue, or situation that you’re addressing.
  • It gives you the whole picture.
  • It brings in other necessary factors.
  • It considers both the simplicity and complexity of its object.
  • It gives you the most nearly accurate view of reality.
  • Most important, for all the above reasons, it is most likely to help you get the results you want.

How to Develop the Critical Stance

1. Recognize assumptions.

Each of us has a set of assumptions — ideas or attitudes or “facts” we take for granted — that underlies our thinking. Only when you’re willing to look at these assumptions and realize how they color your conclusions can you examine situations, problems, or issues objectively.

Assumptions are based on a number of factors — physical, environmental, psychological, and experiential — that we automatically, and often unconsciously, bring to bear on anything we think about. One of the first steps in encouraging the critical stance is to try to make these factors conscious.

2. Examine information for accuracy, assumptions, biases, or specific interests

What’s the source of the information?

  • Does the source generally produce accurate information?
  • What are the source’s assumptions about the problem or issue?

Does anyone in particular stand to benefit or lose if the information is accepted or rejected?

  • Is the information complete? Are there important pieces missing? Does it tell you everything you need to know? Is it based on enough data to be accurate?

Here is something to carefully consider – we all stereotype, and we all have biased perceptions. We even apply stereotypes to ourselves (or they are applied by someone else) , and then modify our own behavior based on those stereotypes – I am a mature, college educated professional, and so should wear a tie to work and probably would not get a tarantula tattooed on my bald head no matter how much I wanted to.” Recognizing & Understanding Stereotypes and Bias, Clover Park Technical College

Please watch the video within the form below and respond to questions.


  1. Do you think everyone is inherently bias? Please explain.
  2. What is the difference between stereotype, prejudice and discrimination?
  3. How can you encourage acceptance among your students?



Please explore at least a lesson from the list that you can use with your students, according to their grade level.

(2-6) Once Upon a Time

(4-7) Media Kids

(5-7) Stereotyping and Bias

(6-8) Gender Stereotypes Online

(7-12) Bias and Crime in Media

(9-12) Feeling on Display