A study of the concept of prejudice with particular reference to geography education
The aim of this thesis is to clarify the concept of prejudice largely, though not exclusively, through the medium of geography education. This is done by combining the results of a literature-based conceptual analysis with an empirical enquiry of the pupils and teachers of one all-white suburban comprehensive school (given the name of Greenfields School). Chapter 1 introduces the broad contextual features of the research and identifies the research question which drives the thesis: can an exploration of the concept of prejudice assist in the analysis of educational goals in geography? Following a discussion of prejudice, prejudice in education and a survey of prejudice in the geographical education literature, a methodology for the study is discussed fully in Chapter 4: the approach adopted is pluralistic under a qualitative research design. This yields a multilayered account of the School (Chapter 5) and the analysis of conversational interview data derived from both pupils and teachers at the school (Chapters 6, 7 and 8). A synthesis of both the conceptual and the empirical analyses provides the basis for reporting the 'results' of the work, in the form of the creation of a conceptual map of prejudice. The map consists of seven 'dimensions' which are arranged to show the 'stnIctural foundations' and the basic 'parameters' of the concept of prejudice. The utility of the derived map is then examined (Chapter 11), with particular emphasis on an eighth 'subject specific' dimension, namely 'place'. Conversation is an important component of this thesis, not only as an element of the research methodology, but as a pedagogical device equated with the notion of an educational goal. This relates closely to what Jones (1987) called "education for conversation"; what this thesis takes us towards is the identification of conversation as a possible educational goal for geography. Identifying a conceptual map, the principal concrete aim of this research, leads us to a simple model approach to handling geographical knowledge with older pupils - one way in which conversation may be realised as a means to prepare young people for a form of effective intercultural communication. The map is also intended to form the basis for reflective conversation between geography teachers concerning the aims and purposes of geography education.