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Breaking Stereotypes – Saumya Sharma & Reneh Nanda – Grade 9


Breaking Stereotypes – Saumya Sharma & Reneh Nanda – Grade 9

BY: Ecole Mondiale World School

On Thursday the 8th of August, we had our first Advisory lesson. Advisory allows us to develop our understanding of the world around us, as well as develop ourselves and the community around us through activities that get our brains thinking outside the box. 

In this lesson, we were provided with a list of people with different occupations and gender roles. We were put into a situation where we could only take seven of them with us on a spacecraft during a catastrophe. We were made to choose these people based only on one descriptor, whether it was their job, gender or age. Once we made our first round of choices within our houses, we discussed our answers and reasoning then analysed our choices, developing communication and social skills along the way. In a second round, we were given further descriptions and we had to choose seven people again based on these new descriptions. 

These new descriptions opened our eyes to the fact that there is often more to people than what we see on the surface. For example, the engineer had a fake degree. We made a blind assumption that the person was more deserving of going onboard the spacecraft simply based on their job title, even though we did not know whether they truly had the right qualifications and were good at their profession. Thus, when we learnt that the poetess, for example, was also an investment banker by day - it made us reflect on why we didn’t think about how this could’ve been possible. We didn’t think about how she could have made other contributions, and instead simply went off of the title we had been given. We were able to understand that there is more to a person's worth than just their occupation or title, and that appearances can be deceiving. We shouldn’t decide a person’s worth only because of a profession, gender, or any other features of a person’s identity. We should learn to look beyond them and judge people by their character as well. All of us had put the farmer on our first list, but we went on to find out he only grew poppy. He did not seem to care about ethics, which made us remove him from our second list. 

To conclude, this activity helped us develop as individuals as we were able to broaden our mindset and understand that our perceptions are based on stereotypes. We will remember what we learnt in this activity in the future when communicating with new people.