Preconditions that, in practice, affect the mechanisms used in primary school interventions combatting prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination among children
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Primary school interventions that try to combat prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination among children employ various mechanisms. These are effective types of approaches. However, certain preconditions need to exist in order for those mechanisms to work well or optimally. Even though theoretical preconditions were previously researched, research gaps are how these translate into practice and what practical preconditions are. Therefore, this qualitative research looked at which preconditions in practice affect the mechanisms used in different anti-discrimination interventions for primary education. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 developers and/or implementers of these interventions. Respondents work at 10 different municipal anti-discrimination facilities and 8 different non-governmental initiatives. A social ecological approach was used to guide the analysis, which shows the different levels that influence individual change. This is not only dependent on intrapersonal factors, but also, and in this case even more so, on interpersonal and structural factors. Results were divided into 1) preconditions specific to particular mechanisms and 2) general preconditions that apply to all mechanisms. For the first category, example preconditions are making it fun and exciting for the mechanism of insight into differences and similarities and having a common goal for the mechanism of meeting or having contact. For the second category, preconditions were mostly related to the guest teacher or speaker and the permanent teacher. Some important general preconditions turn out to be: a safe atmosphere in the classroom, an educated guest teacher and a school (management) that acknowledges the theme of prejudice and discrimination. In conclusion, especially preconditions regarding the people in children’s environment are important in reducing prejudice and discrimination among children. However, most preconditions seem to be enhancing rather than necessary. Theoretical and practical preconditions do not have to be separated as they can be intertwined.