Who's the bad guy?

25th September 1998 at 01:00
Surveys, studies and reports examined by Reva Klein

English children as young as nine still regard Germans as enemies while in Greece, five to nine-year-olds single out Turks, Albanians and Gypsies as foes.

In interviews conducted with 150 five, seven and nine-year-olds in Greece and 21 in York, Sevasti Paida found that Greek children thought of enemies mainly as warriors who attacked other countries. They particularly referred to Turks, with whom Greeks have had many conflicts.

English children identified wartime enemies in terms of ancient history, although Germans were singled out as hereditary foes. The children from York, all aged nine, portrayed their country's history as a series of bloody events. There was no reference to people of different cultures living together peacefully.

People who were ethnically different were also often seen as being threatening.

Ms Paida says schools should be challenging pupils' prejudices more.

The image of the enemy among young children by Sevasti Paida, The Centre for Global and International Education, York University YO1 5DD. Tel: 01904 433443

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now