People are confronted with several obstacles that prevent them from developing accurate views on economic inequality. These misperceptions could lead to more discrimination against the poor and to less demands for redistribution. Children already start developing misperceptions about economic inequality at a young age, but they are also open to new input on which they could change their beliefs. Therefore, the goal of this study is to address how children between 11 and 14 years old could learn about economic inequality in schools so that they arrive at a better understanding of this issue. I conducted eight interviews with teachers to gain insights into their perceptions on how to discuss this topic with students. The findings of these interviews show, in combination with the results from a literature analysis, what elements are fruitful to use in a school intervention. The main criteria are 1) that an intervention should aim to teach children about empathy and critical thinking, 2) that there should be a focus on experience, creativity and an active contribution of the students themselves, and 3) that teachers should understand their crucial role in keeping the students engaged and maintaining a safe atmosphere. Implications for future research and limitations of this study are discussed.

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Jonathan Mijs, Sjaak Braster
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Schilt, S. (2021, June 21). “Bring the outside world in”: informing children in the educational setting about economic inequality. Sociology. Retrieved from