Schools as Change Agents in Reducing Bias and Discrimination: Shaping Behaviors and Attitudes

  • Mickey Losinski
  • Robin EnnisEmail author
  • Antonis Katsiyannis
  • Luke J. Rapa
Original Paper



To describe the issues associated with heightened levels of discriminatory behaviors and their effects on children and youth. We then describe efforts to ameliorate discriminatory behaviors at the school level, placing emphasis on practices that can be implemented within current school initiatives.


We employed a thematic review approach to examine the effects of discriminatory behaviors on children and youth, as well as on school-based practices employed to redress such behaviors.


Schools can act as change agents to curb the negative experiences youth have with discrimination, hateful speech and actions, and harassment. Many schools are successfully addressing these issues through their use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, social and emotional learning programs, bullying prevention programs, and interventions, which are designed to positively influence discriminatory behaviors and biased attitudes.


Schools should address issues like harassment, bullying, racism, and discrimination through the use of programs or interventions designed to reduce them, in order to provide more equitable schooling experiences and more equitable educational outcomes for all.


Discrimination Bigotry Prejudice Public schools 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  3. 3.Clemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  4. 4.Clemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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