Sensitivity Training



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1

Typically offered in

Autumn semester

Course description

Aim of the course:

The training is designed to make students more sensitive to prejudices functioning on individual, group and societal level, and to draw attention to the consequent societal stereotypes and inequalities. By focusing attention to the determining - yet often hidden - role of culture the course aims to foster respect for human rights and human dignity, unbiased thinking and tolerance towards other cultures.

Learning outcomes and competencies


  • Knowledge and understanding of the main characteristics of the values of different cultures

  • Knowledge of the relationship between social-cultural-economic background and social success

  • Knowledge of the historical and cultural aspects of the relationship between majority & minority groups

  • Knowledge and understanding of stereotypes and prejudices as well as methods that help to reduce prejudices


  • Openness to accepting the values and identities of other cultures

  • Recognition of cultural differences, the importance of individual cultural identities and the complexity of everybody’s identity

  • Acceptance of the fact that the co-existence of cultures may lead to conflicts in every field of social life, which can be solved peacefully in pluralistic societies

  • Sensitivity to every form of social discrimination


  • Ability to reflect on the hidden assumptions of one’s own culture

  • Ability to identify and critically relate to someone’s own prejudices and ethnocentric views

  • Creation of a work milieu in which partners feel valued and accepted, and ability to cooperate constructively

Course content
Topics of the course

Introduction. Core concepts and the meanings of culture. Categorization, stereotyping, discrimination, prejudice. Ethnocentrism and intergroup relations, culture and stereotypes. Social identities, (majority and minority), system justification and the mechanism of social oppression. The course also covers the issues of what can be done against prejudices by familiarizing students with possible strategies and tools to reduce prejudices in practice.

Learning activities, learning methods

Interactive presentation, training methods, experiential learning, workshop by guest expert who work on the field

Requirements and evaluation
Learning requirements, mode of evaluation, criteria of evaluation:


  • Active participation during the training - maximum half day absence (4 hours)

  • Reading the assigned readings

  • Writing a paper  about a chosen topic related to course syllabus with the title “Encounters”. The writing should be based on a real encounter with a person who belongs to a cultural/social group which is unfamiliar/aversive to the student in order to gain knowledge, insight and  create contact with that particular  group (and its member).

Method of evaluation: 

Practice mark. The writing assignment will be evaluated by grades and text feedback.

Criteria of evaluation:

  • Constructive participation in the course

  • Relevance of the topic in writing assignment, and meeting the criteria

  • Self-reflexivity of the writing assignment

  • Coherence and complexity of the writing assignment


Compulsory reading list

  • Cushner, K. – Brislin, R. (1996). Intercultural interactions: A practical guide. Sage Publications.
  • Dovidio, J. F. – Hewstone, M. – Glick, P. – Esses, V. M. (Eds.). (2010). The SAGE Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination. SAGE.
  • McIntosh, P. (1990). White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Independent School, 49(2), 31-35.
  • Tatum, B. D.(1997). „Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” And Other Conversation About Race. Basic Books.