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A Brief History of Age Discrimination. Dear Millard Employee,

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a brief history of age discrimination

A Brief History of Age Discrimination

Dear Millard Employee,

Thank you for user-testing this rough draft of an age discrimination lesson. Please give feedback on content. If you could improve the lesson what would you add? At this time the “look” of the presentation isn’t important. Return your feedback to me by the end of the week. You can meet with me in person or write a paragraph or two and email it.

Thank you for your time

Sincerely,

Millard’s Instructional Designer

how do you see yourself at age 70
How do you see yourself at age 70?
  • Think of characteristics about yourself that will be positive
  • Think of characteristics about yourself that will be negative
  • Jot these down on a sheet of paper

What will I be like?

attitudes towards the elderly have changed over time
Attitudes towards the elderly have changed over time
  • Attitudes in Colonial America towards the elderly were much more favorable than they are today
    • Older people were respected, few people reached the age of 65
    • Older people were given the best pews in church
    • Puritans instructed youth on how to treat the elderly
    • Puritans believed old age was a sign of favor
the american revolution marked a change in attitudes towards the elderly
The American Revolution marked a change in attitudes towards the elderly
  • Powdered wigs lost favor to toupees
  • Clothing was tailored to look young
  • Terms of respect became pejorative
    • Gaffer
    • Old Fogy
    • Codger
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“I have lived some 30 years on this planet and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors. They have told me nothing and probably cannot teach me anything.”

Henry David Thoreau

current attitudes towards age include
Current attitudes towards age include
  • Gerontophobia
    • Fear of aging
    • Mandatory retirement meant mandatory poverty
    • Literature less frequently assigns active and attractive roles to older characters
denial of death is common
Denial of death is common
  • “You are as old as you feel”
  • “Age before beauty” (implying that age is ugly)
assigned characteristics equally possible in other age groups
Assigned characteristics equally possible in other age groups
  • Keep their distance from other age groups
  • Drive dangerously
  • Think the world owes them a living
  • Opinionated
  • Never satisfied and always complaining
  • Can’t depend on them as employees
  • Hang around parks and shopping malls
  • Forgetful
  • Have more freedom than other people
  • Don’t act their age
respond to these questions on a sheet of paper
Respond to these questions on a sheet of paper
  • Was your image of yourself at 70 the start of this presentation positive or negative? Describe the positive and negative characteristics you assigned yourself.
  • Did your image of yourself employ any of the prejudices described in this presentation? If so, what were they?
  • Do you think that few, many, or most of the prejudices towards the elderly described in this presentation are true today? Which characteristics are true and are not true?
  • If you see a fellow employee treating the elderly with disrespect, what would you say or do to correct the situation?