Attitudes and perceptions

""Attitudes refer to the opinions and responses we have to a variety of circumstances, to others and to us. They include physical and emotional positions, either conscious or unconscious, that are present, especially while interacting with others.

These attitudes are active in daily life and can affect others and ourselves in positive or negative ways.

Perceptions in this context refer to the worldviews of individuals. They consider the way we gain, construct and mediate knowledge, and how we understand situations, events and peoples.

Personal histories affect attitudes and perceptions, so too attitudes and perceptions affect personal histories.


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"Perceptions are how one sees the world, and how information and knowledge about the world are processed and constructed. This world view both limits and creates possibilities for learning. Many dimensions of an individual’s background such as cultural, linguistic and social, influence personal perceptions. Attitudes are the emotional reactions and physical responses to the world. They are both conscious and unconscious, being tied to strong emotions and patterns of behaviour. Negative attitudes and perceptions of Indigenous peoples are entrenched into the fabric of Australian society, and continue to influence the way teachers work with Indigenous students. In order to change the current status of Indigenous student success in the schools, we must firstly seek to label, reveal and reframe the root cause of these attitudes and perceptions. This is at both an individual and collective level."

Dreise, 2004 ​

Last updated
30 July 2014