20 SES 04, Crossing Borders - International Collaborations
Parallel Paper Session
Recent ethnic and racial disturbances in Britain, and more serious inter-ethnic conflicts in other parts of the world, have been reflected in more fragmented education systems (the former Yugoslavian states offer a good example). The challenge for Governments and educators is how to maximize the potential that schools can provide for enhancing inter-group relations, whilst at the same time, protecting the rights of minority groups to have their children educated within a particular faith or ideological tradition (Flint, 2009). In this paper we examine the transferability of a programme for Sharing Education that has been established in Northern Ireland to promote more harmonious relations between Protestant and Catholic pupils attending schools that are separated on ethno-religious lines. Drawing on contact theory, which proposes positive affective intergroup experience and protecting identity distinctiveness in intergroup encounters as important mediators in ameliorating prejudice (Brown & Hewstone, 2005; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2008), and based on our experience of working to develop and implement a similar programme in the Republic of Macedonia, we argue that the defining characteristics of the Sharing Education Programme (offering pupils from different school types an opportunity for sustained contact; the prioritisation of educational (rather than reconciliation) outcomes; and the maintenance of identity salience during the contact process) are aspects of the Programme that enhance its transfer potential. We also reflect on contextual factors in both jurisdictions that are likely to mediate the potential for effectiveness.
Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Brown, R. J. & Hewstone, M. (2005). An integrative theory of intergroup contact. In M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 37, pp. 255-343). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Flint, J. (2009). Faith-based schools: institutionalising parallel lives? In A. Dinham, R. Furbey & V. Lowndes (Eds.), Faith in the public realm: Controversies, policies and practices (pp. 163-182). Bristol: Policy Press. Pettigrew, T. F., & Tropp, L.R. (2006). A meta-analytic test of intergroup contact theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 751-783. doi: 10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.111 Pettigrew, T. F., & Tropp, L. R. (2008). How does contact reduce prejudice? A meta-analytic test of three mediators. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 922-934. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.504
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