Mitigating the Social Exclusion of Refugee Children: An Educational Intervention on Perspective Taking
(EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE)
OCTOBER 9, 2019
Abstract: Since 2016, the Turkish Ministry of Education has been developing policies to facilitate the integration of Syrian refugee children into the Turkish education system. This study evaluates a unique cohesion program that aims to foster “perspective-taking” among host and Syrian students in schools. The intervention involves a specially designed curriculum that teachers delivered to their students. To evaluate the effectiveness of this curriculum, we developed a rich set of outcome measures using a multidisciplinary toolkit. In addition to school-level outcomes, such as third-party reports on peer violence, we used classroom friendship networks to measure ethnic segregation. We also used in-group and out-group versions of trust and reciprocity games to evaluate the program’s impact on pro-social behavior. We find that the program lowers peer violence and ethnic segregation, and improves trust, reciprocity, and altruism.