This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 101018401)
Human migratory flows are currently at an unprecedented scale. The majority of these flows concern forced displacements, turning into long-term settlements in host countries, making ethnic diversity a permanent feature of our societies. Managed incorrectly, rapid changes in ethnic composition can harm host communities’ social capital and give ways to ethnic conflicts and polarization. Given that immigration will remain an inevitable global reality for the foreseeable future, designing and implementing inclusive social policies emerge as pressing policy imperatives. Leveraging the power of public education, the overarching goal of this project is to offer evidence-informed policy actions to help build ethnically diverse communities characterized by tolerance and inclusion rather than conflict and segregation.
The project builds on a decade long research agenda to implement and test two uniquely designed educational interventions, one mitigative, the other preventative in nature. These interventions will involve two large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to be run in parallel for four consecutive years. The first study concerns a unique educational action to mitigate ethnic tensions and conflict in at-risk post-primary schools. The second study involves a pedagogical transformation intervention targeting primary school children who will progress into the post-primary schools targeted in the first study. Both RCTs are novel with respect to the content and delivery of the interventions, comprehensiveness of outcomes to be measured, sample size, and long-term follow-up opportunity.
The results of this research program will: (i) generate much-needed evidence to design effective educational policies aiming at building social cohesion in communities afflicted by mass migratory flows, (ii) unravel for the first time the causal role of public education in raising tolerant and inclusive generations, free from ethnic conflict and segregation.