Can we promote children’s openness towards the other group in violent conflict? The story of Jewish and Arab kindergarten teachers in Israel

Afnan Masarwah Srour, Talee Ziv, Samar Aldinah, Mahmud Dawud, Michael Sternberg, Shifra Sagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article explores changes in children’s openness towards kindergarten teachers and children of an outgroup following participation in an intervention program. The program was implemented by kindergarten teachers and aimed at encountering the other via intergroup contact. The findings are based on qualitative data from interviews with the kindergarten teachers. According to the findings, children’s participation in the program fostered openness towards the kindergarten teacher from the outgroup and encouraged children’s openness to contact with outgroup children as well. Moreover, even during a time of conflict escalation, children’s acceptance and openness towards the kindergarten teachers and children from the other group did not diminish. It appeared that direct contact between people of unequal status, combined with indirect contact between the two equal status groups of kindergarten children, had a positive effect. This could be partly due to the intensity and the positive contact with the kindergarten teacher from the outgroup, as well as to the institutional support for the intervention program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-469
Number of pages15
JournalIntercultural Education
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Arabs and Jews in Israel
  • Intergroup contact theory
  • contact intervention
  • early childhood
  • kindergarten teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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