Mitigating the Social Exclusion of Refugee Children: An Intervention on Perspective Taking
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, the research team 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, the team used classroom friendship networks to measure ethnic segregation. They also used in-group and out-group versions of trust and reciprocity games to evaluate the program’s impact on pro-social behavior. Initial findings showed that the program lowers peer violence and ethnic segregation, and improves trust, reciprocity, and altruism. With this funding from ESII the team is evaluating whether these effects persist in the longer term.