Citation

Promoting mutual understanding in a divided society: A cluster randomized controlled trial evaluating the effects of Sesame Tree

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Abstract:

Sesame Tree was produced to support the Personal Development and Mutual Understanding area of the Northern Ireland Curriculum. It aims to promote a range of positive outcomes among young children including a better understanding of themselves and others, more positive relationships with others, a greater appreciation of and respect for diversity and an awareness of how to live as part of a community.

This paper describes a cluster randomized controlled trial evaluation of the effects of watching Sesame Tree on young children’s attitudes and awareness. The trial involved 20 primary schools and 440 children aged 5-6 years. The intervention group was shown three episodes of Sesame Tree a week for 10 weeks. The effectiveness of Sesame Tree was assessed in relation to five outcomes: 1) increased willingness to be inclusive of others in general; 2) increased willingness to be inclusive of others from a different racial background; 3) more positive attitudes towards cultural activities associated with their own and other communities; 4) a reduced tendency for Catholic and Protestant children to see themselves as different to one another; and 5) increased environmental awareness.

The findings suggest that Sesame Tree is having a positive effect in relation to three of the five outcomes (Outcomes 1, 3 & 5). However no evidence was found of any effect in relation to the remaining two outcomes (Outcomes 2 & 4). The paper suggests a need for further exploration into the potential effectiveness of using more explicit messaging around issues of race and ethno-religious differences.

Author's Keywords:

television, prosocial behavior, cluster randomized trial, Sesame Street, Northern Ireland
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p487562_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Larkin, Emma., Connolly, Paul. and Kehoe, Susan. "Promoting mutual understanding in a divided society: A cluster randomized controlled trial evaluating the effects of Sesame Tree" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p487562_index.html>

APA Citation:

Larkin, E. , Connolly, P. and Kehoe, S. "Promoting mutual understanding in a divided society: A cluster randomized controlled trial evaluating the effects of Sesame Tree" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p487562_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Sesame Tree was produced to support the Personal Development and Mutual Understanding area of the Northern Ireland Curriculum. It aims to promote a range of positive outcomes among young children including a better understanding of themselves and others, more positive relationships with others, a greater appreciation of and respect for diversity and an awareness of how to live as part of a community.

This paper describes a cluster randomized controlled trial evaluation of the effects of watching Sesame Tree on young children’s attitudes and awareness. The trial involved 20 primary schools and 440 children aged 5-6 years. The intervention group was shown three episodes of Sesame Tree a week for 10 weeks. The effectiveness of Sesame Tree was assessed in relation to five outcomes: 1) increased willingness to be inclusive of others in general; 2) increased willingness to be inclusive of others from a different racial background; 3) more positive attitudes towards cultural activities associated with their own and other communities; 4) a reduced tendency for Catholic and Protestant children to see themselves as different to one another; and 5) increased environmental awareness.

The findings suggest that Sesame Tree is having a positive effect in relation to three of the five outcomes (Outcomes 1, 3 & 5). However no evidence was found of any effect in relation to the remaining two outcomes (Outcomes 2 & 4). The paper suggests a need for further exploration into the potential effectiveness of using more explicit messaging around issues of race and ethno-religious differences.


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