Principal YTT Educational Research:
Since 2017, YTT has been developing, in partnership with the Department of Education Sciences of Roma Tre University, YTT human-rights and gender-equality education programs, which are the basis of all our psychosocial support and fundamental rights distance-learning programs for humanitarian staff, working with refugee/migrant children/youth.
In 2019, we designed and implemented our ﬁrst human-rights educational module for Italian school children to reduce prejudice against minority populations. Through the YTT visual language, we created an imaginary contact with a child coming from a minority population and of the same age, which stimulated an awareness of the living conditions of speciﬁc minority communities. By doing this, it promotes the deconstruction of prejudice and the reduction of discrimination practices. The module also raises awareness among the school children to fundamental human rights and cultural differences, empathy and the acceptance of cultural dis-similarity. This in turn, also allowed the children to maintain their distinctive idenity, which activated positive attitudes towards diversity. It was carried out with 200 children (10-11 years old) from ﬁve primary schools in Rome:
Istituto Comprensivo Artemisia Gentileschi Primary School, Istituto Comprensivo Simonetta Salacone Primary School, Istituto Comprensivo Nando Martellini Primary School, Istituto Comprensivo Stefanelli Primary School and the Istituto San Giovanni Bosco delle FMA School.
Presentation of the 2019 Italian YTT Educational Program by teacher: Maria Catalano
The program used drawings from numerous minority populations (the YTT visual language). Through the analysis of this visual language, it was possible to activate pupils perspective-taking and empathy, creating a contrasting effect between their own experiences and the experiences of a child of the same age and gender, coming from a minority population. This stimulates a profound emotional understanding of the minority experience. The educational intervention was structured as interdisciplinary, composed of 8 lessons, using a student-centered and active learning approach.
Developing further to reach our primary objective of creating a distance-learning structure that can be used by humanitarian staff working with refugee/migrant children/youth in the ﬁeld, in 2020 we launched our second year of this program, updating and designing it as a distance-learning/eLearning format. We also increased the number of participating school-children to 400 children (10-13 years old) and the number of primary schools to ten :
Istituto Comprensivo Artemisia Gentileschi Primary School, Istituto Comprensivo Simonetta Salacone Primary School, Istituto Comprensivo Nando Martellini Primary School, Istituto Comprensivo Stefanelli Primary School, Istituto San Giovanni Bosco delle FMA Primary School, Istituto Comprensivo Salacone-Pisacane Primary School, Istituto Comprensivo Regina Elena Primary School, Istituto Comprensivo Aldo Manuzio Primary School, Istituto Comprensivo Filippo Smaldone Primary School and the Istituto Comprensivo Pisacane Primary School.
Italian school children participating in our 2019 Italian YTT Educational Program
Our 2020 Italian Schools e-Learning Program Sample Pages
YTT Research Results:
To verify the effects of our programs on pupils’ prejudice, a study was conducted by Dr. Paola Perucchini, Dr. Fridanna Maricchiolo, Maria Gaetana Catalano of the Educational Department in the Developmental and Educational Psychology in Primary Education at Roma Tre University and Dr. Giordana Szpuner, Dr. Guido Benvenuto, Sara Gabrielli of the Department of Development and Social Psychology at Sapienza University di Roma. 77 Italian children (a subgroup of the pupils involved in the program) were distributed into experimental (n = 37) and control (n = 40) groups. We investigated the reduction of explicit and implicit inter-ethnic prejudice in the children after the participation in our programs. Explicit prejudice is based on awareness and controlled negative attitudes and discriminating behaviors towards children of other ethnic/minority groups, implicit prejudice is an automatic reaction to stereotypes and negative evaluations of other ethnic/minority groups. These prejudices were evaluated with standardised tests before and after the educational intervention. Results show a statistically signiﬁcant reduction of implicit prejudice and a statistically signiﬁcant reduction of explicit prejudice in the experimental group, but not in the control group. Therefore, one can conclude, that our programs reduce efﬁciently all forms of prejudice, racism, etc.