Supporting community cohesion through ICT: The epartners programme in Northern Ireland

Roger Austin, Bill Hunter, Lynsey Hollywood

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Abstract

In the face of deep-rooted sectarian sentiment in Northern Ireland and the pervasive nature of ‘‘separateness’’ between the Protestant and Catholic communities, this article examines school projects designed to promote community cohesion and assesses the role that information and communications technology (ICT) can play to encourage collaboration within a social psychology framework. Further, we report on exploratory research conducted through the evaluation of a pilot program that involved university student tutors working with teachers and pupils in a range of schools. Our findings to date suggest that a strong focus on collaborative work in non-contentious areas of the curriculum has a strong chance of securing support from key stakeholders, including teachers, the main churches and other stakeholders in the educational system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-514
JournalComputers in Human Behaviour
Volume52
Early online date11 Mar 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

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Keywords

  • online learning
  • community cohesion
  • conflict resolution

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