This paper reports on the evaluation of a major programme which is using telecommunications to link teachers and pupils both across the political boundary between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and across the boundaries of ‘mainstream’ schooling and those children in ‘special schools’. The paper examines the ‘contact hypothesis’ as a theoretical model for educational work supported by ICT and considers the impact of the programme on both teachers and students. It concludes that contact based on sustained curricular and social interaction has an effect on children’s perceptions of each other. This effect is most marked when contact is between two schools, one on each side of the border. The author suggests that the management of the programme, based on a bi-lateral agreement between two government departments and a partnership between two universities with other key stakeholders, provides a model of international cooperation.
|Journal||European Journal of Teacher Education|
|Publication status||Published - May 2006|
- ICT schools bridge-building social cohesion