Stimulating Intergroup Contact at School: Exploring the vision of teachers and students
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A qualitative research was conducted to explore the vision of the individuals directly involved for practices that can stimulate intergroup contact at school. This was studied through interviews with teachers (6) and focus groups (3) with students, at two different MBO schools in the county Utrecht, the Netherlands. Results showed that there is little contact between social groups at school. Existing contact was solely task-oriented or need-oriented. Explored practices as transcending projects, peer tutoring, and activities (e.g. excursions, introduction days and sports) seem promising for stimulating intergroup contact. Prior to implementing these practices, student motivation to engage in intergroup contact should be increased. This could be done by, for instance, dialogue or imagined contact. Overall, the vision of teachers and students proved to be in line with current literature on intergroup contact. Future research should focus on specific contexts, since schools have different compositions and different experiences with intergroup contact. This can be done by consulting teachers and students, before implementing practices in school. This will increase participant motivation, and lead to more sustainable and effective practices of intergroup contact at school.