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Diversity in schools is the key to changing attitudes on race #MakerEducation

Diversity in schools e1526987609290

Nice write-up from Quartz on a new study from the London School of Economics and the University of Bristol that makes the case for more diversity in schools.

Simon Burgess, professor of economics at Bristol University and co-author of the paper, suggests the study’s findings could be down to there being more “positive contact” between different ethnic groups in schools. Students who don’t personally know anyone from other ethnic groups who end up going to diverse schools see people from another group on a daily basis. They sit in the same class, hang out in the same playground, and have to do group activities. “It’s those small every day encounters, those small experiences and you start to think, ‘yeah maybe I was wrong, maybe these people are just like me,’” he says.

Researchers surveyed the attitudes of 4,000 teenagers in English state schools and combined that with data of the ethnic composition of schools and local areas. The first found that students have warmer feelings for their own ethnic group than for others. Burgess says this isn’t particularly surprising, as “people liking to hang out with people like themselves is a phenomenon that is found around the world.”

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