Increasing Intercultural Competence and Tolerance in multicultural schools: A Training Program and its effectiveness
This study reports the implementation of a Training of Intercultural Competence and Tolerance (TICT) for upper-secondary school students and the empirical evaluation of its effectiveness. The TICT program was developed to counteract increasing interethnic conflicts in the North Caucasus Federal District of Russia. It is based on the theoretical and empirical framework of social psychology and cross-cultural psychology. The training effectiveness was assessed by conducting pre- and post-surveys among the training participants. The results indicate that TICT contributes to the development of a positive ethnic identity and the formation of a civic identity among the participating youth. It also increases their optimism regarding the future of interethnic relations in Russia and the subjective level of intercultural competence of majority group youth towards minority cultures. Thus, the evaluation of the training effectiveness of the TICT has shown that the aims of the training have been achieved to a large extent and that the Training of Intercultural Competence and Tolerance can be effectively used to prevent interethnic conflicts and promote interethnic relations in multicultural schools. Suggestions for the practical implementation of the TICT as well as for future research on the training's effectiveness are discussed.