Evaluation of the Media Initiative for Children Respecting Difference Programme in the Education Sector
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The development of the initiative was greatly influenced by research 'Too Young to Notice?' carried out by Professor Paul Connolly from Queen's University, Belfast which showed that by the age of six a significant proportion of children (1 in 6) in Northern Ireland are making sectarian and racial remarks.
The programme has been supported by rigorous academic research including a pilot evaluation of the initial three media messages carried out by Professor Paul Connolly.
The pilot evaluation showed that after a short period of implementation, there was a positive change in attitude in terms of:
In 2008-2009, a randomised controlled trial was carried out across 74 pre-school settings in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland involving 1,181 young children. The final report, which was carried out as part of the Early Years Coral Initiative, showed that the Media Initiative for Children has a significant and positive contribution to make to young children's attitudes to difference and inclusion.