Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 4(8), pp. 1787 - 1796
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2016.040807
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The Context is the Message?! Learning about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict through Computerized Simulations in Different National Contexts


Ronit Kampf *
Communication Department and the Program in Research of Child and Youth Culture, Tel Aviv University, Israel

ABSTRACT

Two cross-national experimental studies examined the effects of PeaceMaker and Global Conflicts on knowledge acquisition and attitude change regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. PeaceMaker and Global Conflicts are role-playing computerized simulations of this conflict. 248 undergraduate students from Turkey, Israel, Palestine and the US participated in the two studies. They filled in questionnaires measuring knowledge and attitudes before and after playing the games. Results suggested stronger effects in knowledge acquisition and attitude change for secondary/third parties (i.e., Turks and Americans) compared to directly involved parties (i.e., Israeli-Jews and Palestinians). Yet effects in attitude change and perspective taking were limited for the Global Conflicts Game. The variation in the results obtained from different national contexts indicates the importance of context in learning from simulations, particularly important for the pedagogy and learning scholarship in the context of peacebuilding. The effect of context on learning from simulations should encourage scholars of experiential teaching and learning in conflictual contexts to direct their attention to exploring the contingencies of effectiveness for simulations, rather than adopting dichotomous research questions that ask whether simulations are useful or not. Yet the game characteristics may be crucial in determining whether the players gain the perspective of both sides or not.

KEYWORDS
Peace Education, Knowledge Acquisition, Computerized Simulations, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Attitude Change

Cite this paper
Ronit Kampf . "The Context is the Message?! Learning about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict through Computerized Simulations in Different National Contexts." Universal Journal of Educational Research 4.8 (2016) 1787 - 1796. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2016.040807.