Prevention in education
Friday June 21, 09.00 - 10.30
Session 4, Auditorium 4, Eilert Sundt building
Chair: Eviane Leidig
- Understanding Teacher Reporting of Student Vulnerability to Radicalisation - David Parker and Lasse Lindekilde
- Assessing the Role of Citizenship Education Provision in Preventing Extremist Radicalisation - Francis Gaffney
- Evaluating the Effectiveness of using Formers in Early Radicalization Prevention: An Impact Study among Young People in Denmark - Lasse Lindekilde and David Parker
- Prevent Duty': Understanding the effects of counter-terrorism policy within secondary and further education - Suraj Lakhani
Understanding Teacher Reporting of Student Vulnerability to Radicalisation
David Parker and Lasse Lindekilde, Aarhus University
In a range of countries, structures to identify individuals displaying vulnerability to radicalisation rely, in part, on front-line practitioners to refer cases to the relevant safeguarding board. This is particularly so for teachers (e.g. approximately a third of referrals in the UK come from teachers). Whilst research has provided insight into teacher attitudes towards the Prevent Strategy and Prevent Duty (part of the UK’s wider counter-terrorism strategy), little research has been conducted to understand teacher reporting itself. As such, this paper outlines the results of a survey experiment with over 1,000 teachers in the UK and more than 2,000 teachers in Denmark. Using three conditions, the survey measures behavioural intentions to a scenario involving a student, reporting attitudes and identifies the types of training received. The data allows the use of descriptive statistics and causal inference to help us better understand the threshold for teacher reporting (i.e. the when), the reporting mechanisms used (i.e. the how) and the barriers and drivers of reporting (i.e. the why). This data will add to the emerging academic literature on teacher reporting as well as having significant policy relevance for a range of states delivering radicalisation prevention strategies.
Assessing the Role of Citizenship Education Provision in Preventing Extremist Radicalisation
Francis Gaffney, Cranfield University, UK
Radicalisation towards violent extremism within educational settings has emerged as high profile in many contemporary societies. This research involved face-to-face interviews with 51 education sector professionals based across ten countries in Europe and the Middle East to establish an evidence base regarding current practice and how these could potentially impact on, or act as a source of potential triggers for, radicalisation.
Several major themes were identified in the interview responses and included 1) failings with how CE was delivered; 2) the impact of limited time allocation on CE activity; 3) a wide range of other challenges with regard to CE implementation; and, 4) staff apprehension regarding their role and the role CE potentially plays in countering extremist behaviour. Regional level differences included, for example, participants in the UK flagging concerns about giving offence, participants in other European countries highlighting immigration and far-right issues, and participants in the Middle East heavily focusing on the 2011 Arab Spring and Sunni-Shi’a tensions.
The results were compared with past research in this area and are used to identify a series of policy and practice recommendations, as well as avenues for future research.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of using Formers in Early Radicalization Prevention: An Impact Study among Young People in Denmark
Lasse Lindekilde and David Parker, Aarhus University
Young people are a key demographic for radicalisation prevention. For instance, in the UK 66% of individuals that received support through Channel in 2017/18 were aged 20 years or under. Consequently, many countries in the West prioritise work with young people in their efforts to prevent radicalisation; seeking to enhance critical thinking and resilience to extremist narratives. However, we know little about the effectiveness of such early preventive efforts. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of a concrete project funded by authorities in Denmark and delivered across the country in 2018/19. The project brings former extremists into schools and youth settings to engage with young people aged between 14 and 20. These formers share their experiences, emphasise the negative consequences and help young people to recognise and respond to the approaches of radicalisers. The project has four aims: increase political tolerance; increase political efficacy; increase understandings of extremism (and ability to recognise it) and increase resilience to extremism. This paper outlines the findings of an evaluation study using pre- and post-measurement among the audiences designed to measure the impact of the project on the four aims listed. More than 2000 audiences took part in the evaluation. The findings provide sought-after evidence-based knowledge about the impact of early radicalization prevention efforts. Findings have significant consequences both for understanding the baseline of knowledge of and resilience to extremism within Danish youth and for wider prevention work across the West. In particular, the paper provides new insights to the discussion about the use of formers in radicalization prevention.
'Prevent Duty': Understanding the effects of counter-terrorism policy within secondary and further education
Suraj Lakhani, University of Sussex
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places statutory requirement on various authorities in the UK – including secondary school and college teachers - to adhere to their 'Prevent Duty', i.e. to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism". Although there has been, and continues to be, various concerns raised in relation to this legal requirement, the British Government remains clear about the key role of this sector within its counter terrorism agenda. These concerns have been explored through the analysis of empirical data collected as part of a British Academy and Leverhulme Trust funded piece of research. Over 30 semi-structured interviews were undertaken across Sussex with teachers, county councils, and Prevent police officers. Sussex was used as a case study as a continuation of counter-terrorism research in the region, and as a comparison to research in other areas. This presentation will focus upon the following considerations: to understand the perception and reception of Prevent Duty by secondary school and college teachers; to determine whether the strategy is discriminatory in nature; and to establish, from the perspective of teachers, the guidance, support and training requirements of their Prevent Duty, and to make recommendations to this effect.