A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute
Summary of Selected Findings on Student Involvement
A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute programs are developed and evaluated by a professional research department that interacts on an ongoing basis with professionals in the field. The research department collaborates with universities, colleges and national funding sources to study and enhance the efficacy of Institute programs. These collaborations have included formal studies with institutions including Teachers' College, Columbia University, Claremont Graduate School and the University of Pennsylvania.
A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute Summary of Selected Findings on Student Involvement
A 1998 study conducted by Columbia University Teacher's College found that participation in the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute Peer Training Programs had a strong positive influence on students' personal social development.
- 84% of the students reported increased confidence in their ability to prepare and organize a presentation for peers.
- 86% reported greater awareness of their own biases.
- 86% reported a better understanding of the prejudice and discrimination in their schools and communities.
- 80% reported greater skills to confront racial and bias issues in their schools and/or workplace.
- 75% reported that they would now take active steps to confront bias in their schools.
- 88% reported that participation was somewhat or very influential to their involvement in some type of community service in their school or community.
Findings conducted by the University of Pennsylvania indicate similar findings on the part of students participating in the Peer Training Program. As a result of participation in the Peer Training Program, students reported:
- increased ability to talk with students who are different from themselves;
- greater understanding of the impact of prejudice and discrimination on others;
- increased feelings of connection to their school community;
- stronger interest getting good grades; and
- more positive communication with teachers.
This is what ADL also heard from students:
"I have realized my own prejudices and am working them out with my peers"
"I have built a stronger patience level for myself. Being a member has helped me be aware of the racial conflict around me and how to deal with situations."
"(As a Peer Trainer) people really listened to what we were discussing…A lot of new areas were introduced and I know some of (my peers) were hesitant but did open up to us. That's a great thing in itself because they acknowledge that there are issues out there."
"This program showed me...I don't have to be like other people. I could be myself and could love who I am, for what I am. It also makes me put an emphasis on what I believe in … and gave me more respect for my peers."