Shallow Roots Require Constant Watering: The Challenge of Sustained Impact in Educational Programs

Yigal Rosen, David Perkins


Socially-oriented educational programs often face societal barriers. Peace education in a region of prolonged conflict faces a negative socio-political environment that works against its effects. The media, leadership, educational system and other societal institutions continue to express a culture of conflict. Recent studies show that the effects of peace education programs are short-lived and methods to sustain the effects over time are needed. The present paper describes the societal-psychological climate of prolonged conflict, the goals of peace education in such regions, the challenges of achieving these goals, and possible ways to overcome these challenges. The main argument is that peace education programs should be designed to effectively manage the “reality dissonance” between the sought-for effects and socio-political environment. Mechanisms for sustaining educational change are described along with considerations for program design. Finally the paper offers several conclusions and directions for future research.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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