The Journal of School Psychology has named Dr. Rony Berger’s article its best of 2016. The article is entitled Reducing prejudice and promoting positive intergroup attitudes among elementary-school children in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The findings of this article indicate that the Extended Class Exchange Program (ECEP) that incorporates meetings of students from both Israeli–Jewish and Israeli–Palestinian schools in the ethnically mixed city of Jaffa decreased stereotyping and discriminatory tendencies toward the other group and increased positive feelings and readiness for social contact with the other group upon program termination. The ECEP retained its significant effect 15 months after the program's termination, despite the serious clashes between Israel and the Palestinians that occurred during that time. This empirical support for the ECEP'S utility in reducing prejudice makes it potentially applicable to other areas in the world, especially those that are characterized by ethnic tension and violent conflicts.
The journal’s editorial board and the Society for the Study of School Psychology nominate 4-5 articles and then a special committee makes the final determination.
The award was announced in late February at the Society’s annual meeting during the National Association of School Psychologists convention in San Antonio, Texas.
Berger is a member of the Department of Emergency Medicine at BGU's Faculty of Health Sciences.