Fact or Fiction: Children’s Acquired Knowledge of Islam through Mothers’ Testimony

In: Journal of Cognition and Culture
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  • 1 Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, United States

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Abstract

One way in which information about the unknown is socialized to children is through adult testimony. Sharing false testimony about others with children may foster inaccurate perceptions and may result in prejudicially based divisions amongst children. As part of a larger study, mothers were instructed to read and discuss an illustrated story about Arab-Muslim refugees from Syria with their 6- to 8-year-olds (n = 31). Parent-child discourse during two pages of this book was examined for how mothers used Islam as a talking point. Results indicated that only 50% of mothers and 13% of children shared accurate testimony about Islam. However, while 35% of children admitted uncertainty in their knowledge, only 3% of mothers admitted uncertainty. These results highlight the importance of parents sharing the confidence in their knowledge. If parents teach inaccurate information about other religions, it may create a greater divide between children of different religious backgrounds.

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