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TITLE OF GOOD PRACTICE:

Prevention of aggression and violence in schools (PAGS)

KEYWORDS:

Conflict resolution, Empathy, Self-perception and external perception, Dispute settlement

GOOD PRACTICE TYPOLOGY:

National Project

TARGET GROUPS:

Pupils from the 1st to the 6th grade

WORKING GROUP COORDINATING THE INITIATIVE:

Fachhochschule Potsdam, Fachbereich Sozialwesen

COUNTRY WHERE IT TOOK PLACE:

Germany

LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW:

English

DEFINITION OF TARGET GROUP:

Teachers, Young People, School Directors.

DESCRIPTION OF THE GOOD PRACTICE:

The project is a concept for the school as a system and for teaching. The aim is to encourage students learning processes that contribute to the prevention of aggression and violence. Students should in terms of primary prevention become familiar with new or alternative, non-violent behavior and acquire pro-social skills.

A central component of the program is the acquisition and drill of skills and abilities that contribute to dealing with aggression and potential violence within the meaning of constructive, non-violent conflict resolution. The program is integrated into the classroom. It consists of five topics to be processed:
1. Perception of own and others' feelings
2. Promotion of communication skills
3. Perspective taking
4. Curiosity
5. Perception and handling of conflicts

For the implement the program specially developed teaching materials are available. These teaching materials are used to treat the topics mentioned above. Important methodological elements are the role-play, interactive exercises and self-experiences. Learning processes that contribute to the prevention of aggression and violence are mediated. Students learn alternative behaviors, and get familiar with empathy behavior.
Preventive behavior and mediation are practiced. The materials are designed so that they can be implemented in different school classes. Each complex contains tasks for grades 1 through 10. The materials are sequential, but can be treated separately. For each topic there is a theoretical introduction, a parent letter and specific tasks and evaluations. In order to implement the program well can attend special teacher training courses and seminars.

INDICATORS:

Definition of bullying or cyberbullying, Help-line/counseling, Classroom management, Teacher training, Classroom rules, Cooperative group work, Peer support.

EVALUATION:

The program was evaluated from August 2000 to February 2001 at four schools in Brandenburg. The evaluation was conducted by using participant observation, interviews with the school administration and teachers, and group discussions with students. The following results were recorded:
By training teachers were sensitized to violence. A consistent implementation of the program was considered by all involved as appropriate, but only partially enforced. The students were sensitized by the project for violence and contacted the "experts" (teachers) for the dispute settlement. A follow-up project to deepen the content was regarded as reasonable. Since no preliminary study had taken place and no comparison group was studied, the present results should be regarded as preliminary. A methodologically adequate review of program effectiveness is still pending.
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COMMENT:

This summary was created by the Technical University of Dresden in collaboration with the BGAG - Institute for Work and Health of the German accident insurance, Dresden.

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