"I Am Not Scared" Project
Definition, context and knowledge of school violence - Definition, Context and Knowledge of School Violence
Rosario Ortega, Virginia Sanchez, Luc Van Wassenhoven, Gie Deboutte and Johan Deklerck
“VISTA School Bullying and Violence: Taking Action” Project
training, module, violence, school, awareness
Policy Makers, Teachers, Young People, School Directors.
21 - 100 pages
The contents of this unit are as follows:
- Description of the objectives of the document, which are to make the reader become aware of a range of interpretations of school violence, be able to consider the key factors involved in a definition of school violence from a variety of perspectives, understand the social and cultural contexts where school violence takes place, interpret violent behaviour within a complex social system, evaluate and integrate different theoretical perspectives of school violence.
- Presentation of the facilitation skills to be developed through this unit, which are (1) knowledge and understanding of: current thinking about definitions of school violence; the relationships between social context and school violence; the links between school climate and school violence; the importance of creating a supportive and caring school community; (2) personal qualities and attributes include: being able to adopt a critical and reflective stance in the analysis of complex social phenomena; being able to reflect on others' ideas through open debate; being able to integrate different theoretical perspectives on school violence.
- A list of preparatory reading materials.
- Summary of current thinking and knowledge about the definition and context of school violence.
- A sequence of activities to be implemented: Activity 1 Icebreaker: The name game; Activity 2 Introduce your neighbour; Activity 3 Defining school violence; Activity 4 School violence as defined by international experts; Activity 5 The context of school violence;
- References for further reading materials.
- Supporting resources: 1 Individual examples of school violence; 2 Group discussion of the essential characteristics of these examples of school violence; 3 Our definition; 4 Definitions by international experts; 5 Case study of a violent incident; 6 Types of school violence; 7 Summary of case studies; 8 Model of the school system.
The quoted Module raises the awareness on some of the key issues regarding school violence.
The unit makes a point that it is really problematic to give a uniform definition of school violence due to the fact that violence is socially constructed from a range of viewpoints with meaning varying according to the individuals, culture and environment concerned. The material is really interesting and important since it aims to raise the awareness of perspectives from a range of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, criminology, education, political science and social policy. An interesting point made is also that children do not share an adult conceptual understanding of bullying and violence, therefore, basing educational practices and policies for children solely on adult definitions of violence is counter-productive. The material stresses the need to complement adult perspectives with those of young people.
In the quoted Unit the VISTA project offers the opportunity to reflect critically on a multiplicity of definitions of violence that take into account individual factors, interpersonal relationships and the social context of the school and its community; and that includes both the adult and child definitions of the phenomenon. This Unit enables the participants to construct a definition of school violence that takes into account the different types of violent behavior within their school setting. The Unit authors have also considered the particular contexts in which violence may flourish and those where it is prevented or reduced. The belief is shared that in order to understand the complex phenomenon of school violence, a thorough understanding of the economic, cultural, school and family factors that contribute to the problem is necessary. This Unit makes appropriate links with current debates and dialogues on emotional literacy, resilience, moral panics, young people and crime, school exclusions, disruptive behavior and gangs.
The material is very useful and has been developed in close consideration of the diversity of the problem and the need for its handling with an open mind and without imposing stereotypes.
An English version of the publication is available at: http://www.vista-europe.org/downloads/English/A1f.pdf
Zinev Art Technologies
I Am Not Scared Project
Copyright 2017 - This project has been funded with support from the European Commission