"I Am Not Scared" Project
What does the whole school approach (WSA) stand for?
Johan Deklerck and Gie Deboutte
“VISTA School Bullying and Violence: Taking Action” project
training, module, violence, school, approach
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: enable participants to give a definition of a WSA; enable participants to define the benefits of a WSA; motivate participants to use the WSA in their own school(s); enable participants to analyse the policy and culture of their/a school; enable participants to understand the prevention pyramid as a useful framework to carry out a needs analysis; enable participants to make proposals to broaden existing school practice, increase quality and achieve improved coherence.
- Presentation of the facilitation skills to be developed through this unit, which are (1) knowledge and understanding of: the sense of complexity of “problematic behaviour” within the school: multi-causality of “difficult school behaviour” (bullying, violence,
vandalism, skipping school); being able to handle an ecological framework to interpret multi-causality; some important characteristics of a positive school climate and how they contribute to a less problematic school environment (fewer problems of bullying and violence); the prevention pyramid as a supportive framework for a WSA; the meaning and coherence of the four ‘intervention levels’ of the prevention pyramid; the most important characteristics and qualities of the WSA; these characteristics in participants’ own schools; (2) personal qualities and attributes include: remaining empathic vis-à-vis the various experiences of disrespectful behaviour including bullying and violence; being touched by the needs that are hidden behind several kinds of disrespectful behaviour including bullying and violence; being open to several perspectives with respect to “difficult school behaviour”; being open to the interaction between context and personal experience as an explanation for difficult school behaviour and/or as a point of departure to search for solutions and prevention measures; wanting to do something about formal and informal initiatives that contributes to improved quality of life within the school and are also problem-preventing or problem-solving; wanting to enter into a dialogue with other members of the school community when searching for and carrying out measures for the prevention of violence and bullying behaviour at school.
- Pre-unit task. Participants receive Resource 1 in advance with instructions to outline an example that fits in with the topic.
- Summary of current thinking and knowledge about what the WSA stands for.
- A sequence of activities to be implemented: Activity 1 Step I: Exchange of practical stories (bullying and violence at school events); Activity 2 Step II: Analysis of the various examples on the basis of the perspective exercise; Activity 3 Step III: supplying of information and analysis frameworks; Activity 4 Conclusion: Step III Overview of intervention models offered by the VISTA training package; Activity 5: Step IV: Debriefing process: The WSA: a definition; Activity 6 Evaluation of the meeting (‘circle time’).
- References for further reading materials.
- Supporting resources: 1 Pre-unit task; Worksheets Overview of VISTA interventions.
Given the intention of the I am not scared project to involve all actors and stakeholders in the process of school violence prevention and curbing, the whole school approach (WSA) proposed by the VISTA project falls quite well into the scope of interest and importance. The understanding that the problem of school violence extends far beyond the individual children involved as aggressors or victims is shared. Within the suggested unit the authors present a ‘bio-ecological approach’ to the promotion of non-violence that takes into account: the individual characteristics of perpetrators, victims, bystanders, and adults; the ethos of the school; the quality of the learning environment of the school; and the links with the wider community, society and natural environment. This unit offers a unique framework for the prevention and reduction of school violence in the form of a “prevention pyramid”.
The material is suggested as an important and very practical tool, which, considering its availability in a number of language, can and should be broadly used. The worksheets included in this unit are practical and intuitive for use tools.
The material is available also in English language and can be downloaded from: http://www.vista-europe.org/downloads/English/B1f.pdf.
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I Am Not Scared Project
Copyright 2017 - This project has been funded with support from the European Commission