"I Am Not Scared" Project
Creating a Positive School Ethos of Non-Violence and Respect through ‘Linkedness’
Gie Deboutte, Johan Deklerck, Astrid Mona O’Moore and Stephen James Minton
“VISTA School Bullying and Violence: Taking Action” project
training, module, violence, school, approach
Parents, Policy Makers, Teachers, Researchers, 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: be aware of the fact that as disrespectful behaviour is situated within a broader context (related to personal factors, relationships and socialcultural context), school management staff, classroom staff, parents, students and the wider school community all have a key role in the development of a school ethos of non-violence and respect; be aware of the means by which violent behaviour in schools can be prevented by the development of a positive school ethos; be deeply aware of and to be able to articulate the characteristics of ‘Linkedness’, and to be able to use this concept in appraising school realities and in making proposals to improve school practice; be able to use the ‘Linkedness’ ‘prevention pyramid’ in testing the existing approach towards disrespectful behaviour; be familiar with the skills involved in planning, conducting, integrating and evaluating work with different demographic groups in school communities.
- Presentation of the facilitation skills to be developed through this unit, which are (1) knowledge and understanding of: the VISTA whole school approach; how pupils relate to one another; the range of underlying causes of challenging, aggressive and anti-social behaviour; how to design improvement plans for individual pupils, groups and the school as a whole; the operation of school systems; the importance of creating a supportive and caring school community; current thinking in the area of the promotion of non-violence; modelling effective promotion of non-violence interventions, systems and management approaches; (2) personal qualities and attributes include: having an appropriate, pupil-centred set of beliefs and values which informs their decisions and actions; being able to influence the ethos in a place of work and effect and sustain change there; being an effective communicator; being an effective trainer of and adviser to staff, governors, parents, carers and pupils; being a strategic thinker; having a good understanding of and models effective behaviour management strategies; line managing, motivating and supporting staff teams through empathy and understanding; co-ordinating a range of interventions to promote non-violence to support pupils; managing time effectively and well organised.
- Pre-unit reading.
- Summary of current thinking and knowledge about creating a positive school ethos of non-violence and respect through ‘Linkedness’.
- A sequence of activities to be implemented: Activity Working with ‘Linkedness’, which is a five-stage (referred to as five ‘building blocks’) activity which allows the facilitator to work in a practical way to change the development of a school in a positive direction with the ‘Linkedness’ concept.
- Resources and references for further reading materials.
The whole school approach is important in effecting a sustainable and positive influence on the school environment. Considering this, the authors are taking into account the style and quality of leadership and management practices; the quality and delivery of the curriculum; playground activities and the social aspects of the curriculum; the formalized and agreed procedures to deal with a bullying and/or violent incident; and, the building relationships with others and with the self. In this unit they explore the key role that school management staff, teaching staff, parents, young people and the wider school community play in the development of a school ethos of non-violence. The material offers a set of skills and strategies through which a positive school ethos of non-violence can be practically implemented in school. By the end of this material, its users will become familiar with the skills involved in planning work with different groups within school communities.
Very interesting and useful concept within this material is the prevention pyramid with its different levels, starting from: Level 0, which refers to social conditions that contribute to determining school operation and involves policy measures, influencing trends and factors from social, cultural, political and ecological contexts; Level 1, which refers to fundamental prevention: measures that promote the living climate; Level 2, which refers to general prevention: Here, the emphasis is on what contributes to the strengthening of social competencies, special care, being able-bodied, capacity and problem-solving ability of children, teachers and parents; Level 3, focused on specific prevention: Here, the school opts for the approach of clearly described problems such as bullying behaviour at school, depression among children, dealing with divorce, ADHD, dyslexia, highly gifted children, etc. The emphasis is on prevention every time; and Level 4, which proposes curative or remedying measures: When a problem comes up within the school that affects well-being, the school team is sure to take action. Someone intervenes by immediately offering assistance; boundaries are set, and support is initiated.
The material is available also in English, down-loadable from here: http://www.vista-europe.org/downloads/English/B3f.pdf
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I Am Not Scared Project
Copyright 2017 - This project has been funded with support from the European Commission