Jan Arnow

"TEACHING PEACE" 

Chapter 3

 

The School Climate: Creating a Supportive Setting

 

America is a country of immigrants. While this has been acknowledged as

historical fact, many citizens fail to recognize the parallel truth: it

continues to be so. In fact, we are becoming so diverse a population that

the statistical meaning of the word "minority" is quickly losing its

significance. Consider that:

 

* Between 1980 and 1990, the white population grew by

only 7.7% nationally. The African American and Hispanic

populations grew by 15.8% and 34.5% respectively.

 

* The fastest growing group during that decade was Asians,

who make up about half of all new immigrants.

 

* Census projections indicate that by the middle of the 21st

 

Century, white Americans will become the nation's

numerical minority.

 

* The population is intermarrying with increasing frequency.

By the middle of the 21st Century, the "average"

 

American citizen will trace his or her origins to Africa,

 

Asia, the Hispanic countries, the Pacific Islands --

 

anywhere but white Europe.

 

* The rapid shift in demographics is already evident among

our youth population. The number of linguistically

 

different children is quickly rising and our 25 largest city

 

school systems have minority student majorities.

 

* More than 150 languages are represented in schools

nationwide, and figures nearing this number occur in

single large districts already.

 

* Children of color currently make up 30% of America's

 

youth under age 18, and the percentage is increasing

exponentially.

 

* It is estimated that as many as five million children of

 

immigrants will have entered the K-12 education system

in the 1990's.

 

These demographic changes are real, immutable and accelerating. The

continuing influx of immigrants has reverberated through every social

institution in America, including our schools.

 

Making the equation more complex, ethnic identification is not the only

criterion that is commonly used to denote differences in culture. Indeed,

the term "culture" is increasingly a source of misunderstanding and

confusion. In addition to its common usage regarding race or ethnic

origins, the term is often used more generally to indicate a body of common

understandings. Used in this way, "culture" can include everything that is

a part of everyday living including customs, traditions, beliefs, morals,

art, law, knowledge and so on. For example, people who are poor share a

culture of poverty. It can be said that there is a culture of youth

because young people, by their nature, have many things in common.

Religion, gender, lifestyle, socioeconomic status all can, and should be

considered as having distinct cultural indicators.

 

In a country where one out of five children lives below the poverty line,

where huge numbers have been raised in non-English speaking homes, where

the characteristic of "otherness" can be applied to more children than not

in any given classroom, it is imperative that we understand the depth and

breadth of culture -- and the extent to which many groups of people have

been marginalized in this country -- and are aware of its implications as

it drives changes in our schools.

Who Fails and Who Succeeds?

 

Contemporary laws, combined with our social norms and sense of justice,

theoretically protect the educational rights of all children through equal

access to education. These concepts and laws can allow diversity among

students to be honored, their knowledge differences appreciated. Why,

then, is the drop-out rate for Hispanic students hovering at 45%, fully

twenty percentage points above the already-high national high school drop

out rate of 25%? Why are there startling disparities by gender, race and

national origin in disciplinary referrals and suspensions in public

schools? Why have minority students been suspended from school more often

for "subjective" offenses and for less serious offenses than their white

peers? Why are poor children more likely to fail than children from

economically advantaged homes? Why are these "at risk" students more

involved in unsafe activities either as victims or aggressors than their

majority peers?

 

One real answer is because American schools in general continue to both

perpetuate and communicate the values, power relationships and behavioral

standards of those for whom schools in this country were originally

intended: middle class Europeans. As a result, students whose cultures are

different from that of the school often feel alienated from and rejected by

their school system.

 

Our schools, whether by law or by moral commitment, are responsible for the

growth and development of all of our nation's children. To accomplish

this, our schools must create environments that are caring, safe and secure

for all children. Terms such as "ambience," "climate," "philosophy," and

even "school culture" all reflect a process of humanizing education to make

it more responsive to the needs of individuals and more affirming of the

intrinsic value of human diversity. The reluctance or inability of schools

to do so is at the heart of their failure to educate the racially,

culturally and otherwise "different" children of this country.

 

Why Keep Kids in School?

In addition to the legal and ethical imperatives for educating all

of our children, two seemingly disparate phenomena make it even more

critical to do so now: the increase in youth violence and the changing

labor market.

 

Violence

Every day, quarrels among children that used to result in fist

fights and bloody noses now end in gun shots. Every day almost 135,000

students carry a gun to school. Every day nearly 200,000 children miss

school because of fear of attack by other students, and some 2,000 young

people are attacked in school. Every two days, 25 children -- an entire

classroom -- are killed by guns.

 

The reasons for this raging brutality are clear. Neglected, rejected

cast-off kids turn into bitter, gun-toting criminals more often than not.

Weaned on violent video games, toys and media programming, they are

desensitized to violence as never before. The presence of violence at

school breeds more violence. The fear of attack escalates, more weapons

are brought to school, and getting to the next class becomes a matter of

survival. The unthinkable has become normal behavior for many children,

and they see no functional alternatives.

 

This fear of violence -- and its resulting metal detectors, security

guards, locked doors, fenced-in school yards, locker searches and crisis

drills -- affects all children. The major consequences of violence and

fear of violence are depression and anxiety, but additional effects include

a sense of meaninglessness and emptiness; a loss of self-esteem and

feelings of humiliation; a sense of impotence because of a perceived loss

of control over various aspects of life; and a psychic numbing and

emotional lethargy. Many children are experiencing sleep disturbances,

irritability, and excessive aggression. For others, action and

decision-making seem difficult. For all children, the energy that is

spent on survival is lost to academics.

 

The Changing Workforce

Less than a generation ago, the term "workforce" conjured up

visions of white men dressed in either ties or blue shirts. By the turn of

the next century, white males will comprise only 15% of the net additions

to the labor force. The other 85% will be women and people from non-white

and immigrant groups. This trend is reshaping both the color and cultural

background of our workforce. Without training in learning to work

cooperatively to achieve common goals among diverse groups of people,

increasing linguistic and cultural problems between different ethnic and

racial groups, and resulting tensions, will be unavoidable.

 

At the same time, most companies face an extremely tight labor market as

the baby bust of the 1960's and 1970's dramatically reduced the number of

young people available to fill jobs. Yet that decreasing labor pool needs

to become more highly qualified as our businesses face growing competitive

pressures, an impossibility if our young people continue their path of

alienation and early exit from our schools.

 

It is economic suicide to let our children fail, for any reasons. They

cannot be allowed to leave school without adequate knowledge of both

academic and interpersonal skills. Whether or not educators have large

minority populations in their schools, they must think about the wide

diversity of people with whom their students will come into contact

throughout their lives and create school environments to retain their

students and which teach them how to build respectful partnerships with

those who are different from them.

Strategies to Improve School Culture

 

Children who stay in school, who feel good about it and good about their

classmates, do so because their school is a safe and receptive environment

for all children, both physically and psychologically. There are certainly

many factors in the lives of students over which the schools have little or

no control. But there are things educators can do to change the content

and processes within our schools, improving the school climate to better

serve this population. Adjusting the curriculum and other aspects of the

educational structure to reflect the newest shifts in classroom composition

are steps well taken toward assuring that students and families from all

cultures who are already in the system, and immigrants new to our country

and our social structures, will have the skills to function together to

build a peaceful future.

 

Multicultural Education

Just the mention of the term "multicultural education" immediately

raises the hackles of some people, educators and non-educators alike.

Those who question the validity or necessity of multicultural education

mistakenly purport that it is a curriculum which attempts to discount and

replace all things traditional, a cursory and largely ineffective nod

toward pluralism, an inappropriate outgrowth of the Civil Rights movement,

or simply a lame attempt at being "politically correct." Because of these

misguided and uninformed indictments, multicultural education has been

used, in some communities, as ammunition in the war between conservative

and liberal groups. But multicultural education is not faction-specific,

and regardless of one's affiliation, it is critically important to

understand the real goals of multicultural education, and the positive

effects it can have on race relations and effective teaching.

 

Significant multicultural education, that which is substantive in nature,

process-oriented, and integrated throughout all of the school curricula and

practices, is an approach through which children are prepared to live,

learn and work together to achieve common goals in a culturally diverse

world. Through this process, children can:

 

* learn about and value the diversity that exists in the United

 

States and the world;

 

* become aware of and affirmed in their own cultural roots;

 

* understand the social, historical and psychological

environments that cause people, including ourselves, to think

 

and behave as we do;

 

* become sensitive to other cultures, knowledgeable about other

 

viewpoints and accurately assess similarities and differences

among people of the world;

 

* understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens in a

 

culturally pluralistic society;

 

* become adequately prepared to live fruitful lives in an

 

increasingly global society with shifting and permeable borders.

 

Unfortunately, much of the current effort in multicultural education in the

United States is directed at teaching students bits and pieces of

information about other cultures -- "products" -- through monthly

celebrations, cultural posters and world fairs. This additive approach can

actually reinforce stereotypes by emphasizing exotic differences between

people, and seems to be most often used in school environments where there

are few minorities in the system, or in places where assertions are made

that "there are no problems here because everyone gets along." But true

multicultural education is not a product at all. It is not a field trip to

Taco Bell, the act of putting up a bulletin board about France, or a

conversation with a foreign student. This simplistic approach undervalues

the serious and complex social issues inherent in our pluralistic society.

 

As with all public education, the goal of multicultural education is to

maximize the potential for all students. This, of course, includes the

minority child, for whom education must be made relevant. But

multicultural education also benefits the majority child. Our schools

have, in the past, focused nearly exclusively on the needs of majority

students, propagating a monocultural view of society that is totally

inconsistent with the past, present and future realities of life in this

country. Through a well-planned multicultural program, schools may be able

to better prepare majority children for life in a pluralistic society while

offering children of diverse cultures a sense of belonging that can make

their school experiences more positive and give them hope for the future.

 

Multicultural education should address, but need not be limited to making

sure that the curriculum design, textbooks and curricular materials are

bias-free and include ethnic and cultural content; that there is a

commitment to inclusive in-school and extracurricular activities and

parent-teacher councils; that hiring practices insure diverse staffing

patterns and that there is continuing support for minority teachers and

staff; and that teachers receive adequate in-service training to provide

them with information on how to make education multicultural. According to

Carl Grant, a long-term proponent of multicultural education, true

multicultural education is visionary. Its objective is to help students

acquire the skills and conceptual frameworks to pursue their own concerns

while removing the barriers that prevent them from achieving the best life

has to offer. We have both an opportunity and an obligation to use the

wealth of our diversity -- our stories, folk literature, art, music, as

well as our experiences of our poverty, discrimination and conflicts -- to

teach our children. Multicultural education is that type of education,

and it can ultimately help all children develop the competencies they will

need throughout their lives.

 

Human Rights Policies

On July 4, 1776, a document was signed by the Continental Congress

that declared the United States an independent country. This statement of

principles, the Declaration of Independence, subsequently became one of the

most important legal and moral foundations for our country.

 

The second paragraph reads, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that

all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with

certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the

pursuit of Happiness." These rights are alleged to be universal, to be

held by people simply as people. This view implies that characteristics

such as race, gender, religion, and nationality are irrelevant to whether

one has human rights. Nowhere in this document does it say, "...but not

for those people."

 

That we all display an enormous diversity is inescapable. A visible

commitment to human rights within the school, however -- a posted human

rights policy statement , for example -- is one of the most proactive

approaches that a school can take to begin to insure that the diversity of

the school community is not ignored, devalued or degraded. By making

public a concise statement of policy, indicating that these rights are

rooted in the dignity and worth of human beings and that adherence to these

rights is the requirement of peace and security within the school,

attention is focused on the intended good.

 

Human rights policies need to state clear guidelines against any form of

infringement upon the rights of others, such as racism, sexism, etc. The

policy must be well publicized not only to students and staff but to the

parents, too. Most important, the leadership of the school must be willing

to follow through on their policies. They must be able to punish behaviors

that are counter to the policy as well as reward those in the school who

actively promote the principles inherent within the policy. Too often acts

of racism and other infringements of human rights are addressed only after

the school staff has been asked repeatedly to take action. Reasons for not

wanting to face these sensitive issues head-on include not wanting to take

time away from academic subject matter; not wanting to "rock the boat" and

possibly incur the wrath of a wider spectrum of students and community

members; lack of knowledge about how to intervene in a positive and

effective way; not thinking that there is a need to address the issues in a

school system that is predominantly monocultural; and even having a complex

psychological need to maintain the conflict.

 

But avoidance of human rights issues holds damaging consequences for

students. First, because violations of human rights are strong, negative

experiences for children, they draw students' attention from academic

pursuits as the children respond to them in non-constructive ways. Second,

evasion of the issues sends signals to all students that racism and other

forms of human rights violations are trivial concerns or, worse, that they

are acceptable forms of behavior.

 

Ignoring ethnic, racial, gender and other differences and their potential

for negative impact on children today, or even merely tolerating them is no

longer an adequate response for schools wishing to create safe and

receptive environments for all children. A decent life, protected by basic

human rights, is a modest standard. These rights do not supply everything

that could contribute to making people's lives good or even wonderful, but

they are an acceptable beginning. Educators would be wise to do more than

simply acknowledge that human rights exist, and conjecture about what they

might mean in the lives of children. Proactively proclaiming a policy

which supports basic human rights could go a long way toward counteracting

the racism, bigotry and other human rights violations, including physical

violence, on the rise in today's schools.

 

Conflict Resolution Programs

Conflict is a daily reality for everyone. Whether at home or at

school, the needs and values of people constantly and invariably come into

opposition with those of others. Some conflicts are relatively minor, easy

to handle, or capable of being overlooked. Others are not so easy to

resolve. But it is a central fact of life that society is structured so

that some individuals have more power and control than others, and that the

conflict that results is a natural phenomenon.

 

Children, too, need to work out their feelings about power and control, and

many adults are concerned about the increasing levels of aggression they

use with one another when conflicts occur between them. There should be

little wonder about their predilection toward violence when they are

bombarded with images of good triumphing over evil, often in violent ways,

and when there are relatively few versions of power represented to them in

the mass media and toy markets other than the idea of power over, rather

than power with, others.

 

Based on what they see and learn, children develop their own personal

strategies for dealing with conflict. Given their general lack of

awareness of non-violent alternatives for resolving conflicts, how do we

help them swap an combative attitude with a cooperative one? The Centers

for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia has declared that violence has

reached epidemic proportions, and urges that non-violent conflict

resolution be taught to all student from preschool through twelfth grade as

a response to that violence.

 

Conflict resolution training, included as a legitimate part of their

curriculum, can offer children a significant opportunity for developing

some of the most important social skills that an individual can possessin

today's climate -- on the cognitive level, the understanding that conflict

is a normal part of everyday life, and on the behavioral level, the ability

to resolve conflict non-violently.

 

A meaningful program to teach children how to mitigate discord allows them

to study the causes of conflict, the different styles that people use to

deal with anger and conflict, the process through which conflict escalates,

and the skills needed to manage and resolve conflict creatively and

non-violently. They can explore conflict in a nurturing and cooperative

classroom environment, through a number of different situations and

perspectives. Through this type of program, they learn valuable life

skills -- verbal and non-verbal communication, listening, problem solving,

critical thinking, decision-making and negotiation -- and ultimately

develop a productive response to conflict that helps build peaceful

relationships in their classrooms, schools, and communities.

 

In the contentious world climate we face today, we have come to think of

these techniques as chiefly useful to adults. But it is essential that we

redirect our efforts toward children for several reasons. First, our

eagerness as adults to intercede in children's fights sends an implied

message to them that we see them as fundamentally incompetent to settle

their own disputes, and that this whole business of conflict resolution is

simply too difficult for children. But even the smallest children can

understand many elements of arriving at outcomes where both sides win.

 

Second, children take into their adulthood the sense of self that they

create in their childhood. It is during childhood that they form their

world views, as well as their methods of dealing with frustration and

conflict. If they learn as children that dealing with conflict in violent,

combative ways is the prevalent, if not the only method, they will prolong

that choice into their adulthood. At that point, it won't matter what

types of arrangements our elder statespersons and gifted diplomats make to

negotiate truces between warring factions both overseas and in our own

communities. There will be several generations of people who, by virtue of

their training as children, will be willing, and more than able, to

perpetuate the violence. If, instead, they learn as children a wide range

of positive methods to resolve conflict peacefully in ways that are

appealing and matched to their level of development, they can spend less of

their time as adults undoing destructive habits and more time contributing

fully to society.

 

Cross-Cultural Counseling

As our schools address their urgent mission of helping prepare

every child for life in a diverse society, the school counselor can be one

of the most important links in the system. And as much as anyone in that

system, counselors need to be aware of both the present reality and the

direction of the future if they are to help children move more easily into

a world filled with ever increasing change.

 

The current concern for counseling the culturally different is, as is much

of the recent focus on multiculturalism and equity in education, a response

to changing demographics. But counseling was not initially designed to

treat students as individuals and help them maximize their capacity for

growth. At the turn of the century, when the Industrial Revolution was in

full swing, the aim of the fledgling counseling movement was, in fact, to

assist in vocational training by matching a potential worker with a

suitable vocation. Formal psychoanalytic methods were introduced into the

United States in 1909, but counseling did not begin receiving widespread

recognition until the 1940's.

 

By the 1950's, the aim of the profession evolved to be one of assimilation.

Group differences were minimized and the goal of guidance and counseling

was to assist various racial and cultural groups to become members of the

larger society. Professionals were, for the most part, ethnocentric in

their orientation, using the dominant culture as the standard to which all

othergroups were to aspire. It wasn't until the 1954 Supreme Court

decision of Brown V. Kansas Board of Education, and the civil rights

movement that followed nearly a decade later, that the profession began to

recognize the diverse counseling needs of various groups in our population.

No longer was assimilation the desired goal. A recognition of and

appreciation for cultural differences became major objectives.

 

But counseling is still primarily a white middle class activity. And its

practitioners, most of whom are white, are trained in Euro-centered

counseling programs which encompass western-oriented philosophical

assumptions. For example, the dominant culture of most schools values

being "up front" about counseling issues, and the students are expected to

take a major role in the sessions. The traditions of most Asian Americans,

Hispanics and Native Americans, however, may preclude this pattern, their

children having been raised to assume their positions within clearly

defined traditional roles which include deference to their elders.

Therefore, a minority student who is asked to initiate conversation may

become uneasy and tense, and respond with only short phrases or statements.

The counselor may interpret this behavior as negative when it may actually

be a sign of respect.

 

In order to successfully work with minority students, counselors must take

into account each student's world view, show respect for his or her history

and be as unbiased as possible. This requires them to learn new techniques

and acquire new skills for understanding, motivating, and empowering each

individual student regardless of race, gender, religion or creed. At the

same time, counselors must also be aware of the fact that the parameters of

culture extend far beyond racial and ethnic categories.

 

To guide students effectively in a multicultural environment, a culturally

sensitive counselor will consider, at a minimum, these major points:

 

* The historical perspectives and the social support

 

systems of diverse families;

 

* The unique characteristics of the value systems of diverse

families;

 

* Any cultural communication barriers, either verbal or non-

verbal, that may hinder the level of trust between the

 

diverse student and the counselor;

 

* The development of innovative treatment strategies based

on cultural considerations and which place a high

 

priority on building a sense of personal worth in students,

empowering them as both individuals within their

 

particular cultural context and as an integral part of the

 

larger school/community culture.

 

The degree to which counseling contributes to the development of a

student's concept of his or her human potential is clear. All children in

our schools today must receive the support and motivation that they need to

identify and achieve their goals, regardless of their past histories, their

present situations, or the sometimes limited expectations we hold for their

futures.

 

The "melting pot" analogy that has been so prevalent in this country for

generations is no longer appropriate. We are, in fact, in a superb

position to benefit from the knowledge that comes from experiencing a

confluence of cultures. After all, throughout our history we have had

representatives from most parts of the world living within our borders.

Without a doubt, future generations will be faced with living in an

increasingly multicultural society, and our schools must play an essential

role in the preparation of our children for life in this diverse, complex

and interdependent world.

 

Although cultures may commingle in the classrooms of our schools, it is

not, however, an indication that there is harmony in the hallways. If we

change the culture of our schools to reflect and legitimize our human and

cultural diversity, to respect and value each other regardless of our human

or social differences, our children will be better prepared to live

peacefully in this increasingly pluralistic world.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

 

Multicultural Education

* Develop and implement board or school policy that improves the

district's or school's multicultural perspective.

* Check district and school procedures, practices, curriculum guides, and

lesson plans to be sure they are free of bias.

* Review textbooks now in use in terms of the criteria presented by the

policy. Discontinue the use of those publications that fall short of these

standards.

* Overcome in part the multicultural inadequacies of some texts by using

other instructional materials that more nearly meet the standards stated in

the policy.

* Limit the adoption period for social studies texts so that students will

be using more recent editions.

* Encourage the development of better texts by submitting to textbook

publishing companies copies of your standards, with a specific request that

your findings be used in preparing new textbooks.

* Develop strategies to increase the number of minority teachers in your

school or district.

* Integrate minority- and racism-related content into the curriculum

throughout the school year rather than setting aside a "Black History Week"

or Women's History Week." Make sure that the contributions, feelings, and

lifestyles of minorities are represented throughout the curriculum all year

long.

 

Multicultural education should start with a child's earliest school

experiences. In the early grades:

* Listen for opportunities to confront students' misconceptions such as

misinformation about skin color, respecting the child's limited level of

awareness.

* Because colors such as black and brown are often associated with

darkness or evil, counteract negative associations with positive

perspectives.

* Introduce children to multicultural children's books in story hours, in

book discussion groups, and in developing curriculum for whole language

reading. Look for authentic literature.

* Seek hands-on variety by diversify play props such as chopsticks, woks,

and clay pots in the housekeeping area, tangrams and abacuses in math area

and integrating the doll collection.

* If your school is diverse in its population, experience the excitement

of your multiculturalism, the pleasures of looking out over a classroom of

many-colored hands and faces, varieties of hair textures and styles and

numerous ways of expressing individuality.

 

Positive School Climate

* Make sure that the school is student-centered -- that students are the

primary focus in the school. Promote and sustain social, teaching and

learning structures in which all children experience success regardless of

race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, or other areas of difference.

* Have the culture of the school reflect and value the cultures of the

students. Legitimize and affirm the history, contributions, values and

perspectives of the cultural groups to which students belong by integrating

them into the school.

* Show organizational health and that the school is being "led" and not

simply "managed." Encourage a strong belief on the part of everyone in the

school that they can and do make a difference in the lives of their

students. Some researchers call this is "sense of efficacy" and stress

that it projects a contagious spirit of optimism which can spell the

difference between mediocrity and high levels of physical and intellectual

energy among both teachers and students.

* Encourage your teachers to identify and modify those techniques that are

not working, and stress the utilization of a variety of instructional

techniques.

* Provide opportunities for teacher and student dialogue, and allow input

from both teachers and students to the development and maintenance of

academic and social goals and procedures.

* Actively recruit, support and retain minority administrators, teachers

and counselors.

* Maintain high expectations for all teachers and all students.

* Provide opportunities for children to discuss openly why they react

positively or negatively toward a particular cultural group.

* Teach children about the processes by which humans develop stereotypes

and have them identify ways in which they have seen themselves follow those

processes.

* Address the multiple components that reinforce each other across the

students' everyday social contexts: family, school, peer groups, exposure

to media and community.

 

Multicultural Counseling

* Establish a personal relationship with each student. Learn what special

needs each of your students has and make sure that the students know you

care enough to help them in any way that you can.

* Teach your students to set up a personal support network. Have them

write down three favorite teachers and three favorite friends in the school

whom they would trust if they needed them. Have them research community

resources that are there to assist them such as hot lines, teen health

clinics and youth service centers. Have them each complete a personal

support network chart with names and phone numbers of resources that appeal

to them. Make sure both you and they keep a copy.

* Try to meet individually with each of your most at-risk students at

least once a week. It may mean chatting for a few minutes at the end of a

class, meeting for a few quick moments in the hall, or getting together

during their lunch period.

* Understand your students' vocabulary and do not be afraid to ask for

definitions and explanations.

* The resources of your school and community should be used to supplement

and enhance the efforts of the other. Actively cooperate with -- and

initiate if you have to -- local community support services for children.

* Find our which of your most at-risk students are participating in

extracurricular activities and if their families are attending. If you

sense the need, attend one or two of their events.

* Talk with students and other members of culturally diverse communities

to expand your own knowledge of different cultures. Spend time as a

participant and observer at their events and in their homes.

* Consider the value and cultural differences between non-white Americans

and other ethnic groups and how your own personal values influence the way

you guide students. Consider the ways your personal values influence the

way you view both the presenting problem and the goals for your counseling

sessions.

* Understand how ineffective verbal and non-verbal communication due to

cultural variations can lead to discomfort in your students and may cause

them, in some cases, to actively resist guidance from you.

* Be aware that in the event of a tragedy as a result of community or

school violence, children will need grief counseling. They will need to

know what happened quietly, simply and directly. Avoid using platitudes or

religious symbolism. Answer all questions directly and honestly, but avoid

unnecessary details. Remember that there is no one "correct" response to

grief and validate all feelings.

 

Human Rights

* Remember that you are a model. Students will often follow your lead,

and the ambience in the classroom is determined in part by the way you

handle the relationships between them. Assess how you interpret the

behavior of both minority and white students. One way to do this is to

invite a friendly and honest colleague to observe your classroom

interaction and give you informal feedback.

* Formalize a program that includes human rights training for students and

staff; standardizing procedures for handling infractions of human rights;

providing leadership and coordination of all human rights matters in the

school.

* Infuse the curriculum and instructional program with a human rights

perspective.

* Do not tolerate the telling of racist or ethnic jokes. Be mindful that

many local, state and federal laws covering workplace discrimination

consider the telling of racial or ethnic jokes to be proof of

discrimination because it creates a hostile climate in which the members of

an ethnic or racial group must work.

 

NOTE: The text above is from the recent book, Teaching Peace: How to Raise Children to Live in Harmony -- Without Fear, Without Prejudice, Without Violence_ by Jan Arnow (Perigee/Berkley, © 1995 Jan Arnow, ISBN #0-399-52155-0, $12.00). In each chapter there are additional charts, quotes and sidebar sections that have not been uploaded. If you are interested in seeing these additions, please contact the author directly (email: jarnow@iglou.com); (snail mail: 2025 Maryland Avenue, Louisville, KY, 40205); (telephone: 502-454-0607); or buy the book! 

This is copywritten material. Please do not distribute without the author's permission.

  You May Read The Entire Book Online

"Teaching Peace"

Chapters 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - Introduction - Bibliography

  

Go to Chapter 4

 

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