|“Let’s be Friends!”||The program appeared as an attempt to incorporate the bully-free message in the classroom to encourage tolerance in young learners. It is a united effort of several schools from Maryland. The major advantage of it is that it is flexible. The key strategy that is used is approaching the problem from all possible angles: It provides parent education, activities for home, positive interactive activities, and other types of learning. For fostering non-violent behavior, children are taught how to celebrate their differences (Cornell & Bradshaw, 2015).|
|CLIMB Theater||This is a non-profit traveling troupe from Minneapolis that gives performances, helping to address the problem of bullying in a classroom. This is especially suitable for young children since they learn best from demonstration and play. The major strategy is to involve children in the proposed scenario. Actors teach them how to answer to bullying non-violently (strong voice, eye contact, posture) and how to avoid it even if you dislike a person (Bradshaw, 2015).|
|“Don’t Laugh at Me”||This is a national initiative proposed by Peter Yarrow to reduce violence. It was developed by Educators for Social Responsibility and especially designed for elementary students to teach them how to avoid harassment, ridiculing, and bullying. The main strategy is to approach a problem using all possible educational means: presentations, video, music, instructional activities, etc. Students are taught to show compassion and sympathy. It is considered one of the most successful in the field (Lee et al., 2014).|
I believe that I will use the last program in my settings. When we try to achieve certain results and change children’s behavior, we often pick up the wrong strategy trying to make their reactions convenient to us. That is why their needs are often disregarded. As a result, we achieve the desired behavior but children remain unhappy. The problem with bullying is primarily about children’s self-esteem and motivation to come to the class.
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The major benefit of this program is that it is learner-centered. The organizers want to improve children’s lives and make them feel that it is done for them, not for their teachers. It is not about making them more “acceptable” to anyone. Another benefit is that all activities presuppose interaction. Yet, the major thing I particularly like about the program is that it includes numerous modes of education. We all know that children, as well as their cognitive skills, are different. That is why it is impossible to develop an activity that would be engaging and effective for everyone. For some of them, it is useful to watch a video.
Others would prefer listening to a song. More extroverted ones will be glad to get involved in a group simulation game or organize a discussion club. The program will allow satisfying them all. A possible challenge that I might face is that the children may feel embarrassed discussing their problems so openly. Another one is that they may dislike instructional tasks.
Bradshaw, C. P. (2015). Translating research to practice in bullying prevention. American Psychologist, 70(4), 322-332.
Cornell, D., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2015). From a culture of bullying to a climate of support: The evolution of bullying prevention and research. School Psychology Review, 44(4), 499-503.
Lee, D. Y., Roh, E. M., Kim, I. Y., Ko, G. N., Choi, J. W., Lee, Y. R., & Kim, Y. (2014). School-based short term mental health awareness and school bullying prevention programs: Preliminary Report. Journal of the Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 25(4), 196-202.