Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

21.12.2014

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities: Early Interventions for Developing Children’s Bully Proofing Abilities in Latvia

Brochure

The primary aim of this project is the development and implementation of an innovative program against bullying and peer victimization among preschool and elementary school children, thus creating a protective and safe preschool/elementary school environment.

Although in Latvia the issue of peer violence is viewed and addressed in the context of adolescents, the study shows that small children become the victims of peer violence or become abusers themselves as often as the adolescents. Therefore it is essential to prevent the risk of mobbing and work on creating a positive environment already in the kindergarten and primary schools in order to teach and develop their social skills.

The aims of the project:

  1. To study children, teachers’ and parents’ experiences of bullying and peer victimization at preschool/elementary school and explore their needs; (Used methods – focus group with teachers before and after implementing the program, desk research and mapping.)
  2. To develop, pilot, and evaluate a training  program against bullying  as well as support tools for preschool/elementary school teachers;
  3. To offer children support and to develop skills how they can  protect themselves against bullying and victimization (conflict negotiation skills, anger management skills, rule compliance abilities, assertive communication skills);
  4. To develop and implement practical innovative activities that can contribute to the development of a positive and protective school environment for all preschool and elementary school children.

Project activities and the results

  • Examples of good practice were gathered in order to prevent mobbing situations among children in six participating countries. Desk research.
  • Within the frames of the visit in Denmark, the participating countries observed examples of good practice from the organization’s “Save the Children Denmark” program “Free from Mobbing”. http://www.friformobberi.dk/
  • A study with variety of methods has been conducted in all participating countries.  In Latvia a focus group has taken place with the participation of primary school teachers and parents in order to summarize their experiences and practices. The results of the focus groups.  
  • Set up of a working group with ten primary school and pre-school teachers.
  • Participation in the conference in Bologna “Relazioni per Crescere”. Presentation from the conference.
  • Preventive program has been developed, tested and evaluated. “Center Dardedze” has named it “Big School of Life” and it includes the video and situation cards. The program has been issued in 100 copies. Link to the program 
  • An educational program for teachers has been created with practical activities which enables their knowledge and skills of creating favorable environment in schools and kindergartens. Link to the program.
  • A seminar on the newly created program and its usage has been implemented for 50 school and pre-school teachers and others working in educational system. Photos from the seminar. 
  • Press release

Presentation from the seminar:

The working group has accomplished the following tasks: 

  • Teachers and parents were trained in recognition of mobbing situations, its long-term and short-term consequences and the ways how to decrease it;
  • Teachers and parents made observations in everyday situations in their classrooms, groups or playgrounds;
  • Teachers and parents developed suggestions for the further development of the program by giving their feedback on each of the lessons and program in whole;
  • Teachers tested the program in their working places;
  • The experts of “Center Dardedze” gathered the suggestions and criticism which was applied to the further development of the program according to the Latvian context

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