Respect Education Program
Children and teachers can be powerful catalysts for change in their community, but only when they are equipped with the right tools and information. The Respect Education Program aims to help children to deal with conflict in their immediate surroundings and supports teachers working under challenging conditions. It provides continuous professional education and helps teachers and pupils together to address safety and security issues in class.
Children learn to respect themselves, other people, and their surroundings, during eight workshops taught by specially trained facilitators and teachers at intervals throughout the school year. The workshops aim to reduce bullying and discrimination and provide a safe learning environment for the children.
Teachers learn to develop their professional competences and learn inclusive teaching methods during several training sessions. They are supported by the facilitators who help them to incorporate the new teaching styles into their daily work. The workshops also make use of the new teaching styles and inclusive pedagogies, which are therefore already familiar to the children.
Schools initiate activities related to Respect themes such as gender, ethnicity and the environment, where the children can further develop confidence and leadership skills. These are considered highly relevant in the 21st century job market.
A twinning program with schools abroad or elsewhere in the country can also be set up, broadening the children´s horizons.
Respect-education is an attractive and interactive way of teaching that can be easily incorporated in daily teaching. In particular the socio-emotional skills of children are further developed, that contibutes to an open and safe learning environment.
Theory and practice go hand in hand
The following educational theories and approaches underpin the program: multiple intelligence, adaptive learning, co-operative learning, group dynamics and conflict resolution by peer mediation.
Multiple intelligence theory states that children learn in different ways: some children learn visually, some prefer working things out for themselves, some learn better when they act a story. In the eight workshops all these concepts are used. Respect Education puts the child’s competences and learning preferences first.
REP empowers teachers to deal with
MI inside the classroom. It provides practicle tips and workforms to include/involve all learners.
By working in small groups and mixing the class, children get to know each other better and to respect differences. At the same time, they learn to co-operate, to think critically and communicate with others in a constructive way.
In all REP assignments, lessons and workshop cooperative learning is integrated.
Conflict resolution by peer mediation
Respect for each other also means, learning to solve conflicts without violence. Children learn that arguments are normal, even useful sometimes, but that you have to learn how to solve them. The deeper meaning is that you cannot solve conflicts with violence. Therefore, respect education is not complete without an appropriate form of peer-mediation. Through peer mediation the feeling of safety and peace increases enormously, in particular for the group of vulnerable children.
To be able to learn, students have three basic needs: a sense of belonging, the confidence that they are capable of learning and a measure of autonomy in how and what they learn. The Respect Education program inspires confidence in shy pupils and pupils suffering from discrimination. It also promotes mutual respect and understanding among students regardless of socio-economic or ethnic differences. This diminishes bullying.
It takes six weeks for the children to make the transition from being simply a group of individuals in a class, to being a group that respect each other and work together.