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Programas de Learn In Peace: Paz Escolar, Paz Familiar y Paz Comunitaria

Paz Escolar

Paz Escolar is an innovative program based on the emotional development of elementary school students, which promotes the peaceful resolution of conflicts to decrease violence in schools premises and classrooms.

The program was created in the 1980s and has been implemented in the North American elementary classroom successfully for over 25 years; it teaches children aged 3 to 11 social abilities and emotional values needed to prevent conflict. Paz Escolar offers a strong training program for teachers and school administrators, who learn to integrate the content to their existing curriculum.

Learn In Peace: Programa Paz Escolar

INITIAL SURVEY

In March 2011, a survey was carried out in three elementary schools of Lima located in at-risk neighborhoods: 138 third-grade students and 7 teachers participated in the survey:

• 11% of students who participated stated that there was violence perpetrated by children of the same classroom,

• 23% report abuse of students from another classroom,

• 44% report violence in their school,

• 44% of the attackers target students younger in age,

• 81% of students ask for help to their teacher of a school administrator,

• 5 of the 7 teachers interviewed confirm violence in the school,

• 2 teachers admitted that there is violence within their classroom.

SCHOOL VIOLENCE, OR BULLYING

Aggression of one or more students towards one of their peers has been the source of extensive research, and the pattern is usually as follows:

The aggressor uses several techniques of intimidation, humiliation and aggression towards one or several class or school peers. Factors causing the change of behavior may vary but it is difficult to anticipate such change.

The target suffers the aggression from one or several aggressors, and usually does not react due to fear or inability to face the aggressor. Risk factors may vary, but in all cases, psychological consequences can include trauma, lack of sleep, inability to focus, fear, etc.

The witness usually stays quiet and does not interfere, but witness the whole event, and tends to take sides either with the aggressor or the target.

The aggressive behavior starts early in the elementary classroom, as early as first grade: the event is called “all against all”, in which the kids’ intention is to mark their territory in front of their peers.

PILOT PROGRAM

A pilot program was carried out in the fall 2011 in Lima, Peru. During the twelve weeks of the pilot, teachers and staff participated in workshops to learn techniques of conflict resolution to prevent the use of violence. Teachers integrated Paz Escolar’s materials into their curriculum, introducing students to social emotional values, promoting individual development and self esteem, tolerance, respect and equality. The school community also had the opportunity to participate in workshops organized for parents in agreement with school’s principals.

Results of the pilot program

The short duration of the pilot did not allow to collect quantitative data; however, interviews of staff and teachers who participated in the program revealed that Paz Escolar was highly needed in pre-school and elementary schools, to eradicate the high incidence of violence between teachers and their students, or students among themselves.

The evaluation process was based on a questionnaire given to staff, teachers and students, to better understand the acquisition of new values and techniques, and how those changes affect behaviors in the classroom.

TEACHERS´TRAINING

Paz Escolar’s mission is to support teachers in their task of teaching social and emotional skills for students attending preschool and elementary school, to improve their self-esteem and teach them how to prevent from using violence. To succeed in its mission, Paz Escolar offers a comprehensive training program for teachers, administrators and school directors, to facilitate learning with the support of a wide range of materials, including connections to literature. Parents are invited to participate in educational workshops to better understand the content of material their children learn.

Paz Familiar

Paz Familiar an educational program to eradicate domestic violence.

Research shows the high incidence of interpersonal violence that exists people at all levels of the educational ladder, all ages, in all countries around the world. Post conflict countries are more prone to chronic expressions of violence in society and at home. Paz Familiar is a practical comprehensive response to the problem described in an extensive number of international publications; it offers an easy to apply program which objective is to teach families, single mothers and children how to deal with conflict at home without the use of physical or emotional violence.

Learn In Peace: Programa Paz Familiar

METHOD

Paz Familiar was conceived by Learn In Peace, Inc. to eradicate violence from the homes with children aged 0 to 10 years of age living in at-risk neighborhoods. The program teaches families with limited education how to built a peaceful family life in a safe environment for all members, especially for mothers and young children.

Paz Familiar includes parallel sessions for couples and single mothers on one side, their children on another, teaching social emotional values to eradicate violent behaviors from the home. For 8 consecutive sessions, adults receive a basic education on how to lead a home life adapted to their needs and their children’s needs. A big emphasis is put on the eradication of the use of alcohol or drugs in families with young children, so violent behaviors are not exacerbated. Children learn to respect and care for their bodies, lead a safe and healthy life while becoming responsible, as they grow older. Each family receives a guide with materials seen during the sessions, allowing them to apply the lessons learned at home with the family.

The program includes eight sessions of two hours each, and takes place in a community room once a week for eight consecutive weeks; children aged 3 to 10 and their parents are taught by educators to learn new techniques of negotiations as well as tools leading to healthy and safe family life.

EVIDENCE OF NEED

In February 2012, a survey was carried out with the educators of IPAE who works in elementary schools of rural Peru. 60 specialists responded to a questionnaire to evaluate the presence of violence in close to 500 elementary schools, bringing the following results:

• 81% of school directors report cases of domestic violence in their students’ homes;

• 71% of teachers confirm that they have students who are victims of domestic violence;

• 71% of school directors confirm that violence is a problem in their community;

• 91.5% of directors and teachers are interested in working with Paz Familiar.

PILOT PROGRAMS

Two pilot programs will be carried out in 2013 in Peru.

TEACHERS´TRAINING

Paz Familiar’s mission is to support teachers in their task of teaching parents and children 0 to 10 how to live peaceful lives. The objective of the program is to improve individual’s self-esteem and provide knowledge to prevent the use of violence. To succeed in its mission, Paz Familiar offers comprehensive training programs for teachers, which facilitate their learning of conflict resolution techniques, and assist them in the instruction of concepts with a large array of materials. An ongoing monitoring process will allow a close follow-up of the instruction.

Paz Comunal

Several Peruvian institutions have approached Learn In Peace Inc. requesting a program for community leaders in areas of mediation and negotiations techniques. Numerous professionals face grave problems while trying to do their work in conflictive areas, especially areas with coca leave production, or where violence has been prevalent for long periods of time. Regional, municipal and local leaders can greatly benefit from such education to help them deal with their daily responsibilities.

An initial survey will be carried out in 2013 to gather information regarding the types of needs required by the leaders, and how we can best assist them in their work. The program will be built in collaboration with professionals in the field, and is expected to be available in 2014.