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ERIC Number: ED410684
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The "De-Meaning" of Schools: Seeking a Safe and Caring Environment.
MacDonald, Irene
This paper introduces a project that sought to examines students' perceptions of the meaning of school violence, its impact on their schooling experience, and the effectiveness of current strategies for dealing with violent behaviors. Interviews were conducted with 60 students in grades 7-9 (in groups of 12) drawn from 5 K-9 schools in central Alberta, Canada. The study found that: (1) Students considered the threat of physical violence to be more prevalent than actual physical violence; (2) more students were victims of verbal harassment than physical conflict; (3) students considered responses to violence to be inconsistent, unfair, and ineffective; (4) students perceived the junior high environment as being less caring than their elementary school experience; (5) teachers' expectations of students were difficult to change and were perceived by students as influencing punishment and assumption of guilt; and (6) students felt that too much emphasis was placed on punitive responses to violence, rather than being offered viable alternatives to resolving conflict. In conclusion, maintaining school safety requires a comprehensive strategy that regards discipline as an opportunity to teach students social skills, rather than as a way to punish social illiteracy. Policies are needed that focus on preventing serious disruptive behaviors, as well as the rehabilitation of all students who are affected by such behaviors--victims, witnesses, and perpetrators. Students also need to be given opportunities to participate in decisions that affect them. (Contains 14 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada