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ERIC Number: ED416050
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Putting Abuse in the Hot Seat: A Collaborative Approach to Working with Youth.
Bradley, Stephen J.; Langlois, Suzanne
This paper describes a collaborative approach toward preventing and intervening in abusive behaviors among youth. Outdoor leaders may be caught off guard by abusive behavior during outdoor courses and may be uncertain how to work with groups in which such behavior is the norm. The concept of "dominant discourse" is useful for understanding that certain cultural ideas circulate through society and become a cultural force that influences our thinking and behavior. A current dominant discourse suggests that abusive behaviors are normal among teenagers. During one 14-day Outward Bound course, abusive behaviors became a severe problem. In order to avoid the extreme measure of having to expel students, instructors engaged the students in collaborative dialogues, which took the form of individual interviews during their solo time. Questions were developed to facilitate an "externalizing conversation" around the topic of abuse and its effects. These conversations elicited responses and ideas in four areas: naming examples of abuse on the course; naming the "real effects" of abuse on oneself and the group; imagining the "unique outcomes" of an abuse-free course; and developing a personal position statement on abuse. Student responses were documented in a public group journal. Students then collaborated in developing consequences for any further abusive behavior. Students committed themselves to anti-abuse "activism," signed voluntary contracts, and formed an Anti-Abuse Committee. Abuse incidents dropped dramatically. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A