ERIC Number: EJ770003
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: 27
The Columbine Tragedy: Adolescent Identity and Future Recommendations
Stancato, Frank A.
Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, v77 n1 p19-22 Sep-Oct 2003
The April 1999 Columbine High School tragedy in Littleton, Colorado, in which Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold committed massacre and suicide, should cause teachers to realize that public school education goes beyond the learning of academic subject matter. Student identity and concept of self are also vital components of education. In this article, the author attempts to provide a rationale that supports the position that the violence at Columbine was driven by the attempt of Harris and Klebold to choose violence, suicide, and death as an alternative to the pain and confusion caused by a lack of meaning and a state of identity confusion. The lack of meaning was equated with failed attempts to establish a consistent set of personal values and to resolve questions of self-acceptance and identity. As an alternative to the seek-and-weed-out approach to ending school violence, the author recommends a number of schoolwide conditions and practices that can act as powerful facilitators of positive meaning for all adolescents: (1) the building of trust relationships among students and between teachers and students; (2) reduction of school size; and (3) implementation of small group learning activities.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Teacher Student Relationship, Tragedy, Values, Suicide, School Size, Violence, Adolescents, High School Students, Homicide, Public Education, Role of Education, Small Schools, Trust (Psychology)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado