(Photo: © Ewha Womans University / ISVP)

How can education prevent school violence and bullying based on ethnic discrimination?

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How can education prevent school violence and bullying based on ethnic discrimination?

(Original article: UNESCO.  February 6, 2017)

UNESCO organized a workshop on Global Citizenship Education as part of the International Symposium on School Violence and Bullying: From Evidence to Action that took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

he workshop, on 17 January 2017, explored how Global Citizenship Education (GCED) can help develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and behaviours needed to prevent school violence and bullying based on ethnic discrimination.

The session brought together nearly 40 participants, including teachers, school administrators, ministry officials, students and professionals from colleges, universities and non-governmental organizations.

The objectives of the workshop were to introduce UNESCO’s publication Global Citizenship Education: Topics and Learning Objectives(TLOs) and provide a platform for exchange of experiences and ideas about how to develop appropriate pedagogies built on the three domains of learning – cognitive, socio-emotional and behavioural – to combat school violence and bullying.

During the workshop, participants were divided into groups to work on specific case studies of bullying based on ethnic discrimination. The case studies provided contextualized, real-life examples of school violence for participants to work with.

Solidarity, empathy and respect for others

Drawing from their own experiences and the TLOs, participants were able to successfully identify ways GCED could be used to prevent or reduce school violence in their particular case study. All highlighted the importance of the development of solidarity, empathy, and respect for others. These are key learning attributes for the socio-emotional domain of GCED that participants found particularly lacking in all the bullying case studies.

The importance of civic engagement and the ability to become agents of positive change were also emphasized. Specific pedagogies included anti-bias education, working on collaborative projects in different communities and engaging in dialogue in schools. The workshop provided an excellent opportunity for the participants to see GCED concepts as a useful framework to prevent and reduce school violence and bullying.

Christopher Castle, Chief of UNESCO’s Section of Health and Education, and Helen Bond, Associate Professor of Education at Howard University in Washington, D.C., served as moderators of the session. Resource persons invited to contribute their experiences to group discussions were Omar Mohammed; National Coordinator, Trinidad and Tobago UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network and Hilda Khoury, Head of DOPS and in charge of the school violence file/preparation of the Child Protection Policy in the Education Sector in Lebanon.

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