Teach­ers get tips on re­solv­ing con­flict

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Education -

Teach­ers at the St Ge­orge Sec­ondary School should be in bet­ter po­si­tion to deal with con­flict in the class­room, thanks to a pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment work­shop on restora­tive prac­tices or­gan­ised by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and held on Wed­nes­day.

The restora­tive ap­proach sees re­la­tion­ships as cen­tral to learning, growth and a healthy school cli­mate for stu­dents and adults. It fo­cuses on build­ing, main­tain­ing and, when nec­es­sary, re­pair­ing re­la­tion­ships, by bring­ing about a sense of re­morse on the part of the of­fender and for­give­ness by the vic­tim.

Act­ing prin­ci­pal of the school, Ma­jor Andrew Skeete, said 65 teach­ers, in­clud­ing him­self, at­tended the event and the knowl­edge passed on dur­ing the work­shop would be use­ful for curb­ing an­i­mos­ity in school.

“With the whole is­sue of cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment in school, in­tro­duc­ing these prac­tices to the teach­ers could help them when they have to deal with dis­ci­plinary mat­ters,” he said.

“We also want to move the chil­dren away from the first re­sponse of get­ting en­gaged in phys­i­cal or ver­bal vi­o­lent con­tact and get them to sit to­gether and see how the sit­u­a­tion could be re­solved.”

Strat­egy

The fa­cil­i­ta­tor, se­nior ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Pa­tri­cia Warner, said the strat­egy was re­cently in­tro­duced to the Caribbean through the IM­PACT Jus­tice pro­gramme led by the Univer­sity of the West Indies’ Cave Hill Law Fac­ulty un­der Pro­fes­sor Velma New­ton.

“The the­ory just says that per­sons should have a voice, avoid harm and es­ca­la­tion of a prob­lem and try, through di­a­logue, to re­pair that prob­lem,” said Warner.

“It uses a num­ber of strate­gies that could be ap­plied to school, your com­mu­nity or fam­ily.”

(Pic­ture by Len­nox Devon­ish.)

The 65 teach­ers of St Ge­orge Sec­ondary School en­gaged in the work­shop.

(Pic­tures by Reco Moore.)

Osaze Jem­mott ac­cept­ing his schol­ar­ship prize from Juliet Best-brath­waite, the first woman pres­i­dent of the Bar­ba­dos Po­lice Co-op­er­a­tive Credit Union Ltd.

Zachary Carter (left), one of six stu­dents to re­ceive a schol­ar­ship, col­lect­ing his prize from Hally Haynes.

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