Under the umbrella of IMAGO is Paz Escolar, an educational program geared at students aged 4 to 12 who learn the techniques of negotiations through games and educational activities in the context of school or an after-school program. The pilot program was carried out three elementary schools of Lima, Peru in collaboration with CEDRO (www.cedro.org).
It is currently been implemented in urban and rural elementary schools throughout the country, and used by community educators to teach conflict resolution techniques to children, youth groups and parents in diverse Peruvian ethnical settings.
Paz Escolar: negotiation skills since an early age
Classroom violence occurs in all cultures, at all socioeconomic levels, and increases rapidly. To relieve violence from elementary schools, 4 to 12 year-old students in Peruvian schools follow the easy-to-understand educational program geared at institutions eager to prevent school violence.
The role of the teacher
The teacher understands the material that includes activities, stories and songs to reinforce the theory presented during each session. The implementation is followed by the teacher throughout the year with the help of evaluation and monitoring systems with continuous measurements throughout the year.
Students learn new communication patterns and negotiation skills, resolving conflicts in the classroom in a peaceful and constructive manner.
The evidence of a need
A survey was conducted with 138 third grade elementary students and 7 teachers in three schools located in low-income neighborhoods of Lima, Peru. The survey showed:
- – Students showed a systematic lack of respect towards teachers and administrators,
- – 37% of the students mentioned the existence of violence in the classroom,
- – 44% of students mentioned violence at school.
Teaching structure of Paz Escolar
Paz Escolar includes educational activities that stimulate students’ individual and social development, with conflict resolution techniques applied in the classroom, stimulating children’s acquisition of assertiveness in the fight against violence.
Paz Escolar includes a teacher’s training program and a follow-up method to encourage experience exchange among teachers and school masters. Evaluation and monitoring processes are also included.