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Growing Up in Peace collection: An HEP-Valais studies and recommends its systematic use in schools

One of our organization’s key resources, the Growing Up In Peace curriculum, recently underwent an external evaluation process conducted in the Bex school system by the Haute Ecole Pédagogique du Valais. We’re pleased to announce excellent results!

 

All throughout the 2016-17 academic year, three specialists from the Haute Ecole Pédagogique (HEP) du Valais evaluated the impact of the Growing Up In Peace curriculum on classroom climate, as well as on children’s behavior, in the school system of Bex (Canton of Vaud, Bas-Chablais area). This evaluatory project received financial support from the Development Fund for Prevention and Health Promotion (the Canton of Vaud’s public health service), the school prevention and health promotion unit of the Canton of Vaud, and the Vaud branch of the Loterie Romand, which is the public lottery for Switzerland’s French-speaking areas.

 

We're proud to be able to share this study's excellent results with you. The researchers concluded it saying:

 

“Systematic use of the Growing Up In Peace curriculum in the educational project enables students to develop their psychosocial competencies and teachers to develop their professional competencies. It reinforces positive changes in classroom climate, and the development of a feeling of belonging.”

 

Accompanied by recommendations and suggestions for improvement, notably on optimal uses of the curriculum, this report first and foremost constitutes extremely positive scientific validation of our resource, as well as signals confidence and usefulness for all teachers and schools in French-speaking Switzerland.

 

To download the full report, click here.

 

 

The report's principal conclusions:

 

The Growing Up In Peace curriculum can serve as a common basis to work off of to develop an educational project on the concept of living well together.

- Systematic use of the books in grades 1 to 4 at a school with significant cultural diversity enables the classroom climate to progress positively and to develop a shared feeling of belonging for all involved-- teachers, students, administrators, and parents).

- This is particularly due to the pedagogical quality of the books. The methodological approaches are on the one hand sufficiently explicit, detailed, and complete, while on the other hand remaining varied and adaptable enough that many teachers feel empowered to take pedagogical liberties as they deem necessary.

-Teacher training for Grains of Peace’s curriculum ultimately matches what’s needed. Its positive effects, however, depend on the number of classes involved: when all of the classes are included, the project begins to truly take on meaning.

-Students identify and express their emotions better, strengthen their communicative competencies, take on and imagine new strategies for managing conflict, increase their self-esteem, and progressively develop critical thinking, empathy, and the ability to decenter themselves.

-Teachers report being able to more easily identify signs of a potential conflict situation, becoming better aware of the importance of systematic structure and support for students in acquiring psychosocial competencies, and developing the professional knowledge to practice these competencies alongside teaching plans.