Sunday, November 27, 2011

How Education can Prevent Violence

Today we have a guest posting from Lindsey Wright. The article doesn't necessarily represent the opinions of Americans for UNESCO.
Bio: Lindsey Wright is fascinated with the potential of emerging educational technologies, particularly the online school, to transform the landscape of learning. She writes about web-based learning, electronic and mobile learning, and the possible future of education.
Violence is all too pervasive in society; from abusive parents to genocide. In fact, violence is considered a public health issue by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the WHO website, violence kills more than 1.5 million people worldwide. WHO, like plenty of other organizations, is working to prevent violence not only to save lives, but to also prevent the other negative impacts of violence. For example, part of WHO's mission states “violence places a massive burden on national economies, costing countries billions of U.S. dollars each year in health care, law enforcement, and lost productivity.” In particular, WHO is working to prevent through education. A proper education, whether it be through online courses or in a classroom, can help encourage young adults that they can have a successful future away from crime and abusive substances.

Even though its important to understand the ways in which to prevent violence, understanding why humans are innately violent is just as important. Actually, there is little evidence that proves whether humans are innately violent, but rather, a harsh environment creates conditions in which violence is necessary to ensure both personal and cultural survival. Research has shown that when exposed to violence, individuals must also be taught to value or at least engage in violence as part of the social learning process. For instance, children who behave violently are usually the product of a home in which one or both parents model violence. Thus, violence is a learned behavior in any culture or environment and is not proven to be a natural trait in humans.

There are many areas in which one could educate a person in order to prevent violence. One way is through impulse control and anger management classes. It is important to note however that having proper role models can be key to young adults when they are attempting to attain these skills in a class. Having an appropriate role model will not allow them to seek advice, but will give them someone to mirror themselves after and witness their appropriate behaviors in the face of problems, conflict, anger and stress. A few examples of some great role models are parents, teachers, and close family friends.

Another way that education can help prevent violence is through formal education. Formal education provides an opportunity for children to learn important social skills, critical thinking skills, problem-solving strategies, and communication skills. In fact, according to an article from the Good website, “80 percent of incarcerated people are illiterate. School performance, more than any other single factor, is a major contributor as to whether a youth becomes involved in drugs or violence.” Basically, if a child grows up struggling in school the chances are they will develop a low self-esteem or a desire to drop out of school. If children give up on their education then there are not many options for them to pursue as adults; hence, resulting to a life of crime. Of course this isn’t the case for all children struggling in school, but according to the Good website, studies have proven that if a child reads on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, there is a 99 percent certainty that child will never be incarcerated.

Health care professionals also play a crucial role in violence prevention education. The Institute of Medicine recommends that all individuals who seek health care should be screened for intimate partner violence. Screening offers an opportunity for patient education in a non-judgmental and supportive arena. This gives health care professionals the opportunity to educate their patients about violence and validate other options for managing stress or conflict.

Children live what they learn. Parents can learn necessary skills to impart appropriate behavior expectations and model the behavior they want to see in their children. Organizations can help their employees learn about violence and provide resources to learn new skills. There are many successful strategies available and can be adapted to fit the needs of a particular school or workplace. All in all, education is the key to violence prevention.

Editor's note: Of course, UNESCO is the lead agency within the United Nations system for education, playing a key role in the global Education for All effort. It also has defined the Culture of Peace as a central theme for the entire Organization, involving all of its sectors. JAD


Jey Raul said...

Nice post. Lindsey is nice friend of me. We have been through lot of places against violence and other things. We also encourage trade schools.

Get GED Online said...

This blog is nice and amazing. I really like your post! It's also nice to see someone who does a lot of research and has a great knack for writing, which is pretty rare from bloggers these days.