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To increase the social skills of second graders, a 32-week peace education curriculum was taught. All 135 students were from the same ethnically diverse suburban school located in a mostly upper-middle class neighborhood. Pre-curriculum observations, interviews, and teacher questionnaires demonstrated that students did not show proper respect for teachers, adult personnel, peers, and themselves; the main problems cited were fighting, unresolved disputes, and unacceptable language. The curriculum was used to teach children to solve problems peacefully through the use of activities such as role playing; modeling; reading, writing and publishing stories with conflict and peace themes; brainstorming; doing art projects with peace themes; and group discussion. Examples of lessons taught include: the value of trust, recognition of each individual's uniqueness, personality traits, and classroom rules. Evaluation results suggest that, after the curriculum was used, 80% of students learned to express respect for teachers, adults, and peers; 80% improved in the use of acceptable language; 70% learned to exhibit proper behavior in the cafeteria, and 70% were able to resolve conflicts independently. Results indicate that a peace education curriculum which focuses on acquiring conflict resolution skills can increase students' ability to resolve conflicts peacefully. (Eleven appendices include teacher opinion questionnaires, teacher surveys of student conflict resolution skills, and the peace and conflict resolution assessment test. Contains 40 references.) (JW)

Descriptors: Change Strategies, Conflict Resolution, Curriculum Development, Decision Making Skills, Elementary School Students, Emotional Development, Emotional Response, Empathy, Grade 2, Interpersonal Competence, Peer Relationship, Perspective Taking, Primary Education, Problem Solving, Prosocial Behavior, Self Concept

Autor: Tillman, Yvonne R.



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