For the following assignment I choose todiscuss the Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction’s bullying curriculum.
In the beginning I was strictly looking forbullying intervention/curriculums for the high school level because there issuch a lack of instruction. However, when looking further into it, I found acurriculum that encompasses all grade levels from 3rd to 12th gradeand each lesson builds upon the last. The curriculum uses an age-appropriateand multi-strategy tactic; each curriculum explores the key knowledge, skills,and dispositions needed to help develop a school free of bullying behavior. Ineach curriculum, real-life situations are presented so students can practicecommunication skills that are effective and beneficial in addressing bullyingbehavior. For the younger children the curriculum really helps to identify whatbullying behavior really is; how to avoid being a victim of bullying, and how studentscan get help for both the bully and the bullied, rather than remaining a bystander.
There are also sample assessments, surveys,and quizzes that are included for students to demonstrate their increasedknowledge, skills, and stances surrounding this key health and safety issues.The curriculum is built on three different levels; the first curriculum is forgrades 3rd-5th and is called Time to ACT, for 6th-8th grade it is called Timeto REACT, and for 9th-12th grade it is called RETHINK. Time to ACT is comprised ofdifferent lessons that are taught throughout the year. What intrigued me is howthe curriculum is introduced to students. In the beginning of the school year they do what they call a “BullyBowl”, the grades are split into two teams and they have jeopardy like game. Indoing so, they engage in different issues through an interactive activity,presenting norms as they exist on the issue or personalized stories related tothe issue. During this time theystudents start to be introduced to the different terminology and what bullyingreally is. As for the curriculum thelessons are based more on the issues of tattling versus telling and the powerof rumors, the curriculum introduces the skill of ACT to the learner.
Theacronym ACT stands for Acting to report cases of bullying, showing Care forboth the victim and the bully without accepting the bully’s behavior, andTalking to others who believe that bullying should not be in people’s lives(Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 2015) . REACT is the middle schoolcurriculum that is implemented across all their schools. Throughout the lessons, students learn thatbullying is not a normal behavior and that schools and students can establishrules against bullying, to form the acronym, REACT. Throughout the program thelearner should be able to demonstrate the application of REACT to real lifesituations.
The student has to show whatactions he or she would do first as a bystander in an observed bullyingsituation. The high school approach, Rethink, for Grades 9-12, builds on butdiffers from the earlier bullying prevention units. The high school unit aimsto expand students’ understanding of the dynamics of bullying behavior in theschool and broader community.
The lessons included help students criticallyexamine influences in the school, community, and peer groups that contribute toor support bullying. They also incorporate previous lessons from the ACT andREACT curriculum. The reason that I choose this curriculumand feel that it is successful is because it uses a multi-level approach, andis present throughout the entirety of a student’s academic career. The curriculum builds upon the previouslessons and is introduced to students at a young age when they are mostimpressionable. I feel that the curriculum starts at a very basic level andbecomes more evolved as the students get older.
It also uses an evidenced basedapproach where there is enough supporting data to show that it is successful. I also like that they also incorporated asecondary approach called Positive Behavior Intervention Support plan whichclearly presents all the tiered steps that are to be taken. Each tier supportsa different level of instruction for administration, whether it is theimplementation of policies or collection of school wide data. The tiers alsohelp to identify children who may be struggling more than others and are moreapt to engage in bullying behaviors. The combination of the curriculum and thetiered intervention offers the educators and students a stronger foundation tohelp create a safe school environment.