The teacher's role in promoting resilience in young children exposed to violence.
This column presents and summarizes recent resources related to the way that teachers can promote resilience in young children exposed to violence.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE IMPACT ON YOUNG CHILDREN. Michelle Zinke & Linda Zinke. Exchange: The Early Childhood Leaders' Magazine, Vol. 30, No. 183 (2008): 3034. This article describes domestic violence as a pattern of intentional behaviors that includes a variety of tactics, such as physical and sexual violence, stalking, threats/intimidation, isolation, psychological attacks, and spiritual and economic abuse. The authors explain the causes of domestic violence and its effects on children. They also suggest several steps that early childhood providers can take to support adults and children impacted by a batterer's use of violence.
BETWEEN TEACHER & PARENT: The Effect of Television Violence on Children. Adele M. Brodkin. Early Childhood Today, Vol. 19, No. 5 (2005): 16-17. In this article, the author discusses how to help a child who is negatively influenced by television programming. The author gives advice on what the teacher can do to help the child understand the difference between the imaginative world and the real world. Pointing to more than a quarter century of research on the effects of television viewing on children and adults, the author concludes that although controversies still exist, the data present a clear picture of increased aggression in all age groups following the viewing of violent television.
MULTI-YEAR EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A RESILIENCE-BASED PREVENTION PROGRAM FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. Kathleen Bodisch Lynch, Susan Rose Geller, & Melinda G. Schmidt. Journal of Primary Prevention, Vol. 24, No. 3 (2004): 335-353. This article describes the results of a multi-year, multi-state evaluation of the effectiveness of an early childhood prevention initiative. Targeted to children in preschool through the early elementary grades, the intervention includes teacher training, a year-long classroom curriculum, original materials and music, and a parent education program. Child outcome data indicate that the intervention is effective in increasing children's social-emotional competence and coping skills, and in decreasing the development of antisocial behavior.
COMPREHENSIVE EVIDENCE-BASED SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL CURRICULA FOR YOUNG CHILDREN: An Analysis of Efficacious Adoption Potential. Gail E. Joseph & Phillip S. Strain. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, Vol. 23, No. 2 (2003): 62-73. This article describes the difficulties that children from disadvantaged family backgrounds of abuse and conflict may have with conflict management, social skills, emotional regulation, and making friends. The authors add that these children may require more intensive and explicit training to learn the skills needed to be successful in their peer group. Eight comprehensive social-emotional curricula for children under 6 years of age are reviewed, and two curricula currently under investigation are described. These programs have shown some success in the promotion of interpersonal skills and the reduction or prevention of challenging behavior for a wide range of children.
RESILIENCE IN CHILDREN: A Review of Literature with Implications for Education. Steven J. Condly. Urban Education, Vol. 41, No. 3 (2006): 211-236. This literature review identifies the complex array of individual, family, and community factors that may explain resilience. The author points out that poverty and its associated problems (e.g., crime, lack of opportunity, and violence) are hard on children, but that despite adverse circumstances, some children manage to survive and even thrive, academically and socially, into adulthood. The author explores the implications of these findings for the creation of programs designed to support resilience in children at risk. He concludes that because schools are places in which children spend so much time, they are ideal locations for the implementation of programs designed to support children and assist them in overcoming environmental stressors; however, if the schools are resource poor, are short on qualified staff, or exist in dangerous neighborhoods, the development of resilience is likely to be hampered. Starting early seems to increase the likelihood of developing resilience.
A GUIDE TO PROMOTING RESILIENCE IN CHILDREN: Strengthening the Human Spirit. Edith H. Grotberg (1995). http://resilnet.uiuc, edu/library/grotb95b.html.
This guide, based on research findings from the International Resilience Project, was written to help adults promote resilience in children. The project set out to examine what parents, caregivers, or children do that seems to promote resilience. It is thus concerned with promoting resilience in children as they develop over time, without the need for some kind of pathology in the family or child. Resilience is defined and resilience tasks by age are discussed, along with suggestions on ways parents and caregivers can help.
RESILIENCE FOR KIDS AND TEENS: A Guide for Parents and Teachers. American Psychological Association (2003). http://apahelpcenter. org/dl/resilience_guide-for_parents_ and_teachers.pdf. This guide includes tips that parents and teachers can use to help children (from preschoolers to teens) develop resilience skills. The guide suggests that building resilience--the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress--can help children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Developing resilience involves helping children learn behaviors, thoughts, and actions over time.
YOUNG CHILDREN LIVING WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: The Role of Early Childhood Programs. Elena Cohen & Jane Knitzer (January 2004). www.nccev.org/pdfs/ series_paper2.pdf. This paper provides information and resources for staff working directly with young children and their families in early childhood programs and domestic violence agencies. It also highlights the role that program administrators and the early childhood community can play in supporting staff and strengthening community and state partnerships and policies on behalf of young children and families affected by domestic violence.
PRACTICING RESILIENCE IN THE ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM. Toni S. Bickart & Sybil Wolin (November 1997). www.projectresilience.com/article17.htm. This article from Principal magazine discusses seven common resilience themes: insight, independence, relationships, initiative, creativity, humor, and morality. All represent behaviors that children can learn and practice in school, and which can help them achieve success beyond the classroom. The article goes on to discuss strategies that teachers can use in the classroom to foster resilience.
VIOLENCE AND YOUNG CHILDREN'S DEVELOPMENT. Lorraine B. Wallach (1994). www.ericdigests. org/1994/violence.htm. This research digest advises that one of the most harmful consequences of violence is its effect on children's development. The author points out that the staff in schools, child care centers, and recreational programs can be resources to children and offer them alternative perceptions of themselves, as well as teaching them skills for getting along in the world.
SAFE FROM THE START: Taking Action on Children Exposed to Violence. Wendy B. Jacobson (November 2000). www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/182789.pdf. This summary describes an action plan that outlines principles for preventing and reducing the negative impact of exposure to violence on children. Noting that most children are remarkably resilient, the summary points out that schools--including Early Head Start, Head Start, and other preschool programs--are natural partners for implementing strategies to meet the developmental needs of children exposed to violence.
VIOLENCE PREVENTION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD: How Teachers Can Help. American Psychological Association & National Association for the Education of Young Children (August 2002). http://actagainstviolence.apa.org/materials/publications/ act/violenceprevention_childhood.pdf. This booklet offers early childhood educators violence-prevention information and suggestions based on early childhood research and best practice. It starts with a discussion of young children's emotional needs and developmental characteristics and then suggests effective ways of helping children manage anger, learn self-control, and solve problems peacefully. It points out that warm, nurturing relationships with teachers strengthen children's ability to cope with stress and trauma, and that early childhood teachers and other caregivers can be crucial buffers in protecting children from violence and supporting their healthy development.
CHILD TRAUMA TOOLKIT FOR EDUCATORS. National Child Traumatic Stress Network Schools Committee (October 2008). www.nctsnet. org/nctsn_assets/pdfs/Child_Trauma_ Toolkit_Final.pdf. This publication includes descriptions of the effects of traumatic events on children with suggestions on what can be done at school to help. These suggestions include maintaining routines, giving children choices, setting clear limits, recognizing the transience of some behavior related to trauma, and warning children if you will be doing something out of the ordinary, such as turning off the lights or making a sudden, loud noise.