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Mar 112013

“Healthy Change : Part Five — Some Prescriptions For Productive Goals, #8” was published on 10-7-2012. It began the following way :

“Prescription #8  of ‘Some Prescriptions For Productive Goals’ is : Work steadfastly and conscientiously toward preventing violence.

Preventing violence has been a theme in many diverse contexts throughout history. Preventing violence can magnify many positive human qualities.

Preventing violence or harm to a child is at least an apparent concrete surface aspect of ‘The Judgement Of Solomon’ (Hebrew Bible, 1 Kings 3:16-28), ‘Circle of Chalk’ (by Li Xingdao,  reportedly written in time period of Yuan Dynasty, 1259–1368) and ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’ (by Bertolt Brecht, written in 1944). Preventing violence in these examples does appear to at least pierce and reveal underlying care and concern of adults for children in contexts of what appear to be child custody disputes.”

The Hygiology Post ® has repeatedly addressed the need to decrease violence. One ongoing hypothesis is that there is an association or link between higher levels of intuition and higher levels of espoused operational peace/lower levels of espoused operational violence. For example, those mainstream US Presidential candidates with identified higher levels of intuition (Ron Paul and Barack Obama Jr.) took positions against the use of military force against Iraq prior to the March 2003 invasion. The identified invasion was found to be at least on the surface based upon an apparent false premise that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Intuition may apparently enable people to make better appropriate inductive reasoning connections and ultimately sort out truth from reality as apparently both Ron Paul and Barack Obama Jr. did versus other mainstream Presidential Candidates such as Mitt Romney. The Hygiology Post ® has analyzed this issue in previous articles dating back over a year ago.

A recent article in the February-March issue of the American Psychologist addresses “Understanding and Preventing Violence Against Teachers” (“Understanding and Preventing Violence Directed Against Teachers Recommendations for a National Research, Practice, and Policy Agenda
Dorothy Espelage University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Eric M. Anderman The Ohio State University Veda Evanell Brown National Alliance of Black School Educators Abraham Jones National Education Association Kathleen Lynne Lane University of Kansas Susan D. McMahon DePaul University Linda A. Reddy Rutgers University Cecil R. Reynolds Texas A&M University”© 2013 American Psychological Association 0003-066X/13/Vol. 68, No. 2, 75–87 DOI: 10.1037/a0031307; obtained on 3-11-13). Here is an excerpt from the Abstract on page 75) :

Violence directed against K–12 teachers is a serious problem that demands the immediate attention of researchers, providers of teacher pre-service and in-service training, school administrators, community leaders, and policymakers. Surprisingly, little research has been conducted on this
growing problem despite the broad impact teacher victimization can have on schooling, recruitment, and retention of highly effective teachers and on student academic and behavioral outcomes. Psychologists should play a leadership role in mitigating school violence, including violence directed toward teachers. There is a need for psychologists to conduct research accurately assessing the types and scope of violence that teachers experience; to comprehensively evaluate the individual, classroom, school, community, institutional, and cultural contextual factors that might predict and/or explain types of teacher violence; and to examine the effectiveness and sustainability of classroom, school, and district-wide prevention and intervention
strategies that target teacher violence in school systems. Collectively, the work of psychologists in this area could have a substantial impact on schooling, teacher experience and retention, and overall student performance.

The article ends with the authors “Conclusion” on pages 84-85 :

“Violence against teachers is a significant yet underinvestigated problem in the United States that has profound implications for schooling, teacher retention, and overall student performance. This article serves as an urgent call for a national research, practice, and policy agenda for this important area. To prevent the development of student aggression and violence toward teachers, the following broad agenda is suggested by the current knowledge base: First, administrators, teachers, parents, and students need to recognize that the problem of school-based violence is everyone’s problem and responsibility. Aggression and violence in communities surrounding schools need to be addressed to prevent these behaviors from playing out in the classrooms and hallways. Thus, strategies should be developed and implemented to foster collegiality among key stakeholders so that responsibility is shared equitably. Second, teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities need to address a broad array of theory and practice in classroom management strategies and to support realistic opportunities for field experiences in the classrooms throughout their programs, not just during student teaching. An acceptable strategy is to implement state-by-state consistency in licensure requirements such that all educators must master classroom management requirements before a license for teaching is issued.

Third, teachers’ attitudes and classroom practices are variables that may impact some levels of aggression in the classroom, which—in turn—predict aggression toward teachers. As mentioned, research that examines the role of teachers as perpetrators of school violence is urgently needed to identify key factors and processes in this area. Nevertheless, we strongly encourage teacher preparation programs to provide the next generation of educators with the knowledge, classroom management skills, and confidence to establish engaging and supportive classroom environments. Fourth, the nature of student–teacher interactions is highly influential in academic and behavioral performance, and conflictual relationships are predictive of aggressive tendencies on the part of both students and teachers. Fifth, school climate factors are highly influential in creating a context that facilitates or inhibits violence against teachers. Finally, undefined public spaces increase the likelihood of violence relative to other spaces that are defined (e.g., classrooms). Consequently, school-site teams need to (a) create an environment that emphasizes instructional priorities such as academic achievement, (b) involve community stakeholders in creating safe zones inside and outside of schools, and (c) ensure that adults have the skill sets to take ownership of all spaces within a school setting.

Further, increasing school resources, decreasing class sizes, and providing continual support, training, and guidance for teachers may facilitate more positive classroom environments to create more supportive student–teacher relationships (Benhorin & McMahon, 2008). We recognize that public education in many states is going in the opposite direction by increasing class sizes and providing less and less support for new teachers. Unfortunately, to make these recommendations a reality, there would have to be major shifts in the way in which public education is funded and how resources are allocated across communities. Until then, we are working to increase awareness around violence directed at teachers and to promote a national commitment to the study of this phenomenon.

Professional psychologists can play critical roles in the identification, prevention, and intervention of violence directed against teachers. Several recommendations have been offered here to stimulate future thinking and action. It is our hope that this article will serve as a springboard for future scholarly debate, research, advocacy, and policy initiatives.”


The Hygiology Post ® welcomes feedback from readers as to whether the articles (individually and/or collectively) help fulfill its vision and mission.


Louis DeCola, Jr.  © 2013                                The Hygiology Post ®