Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Waging Peace

Lanteieri, Linda and Janet Patti. 1996. Waging Peace in Our Schools. Boston : Beacon Press.

Although written for an urban audience and focused on High School, this book is full of clear and practical ideas for teaching conflict resolution to young people and the adults in their lives. They ground their program in the Social/Emotional Intelligence literature. For example, they begin by teaching young children to name their feelings through a tool called “feeling boxes” (kids put a tongue depressor with their name on it in a feeling box when they enter in the morning, have an opportunity to share their feelings with words at morning meeting, and can move the depressor around as their feelings change throughout the day (36 – 37). They also break down problem solving skills for young children, drawing on William Kreidler’s (of Educators for Social Responsibility) work (42-43) :

1) tell what the problem is
2) find as many different solutions as possible
3) decide which solutions are good
4) choose one solution and act

The book’s greatest strength are the number of practical suggestions and activities that are included – yet it is not an activity book, because the ideas are presented as strategic examples grounded in educational theory and philosophical commitments.

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