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How to improve school coexistence

marzo 31, 2021
School coexistence is an issue that worries teachers, schools, students, families, society in general and for some time, the media have placed special emphasis on this issue, especially giving relevance to the most serious cases of bullying. and showing the most conflictive situations., as a specialized medium, cannot remain oblivious to the interest caused by the subject and that is why it has dedicated the last monographic from 2007 to Coexistence in the classrooms.

With the report that follows, we want to briefly show the basic ideas and the main proposals that exist related to coexistence in the classrooms.

Coexistence and conflicts

Coexistence is a fundamental element in the learning process. In the first place, because it involves talking about the social, cultural and affective environment in which we live and secondly, because learning to live together is essential for the individual and social development of each person.

For some time, the school life it is a fashionable topic. The fact that the media echo the most extreme cases of violence in the classrooms has led to a greater sensitivity of society and institutions towards the situation of school coexistence. But, the main problem is that they have also contributed to magnify situations and that they have presented occasional conflicts as habitual.

Although experts coincide in pointing out that there is no more school violence than 10 years ago, it can be said that cases of indiscipline and lack of respect for the center’s staff have increased and apparently, cases of harassment can turn into aggressive behavior more easily than a while ago.

What are the problems of coexistence in the classrooms? Experts agree that the climate observed in classrooms is a reflection of society. As Jesús Sanz says in his article, In a society where interpersonal relationships are resolved, many times, with disputes, insults, disqualifications or ignorance of the other, can we delimit the types of violence in watertight compartments? Gender violence, school violence, violence against the different ,? Violence in the media, violence in the family, violence between politicians, between teachers, between co-workers, mobbing ,? It seems as if we resolved everything in a violent way.

Thus, in the words of Mª Jesús García and Mª Candelaria Luque, Actions to improve coexistence in classrooms must be approached from a global and multidisciplinary conception, integrating all the factors and elements that converge in the educational act.

Bullying concept

Before delving into the proposals to educate in coexistence, we want to mention a concept that particularly worries families, students, teachers, institutions and public opinion: bullying.

Research on abuse and maltreatment among classmates are not homogeneous, but in general they agree that the situation of abuse is not an anecdotal fact, but a common phenomenon that affects a large number of schoolchildren distributed in the role of victim, aggressor and spectator of violence.

The most common forms of mistreatment between equals they are verbal (insults, nicknames, ridicules, etc.); physical (causing fights, hitting, etc.) and social abuse (isolation, rejection, marginalization, etc.). To these modalities are added concepts such as Cyber ​​bullying, which consists of the use of ICT for the purpose of attacking or harassing (recording and distributing images through mobile phones; harassment in forums, chats or Blogs; etc.)

Regarding situations of violence towards teachers and staff of an educational center, various reports highlight that the main difficulties that teachers must face are difficulties in teaching (disruption); insults by students and even threats and attacks.

Finally, as stated by JA Planas in his article, the entire educational community agrees that it is necessary to improve the climate of coexistence in the classroom to prevent these possible cases of harassment or bullying.

Educate for coexistence

If we take into account everything that has been said in the previous points, we can only conclude in what way can school coexistence be improved? How do you educate yourself for coexistence?

In the first place, experts agree that improving school coexistence begins with the shared responsibility of all members of the educational community, directly or indirectly involved in education: family, teachers, institutions, social agents, etc. It is clear that avoiding violence and promoting coexistence requires the support and collaboration of the family and institutions.

Another relevant aspect is the need for Preventive actions overcome punitive actions in the event of bullying, conflict, or classroom disruption. Corrective actions are not enough by themselves if they are not accompanied by training actions.

Education for coexistence requires a continuous approach that takes into account the multiple variables. A project that encompasses all aspects of coexistence requires promoting information, participation, communication and collaboration.

Coexistence must become an intrinsic project of the center. For this reason, experts recommend that the general approach to Education for Coexistence must be included in the Educational Project of the Center.

Education for coexistence should start from the early stages (infant and primary). If the daily construction of responsibility is encouraged, through the involvement, complicity and trust of the students, an essential educational guideline for education for coexistence is achieved.

The most effective tools for conflict resolution are the mediation and dialogue. In the same way, the type of methodology used by the teacher can promote coexistence and reduce aggressiveness (for example, cooperative work).

The Autonomous Communities and the Government prepare coexistence plans that each center can adapt to its needs. From here, the specific measures that are applied to each center arise from experience with teachers, students and social agents.

Finally, education for coexistence involves creating people who are capable of listening to and respecting each other, without resorting to violence, that is why young people must be educated simultaneously in the cognitive, emotional and moral field.

Laia Mestres i Salud. Editing of