Conflict resolution and leadership skills are needed and can be acquired easily – with students supporting each other across their peer groups. These skills are accessible for FREE anywhere that a caring educator puts their heart and soul into mastering and presenting this content. They will be ever more necessary as the 21st Century unfolds. Why? Beyond long recognized social issues, we now face Climate Change and the dwindling natural resources sought by a global population that is growing both in number and in its desire to consume.
CONCEPT 1: Leadership styles among humans can range from Authoritarian (Hitler) to Task-oriented/ Participative (Gandhi/ King.) These styles are acquired skills – with the acquisition starting during elementary school. Bullying is the easiest route to leadership, and the least functional among adult society.
CONCEPT 2: The friends of a leader in peer group school interactions are the ones most in a position to moderate the style of leadership expressed in their group, but usually lack understanding and certainly lack maturity as to assisting their friends in becoming the BEST they can be.
PRESCRIPTION: Engage students in an interactive simulation of the world that:
- builds empathy for people everywhere,
- creates a moment of angst that causes the lesson to be remembered, and
- shows them that they can help themselves by helping their immediate peers to develop productive styles of leadership…which will eventually help them all in the world they’ll inherit.
Details for the process are summarized via numerous Testimonials over the years. If you are considering becoming a presenter then the essential page with supplemental resources is Train the Trainer. Lastly, adults are invited to preview the presentation as supplied in the Videos for Training the Trainer. Supplemental material for teachers as relates to conversations that may stem from this material is available via Suggestions. A form field at the bottom of the suggestions gives you an easy way to add to the community resources.
The day begins with one or more 1-hr. assembly presentations that combine photography of diverse cultures with music and student participation games. The central theme is “taking responsibility for building a better world.” The balance of the day uses classroom follow-up sessions in classes to anchor the message, and help students conceptualize why and how friends can hold their group leaders to high standards – making peer pressure a positive force.
The Assembly is interactive fun that opens the students to broadly/ globally, helping them consider what will then be developed (Socratic Method of asking questions) in the classroom follow-up portion. The assembly unfolds three concepts as in this image.
Later that same day, the classrooms for all students in the same grade level (for each grade being targeted to develop conflict resolution and leadership skills) are engaged in this lesson. EVERYTHING FOR THE DAY is done to get students to brainstorm and realize the value to them of adopting parts I and III of this 1-page Lesson Plan.
I Friends: Who are friends? What do friends do? … and if a friend sees a friend about to make a serious mistake – what do real friends do?
III Leaders: Name some world famous leaders (no presidents.) Are some leaders famous for being evil? Who? Repeat for good leaders. Brainstorm traits differentiating the good leaders from the bad. In school, do some students sometimes put other students down? When they do it, are they learning to be good leaders or bad? If you are a true friend, what would you now think needs to happen? If you train the leaders to be good leaders now (Grade School and Jr. High) what might that result in for your high school years? For the town/ state/ nation’s future?
BEST AGES: grade levels 4-7
The 1WOW School Program can jump start or boost a school’s conflict resolution program. It fits into social studies curricula, either as a summary of many segments, or as a starting point for introducing concepts. The program has been successful at each level K-12, but is best geared to support the mentalities and personalities of students in grades 4-7.
K-3 students enjoy the music, pictures and activity, but generally lack the knowledge base to comprehend it fully. They usually comprehend more than would be anticipated, still a scheduling pattern that works is to host 1WOW every 3 years, i.e. allowing those in 2nd grade to see it again with 5th grade eyes.
For 8th grade & older students, short of grad school, their emotional and social issues often hinder their receptivity to the communication – unless the students are already selected for being like minded. Otherwise, this is best suited to a 1-2 day, one grade event, presented annually, for the entry level students at a middle school or junior high school.
FIELD TESTED: Across the USA & Internationally
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and Educators have created the One World, Our World (1WOW™) School Program to fulfill this prescription. It was field tested to over 175,000 students in over 300 schools, in 25 states plus in Mexico, Ireland, and Laos.