The Peaceful Schools Institute
Approximately 20 words left (160 characters).
About Your Organization
Peace Praxis Educational Services
United States, PA, Doylestown
Country where this project is creating social impact
United States, PA
Is your organization a
Your role in Education
The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with
How long has your organization been operating?
More than 5 years
The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..
Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Established (past the previous stages and has demonstrated success)
How long has your solution been in operation?
Operating for 1‐5 years
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
The problem for which I am proposing a solution is relates to social-emotional professional development for educators. I have found training for educators to be hindered by two challenges:
1) Many excellently-written, curriculum-based SEL programs (that foster empathy) are adopted by schools, with a goal of “fixing the kids.” The SEL curricula are purchased by school leaders and given to teachers to implement (i.e. "get through the binder), even when educators are unfamiliar with the content. When training in SELis provided, it often not provide sufficient time for teachers to internalize the skills they will need to model to students. When educators relate to SEL as an "add-on", disconnected from other classroom practices, many of its true benefits may be lost.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
The “fix-the-kids” and “let’s get through the binder” approaches to SEL can be solved by The Peaceful Schools Institute (PSI), a 3-day professional development experience for educators. The PSI transforms educators’ mindsets about SEL skills and practices (including empathy), raising their awareness of the impact those skills and practices can have on their teaching practices, their classroom climate, and their students. Rather than present a curriculum, the PSI focuses on deepening educators’ knowledge and professional practice of key social-emotional practices they can both use and teach in a variety of ways in their classrooms. The PSI invites enables educators to integrate SEL instruction and practices into their classroom routines and interactions, such that empathy-fostering behaviors become a powerful backbone of their classroom culture.The PSI also allows for flexibility and creativity within its fidelity framework. View: www.peacepraxis.com/the-peaceful-schools-institute/
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
The core empathy-building practices educators learn at the PSI are:
1) Feeling check-ins
2) The Emotional Cup concept, including cool-down strategies
3) The S.T.A.R. problem-solving process (Stop, Think, Act, Reflect)
4) Classroom meetings, and
5) Role-playing “upstander” behaviors to prevent bullying.
These five practices can be implemented with varying degrees of adaptation, in every K-8 classroom. The PSI shows educators how to use these practices throughout their school day, to support positive discipline practices, encourage student responsibility, build positive relationships, and to generate deeper interest in academic content areas. On the last day of the PSI, educators are introduced to the free lessons from the Don’t Laugh At Me curriculum. These lessons focus on fostering empathy and decreasing bullying behaviors, which support educators’ SEL objectives. The PSI uses an experiential learning model to fully engage educators, and to foster empathy amongst participants, as they support one another in the learning process. Experiential learning includes four components: 1)experience 2) reflection on the experience to formulate new meaning 3) generalization of the learning to another context and 4) application of the learning to the next experience/context. At the PSI, experiential learning means that educators fully participate in the SEL practices they will implement in their classrooms. Through this experience, educators explore their feelings, attitudes, values, and beliefs, deepening their self-awareness of the content and its value.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
My peers are all people who are increasing their own social-emotional skills (including empathy), and teaching those skills to others. Although there are organizations that reach out to the same target market, I believe we are offering different services. The PSI seeks to motivate educators to more deeply invest in social-emotional learning, as a life-long personal and professional commitment. It focuses on increasing educators’ skills and capacities as a necessary first step towards increasing students’ skills. The PSI does not seek to replace the lesson-based SEL programs offered by other organizations, but it ensures that educators take advantage of all that SEL has to offer, beyond "fixing the kids" or getting through a unit.
Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
The PSI is an engaging, experiential, 3-day program that trains educators in five core empathy-building SEL practices.
Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
Rather teaching a lesson-based curriculum, the PSI teaches core practices that can be seamlessly integrated into every K-8 classroom.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Since 2007, over 250 educators from over 50 Catholic schools have attended The Peaceful schools Institute and over 25 of those educators’ schools have developed whole-school programs to increase decrease bullying, and integrate SEL into their curriculum. See my webpage for testimonials: www.peacepraxis.com/the-peaceful-schools-institute/rave-reviews/
Dr. Laura Roberts is conducting a study on the PSI, and the preliminary results have been inspiring. The PSI seems to increase educators confidence in their ability to prevent bullying school-wide. The research article is available here, pages 25-29: http://www.peacepsych.org/newsletter.htm. Many educators have fully embraced the SEL practices and have reported astounding changes in their classrooms. Due to funding structures, the PSI has previously only been offered to Philadelphia-area Catholic school K-8 educators. It's time for the PSI to be made available to public school educators, nation-wide.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
I would like to continue to grow the Institute, reaching out to public schools, impacting at least 3 new schools, 200 new educators, and 500 new students per year. I would also like to contribute new findings regarding professional development in SEL, through continued research on the experiential methods we use through the PSI. I would like to add a variable to our efficacy scale that specifically measures empathy levels of educators and students.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Barriers include: "quick-fix" attitudes about SEL training; the challenges of marketing the program and breaking into a new target market; the format of the program (3 consecutive days); the cost of the program (it's very inexpensive, but budgets are tight); and evidence of effectiveness on students. I have brainstormed many ways to overcome these challenges, including: educating school leaders; offering the program in a non-consecutive day format; identifying alternative sources of funding for schools; conducting a larger research study that includes indicators for student outcomes.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Have The PSI scheduled at three public schools. Be situated to study the impact of the PSI at these three schools, including va
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Identify multiple sources of funding for the PSI, to defray costs from schools.
Market the PSI to public schools.
Seek additional supports for the research project
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Have Part 1 of the research study completed and evaluated (and see compelling results)!
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Build strong relationships with the three schools who host the PSI. Deliver excellent services.
Carefully organize and evaluate the study with participating schools, researchers and interns
Create, validate, and test an empathy-specific efficacy measure, as well as measures that consider student outcomes.
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
During the very first PSI, a teacher (who was formerly both a nun and a police officer) reluctantly attended the program to earn credit. On day one, she announced that she was very skeptical about “this touchy-feely stuff about emotions”. However, when handing out completion certificates on day three, she bear-hugged me. Everyone cheered! Several months later, I met a colleague of hers who wanted to know what I “did to her” over the summer. The colleague said the teacher was a changed person- she was listening more and lecturing less, sharing her sense of humor, showing empathy to students, and enjoying teaching again. It was an astounding turn-around! At that moment, I knew The Institute was a powerful force for transforming educators.
Tell us about your partnerships
I have partnered with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic School District, and the Montgomery and the Chester County Intermediate Units, to support the PSI. These partners offered professional development hours for participants, and facilitated registration for the program. Educational Researcher Dr. Laura Roberts will continue to work with me on evaluation efforts. I am an adjunct instructor in the College of Education at Temple University. My students (educators-to-be) have developed lessons in social-emotional learning that they presented at schools associated with the PSI.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]
Because I have worked with over 65 schools in the greater Philadelphia area, I have a large network of skilled colleagues and educators (many former PSI participants!) who have expressed interest in supporting the PSI. I will need volunteer or staff support to market the program. Dr. Laura Roberts will continue to provide research support- though additional interns will be needed.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
I would love to receive input on our reserach model for the PSI.
|Christa M. Tinari, Peaceful Schools Institute 2011||34.83 KB|