Social Inclusion and the New Rites of Passage

The social inclusion approach is a way of combating the problem of isolation that is, sadly, a growing part of the experience of most children today. Developed over 24 years with children from almost every continent, this approach gives practical playground, classroom and home based tools to work with social exclusion issues.

The social inclusion approach emphasizes politeness and courtesy as keys to establishing social impulse control and empathetic relationships at home and school and uses techniques such as the “Put Down Diet” to bring greater awareness to our verbal and non verbal communication. The approach offers simple interventions which can be used by teachers and parents alike such as “Disapprove/Affirm-Discover-Do over” the three foundations of helping children change negative social patterns without needing to be blamed and shamed.

We explore Why certain children get picked on while others bully; how to make teasing guidelines the children understand and use; how to facilitate class and home meetings around social exclusion issues; how to actively engage peers, other students, in developing and implementing the Social Inclusion Approach. Most importantly, the workshop looks at how to develop a whole community approach and policy that is supported in your school and home.

The social inclusion approach is unique because it expressed disapproval of target behaviours while not seeking to give punishment or apportion blame. Rather, matters are dealt with openly and firmly but not judgementally. This approach fosters a “telling environment” where children and parents fell free to speak up knowing they will not place the victim in further danger or get the, bully in trouble.

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