My students of the fifth year social & cultural studies surprised me and my colleagues with a well structured and organised anti-mobbing campaign. Their target group was the second grade. These students are two years younger. The sensitizing action was built up in three sessions.
They planned a debate with our schoolmanager, teachers and students on the actual anti-mobbing prevention policy of our school, how it works and if it is ready to meet new challenges, such as cybermobbing, a new trend.
The second session worked on emotion and ratio. First my students selected some strong videos on youtube and newsmagazine items to impress their audience. Afterwards they gave facts and numbers, statistics on the actual situation of mobbing in Flanders’ schools. We concluded the session with the item of ,,peer mediation” a very recent method to counter mobbing at school, launched by our Minister of Education. The students ended this session by signing our charter against mobbing at school. Finally they got their bracelet ,,Ik kies kleur tegen pesten”.
Third session was a teambuilding activity in which my students mixed groups of the third year, so that they were able to meet new friends.
How did we arrive at this project? Very ad random, as it is often in education, not planned, but by intuition and sudden interest… We were struggling a rather theoretical subject: the different kinds of persuasive mass communication, such as publicity, public relations, sensitizing campaigns and propaganda. My students wanted to practice in reality the teory: a good sensitizing campaign is built on emotion and ratio; you must touch your target audience by emotions to get some change their attitude and at the same time you have to convince them rationally with information, facts, statistics. They wanted to test my theory in practice. And that’s what they did. They designed the complete campaign themselves. I was touched by some reactions of my teacher-colleagues. During the campaign they had seen some students working and being involved and engaged as never before…