- Research Project -
“Beyond the Halls”: Building Safer School Based Community Environments.
The purpose of this research
project is to determine by assessing a number of communities, how to reduce
violence and crime and contribute to the development of creative, healthy
and safe learning environments so that students are more likely to commit
and complete their secondary school education.
“Beyond the Halls” will focus
attention on the underlying risks and assets associated with violence,
crime and safety at each of the high schools that we visit. This
project included a needs and assets inventory and environmental scan at
each of the schools and communities selected which will gather specific
information on the current initiatives, strengths, achievements, assets
and challenges unique to each school and is inclusive of teachers, students,
police, parent groups and a host of other community partners.
The ideas raised through the initial assesssment with teachers, students and other partners will guide and inform the specific crime prevention and safe learning environment development strategies at each school. The strategies will foster the creation of learning environments which are safe, promote mutual respect, nurture creativity and leadership while meeting the academic, personal and social development needs of both students and teachers.
“Beyond the Halls” is based on the belief that schools which seek to achieve sustainable gains over time deed to extend their influence beyond the confines of the school itself, and must form strategic alliances with police, parents, and the community in which they exist. Research has shown that efforts to address individual behaviour change within the schools fail when such efforts are not integrated with efforts to also change school norms which support non-violence, accountability and racial, cross cultural and gender equality.
This research project is also being run in Ontario at three Toronto area high school in partnership with the Canadian Training Institute. It is our belief that in running a parallel research project in Atlantic Canada, that we will be able to utilize the data collected to be able to develop a national program for all schools interested in creating a safe, healthy and respectful learning environment.