Friday, March 20, 2015

Not Just Miss Manners! The Civility Project

Last month my post talked about the new Courtroom to Classroom project sponsored by the Ohio Supreme Court. Today, I’m happy to mention another program.

The Middle School Civility Project is a package of seven lessons available to middle school teachers with embedded links and references.  And these civility lessons are more than about etiquette.

In these times of increased social media and less face-to-face-contact, students need to see that it is important to respect and value their peers and act civilly toward others, particularly when disagreements arise. When middle school students don’t know how to react to conflict or pressure from their classmates, teachers, and parents, they may cope by disruptive behavior and bullying.

In an effort to address civility and teach students how to avoid patterns of behavior that harm others, OCLRE developed new curriculum in a series of activities designed to help students become aware of their rights and responsibilities and respond to conflict with others through mediation. Students are also shown how to start a service learning project in their schools.

The civility project lessons include:

·         What Is Civility?
·         Acts of Civility Around School
·         Citizens’ Rights and Responsibilities
·         Communication and Conflict Resolution

It’s hoped that early lessons about respect for others and the appropriate ways of handling disputes might counteract the development of later criminal behavior. These lessons are intended to help teachers assist their young students in becoming better citizens.

The curriculum can be used in the classroom or as a project for OCLRE’s Youth for Justice program. It is supported by The Thomas J. Moyer Legacy Committee of the Ohio State Bar Association and funded by the Ohio State Bar Foundation.

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