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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment in our Nation's Classrooms

by Office of Safe and Healthy Students
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Apr 21, 2013 by Teacher Education
Overview: The learning material is a series of PDF and PowerPoint files in two modules. It is intended to be used by trainers providing professional development to classroom teachers and other youth-serving educators on the topic of bullying. Each module is intended to be delivered within a 2 1/2 hour time frame. It is strongly recommended, but not required, to deliver both modules in succession. It is not necessary to deliver both modules on the same day, however. Each of the two modules contains a downloadable Trainer's Guide (PDF), a downloadable slideshow for trainer use (PPT), and downloadable participant handouts (PDF). The site also provides a link to a feedback form in Survey Monkey to allow trainers to evaluate each module. The guides and handouts are very well-written, providing the trainer with all the necessary information, background, and resources to conduct each training module with a reasonable amount of preparation.
Learning Goals: Module 1, Understanding and Intervening in Bullying Behavior is designed to equip classroom teachers and other educators to reduce the instances of bullying behavior within their classrooms. Participants in workshop/module 1 will: Understand what bullying behavior is and is not. Understand what bullying behavior may look like in the classroom. Explore ideas for responding to bullying behavior. Become equipped with specific strategies for addressing and reporting bullying behavior when it occurs. Module 2: Creating a Supportive Classroom Climate is designed to equip classroom teachers and other educators to build a supportive classroom climate in which bullying is less likely to occur. Participants in workshop/module 2 will: Consider what a supportive classroom climate looks like and how it can prevent bullying. Examine the role of teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships in building a supportive classroom climate. Explore strategies for preventing bullying in the classroom, including establishing a culture of respect for differences among students. Consider how a web of positive support among students and other adults across the school community can help prevent bullying. Identify and commit to use one new strategy for preventing bullying in their daily work with students.
Target Student Population: The two modules are intended to be used by trainers providing professional development to classroom teachers, other educators and support personnel who work with students within the K-12 school environment.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None.
Type of Material: Training modules developed by the US Department of Education's "Office of Safe and Healthy Students." There are two modules. The first is on understanding and intervening in bullying behavior and the second is on creating a supportive classroom environment.
Recommended Uses: The workshops are designed for use with 12–30 participants in a classroom setting but can be conducted with larger groups as well. (If conducted with larger groups, it may be necessary to adapt some activities to fit within the intended 2½-hour time frame.)
Technical Requirements: Adobe Reader 9.5.2 – When viewed in Preview 5.5.3 (Apple's default PDF viewer) the documents were unreadable. When viewed with Adobe Reader 9.5.2 (free download from Adobe) the documents were fine. PowerPoint (or suitable substitute) Review conducted with OpenOffice 3.3.0 (free download from www.openoffice.org) Browser required for trainer to use online evaluation tool in Survey Monkey Internet access (optional) if online polling will be used in the workshop Printer (for handouts) Computer, LCD projector and screen (to display slideshow to students) NOTE: With the exception of optional internet access, learners do not need access to the above, only the facilitator.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The material does not require learners to have access to technology, and does not require an Internet connection to be delivered. Workshop Overview (for trainer use) gives very clear direction to the trainer and uses icons in the margin to indicate reference to a slide or handout, making training delivery easy and straightforward for the trainer. Advance preparation of the learning space, resources, and optional technology (for participant polling activity) is well described.
Concerns: No concerns with the quality of the material. However, it is not very flexible. It appears to be designed only for classroom use with a group of about 10-30 participants. It cannot be used for online learning without major modifications, for example.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: Module one begins with an exploration of what bullying behavior looks like, as well giving a research-based definition. Learners need no formal prior knowledge in the topic to gain from participation. The workshop contains numerous activities that require participants to move, interact, reflect, and think. The workshop allows participants to use information given by the trainer to practice responding to a variety of real-world scenarios.
Concerns: The learning material doesn't address actual learning, only the perception of learning as reported by the participants at the end of the workshop. There is no assessment of change in learner knowledge, their perception of bullying behavior, or in their skills in dealing with that behavior.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: Workshop Overview (for trainer use) gives very clear direction to the trainer and uses icons in the margin to indicate reference to a PPT slide or handout, making training delivery easier for the trainer. Advance preparation of the learning space, resources, and optional technology (for participant polling activity) is well described.
Concerns: Impossible to tell if the material would be engaging when delivered. The activities are designed to be engaging, but so much depends on the deliver skills of the trainer that it is difficult to judge.

Other Issues and Comments: This is a high-quality, well-researched pair of training modules that were designed for easy delivery by the trainer and a thorough, but not overwhelming, exploration of the topic for the learner. Both modules include activities where particpants can practice using their new knowledge and reflect on what they have learned. There is also a very complete set of participant habdouts for future reference. The two modules are designed to be offered as a series, and they really should be.