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REAL HOPE FOR SCHOOLS
“Bullying is recognised as a form of violent behaviour. In Australia, a study of 7,500 students reported that 20% of students aged between 5-17 years were bullied at least once a week. Bullying is considered more prevalent in Primary school.” www.peacebuildersoz.com/papers/June99.htm
“…For decades I have bemoaned all over the world that peace and justice are not taught in schools, now I have read over her business plan to implement a program in Australia and I support it whole heartedly. Not only is it a great leap forward for Australia, it also is a pioneer project for the rest of the world to emulate…” (Dr. Patch Adams, American Clown Doctor)
The phenomena of bullying is a current topic of discussion in schools given children are engaging in cyber-bullying, physical or verbal bullying and behaviours of exclusion. Bullying is a behaviour where a child is seeking power over another child and feels powerful when the other yields. The phenomenon is witnessed in workplaces and families. In the schools many programs have been implemented to address this issue. The REAL HOPE program arose out of the realisation that children are not learning peace, values and life skills to cope with an increasingly complex world. REAL HOPE tackles the problem of bullying from another perspective whereby children learn positive peaceful behaviours through universal values and experiential education delivered with a fun and engaging approach.
Workshop Focus: The REAL HOPE program is a values based, peace nonviolence and anti-bullying program. REAL HOPE is an acronym for: Responsibility, Empathy, Awareness, Love, Honesty, Oneness, Peace and Enjoyment. REAL HOPE is a program where life skills, emotional intelligence, positive psychology and peaceful behaviours are developed and integrated over a 8 week program. The children develop an understanding through experience of peace through brainstorming and critical thinking, humour (positive thinking), philosophy (inquriy), experiential activities (integration), stimulatory materials (DVD, audiovisual, props), meditation (visualisation, calm) and reflections in the home environment to integrate peaceful values as real life skills to produce peaceful behaviours. Target Grades: Grades 4,5,6 (program is adaptable for Secondary on request) Duration: 55 minute sessions x 8 weeks Expected Outcomes: Children will develop pro-social behaviour, heightened emotional intelligence, an awareness of choices between division and unity, how values affect what they see and how they treat each others and that when we work peacefully together we can experience happiness and a shared sense of community. It is expected that peaceful behaviours will deepen and bulling will reduce as a result of raising awareness and understanding, developing strategies, integrating values and empowerment.
Overview of the REAL HOPE Program
The REAL HOPE Program is an innovative new program which combines clowning, peace, non-violence and anti-bullying. The program is delivered by ‘Peacefull the clown’. The clown is a powerful symbol of fun, equality, non judgement and that it is o.k. to make mistakes. The clown image projects a positive, fun, friendly and safe image to children. This program is likely to be the first program of its kind that utilises a ‘peace clown’ as facilitator, is framed by a values model and integrates values through experiential activities and develops social emotional intelligence.
The children are excited to see Peacefull each week and feel sad when it is time to say goodbye. Click here to view a slideshow of Peacefull with the children.
The program is endorsed by the famous American clown Dr. Patch Adams. Click here for a slideshow of Patch in Russia.
The REAL HOPE program is creative, stimulatory and bi-directional encouraging freedom of expression and exploration of who we are and how to deal with problems by learning to see differently. It engages the children’s interest powerfully on many levels and is designed to ensure that children embody peaceful behaviours and become empowered to take responsibility for their lives and their impact on the lives of others.
This program develops multiple intelligences such as: linguistic, spatial, bodily-kinaesthetic, intrapersonal (knowing yourself) and interpersonal (knowing others). In particular the program encourages emotional intelligence by demonstrating values and leading by example.
The program is built upon accelerated and associative learning by linking:
- symbols, colour, jokes, questioning, positive thinking, philosophy, facts, mediation, role play activities, games, puppets, tricks, juggling and visualisation around core values.
The program revolves around the theme of anti-bullying, life skills and positive communication.
The clown image projects a positive, fun, friendly and safe image to children.
The program is comprehensive and explores the following:
Problem solving: brainstorm and critical inquiry;
Conflict resolution: mediation, I-statements, role plays, personal inquiry;
Humour: positivity, learning non-discriminatory humour for unity;
Philosophy and facts;
Emotional intelligence, expression of emotions and feelings;
Communication and listening skills;
Perception and awareness;
Non-violence and Gandhi’s example;
Cooperation and unity;
War and peace issues;
Inclusive, exclusive and discriminatory behaviours;
Peace as active, balanced and calm;
Enjoyment through clowning and juggling
Visualisation and relaxation (meditation).
Many children these days are not receiving enough love from their parents and may find themselves feeling unable to socialise with others easily. This program discusses values and explores the self and others. It emphasis’s conflict resolution and problem solving with an emphasis on understanding perceptions and positive communications.
It is a holistic course which recognises the vital importance of developing the whole person . Therefore, the purpose of life is to live to reach full potential and feel a happiness in life. Moreover, it is to the benefit of society that we raise functional, happy and fulfilled people who can actively contribute to enhancing our society and world.
Teaching REAL HOPE
The REAL HOPE program offers an innovative approach to teaching :
- Utilising the clown to engage the children on an equal level;
- Use accelerated learning techniques by linking: colours, symbols, positive thinking and use of auditory, visual and tactile activities;
- Using humour and positively to create a fun and stimulating atmosphere for learning;
- Using drama and props to enhance visual memory and increase active participation;
- Expanding learning about children through active ‘brainstorming’ sessions which record children’s perceptions and use of words. This information will be disseminated to parents in newsletters;
- Utilising games and activities that raise awareness and integrate a range of values;
- Emphasise nonviolence and peaceful behaviours as strength or power within;
- Actively teach anti-bullying by utilising of visual materials and role plays using puppets.
Professional Development for teachers is available for schools providing alternative ideas in teaching creative arts in programs and a range of workshops on bullying, conflict resolution and wellbeing. Please visit Funny business workshops for further information click here.
The Aims of REAL HOPE
This program arose out of the realisation that children are not learning peace, values and life skills to cope with an increasingly complex world. The aims of the program are:
- To instil positive proactive values to enable children to deal with conflict and project peaceful behaviour within the school and throughout their lives.
- To instil positive peace values in children to empower them to create a future world based on peace and non-violence.
REAL HOPE in Your School
Currently the program is being run in Primary Schools, however interest has been expressed for secondary schools. If sufficient demand this can be tailored and offered to secondary schools.
What are the benefits for schools:
- The program is exciting for the children and actively teaches peaceful behaviours and anti-bullying;
- The program commits to the school for 8 weeks to ensure its effectiveness;
- A clown brings joy to the children and staff;
- The children receive a clown playbook to reinforce what is learned;
- A newsletter will be produced from the brainstorming session to go out to parents, therefore involving parents in the process;
- The World Peace Day is a great opportunity for Harmony Day (21 March) and World peace Day (21 September). It is a great opportunity to engage parents and the community to become aware of conflict resolution, anti-bullying and peaceful behaviours. In addition, the school may want to consider utilising media attention to report the event and further communicate the messages of peace and community building;
- The program raises the profile of the school in respect of bringing in programs that teach values to children.
Whole School Consultancy available. A new and emerging area worth considering is developing Cultures of Peace (harmony) at your school.Contact for further information contact here.
Principals Endorse the REAL HOPE program
The program has been run in both metropolitan and rural schools. The schools include: Government schools, Steiner, Montessori and Special schools. You are welcome to contact schools to find out more about the program.
A DVD video presentation is available on this site. For detailed testimonials from schools and children click here .
For general enquiries click here .
Workshop Session Plan
The World Peace Clown, Peacefull dresses in a different colour and hat each week to reinforce tags to values. These are gone over every week. In addition, the children will learn juggling. Juggling connects the left and right hemphisphere’s of the brain and evokes relaxed concentration. The program has the bullying theme as a thread throughout the program as a problem to be solved, but the thrust of the program is to understand, develop and inspire positive attitudes and behaviours. The program is designed around universal values and is transferrable cross culturally.
Week 1: Responsibility focuses on chidlren’s ability to respond and gives the example of bullying. The session highlights mediation through puppets and a juggling story of conflict. The children will then visualisation responsibility and ecap the day and where in their lives they have been responsible.
Week 2: Empathy focuses on the emotions and feelings. Humour is raised and kids learn about positive jokes. The brainstorming session explores empathy and children learn more about the person who ‘bullies’ and how it feels. Philosophy is discussed and how empathy is what drives compassion, narrows the gaps and is charitable. Children learn through experiential activities to explore their body and emotions. They learn about giving and receiving and how to get to know other children better. They learn poor and good communication skills and role playing empathy. They then visualise a situation of what it feels like when others do not feel empathy.
Week 3: Awareness focuses on awake to what is going on within you and around you. This explores bullying at school what children are aware of and bystanders. Children explore perception and their blindspots using blindspot cards. Children engage in activities to explore awareness and what they don’t see. They learn about listening and become aware of what they don’t hear and how messages can be incorrectly perceived when children are talking about others. They look at the attachment to beliefs and negtaivity. They engage in activities that seem impossible, but learn when you look outside the box possibilities exist.
Week 4: Love focuses on the importance of love not just in romantic relationships but between friends, families and how you treat life. The clown discusses the baby houses in Russia that were visited with Dr. Patch Adams. They learn about nonviolent humour and critically think about what love really is. They explore its opposite fear and discuss what is violence and violent video games are looked at. They look at the media and how they feel about it. Children explore what is weak what is strong. Children discover the power of smiling, saying kind words to others and discuss unconditional love. Puppets are used to show the choice that is made between love and fear. Gandhi’s work as a nonviolent person in the face of national bullying is used as example of the real strength of not fighting but standing in one’s truth. Children then visualise love in their lives in all its forms.
Week 5: Honesty focuses on telling the truth and ways you can be truthful without lying. Children critically appraise what is truth what are lies. They look at the levels of truth telling and explore the mask people wear. They discuss the media and how they know what is true. They are shown a video about Gandhi and excerpts about truth. The children then take a look at personal inquiry and whether they can believe their own thoughts, how do they know they are true? The children undertake a role play to discover truth in conflict. They then visualise truth in their lives.
Week 6: Oneness focuses that we are one world, breath and family. Children explore how we are similar and different, the philosophy and facts about oneness and what is unity. They also explore disunity and how they treat people on whether they think them a friend, a enemy or a stranger. They visualise oneness seeing themselves as one with the planet.
Week 7: Peace focuses on the yin and yang of life, that life is change. Peace is finding the balance and peace within. Children critically appraise what is peace what is war. They explore through a UN Forum collectively looking at world problems. They are encouraged to use the REAL HOPE framework and come up with ideas as a group. The purpose is to learn about cooperation for the greater good of peace. Children learn about UNESCO and the Culture of Peace. They visualise peace in their own lives and learn breathing exercises to stop the mind thinking.
Week 8: Enjoyment focuses on real happiness not just seeking pleasure but discovering the joy within. The clown is used as an example of happiness and giving love to others. Kids are dressed up as clowns and taught some skills. They learn to laugh and then watch a Patch Adams video of Peacefull’s trip to Russia and how a group can make a positive difference through the art of clowning.
Key Learning Outcomes
- To understand that there is real hope when they integrate in their lives – responsibility, empathy, awareness, love, honesty, oneness, peace and enjoyment.
- To understand power over and power within and to take self responsibility.
- To understand feelings and emotions and how to express them nonviolently.
- To understand perceptions and beliefs and how we can misunderstand or miss what is in our reality.
- To learn that love is the very foundation to community and the importance of self love and expressing love to others.
- To learn about being honest and how to express honesty without hurting others and to understand ‘to thyself be true’ and to become discerning of what is truth and what is not.
- To learn we are one world and what we do to others we do to ourselves. That we are same same but different.
- To learn that real peace comes from within and to learn strategies and techniques to develop peace and to understand it is not stagnant but dynamic and leads to creative possibilities and resolution of conflicts.
- To learn that enjoyment is not at the expense of others but is utilised to join with others as an expression of one’s own happiness. To learn from the clown archetype that we can be happy without material things and with the joy of giving to others to make the world a better place.
- To utilise the clown playbook at home and start to see the links between home, school and life and to actively work on integrating values for the whole of life.
- To learn that life is a great opportunity to shine and that uniqueness is not to be condemned but embraced as who we all are when we learn to accept, cooperate and help each other to reach our full potential. That is when REAL HOPE comes alive.