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Monitoring indicators of children ’ s victimization in school. Mona Khoury-Kassabri and Rami Benbenishty Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, Hebrew University, Jerusalem Ron Avi Astor Schools of Social Work and Education, University of Southern California.

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Monitoring indicators of children’s victimization in school

Mona Khoury-Kassabri and Rami BenbenishtyPaul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, Hebrew University, JerusalemRon Avi AstorSchools of Social Work and Education, University of Southern California

Levels of victimization

  • Levels of victimization in school and out of school

  • school violence attracts major attention of policymakers and the public around the world

  • growing trend by policy makers to base these efforts on relevant evidence, rather than on hunches and political power struggles

  • One important way to inform these different constituencies is to employ social indicators.

Overall framework: The Monitoring cycle

  • Our work in this area is based on a conceptual and methodological framework of empirical practice and evidence-based policy (Benbenishty, 1989, 1996, 1997)

  • Empirical practice is ‘continuously informed and guided by empirical evidence that is systematically gathered and processed’

Presentation’s goal

  • How our studies have used indicators of victimization in school in order to inform a range of constituencies interested in the well being of children?

Specifically, I will highlight:

a. Our work on national indicators of children's victimization.

b. Employing indicators on the regional and school level

c. Empowering youth through indicators

Indicators of children’s victimization in schools

  • Monitoring children victimization in the school system in Israel since 1998

  • To date, we have conducted four waves of data collection

  • Last wave: included more than 27,300 students from 526 schools, 1861 of their homeroom teachers 413 of the principals

The need for a wide range of indicators

  • Previous studies tend to use a very limited set of victimization indicators

  • We used wide range of reports of victimization, such as verbal, emotional, mild physical, severe physical victimization, weapon threats, sexual harassment, and property damage.

  • Combine reports on actual instances of victimization, and children's reports on their subjective feelings

Understanding how the problem affects multiple subgroups

  • Social indicators are more powerful when they can be broken down to relevant subgroups

  • Monitoring each group over time provides an opportunity to identify how changes over time differed for various subgroups.

Multiple perspectives

  • Provide a more comprehensive and balanced picture of the situation.

  • Multiple perspectives can be compared in two quite different ways :

    1. Between the aggregated views of each group

    2. Between various members of the school community with regard to their own school

Linking national-, regional-, and site-level indicators ways :

  • Usually, indicators of children's victimization are assessed on the national level

  • National monitoring of victimization provides educators and the public an accurate view regarding the problem of school violence

  • However, in many cases data generated at the national level are often not useful at the regional or at the site level

  • Problematic for local school systems to use longitudinal reports to ascertain whether there were any positive changes in their own locality as a result of intervention

  • The national monitoring model was expanded to the region and school site level

Providing information at the region and the school level are often not useful at the regional or at the site level

  • Each school site gets a thorough assessment of violence in the school

  • On the region level, a comprehensive and detailed picture of the region emerges.

  • On a city level, a city-wide comparison of indicators of victimization among the schools in the city.

Monitoring of indicators on a school level are often not useful at the regional or at the site level

The value for evaluation are often not useful at the regional or at the site level

  • The methodology described here provides an empirical basis for the planning and evaluation of interventions.

  • Monitoring social indicators provides a solid based for evidence-based policy in this area

victimization, school climate and academic achievement are often not useful at the regional or at the site level

  • Same conceptual framework is implemented in other fields. The National Achievement and Climate Assessment.

  • These indicators can be used by each of the schools, regions and districts, and the nation as a whole.

  • Using the indicators along with academic achievement indicators

  • The complex relationships between school characteristics, school safety, school climate and students’ academic achievements can be explored

  • Using the information to identify vulnerable groups of schools and patterns that may be helpful in introducing changes to improve schools

Monitoring indicators of victimization as a democratic youth empowering process

  • Children have a role in measuring and monitoring their well being (Ben-Arieh, 2000, 2005)

  • Roles that were proposes:

    • Their involvement in the design of the indicators

    • in reporting on their well being

    • and in being part of the policy making process emanating from this process of monitoring their well being

Democracy in victimization study empowering process

  • The right and the capacity of each individual or group in the school to give voice about indicators that affect their lives

  • schools rarely enact any of the democratic structures, processes and mechanisms that are the cornerstones of a democratic experience.

  • Involving students in the design of indicators, interpretation of the findings, and the formulation of policy and intervention initiatives.

Empowering process for youth empowering process

  • This process brings youth to the center of the school's policy making process and allows them to influence it

  • Representatives of youth on the city- and national level - making sense and explaining the voices of youth

  • Youth would be able to see information about their locale and have direct input to impact the solutions for the problems facing their generation