One of the great paradoxes of human beings is that we feel two pressing needs at the same time: for the freedom that comes from defining ourselves as individuals, and for the security that comes from feeling connected to one another, writes Sam Chaltain in this Education Week Commentary.
Chaltain writes that this tension has important implications for schools, which often struggle to balance the need for individual freedom with the desire for a safe and orderly environment. But, he suggests, school leaders do not need to make this choice. Schools must be places that nurture our need for individual freedom as a means of forging stronger collective bonds, and environments that create unity in the interest of our diversity, instead of at the expense of it. Creating this type of inclusive school environment will stem students’ feelings of isolation and invisibility that lead to school violence, maintains Chaltain.
What do you think? Will improving the school environment on an interpersonal level help to reduce violence?
A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.