The Kiva Method, an idea that puts an end to bullying

In Spain, 70% of 15-year-olds have been victims or torturers (in many cases both) of bullying, both in person and through new technologies.

Experts point out that this type of harassment exists in all human societies, And asked schools to accept the problem in order to study and implement measures to prevent it where it may appear and make it disappear where it exists.

The Kiva method is one of the most promising proposals in this regard.

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The origins of the kiva method

Finland is a country which devotes great resources to education, the latter being regarded as a matter of state of great importance. During the last years the nordic country is committed to putting an end to bullying at school and to improving the education system in its various aspects.

As a result, Finland has achieved the worthy first place in higher education, primary education and training in the Global Competitiveness Index (GIC) in recent years thanks to the importance given to education. these last years. All measures aimed at education have helped to create a powerful workforce with the appropriate skills to adapt to a constantly changing socio-economic context which has resulted in high levels of technological development.

The Finnish education system: one of the best in the world

Finland is currently one of the most creative and innovative nations in the EU and the world, ranking second in the ranking (the first is owned by Switzerland). At the time when the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) prepared the PISA report, the nordic country got the first places in education.

However, the Finnish education system is not perfect: Finland is also suffering from the disastrous epidemic of bullying at school. What tool do they use to solve harassment in Finland? Well with the kiva program.

The kiva program

The term kiva comes from the union of the words “Kiusaamista Vastaan” (in Finnish, against bullying).

With this proposal, Finland succeeds in eradicating harassment. This method is applied in 90% of basic education schools, And its success is such that it has become an essential tool for evaluating and choosing any center in the Finnish education system, both for working, in the case of teachers, and for studying, in the case of students.

The experimentation stage

The Kiva program was created on a proposal from the Finnish government and the educational community; “The project started to be introduced randomly in Finnish schools,” explains Christina Salmivalli, professor of psychology and one of the inventors of the program.

Years later, a study was conducted (one of the largest in the country, by the way) to see how the program evolved and its impact on students. The results were the climax: The Kiva program had reduced all types of bullying in high schools and colleges. The seat of intimidation had begun to operate. In reality, school bullying has disappeared in 80% of schools. Spectacular characters who, logically, aroused the interest of the international educational community.

Long-term results against bullying

A year later, the researchers realized that the number of children and teens suffering from bullying had fallen by 41%. But the method not only solved the problem, but the program also improved students’ comfort and motivation during their studies, thus shooting the right grades.

The Finnish Embassy in Madrid declares that 98% of the 1,000 schools that participated in the program in 2009 felt that school life had improved significantly during the first year in which the Kiva method began to be applied, which has been confirmed by numerous studies.

The success of the program is such that the Kiva method received, among others, the European Crime Prevention Prize in 2009.

One of the best ways to understand the potential of this anti-harassment program from Kiva is to take an example. At Karamzin school, they had a serious bullying problem, which is why the Kiva program was started at the school in 2008: in the first year of implementation, bullying was reduced by 60%.

How does the kiva method work?

The method used in the Kiva program is not to focus on the dialectic of victim-harassment confrontation (or to treat the victim to be more outgoing or to try to change the bully to develop empathy) but is based on the performance of witness students who laugh at it. situation.

In many cases, these viewers internalize that what is happening is normal, even funny, even though they have a different underlying opinion. What the method aims to do is influence these viewers so that they do not indirectly participate in the harassment.. If this is achieved, the bully, who needs recognition to continue the bullying, stops harassing because it does not benefit him or her.

In short, the basic program by trying not to make viewers laugh thanks to the young people who are the aggressors who participate in the harassment. Simple but effective.

Details of the program

In the Kiva program, students are trained in around 20 classes at 7, 10 and 13 years old (key ages in child development) to identify the different forms of bullying at school. This way, they are already aware from an early age.

There are ten programs and assignments that are carried out throughout the course and where moral values ​​such as empathy and respect for others are taught. A large number of resources are used: conferences, video games, manuals for teachers, surveillance in the yard, feature films … even a virtual mailbox to report if they are witnesses or victims of bullying.

The kiva team

In each school, the principal chooses a Kiva team of three adults who detect and investigate cases of bullying **** r.

They first determine whether the harassment is occasional or continuous. Then they talk to the victim to reassure her. They then talk to bullies to raise awareness and to bystanders, who are the cornerstone of the program, so it is possible to reduce bullying at school.

The potential of the method

This radical change in a number of Finnish schools may give some idea of ​​the qualitative changes at the social level that such programs might have not only in schools, but in the different cultural strata of adults educated using these methods.

If we are educated from the early stages not to passively support such acts of violence, it is conceivable that the mentality of adults will change in many ways as well. Only time will tell if such sudden cultural shifts occur.. The repercussions of the Kiva program can go far beyond the fight against bullying, they can be the seeds of a more just, united and united society.

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