LOS ANGELES, Sept. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Welcoming and mapping practices can make schools safer and reduce incidents of violence and bullying, according to Ron Avi Astor, professor at The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Astor, along with colleague Rami Benbenishty (Bar Ilan University, Israel) and the Oxford University Press, today announce the release of two new books designed to help social workers, psychologists and educators create safer schools.
Astor and Benbenishty's two books, Welcoming Practices and Mapping and Monitoring Bullying and Violence, are evidence informed guides that can help educators, social workers and psychologists create welcoming school environments and reduce instances of bullying through data-informed empowerment strategies and recommendations. The books will be available for order on Oxford University Press' website September 27.
Changing schools can be a stressful and disruptive life event for students and their families, and many students experience this change frequently due to military background, family structure, or a number of other factors. Welcoming Practices summarizes research on school transition issues among students K-12 education levels and gives educators practical suggestions for helping these students effectively transition to new school environments. This book provides social workers, psychologists and educators practical recommendations on developing and implementing welcoming practices. Practices can include developing a system where teachers, students and community groups communicate with and welcome new students before their first day at school. According to Astor, welcoming practices such as this technique can help dramatically reduce social isolation among new students. Astor and Benbenishty co-authored Welcoming Practices with Linda Jacobson (Education Journalist), Stephani L. Wrabel (Rand Researcher) and Diana Pineda (Welcoming Practices Project director), all members of the Welcoming Practices Consortium.
Mapping and Monitoring Bullying and Violence
This step-by-step book serves as a guide to help pupil personnel, school district and school education leaders reduce incidents of violence and bullying through mapping and monitoring techniques that empower community and students. Mapping provides a visual record of school physical spaces considered safe, alongside those that students view to be places where they might encounter bullying, harm or trouble. Astor and Benbenishty analyzed mapping and monitoring data and voices of students, teachers, and parents across a variety of schools in California, Israel, Chile and other countries. According to Astor and Benbenishty, mapping and monitoring practices has helped significantly reduce incidents of violence and bullying in California, Chile and Israel. Mapping and Monitoring Bullying and Violence is co-authored by Ron Avi Astor and Rami Benbenishty, from Bar Ilan University in Israel.
Royalties from Welcoming Practices and Mapping and Monitoring Bullying and Violence will be donated to anti-bullying programs in the U.S. and abroad.
About Ron Avi Astor
A published author, research scholar and professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and USC Rossier School of Education, Astor's work examines the role of physical, social-organizational and cultural contexts in schools related to different kinds of school violence, including sexual harassment, bullying and emotional abuse. His work in developing a school mapping and local monitoring procedure is used in school systems around the globe and has received several international awards, including the American Educational Research Association's Palmer O. Johnson Award for Best Research Article. His prior book with Rami Benbenishty, School Violence in Context (Oxford University Press, 2005), won awards from the American Educational Research Association and the American Psychological Association. Astor continues to conduct studies on the epidemiology of school violence in different cultures, the effects of stereotyping on the approval of violence across development in different cultures, and democracy-oriented intervention studies that promote student and teacher participation to achieve school safety. He is a member of the National Academy of Education.
About Rami Benbenishty
Rami Benbenishty is a professor at Louis and Gabi Weisfeld School of Social Work at Bar Ilan University. His main area of interest is the safety, welfare and well-being of children. He studies children and youth both in community normative settings, such as schools, and in out- of-home placements, such as foster homes and residential care. With his colleague, Ron Avi Astor, he is studying multiple aspects of school climate and victimization. He has conducted a series of studies that examined school violence from an ecological perspective. The insights gained from this work contributed to an ecological theory of school violence in context and to consultation with several educational systems around the world. Benbenishty has published numerous papers, book chapters, books and technical reports. His work is widely recognized and he has received multiple awards including France's Chevalier des Ordre de Palmes Academique (Knight in the Order of Academic Palms), SSWR Excellence in Research Award, Israel's Landau Prize for Research and Science, and most recently, Israel's prestigious EMET Prize for Science, Art, and Culture.
About the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work is a leader in social work and nursing education and research. The school integrates the science of social work with real-world practice to improve the well-being of vulnerable individuals and communities and advance social and economic justice on a local, national and global scale. Ranked among the top accredited social work graduate programs in the United States, the school is a recognized leader in academic innovation, experiential learning, online education and translational research. The school has made innovation a signature feature of its academic and research enterprise, leveraging technology in social work and nursing education, clinical practice, research, and community development, as evidenced through the creation of an advanced online platform for distance learning, virtual humans for graduate-level teaching and a school-based clinic offering mental health services over the internet. For more information, visit dworakpeck.usc.edu.
Jessica C. Lee
USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
Phone: (213) 821-7096
SOURCE USC School of Social Work