With the roll out of the Victorian Respectful Relationships curriculum, teachers are being called on to deliver respectful relationships and violence prevention education. We offer professional development for teachers and school staff, workers in community groups, youth workers, and those in educational institutions. The program focuses on developing an awareness of the prevalence of violence, and attitudes and beliefs in our community that enable violence, with a particular focus on family and sexual violence. We address the attitudes and beliefs of participants themselves, as well as how teachers and community workers can support those they work with to develop skills to create respectful relationships in their lives.
We address various techniques, highlight challenges and experiences within violence prevention education with the aim of assisting teachers to build their knowledge, skills and confidence in exploring with students issues of gender, sexuality, sex, relationships, violence and support. We also discuss ways to incorporate violence prevention into classrooms and the curriculum. We cover ways of responding to students who share experiences of violence and different ways to challenge violence enabling attitudes in education settings.
Our workshops are tailored to the requirements and interests of each organisation or institution. They can be single or multiple sessions, depending on your specific requirements and available time. We will design workshops to build on training that teachers have previously undertaken. At minimum our workshops run for 90 minutes.
With specialised training, teachers are more able to model respectful relationships and open communication across the school. The school is then also well placed to create partnerships with families and the wider community to address violence at a broader social level.
A whole-school approach to violence prevention: educating teachers:
Studies have shown that the most important criterion for the effectiveness of violence prevention and respectful relationships programs in schools is a whole-school approach. This means that violence prevention education should operate across all curriculums of teaching and learning and be reflected in school policy and practices, school culture, ethos and the school environment. A whole-school approach requires specialised training, resources for staff and the comprehensive assessment of school policies and processes. A concerted approach across entire schools is necessary to effect the cultural change required to end family violence and sexual assault.
A 2009 Department of Education report found that “whole-school approaches address and change the larger context within which children and young people’s experiences of, and responses to, interpersonal violence are shaped.” Violence amongst young people is determined by the social context within which young people develop and grow. A whole-school approach can work to challenge and change dominant myths that perpetuate violence.
A whole-school approach can better recognise the multiple contexts in which young people live including home, school, the media, the broader community and peer networks. Giving students multiple exposures to key messages can position violence prevention education as a key learning outcome and experience for young people. Research has found that it is very important for young people to experience and discuss issues of violence and violence prevention in different contexts and to see healthy relationships between teachers and role models, positioning schools as an important influence in the construction of gender roles and young people’s relationships to sexism and violence.
With specialised training teachers are more able to model respectful relationships and open communication across the school. The school is also then well placed to create partnerships with families and the wider community to address violence at a broader social level.
Information sourced from the report “Respectful Relationships Education: Violence Prevention and Respectful Relationships Education in Victorian Schools” by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2009
Feedback we have received from teachers:
Do you think you will be able to use any of the information we talked about today to assist you in the future?
"Absolutely, enlightening, informative"
“Great to discuss how workshops are approached and how we can implement these in classes, it was good to see how workshops on these challenging topics can be run”
“It provided an opportunity for me to look at my own ideas and attitudes and how I represent those to students”
“It was very informative and useful for my profession”
What was helpful to you today?
"Support services contact details. Situational discussions were brilliant! Great to sit in a circle as one group, really strong facilitation – well done!"
"Learned strategies to challenge students’ perspective”
“I found it beneficial to unpack real school scenarios and responses we can use”
“Any opportunity to discuss issues like “consent” makes it easier / clearer to discuss with students”
“Increased my awareness of the interconnectedness of gender stereotypes and violence and how successfully we deal with it”
“It made me aware of how gendered stereotypes lead to victim blaming and acceptance of family violence”
“It was thought provoking and helpful for my understanding of relationships”
Our professional development workshops are charged on a sliding scale, please contact us regarding our rates. If your educational institution does not have access to funding, please contact us as we may be able to accommodate your request.