Saturday, January 5, 2013

No Name-Calling Week


Today I am making plans for my school's efforts to stop name-calling, an ongoing concern.  This will be the fifth year our school has participated in No Name-Calling Week the last week in January.  If you need resources go to No Name-Calling Week . We are going to kick-off our participation with an announcement on our Friday TV broadcast the week before.  We will have morning announcements, activities, a bulletin board, a notice home to parents, etc.  I try to make it easy for teachers to participate by giving them simple ideas and ready made activities.  Our teachers do morning meetings (Responsive Classroom) so that is a perfect venue to discuss name-calling. We tie this in to our schoolwide bullying program so it is another reminder that we are striving for a positive school climate where everyone uses kind words and treats others with respect.


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    The movement received an important boost in the mid-1950s through the work of anthropologist Gregory Bateson and colleagues – Jay Haley, Donald D. Jackson, John Weakland, William Fry, and later, Virginia Satir, Paul Watzlawick and others – at Palo Alto in the United States, who introduced ideas from cybernetics and general systems theory into social psychology and psychotherapy, focusing in particular on the role of communication (see Bateson Project). This approach eschewed the traditional focus on individual psychology and historical factors – that involve so-called linear causation and content – and emphasized instead feedback and homeostatic mechanisms and “rules” in here-and-now interactions – so-called circular causation and process – that were thought to maintain or exacerbate problems, whatever the original cause(s). This group was also influenced significantly by the work of US psychiatrist, hypnotherapist, and brief therapist, Milton H. Erickson - especially his innovative use of strategies for change, such as paradoxical directives (see also Reverse psychology). The members of the Bateson Project (like the founders of a number of other schools of family therapy, including Carl Whitaker, Murray Bowen, and Ivan Böszörményi-Nagy) had a particular interest in the possible psychosocial causes and treatment of schizophrenia, especially in terms of the putative "meaning" and "function" of signs and symptoms within the family system. The research of psychiatrists and psychoanalysts Lyman Wynne and Theodore Lidz on communication deviance and roles (e.g., pseudo-mutuality, pseudo-hostility, schism and skew) in families of schizophrenics also became influential with systems-communications-oriented theorists and therapists. A related theme, applying to dysfunction and psychopathology more generally, was that of the "identified patient" or "presenting problem" as a manifestation of or surrogate for the family's, or even society's, problems. (See also double bind; family nexus.)
    Most people think of therapy as involving a one-to-one relationship with a therapist. However, there are times when it is more appropriate for family therapy and marital counseling either instead of or in addition to individual therapy.

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