Edmonton, AB: Dr. Stuart Shanker, expert in self-regulation and bullying, will deliver the keynote address at the upcoming Alberta Safe and Caring Schools Forum. The forum, hosted in partnership by the Canadian Safe School Network and the Alberta-based Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities, will take place on November 24 at the Alberta Teachers’ Association Barnett House.
The theme of the forum is “Policy to Practice: Creating Safe Spaces,” and takes a proactive and positive approach towards bullying prevention. Participants will attend sessions on restorative practices in schools, mentoring and how to successfully implement the requirements of the new Alberta Education Act to build safe, caring and inclusive school environments. There will also be a full-day, integrated student stream of the conference. The purpose will be to shift the focus on safety in schools away from bullying prevention and punishment and towards how to make positive changes.
As keynote speaker, Dr. Shanker will encourage participants to shift their understanding of what “safe” means. In particular, to consider bullying and aggressive behaviour in children not as the cause of an unsafe environment, but rather a sign that children do not feel safe. According to Dr. Shanker, “we need to think seriously about what we mean by ‘safe’… The problem with seeing ‘safe’ solely in terms of stamping out bullying is that this may lead us to think that this is simply a problem of self-control. But it’s not. Children can only exercise self-control when they are calm, and that requires knowing when and why they are agitated and what they can do to return to being calm.”
Seats for the Alberta Safe and Caring Schools Forum cost $329, with discounts for student participants. Tickets can be purchased through the Canadian Safe School Network website: www.canadiansafeschools.com.
About Dr. Stuart Shanker
Dr. Stuart Shanker is a Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, Psychology and Education at York University, as well as a well-established academic author. Over the past decade, Dr. Shanker has served as an advisor on early child development to government organizations across Canada and the US and in countries around the world. Most recently, he served as the 2012 Thinker in Residence for Western Australia. In Canada, he is currently CEO of the MEHRIT Centre (www.mehritcentre.com), and is assisting in the rolling out of a self-regulation classroom initiative with several Superintendents under the auspices of the Ministry of Education in British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Ontario.
About the Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities
The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities (Safe and Caring) is a not-for-profit organization which builds community capacity to prevent bullying and violence against children and youth through the promotion of healthy relationships. As a centre for community collaboration, Safe and Caring fosters effective networks and partnerships to improve the quality of life for all of Alberta’s children and youth. For more information about Safe and Caring, visit www.safeandcaring.ca.
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