Friday, March 28, 2008

Center for Worst Practices

Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene, writing at the Governing blog, propose a systematic study of failure. An excerpt:

Results for Scared Straight, in which young people are confronted with the horrors of prison life — includinginteractions with tough, scary prisoners — were particularly alarming. It turned out that kids in the program were 7percent more likely to engage in criminal behavior than those who had missed out on the experience of its systematic intimidations.

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado has uncovered similar problems in programs. Here's one of them: Many primary school administrators make efforts to schedule school assemblies to talk about bullies and the problems they cause. Thinking back to when we were kids, it doesn't feel like the bullies we encountered would have been moved by such public interventions. That's just what the University of Colorado study found. Meanwhile, even though it has been shown that one-shot assemblies have no impact, they're prevalent. "There is research out there and we need to pay attention to it," says Jane Grady, associate director of the center.


HR Wench said...

Scare tactics do NOT work with adolescents. Never have and never will. The sooner educators wake up to this fact (that has been proven over and over again!) the better.

Michael Wade said...

HR Wench,

When you are an adolescent, you are immortal and blessed with a deep perception that shields you from the problems that afflict others. And if you wanted to do so, you could become a rock star.