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Teaching Students to Respond to Difficult Situations with SEGWAY

The fundamental purpose of SEGWAY is to expose school-age students to alternative behavioral responses. CommUniverCity partners with SJSU psychology graduate students to create an event in which students have a safe place to dialogue about everyday issues they face at school. Dr. Matthew Capriotti’s Psychology 142 students at San Jose State led socioemotional growth activities at McKinley Elementary School this past fall. Through a series of activities planned and developed by the graduate students, children are encouraged to engage in positive behaviors to conquer negative stimulation they face, such as bullying and harassment.

On November 1st, the students of McKinley Elementary were visited by Professor Capriotti’s graduate students. The SJSU graduate students rotated between 6 classrooms with grades ranging from 3rd to 5th grade. The graduate students performed a series of activities in which they modeled different strategies and methods of avoiding or settling conflict. Lessons that were taught to the children included Cool Down Tools, Being a Good Sport and Dealing with Teasing. The activities were interactive and allowed the children to participate both independently and collaboratively through class share outs.

The whole project took place over the span of about 4 hours with a total of 10 rotations of 20-30 minutes each. At the end of the sessions, SJSU students assisted students in completing post surveys. According to those surveys, more than half of the McKinley students reported that they would “definitely” use the methods they learned in SEGWAY when they are in a difficult situation. Many of the other students indicated they would “probably” use the methods they learned in SEGWAY when they are in those situations.

“It’s a great program to teach children good behaviors that can help them concentrate in class,” noted one McKinley Elementary School teacher.

“I learned that you should treat people the way you want to be treated,” said a McKinley Elementary School student to describe what they had learned from the psychology student presentations.

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