The International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation


Action Research on Impact of Emotional Resilience Curriculum on Children affected by communal violence in Gujarat

Dr. Dipti Sethi

 Ms. Deepika Singh


Citation:
Sethi D & Singh D (2012).  Action Research on Impact of Emotional Resilience Curriculum on Children affected 
by communal violence in Gujarat.
 International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. Vol 16(1) 59-85



 Keywords: Emotional resilience, Children, Communal Violence, Gujarat, India
Acknowledgement: The authors wish to thank all the children who took part in this study, the families of the children who shared their pain and trauma with us for the purpose of this study. We are thankful to Janvikas, Udaan and Samerth Trust for providing the space in their schools and centers and to all the teachers from Samerth Trust and Janvikas, Udaan who were wholeheartedly engaged in implementing the curriculum and sharing their observations with us.
Conflict of interest: none declared
Sources of Funding: NEG Fire, New Delhi, India





Introduction
Context

The country is facing violence in various forms such as communal violence, insurgency and terrorism. Families affected by violence usually struggle to secure shelter and food. Children are generally last in the list of priority of these families. Mostly the trauma remains unaddressed and is manifested in the behaviour of children.

Children living in families with crisis such as families where parents are going through divorce, where parents are unemployed, alcoholic or families that are displaced due to war, conflicts etc are exposed to risks. The children are exposed to risks through the day to day processes that happen in such families and also by the end result of such crisis. However different types of such crisis have shown different impact on children.

Maltreated children, who experienced some risk factors (e.g., single parenting, limited maternal education, or family unemployment), showed lower ego-resilience and intelligence than non maltreated children Furthermore, maltreated children are more likely than non maltreated children to demonstrate disruptive-aggressive, withdraw, and internalized behavior problems. Finally, ego-resiliency, and positive self-esteem were predictors of competent adaptation in the maltreated children. (Cicchetti et al., 1993)

Emmy Werner (1982), She was one of the early scientists to use the term resilience in the 1970s. She studied a cohort of children from Kauai, Hawaiia. Kauai was quite poor and many of the children in the study grew up with alcoholic or mentally ill parents. Many of the parents were also out of work. Werner noted that of the children who grew up in these very bad situations, two-thirds exhibited destructive behaviors in their later teen years, such as chronic unemployment, substance abuse, and out-of-wedlock births (in case of teenage girls). However one-third of these youngsters did not exhibit destructive behaviours. Werner called the latter group 'resilient'. Resilient children and their families had traits that made them different from non-resilient children and families.

The communal violence in Gujarat left over 2000 dead, more than 300 women were sexually brutalized in horrific ways and over 2 lacks people were internally displaced in Gujarat (95% were Muslims). [1] Even after eight years of communal violence in Gujarat most of the families are living in ghettos in the relief colonies and camps. The children who witnessed the violence in Gujarat have grown to adolescents. The relief and rehabilitation colonies that were temporary arrangements for the families have become permanent place of residence. The survivors did not receive any Post Trauma Counselling except in one of the camps in Ahmedabad and through Voluntary organizations and NIMHANS.

Janvikas, Udaan and Samerth are working with families affected by communal violence in Gujarat in 2002.  For relief and rehabilitation of the families, organization undertook various interventions. Both the organization’s have long-term interventions for rehabilitation of the community and specifically of the children. The organizations have been able to respond to certain needs at a very intuitive level but a planned work to help the children cope with the trauma was not undertaken.

NEG Fire and Corestone provided training on Emotional resilience to Janvikas, Udaan and Samerth in 2010. Janvikas, Udaan and Samerth decided to implement the Emotional Resilience Curriculum with selected children and there by take first steps to respond to the special needs of the children.

Concept: What is ‘emotional resilience’?

Emotional resilience is the ability to cope with stressful life experiences, disappointments, and challenges in an effective and meaningful way that helps to preserve self-esteem, build social aptitude, and prevent frustration, anger, and even depression. Emotional resilience learned early in life assists in recovering from misfortunes and disappointments, thus fostering emotional health.

Emotional resilience is the ability to bounce back from the effects of adverse situations.

It's also:

         Being able to stop yourself from getting extremely angry, down or worried when something 'bad' happens

         Being able to calm down, feel better, and bounce back when you get overly upset

         Being able to control your behaviour when you are very upset.

COD, 1990: Resilience - act of ‘springing back’

Corstone: The ability to function competently, powerfully and peacefully under stress. Emotional resilience reinforces people’s confidence that they can help themselves and others. It enables individuals, families and communities to face challenges, develop and maintain a positive attitude, make healthful choices, and solve problems on every scale.

Ways of Building Emotional Resilience:

Dr. Emmy Werner: After following a large group of children from the embryonic stage to their mid-thirties, researchers in a project headed by Dr. Emmy Werner of the University of California at Davis revealed that more than a third of "at risk" kids acquired the self confidence to do well in school, in social life, and later in love and in work. This success was in spite of such significant obstacles as prenatal problems, discordant home lives, poverty, and significant personal loss. Similar or even better odds emerged from other studies.

And so the resilience researchers began to ask why. For if they could determine the protective factors the successful kids shared, those could be imparted to many more at-risk children — maybe even all children, preventively. Careful observation led to a formula: Protective factors minus risk factors predict the likelihood of being a resilient child and adult.

Rutter 1985:  identifies 3 fundamental components that determine resilience.

o        A sense of self-esteem & self -confidence

o        A belief in one’s own self-efficacy & ability to deal with change and adaptation

o        A repertoire of social problem-solving approaches

Close association between resilience and self-esteem, self-efficacy and social competence is noted by various authors (e.g. Daniel and Wassell, 2002)  

Lown (2002) and others assert that low self-esteem seems to be ‘rife’ amongst those struggling at school.

Factors influencing/determining emotional resilience:

Literature refers to wide range of protective and risk factors inherent in resiliency, the researchers adapted the protective factors and resilient traits used by the developed by Norm Constantine and Bonnie Benard for the study “California Healthy Kids Survey Resilience Assessment Module”, 2001.

Protective Factors

Family connection:

Loving and caring environment at home. Availability of adults to share problems, encouragement and appreciation from parents or other adults at home. Parents interest in child’s engagement at school, with friends or community also serves as protective factor. Parents or other adult’s faith in child that he/she is worthy and can do what he or she determines to do act as a protective factor for the child.

School Connection:

Expectation and support system available in school. Encouragement, motivation, faith in students, appreciation and space to share any problems with teachers or any other adult in school serves as protective factor.

Pro- Social Peer:

Children spend lot of time playing with friends. Children are influenced by peers and also learn from peers.  Friends with pro social behaviour act as a protective factor.

Pro- Group Participation:

Child’s participation in activities at home, school or community for some meaning full contribution creates sense of fulfilment, self efficacy and contributes towards self esteem.

Resilience Traits:

Empathy:

The ability to read others behavioural clues to understand their psychological and emotional states and thus build better relationships. Resilient people are able to read others non verbal cues to help build deeper relationships with others and tend to be more in tune with own emotional state.

General Self Efficacy:

The sense that we are effective in this world- the belief that we can solve problems and succeed. Resilient people believe in themselves and as a result, build others confidence in them placing them in line of more success and more opportunity.

Effective help seeking:

Knowledge about help providers and ability to seek help in times of crisis is also a resilience trait.

Self Awareness:

(Lewis and Brook Gunns 1979) Although this term has no standard definition it is referred to those processes that permit the recognition of one’s ability to act, to feel and to regard oneself as an entity different from others.

Goals and aspiration:

Goals and aspirations in life act a constant source of motivation in life to move forward.

Expressing Feelings and Conflict resolution

Emotions shape our interactions with others and affect our behaviours resulting from those interactions. In order to prevent conflict, or deal with conflict effectively when it arises, child should learn to understand his or her feelings, be able to identify them, and regulate them. It is important to teach children that there is a whole gamut of emotions that can be expressed in various ways. However, knowing how to express them in a meaningful way will help child in solving social conflicts and maintaining relationships. One way of promoting development of emotional competence is to help your child develop vocabulary that expresses feelings.

The purpose for developing emotional literacy is to help children to precisely identify and communicate their feelings. Children must know how they feel in order to be able to fulfil their emotional needs. The child must communicate their feelings in order to get the emotional support and understanding needed from others, as well as to show their emotional support and understanding to others.

The objectives of the present study were articulated as under:

         To study the curriculum implementation process for its adequate contextualization.

         To study the influence of emotional resilience curriculum on well being of children.

         To study extent of integration of emotional resilience practices in daily lives of children.

 

Methods

Research Design:

The research problem/question

Looking at the prolonged neglect of mental health needs of the children impacted by communal violence Gujarat based NGO’s like Janvikas,Udaan and Samerth decided to implement the Emotional Resilience Curriculum with selected children and there by take first steps to respond to the special needs of the children.

Research Questions:

o       Do the curriculum activities facilitate children to develop a positive self image?

o       Do the curriculum activities facilitate children to develop coping mechanisms to deal with conflicts in schools?

o       Do the curriculum activities facilitate children to develop empathy?

o       Do the curriculum activities facilitate children to recognize own strengths and put them to use in multiple ways.

o       Do the curriculum activities facilitate children to recognize own feelings?

 

The research also closely studied the process of implementation, need based changes if any in the curriculum, challenges faced by teachers and the learning’s  while implementing the curriculum.

Sample size:

About 100 children were part of the research.

The research design was explorative. The researchers  studied implementation of curriculum and learning’s from the same. The impact of curriculum on emotional, psychological and social well being of children after the implementation of the curriculum was also studied. The researchers have made no claims or hypothesis about the same.

Details about the tools implemented for data collection:

At the on set of the study information was collected regarding each child’s family background, family income, sibling information, time spent with family and friends and history with communal violence.

To study the implementation of curriculum:

         Teacher’s daily logbook: To study behavioral changes of children. To aid the process of gathering teacher’s observation an appropriate checklist was developed. The daily logbook for teaches was introduced in the refreshers training for teachers. Teachers were trained to make classroom observations and documentation.
 
        Reflection meetings:  To share the observations and further sharpen observation skills of facilitator’s regular reflection meetings were conducted with teachers. To enhance facilitator’s capacities for group facilitation, review the observations and analyse the log books weekly meetings were conducted with the teachers. The weekly meetings also aided the process of tracking the behavioural change amongst children and the changes required in facilitation process.
 
        Case studies: Selected pre and post case studies of children were done. Appropriate formats for case studies were developed in consultation with the teachers.
 
        Feedback from children: At the end of each session (weekly sessions) the children and teachers were administered a feedback form to gather quantitative feedback on the classroom process and content.
 
Tools adapted to study influence of curriculum on well being of children
 
The researchers developed formats with pictures and closed ended questions to elicit children’s response to their current emotional status.
 
        Understanding the Protective factors and resilient traits of children:
The team adapted the tools on measuring protective and resilience traits of children developed by Norm Constantine and Bonnie Benard for the study “California Healthy Kids Survey Resilience Assessment Module”, 2001.
 
        Self esteem of children:
The Rosenberg self-esteem developed by Morris Rosenberg was also adapted.
 
        Understanding predominant feelings of children:
Exercise provided by Core stone in the activity manual were adapted to understand predominant feelings of the children.
 
        Mapping strengths of children:
To map the awareness about the strengths of children, a small tool was developed. The children had to draw a picture of them and write five adjectives describing them in the blanks.
 
Tool to understand conflict resolution strategies:
Another tool enlisting various conflict resolution strategies was prepared to understand various strategies used by children to resolve day-to-day conflicts.
 
Scope of Study:
a) Conceptual scope:
 
The research closely studied the process of implementation of the curriculum and the impact of curriculum on emotional resilience of children. The research made use of baseline test to understand the emotional, psychological and social support status of children before the implementation of the curriculum and after the implementation of the curriculum.
 
The study taook an account of protective factors to understand social support available to children.
 
It also studied the impact of curriculum on resilient traits of children such as self-esteem, general self-efficacy, problem solving, conflict resolution, expression of feelings, self-awareness and effective help seeking.
 
Children were the main source of information for the assessment of protective factors and resilient traits, the researchers did not included community or teachers for this purpose.
 
The curriculum was implemented with the hundred children spread in two schools of Janvikas ,Udaan and two centres of Samerth. The same children were part of the research study.
 
Limitations:
The study was conducted after a substantial gap since the communal violence. The sites for the study of the impact of curriculum were schools and centres that run in the habitation where the internally displaced families have settled.
 
The study can be used for contextual purposes and not large-scale generalizations.
 
b) Operational Scope:
The researchers did not take into account the support and participation of children in community activities. 
 
Variables:
The variable of the study were derived from the protective and resilient traits required for emotional resilience. The study took into consideration the following variables.

a) Caring relationships and high expectation in home

b) Meaning full participation in the home

c) Caring relationships and High expectations in the school

d) Meaningful Participation: In the school

e) Cooperation and communication/Self Efficacy

f) Empathy

g) Problem Solving

h) Self Awareness

i) Caring Relationships: Peers

j) High Expectations- Pro social peer

h) Self esteem

i) Conflict Resolution

J) Feelings

h) Strengths

 
Process of Data Collection:
 a) Steps followed to collect Baseline data:
         Briefing the children about purpose of the survey
         Briefing the teachers about the tools and process of conducting the survey
         Giving instructions:
         One of the researchers gave instructions for the exercise followed by other teacher’s explaining the questions to children in smaller groups.
         Checking completeness of response:
The researchers checked the response sheets submitted by the teachers. In case child missed out responding to the questions, the sheet was given back to respective child to fill up.
 
b) Case Studies: Teachers prepared six children’s case studies. Teachers got feedback and inputs from the researchers to prepare the case studied.

 
c) Review meetings: Review meetings focused on
        Discussion about implementation of curriculum and class room observations. Preparation of case studies and
        Providing continuous feedback to teachers. 
The major challenge was to bring together all the teachers to share the experiences.
 
d) Administering the end line test:
Teachers with the support of the coordinators of the respective organisations administered the end line test.


Content of the curriculum:

The Emotional Resilience Curriculum for children prepared by Corestone builds on the principles of positive psychology focusing on attitudinal healing, building positive self image. The research studies impact of the curriculum and implementation of curriculum.

The major outcomes of the programme include

        Decrease in levels of symptoms of stress and anxiety

        Decrease levels of conflict and /or disruptive actions

        Increase levels of optimism and self esteem

        Increase internal locus of control

        Increase sense of belonging and social connection

The initial curriculum is for three months with exercises and practices that can be conducted by a trained educator.  

Table: Break-up of curriculum for initial 12 weeks.

Week No

Purpose of Activities

Week 1

o       Orienting students to reasons for groups and basic themes

 

Week 2

o       To create group guidelines and ‘group agreements’ for safety in group

o       Set the tone of the group

o       Confidentiality is necessary in groups to build trust among group members and to encourage self disclosure.

 

Week 3

o       To identify student’s ‘strengths’ and to increase self-esteem and self-awareness

 

Week 4

o       Identify and acknowledge our individual strengths.

o       Increase self-esteem and self-awareness

 

Week 5

o       Help students identify how others see them

o       To familiarise themselves with what their and other’s strengths look like

 

Week 6

o       One month evaluation of identifying group/individual progress

 

Week 7

o       Identify  our feelings

 

Week 8

o       Identify how we hold our feelings in our body

o       Begin to learn how having physical others or physically soothing activities help us to feel better.

 

Week 9

o       To learn ways to manage big feelings

 

Week 10

o       To learn ways to manage nig/deep feelings

 

Week 11

o       Identify good communication skills to foster friendships and resolve conflicts

 

Week 12

o       Three month evaluation to identify group and individual progress.

 

 

Methodology for implementation of the curriculum:

The curriculum was implemented once a week by the teachers. Method of circles was used to encourage children to participate and engage in activities. Specific incidents where any student’s feelings were hurt were taken up for discussion by the teachers. 

Inputs provided to teachers for implementation of the curriculum:

1) Orientation workshop of teachers:

 A three day orientation workshop was conducted with all the teachers and coordinators involved in implementation of the curriculum. The workshop was conducted by Dr. Dipti Sethi and Ms. Deepika Singh.

The Objectives of the workshop were:

1)      To share findings of the base line tests with the teachers.

2)      To re-orient teachers about the research design.

3)      To sensitize and sharpen teachers comprehension abut concept of Emotional Resilience.

4)      To equip the teachers with the know how of imparting the curriculum to children.

5)      To enhance facilitation skills of the teachers.

6)      To discuss and clarify the ‘observation tools and teachers log book’ so that teachers are enabled to apply them.

 

Outputs of the workshop:

         Framework on emotional resilience was developed

         Curriculum mapping was done

         Participants applied the concepts in practical life ( Stories of application)

         Understanding and restructuring of tools for reflection and observations

 

Results

Major Findings at a glance:

The research studied the Protective and Resilient factors that contribute towards building emotional resilience for the study. The curriculum has contributed to all the major outcomes that the study sought to observe

Increase in level of optimism and self esteem:

Overall the self esteem of children has improved. The responses to the question regarding being satisfied with oneself indicate need for improvement.  The responses to having positive attitude towards oneself and feeling worthy of one self have increased.

 The responses towards feeling not good at all, feeling useless and feeling that one does not have much to be proud of have considerably decreased. Similar responses can be seen while children share about meaningful engagement in schools and family. 

Increase sense of belonging and social connection/ Protective factors:

An aggregate positive move in following supportive factors is seen.

         Caring relationships and high expectation in home

         Meaning full participation in home

         Care relationships and high expectations in the school

         Meaningful participation in the schools

 

Similarly an overall positive change in the following resilience factors is seen.

         Cooperation communication and self efficacy

         Problem solving

         Self awareness

 

Decrease in levels of stress and anxiety:  As considerably less number of children reported experiencing anger. Further higher percentages of children have reported experiencing feeling of pleasure and amusement.  Overall maximum children reported experiencing love, pleasure and amusement.

 

Data of Positive outcomes at glance: Outcomes where the movement is equal or more than five percent indicating increase in resilience traits or strengthening social connection are considered as major positive outcomes.

Sr. No

Resilience traits and social connection

Baseline (%)

End line (%)

1

Meaning full participation in home

 

         Help make decisions with family

80

91

2

Caring relationships high expectation in schools

 

         Teacher or some other adult who always wants me to do my best

87

95

3

Meaningful participation in school

 

         I do things in school that make a difference

72

87

4

Cooperation communication  self efficacy

 

         Can work with some one who has different opinion than mine

         I stand up for myself without putting others down

         I can do most of the things myself if I try

 

62

 

 

61

 

92

 

94

 

 

85

 

99

5

Empathy

 

         I try to understand what other people feel and think

 

91

 

 

98

 

6

Problem Solving

         When I need help I find some one to talk with

 

         I know where to go for help with a problem

 

         I try to work out my problems by taking about them

 

 

88

 

83

 

91

 

98

 

95

 

97

7

Self Awareness

 

         I understand my moods and feelings

 

95

 

100

8

Self Esteem

 

         Take positive attitude towards self

 

         Can do most of the things as good as the others.

 

         Feel that they do not have much to be proud of.

 

          Feel that I am a person of worth, at least equal of others.

 

         Feel useless as times.

 

 

52

 

36

 

 

15

 

52

 

 

16

 

59

 

53

 

 

8

 

59

 

 

7

9

Feelings

 

         Pleasure ( Almost always)

 

         Amusement ( Almost always)

 

         Anger

 

 

46

 

 

10

 

15

 

53

 

 

20

 

8

 Areas of improvement:

The responses to questions about conflict resolution were mixed. The percentage of children accepting others view point without much of dialogue has increased. Similarly percentages of children who make efforts for acceptance of own view point by others has increased considerably.  At the same time percentage of children who bring in a third person to talk about the conflict with the other person has increased too. Further sharing about conflict with some third person to understand the reasons of conflict has increased considerably.  The researchers concluded that through the regular practice of sharing own views in circle and expressing own feelings; the children are learning to assert. At the same time children are learning to listen to others and accept others view point through practice of listening. A movement in all the directions is seen as children are becoming aware of own feelings, others feelings and also learning to resolve conflicts.

 
High expectation and pro social peers is the only supportive factor where a gap is seen.   The percentage of children experiencing fear has increased. The researchers of the opinion the external environment did not change considerably during the period of study to create such an impact.  Hence the possible reason could be that children have got in touch with own feelings resulting into changes.

Data of areas of improvement: Outcomes where the movement is equal or more than five percent indicating decrease in resilience traits or weakening of social connection are considered as areas of improvement. 

Sr. No

Resilience traits and social connection

Baseline (%)

End line (%)

1

Caring relationships peers

         I have a friend about my own age who talks with me about my problems

 

95

 

84

2

High Expectations : Pro social peers

         My friends get into lot of trouble

 

67

 

76

3

Conflict Resolution:

         Accept the view point of other person with whom you have conflict without much of dialogue.

 

         Make efforts for acceptance of your view point by the other person with whom you have conflict.

 

50

 

54

 

61

 

85

4

Self Esteem

         Satisfied with self

 

75

 

62

5

Feelings

         Fear

 

         Love

 

1

70

 

7

54

 

Discussion

7.  Analysis and Interpretation of data:

 Table showing children’s responses in PERCENTAGE

 7.1) Caring relationships and high expectation in home: 

No

Questions

Yes

Base line

Yes

End line

No

Base line

No

End line

Total

6

In my home, there is a parent or some other adult who is interested in my school work.

92

97

8

3

100

9

In my home, there is a parent or some other adult who talks with me about my problems.

87

88

13

12

100

11

In my home, there is a parent or some other adult who listens to me when I have something to say.

95

99

5

1

100

5

In my home, there is a parent or some other adult who expects to me to follow the rules.

90

91

10

9

100

7

In my home, there is a parent or some other adult who believes that I will be a success.

98

95

2

5

100

10

In my home, there is a parent or some other adult who always wants me to do my best.

95

96

5

4

100

 

97% of the children have a parent or some adult at home who listens to their problems, talk to them as compared to 95% children.

Similarly, 99% children shared that they have parent or some other adult who talk with them about their problems as compared to 95%.

91% children’s parents expects them to follow rules, is interested in child’ work at school and has high expectations from them in terms of their success and behavior as compared to 90%.

91% children shared that they have parents or some other adult who always wants them to do best as compared to 95% previously.


7.2: Meaning full participation in the home:

2

Meaning full participation in the home

 

Yes

Base line

Yes

End line

No

Base line

No

End line

Total

14

I do fun things or go fun places with my parents or other adults.

98

99

2

1

100

25

I help make decisions with my family.

80

91

20

9

100

 
99% of children reported of engaging in fun things or going to fun places with parents or other adults as compared to 98% children.

91% reported that they help to make family decisions as compared to 80%. This shows high rate of participation of children in home.

7.3: Caring relationships and High expectations in the school

Sr.

No

Question

Yes

Base

Line

Yes

End line

No

Base

line

No

End line

Total

35

At my school, there is a   teacher or some other adult who really cares about me.

98

96

2

 

4

100

37

At my school, there is a teacher or some other adult who notices when I’ m not there.

99

98

1

2

100

40

At my school, there is a teacher or some other adult who tells me when I have something to say.

99

98

1

2

100

36

At my school, there is a teacher or some other adult who tells me when I do a good job.

98

100

2

0

100

39

At my school , there is a teacher or some other adult who always wants me to do my best

87

95

13

5

100

41

At my school, there is an adult who believes that I will be a success.

97

98

3

2

100

 100% children have some teacher or adult in school who notices good work done by them, the response for same question was 98% during baseline study.

The percentage of children reporting that there is some teacher or adult that notices their presence and absence from school and is available to listen to them reduced from 99% to 98%. About 96% children reported that the teachers or some other adult in school care compared to 98% in baseline.

98% children as compared to 97% children shared that there is an adult or teacher who has faith that the children will be successes full. About 95% children reported that they have a teacher or some other adult at school who wants them to always do best as compared to 87% during baseline.

7.4: Meaningful Participation: In the school                                                 

Sr. No

Questions

Yes

Base line

Yes

End line

No

Base line

No

End line

Total

26

At my school, I help decide things like class activities or rules.

91

93

9

7

100

21

I do interesting activities at school.

 

94

97

6

3

100

28

I do things at my school that make a difference.

72

87

28

13

100


As compared 94% children in baseline test about 97% children shared that they are engaged in doing interesting activities in school.


As compared to 72 % children in baseline, 87% of the children shared that they do things at school that make a difference.
 

7.5: Cooperation and Communication/self efficacy:

5

Questions

Yes

Base line

Yes

End line

No

Base line

No

End

 line

Total

45

I can work with someone who has different opinions than mine.

62

94

38

6

100

47

I enjoy working together with other students my age.

99

95

1

5

100

48

I stand up for myself without putting others down.

61

85

39

15

100

43

I can work out my problems.

94

93

6

7

100

44

I can do most things if I try.

92

99

8

1

100

46

There are many things that I do well.

 

98

98

2

2

100

 

Sr. No

Questions

Yes

Base line

Yes

End line

No

Base

Line

No

End line

Total

13

I feel bad when someone gets their feelings hurt.

94

92

6

8

100

15

I try to understand what other people go through.

92

92

8

8

100

49

I try to understand what other people feel and think

91

98

2

9

100

Almost all the children enjoy working together with children of their age. Significant improvement (from 62% to 94%) children shared that they can work with someone who has different opinion then theirs.  Similarly a significantly high number of children (form 66 % to 85%) children shared that they can stand up for them selves without putting others down.  99% children shared that they can do most of things if they try as compared to 92% children during baseline test.

7.6: Empathy

About 98% of children they understand what other people feel and think compared to 91% children in the baseline test. The percentage of children who shared that they feel bad when some one gets their feeling hurt reduced from 94% to 92%.  Similar percent of children (92%) shared that they understand what other people go through.

7.7: Problem Solving

Sr. No

Questions

Yes

Base line

Yes

End line

No

Base line

No

End line

Total

17

When I need help find someone to talk with.

88

98

12

2

100

18

I know where to go for help with a problem.

83

95

17

5

100

19

I try to work out problems by talking about them.

91

97

9

3

100


Many more children (98%) as compared to the baseline test (88 %) shared that they find some to talk with when they need help and they try to work out problems by talking about them.
 
 Similarly about 95% of children shared that they know where to go for help with a problem whereas the result for baseline stood at 83%.
 
The percentage children trying to work out their problems by talking about them increased from 91% to 97%.

7.8: Self Awareness

Sr. No

Questions

Yes

Base line

Yes

End line

No

Base line

No

End line

Total

53

There is a purpose to my life.

 

98

97

2

3

100

54

I understand my moods and feelings.

 

95

100

5

0

100

55

I understand why I do what I do.

 

99

99

1

1

100

 
About 97% children as compared to 98% children during baseline test shared that they have a purpose in life. The percentage of children sharing that they understand their moods and feelings remained same i.e. 95%. Similarly 99% children shared that they understand why they do what the do in baseline and end line test.

7.9: Caring Relationships: Peers

Sr. No

Questions

Yes

Base line

Yes

End

 line

No

Base line

No

End

line

Total

1

I have a friend about my own age who really cares about me.

98

98

2

2

100

2

I have a friend about my own age who talks with me about my problems.

94

83

6

17

100

4

I have a friend about my own age who helps me when I’ m having a hard time.

97

99

3

1

100

 

 Percentage of children sharing that they have friends of own age that cares about them remained the same i.e. 98%. Whereas 99% compared to 97% children shared that they have friend with whom they can share about their problems and who help them when they are having hard time. The number of children who shared that they have friend of own age that talks to them about their problem significantly reduced from 94% to 83%

 

7.10: High Expectations: Pro - social peers

Sr. No

Question

Yes

Base line

Yes

End line

No

Base line

No

End line

Total

20

My friends get into a lot of trouble.

67

76

23

24

95

22

My friends try to do what is right.

99

97

3

3

95

24

My friends do well in school.

90

89

10

11

95

 

 From 67% the percentage of children sharing that their friends get into lot of trouble increased to 76%. The percentage of children who shared that their friends try to do what is right reduced from 99% to 97%.  Compared to 90% in baseline test 89% children shared that their friends do well in school.

 

7.11: Self Esteem
 

Questions esteem Self

 

Strongly agree

Agree to some extent

 

Do nor agree or disagree

 

Disagree to some extent

 

Strongly disagree

 

 

 

Base line

End line

Base line

End line

Base line

End line

Base line

End line

Base line

End

Line

1. On the whole I am satisfied with myself.

 

75

 

62

 

12

 

22

 

   8

 

8

 

0

 

5

 

5

 

5

2. At times I think that I am no good at all.

 

8

 

13

 

46

 

33

 

 8

 

12

 

20

 

22

 

18

 

21

3. I feel that I have a number of good qualities.

 

68

 

64

 

22

      

12

 

    3

 

15

 

4

 

8

 

3

 

1

4. I am able to do things as well as most other people.

 

36

 

53

 

18

 

25

 

    12

 

8

 

29

 

7

 

5

 

6

5. I feel I do not have much to be proud of.

 

15

 

8

 

35

 

29

  

18

 

12

 

17

 

28

 

15

 

22

6. I certainly feel useless at times.

 

16

 

7

 

23

 

11

 

14

 

20

 

25

 

33

 

22

 

29

7. I feel that I am a person of worth, at least the equal of others

 

50

 

64

 

28

 

15

 

12

 

3

 

5

 

12

 

5

 

6

8. I wish I could have more respect for myself

 

63

 

53

 

20

 

23

 

6

 

9

 

6

 

7

 

5

 

7

9. All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure

 

8

 

16

 

23

 

14

 

 23

 

13

 

26

 

24

 

20

 

34

10. I take a positive attitude toward myself

 

52

 

59

 

12

 

14

 

15

 

11

 

9

 

6

 

11

 

12

 The comparison between baseline and end line data reveals some negative changes:


         Only 62% children shared that they are satisfied with themselves as compared to the 75%.
 
         Only 64% children strongly agree that they have number of good qualities as compared to 68%.  But while considering the cumulative result of strongly agreeing and agreeing to some extent the result actually turns out to be positive as the baseline result comes to 90% and end line turns out to be 76%.
 
         Similarly considering the results of statement “At times I think I am not good at all” the percentage of children strongly agreeing increased from 8 to 13. But if cumulative result of those strongly agreeing and those agreeing to some extent is considered the percentage of children reduced from 54 percent to 46 percent.
 
The positive outcomes are:
 
         59% children shared that they have positive attitude towards themselves as compared to 52%
 
         Percentage of children who felt that they can do most of the things as good as the others increased from 36 percent to 53 percent.
 
         Only 46% (cumulative result of strongly agree and agree to some extent) children feel that they are not good at all compared to 54%.
 
         The percentage of children who felt that they do not have much to be proud of reduced from 15 percent to 8 percent.
 
         Percentage of children who strongly agreed to the statement “I feel that I am a person of worth, at least equal of others” increased from 52 percent to 59 percent.
 
         Only 7% children that they feel useless as times as compared to 16%.
 
         The percentage of children who strongly agreed to the statement “I wish I could have respect for my self” reduced from 63 to 53.

 7. 12: Conflict Resolution 

Sr.

No

 

Questions

   Yes

Base line

Yes

End line

No

Base line

No

End line

Total

1

Try to keep away from the conflict situation

 

85

88

 

 

15

 

 

12

95

     2

Try to find out a mid way by having a dialogue with the other person/persons with whom you have conflict.

 

88

86

12

14

95

     3

Accept the view point of other person with whom you have conflict without much of dialogue.

 

50

61

50

39

95

    4

Make efforts for acceptance of your view point by the other person with whom you have conflict.

 

54

85

26

15

95

    5

Bring in a third person to talk about the conflict with the person with whom you have conflict

 

31

71

69

29

95

     6

Share about the conflict with some third person and try to understand the reason for conflict.

 

68

78

    32

22

95

 

Comparison with baseline

About 88% of children try to keep away from conflict situation as compared 88% 

About 86% of children shared that they try to find a mid way by having dialogue as compared to 88%.
 
61%% of children also accept the view point of other person with whom they have conflict as compared to 50%.
 
About 85% children make an effort for acceptance for his/her view point by other person as compared to 54%.
 
About 71% of the children bring in a third person to talk about the conflict with other person as compared to 31%. 
 
About 78% children share about the conflict with some third person and try to understand the reason for conflict as compared to 68%.
 

7.13: Feelings: 

Frequency

Almost always

Often

A few times

Hardly

Not at all

 

Feelings

Base line

End line

Base line

End line

Base line

End line

Base line

End line

Base line

End line

Pleasure

46

53

19

22

29

22

4

3

2

0

Fear

1

7

18

19

38

28

31

26

5

19

Amusement

10

20

23

24

34

36

25

15

8

5

Love

70

54

13

6

9

18

5

17

3

5

Anger

15

8

16

17

27

27

25

29

17

18

The children were asked to mention how frequently they experienced the feelings of pleasure, fear, amusement, love and anger in the last week. The table clearly shows that maximum number of children experienced pleasure, amusement and love.  The number of children experiencing fear continuous has increased. The number of children experiencing anger has decreased considerably. 

 About 75% of children experienced feeling of pleasure (cumulative response of almost always and often) as compared to 65%.

60% children experienced the feeling of love (cumulative response of almost always and often) as compared to 83% previously. About 55% of children experienced fear (cumulative response of hardly and sometimes) as compared to 69% previously.  About 19% children shared that they did not experience fear at all as compared to the 5% during baseline study. Percentage of children who expressed feeling of being amused increased from about 33% during baseline to 44%.

 
8.14: Strengths

Sr. No

Strength

Base line

Number of responses

End line

Number of responses

1

Creativity (includes dance, music, drawing, putting henna)

38

37

2

Hard working

31

70

3

Fearless

0

39

4

Loving others

0

32

5

Kindness

25

4

6

Ask for help

0

52

Maximum number of children responded that they are hard working; the number of responses are more than double as compared to baseline test. Being fear less and loving others are new responses which did not at all appear during baseline. Kindness appeared as one of the strengths during baseline test but in end line very few responses were seen.  52 responses emerged for demanding help which was not seen during baseline test.

 
7. 15 Observations from Case Studies:

Six case studies were conducted during the implementation of the curriculum. The case studies were prepared by teachers with guidance of the researchers. Children whose families were displaced due to communal violence in Gujarat, who were directly victims of violence or witness of violence were studied.  The children themselves do not remember anything about the violence but have memories based on what they heard from parents and others.

Changes in behaviour were seen in a child who is survivor of the mob attack and witness of violence and killing of his family members at a tender age of less then two years.  Initially he faced difficulty in concentration during discussions started sharing his views with the group and by the 6th week he also initiated the discussion. The child use to call his second mother by her name but during the programme he stated calling her aunty.

Another chld whose family was displaced due to communal violence and was identified as a very quite child by the teacher was studied.  The child had expressed that she dislikes noise very much. She revealed liking for peace and silence. Initially the child spoke at the end of the discussion by the fifth week she started taking initiative and also talking to other children of the group. By the end of the programme the child had made friends in the group with whom she sat regularly.

All the children studied showed the pattern of increased participation and sometimes initiating the discussion. All the children have largely expressed the feeling of being happy and satisfied at the end of the sessions. Some of the children even acknowledged that the programme has helped them to bring about certain changes in behaviour with friends and families.

 

Changes and impact as observed by the teachers while implementing the curriculum.

          Children who were tight lipped during regular school sessions were speaking during the emotional resilience session and also initiating discussion.

         Children looked forward to the session and informed the teachers if they could not participate.

         Children shared how they felt at the end of the session. Issues such as being hurt during the session due to other child’s behaviour were discussed and sorted.

         Children were able to recognising feelings. 

         Children were able to recognising where in body they experience the feelings.

         Children could act the strengths very beautifully and the other children were easily able to recognise them.

         Children were using the learning’s to cope up with tension. They talk friend when they experience some kind of tension. 

         After recognising the feelings and understanding where they are experienced in body, children themselves shared about how they deal with their feelings.

         Children interact more freely with teachers without any kind of fear.  They even share domestic problems with the teachers.

         The teachers shared that children have understood strengths and feelings very well.

 

8) Suggestions for way forward:

Timeliness of study: The researchers recommend studying the impact of curriculum in context where the time incident of crisis is in recent past. 

Conduct a longitudinal study:  Conducting a longitudinal study would generate an overall picture about the impact of curriculum. It may also help to observe the impact of external environment on children coping after the crisis situation.
 
Capacities of teachers: Process sensitivity and need to work with own sensitivity is crucial for the teachers engaging on the curriculum.
 
The teachers should be inducted into the implementation only after undertaking a basic training on curriculum implementation.
 
Building a community of practitioners: Teachers can build a community of practitioners implementing the curriculum. The community can facilitate sharing of reflections and learning’s of teachers while implementing the curriculum.
 
Contextualizing the curriculum: The curriculum should be contextualized, activities to externalise the hurt and trauma could be worked out. The community of practitioners can also initiate the process to contextualise the curriculum.
 
Review the curriculum: Teachers suggested that more activities to deal with strong feelings should be developed.
 
In India from crisis such as communal violence, children also face systemic discrimination such as gender discrimination, caste discrimination and religious discrimination. The curriculum should be reviewed reworked to make it more relevant to Indian context.

 Conclusion

Data provides indication that the curriculum has improved the resilience traits of children.  Besides this the curriculum has initiated process of dealing with bottled up feelings.  Well being issues of children need to be addressed in a systematic way as an increase in number of children experiencing is seen.
 
Teacher’s observation indicated that the method of sharing and discussing in circles seems to have done well. Teachers share that the silent kids opened up, participated and initiated discussions.
 
Sharing by children also indicated that children liked most of the activities of the curriculum except those that involved writing.
 
It can be concluded that the curriculum activities have impacted the well being of children positively. It can also be said that teachers and children have appreciated different aspects of the curriculum. The curriculum should be implemented further to help children deal with strong feelings experienced by them. Constant handholding and sensitivity towards process needs to be further developed in the teachers. 

 
 

References

1. Norm Constantine and Bonnie Benad. (2001). California healthy kids survey resilience assessment module technical report
 
2. Kumar Ravi Priya, Psychological impact of trauma o post riot displaced children of Panchmahal, Gujarat: A preliminary report.
 
3. Poppy Nash and Jackie Lown, Evaluation of Emotional resilience materials for primary school children.
 
4. Core Stone, Emotional resilience curriculum
 
5. Article by Adele M. Brodkin, http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=11275
 
6. http://ezinearticles.com/?Emotional-Resilience-in-Children&id=3670269
 
7. Donald Meichenbaum. How educators can nurture resilience in high risk children and their families.
 

 



Appendix / Tables

5.2) Review meetings (please refer annexure 2 for process report of review meetings)

Sr. No

Focus of the meetings

Discussion, Observation/ reflections shared by teachers

Suggestions by the researchers and outputs of the meetings

1

Separate meeting with teachers of Janvikas, Udaan  and Samerth

 

Sharing of experiences of the first two weekly sessions

 

Discussion about data keeping and case studies

Children had many questions such as,

“Why this work is done only with us”

“Why no one younger or elder to us is included”

 

Teachers needed more time then expected to formulate the rules.

 

Positive experiences of working in circle with children, all the children could see each other, listen to each other and speak.

 

Children of Samerth centres shared that sitting in circle was a new experience and they have never done it in their schools.

 

Children who did not speak initially spoke in smaller circle.

 

Children encouraged each other to speak and share.

 

Children engaged in the process intensely right from the beginning that most of the children

 

Children themselves brought up issues like trust and faith while forming the rules for the programme.

 

Children also expressed some kind of confusion about the programme but after the first session once they got a little familiar with the process they open up.

 

Feedback at the end of the sessions; Mostly children said “I liked it”. 

 

The researchers also discussed about children’s ability to share the feelings at the end of the session. The teachers shared that they have written about how they experience the children.

 

The teachers had not prepared the sheets for classroom observation; the data was kept in a notebook. 

 

The researchers suggested the teachers to discuss response such as “I liked it” with children by asking them “what did you like”

 

The researchers suggested the teachers to ask the children about how they felt at the end of the session and help children themselves articulate it.

 

The teachers were reminded about the exact format of data keeping.

 

It was decided that within a couple of days the data sheets would be prepared.

 

The researchers and teachers finalised children for case studies and disused how the case study could be done.

2

Equipping teachers to conduct case studies.

 

Discussion about the format of case study with the teacher.

Support teacher in preparing the case study.

Review the information and experience of the teachers while preparing case study

The researchers suggested collecting all the information and not leaving any gaps.

3

Discussion of mid term test

 

Collectively analyse the mid term review outcomes

The researchers discussed the mid term review analyses plan with the teachers. 

The team sat together and analysed responses of few questions. Similarly the classroom observations were discussed and the researchers helped the teachers to find out patterns e.g. children who always initiate discussion, children who always speak at the end.

 

The team also went through the main aspects of the curriculum that were already covered and the remaining ones.

The researchers helped the teachers to understand that the data is to be used by them to find out what aspect have to be focus and what kind of efforts need to be put with which child.

4

Synergizing learning’s

A very interesting discussion emerged when all the teachers started to speak about the responses from children. ( Please see section on impact)

 

 



[1]
                        [1] The uprooted – Caught between Existence and Denial. A document on the State of the internally Displaced in Gujarat

 



 


Copyright 2012  ADG, SA. All Rights Reserved.  
A Private Non-Profit Agency for the good of all, 
published in the UK & Honduras