Monday, December 6, 2010

limmiting agression

What:  The middle school principal has asked that I set up an after school program for the students.  The principal believes that something needs to be done to curb the recent violence in the student body.  The principal wants the children to have a positive sports environment to enjoy, rather than getting into fights after school. 
So What:  I have decided the program will be built around team sports that will focus on sportsmanship.  This will force the children to work in groups to achieve success together.  I will need to avoid high levels of aggression form the children which could lead to fighting, and ruin the whole point of the program.  To do this I will avoid aggressive sports like football, and rugby.  The sport I will focus on will be soccer, because it takes several players to play and is designed for little contact between the players.  Soccer is a good choice for this program because it forces teamwork, and provides a good cardiovascular workout.  I will need to keep the focus of this program on teamwork and sportsmanship to avoid fights that may occur from the children getting to competitive.  As the instructor I need to control my aggressive energy so the children do not pick up on it, and act negatively.
Now What:  According to the instinct theory Konrad Lorenz (1966) aggressive energy builds up like steam in a boiler.  So having the opportunity to run around and play should be able to burn off some of the aggressive energy.  By having less stored aggressive energy the students should have no reason to fight at school.
However Albert Bandura (1973) posed that aggression is a learned social behavior.  As the instructor I need to be firm in not reinforcing any aggressive behavior.  By putting the children in an environment where aggression is not tolerated it should help foster better actions.  They will also be able to channel there aggressive energy to the success of the team rather than destructive behaviors. While these two theories are opposed by incorporating parts of both I am assured a positive outcome.
Conclusion:  By creating a program to lower violence at the middle school I hope I have fostered an environment were aggressive behavior is frowned upon.  I used soccer because it allows for limited physical contact to teach the students that they shouldn’t hurt each other.  By using athletics, and the principles of instinct, and Social learning theory I hope I have helped these children to better handle their aggression.
Gill, D., & Williams, L. (2008). Psychology dynamics of sport and exercise (3rd ed.) Champain,IL:Human Kinetics. . Pg. 228.
Bandura, A. (1973). Aggression: A social learning analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.