The Pro-Save project aimed at facing primary school violence phenomena through a set of innovative measures, based on Prosociality and developed from a transnational approach.
Prosociality is emerging as a contribution to the evolutive and social psychology and consists in a list of rules and behaviours generally accepted by the members of the community. It fosters key competences addressed to develop a positive reciprocity among social groups along with a positive initiative to stir up creativity, unity of people living in the same community and social common interests and goals.
In particular the Pro-SAVE project developed:
- national researches and synthesis report titled “The perception of violence among peers in an European perspective – Studies carried on in Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Romania, Malta, France, Slovenia and Greece” that involved 1464 Children (450 children aged 6-7; 463 children aged 8-9; 551 children aged 10-13); 294 Families; 402 Teachers and 227 Non-teaching educational staff;
- a “peace code” methodology, specifically addressed to children and educators, in the detection of child hostility and in the application of concrete responses that can allow them not only to solve the problem once it is detected but also to prevent it, and a Peace code Agreement for proposing a pro-social pact through specific educative plans addressed to all the educators, formal and non formal and to all the social groups that are involved (directly or un-directly) on the education of the children, as social and cultural associations, sport and religious associations. It contains a list of rules and behaviours accepted by the members of the community and contented in a specific agreement;
- the creation of 7 (one in each country involved in the project) “Education Caring Communities” composed by schools, families and all the social and educative actors, with the aim of increasing in all partners the awareness of being educators and making also them aware of the role they have in preventing peer to peer social violence;
- the creation of an European Peace code network that disseminated a series of initiatives based on Prosociality to promote an “active citizenship”;
- the realization of a Training Manual for teachers and members of the educating communities titled “Pedagogic and Didactic Manual for teaching prosociality in primary school” with a DVD and a “Pro-social E- book”: a sort of methodological guide to tackle the issue of how to prevent and how to face the peer social violence through pro-social behaviour;
- the organization of 7 national paths for training of the educators (teachers, parents and members of the newborn Educating caring communities about the prosociality and its contribution to the evolutive and social psychology in order to prevent the children social violence. The training was based on the contents of the Training Manual;
- the experimentation of the Prosociality method in the different "Educating Caring Communities", mainly schools (5 schools in Italy; 2 schools in Romania; 2 schools in Spain; 2 schools in Malta; 2 schools in Bulgaria, 2 schools in Greece and 2 schools in Slovenia);
- 7 National conferences (one per participating country) held by the students to present the outcomes of the experimentation “Students disseminate the Peace Code”.
The used and experimented prosocial method allowed the Pro-Save consortium to reach the aim of conceiving and enhancing a new, proactive and stronger ‘educating community’ in which education is not just conceived as a traditional curriculum/assessment/testing but as a common framework of values, thus raising awareness about the culture of legality, of ethics and of solidarity and facing the peer violence through the reinforcement of the concept of ‘membership’ and the promotion of a greater contact between the school, the families and the territory in order to re-launch the social dynamics of "educating community".
In particular, the project had positive impacts:
- on children: in the experimenting classed, partners monitored, through scientific assessing systems as the Moreno sociogram, that the trend towards social violence, after the Pro-Save experimentation, decreased a lot while cohesion, co-operation, empathy, moral values, sense of responsibility were increased, together with the level of school wellbeing;
- on the actors of education and social sectors: launching the “educating caring community” as an educational context integrated with school-extra school allowed the promotion of prosocial values, enhanced both the level of responsibility of being educators (especially for the so called non formal educators) and the level of motivation of the teachers;
On the whole community: the creation of such national and international networking allowed the extension of the prosocial process from the local to an European and global dimension (through the European Peace Code Network), thus creating a "cosmopolitan global community" to practice and promote the values of universal brotherhood, and help children face peer violence.