Date of this Version
School anti-violence programs are united in their radical condemnation of aggression, generally equated with violence. The programs advocate its elimination by priming children's emotional and cognitive controls. What goes unrecognized is the embeddedness of aggression in human beings, as well its positive psychological and moral functions. In attempting to eradicate aggression, schools increase the risk of student disaffection while stifling the goods associated with it: status, power, dominance, agency, mastery, pride, social-affiliation, social-approval, loyalty, self-respect, and self-confidence. It is argued that the distribution to students of power and authority, plausible substitutes for aggression, would enable them to express aggression in a legitimated manner and simultaneously encourage their attachment to school. A vibrant anti-violence program that attracts children will find a way for caring, amiability, sympathy, and kindness to live in tandem with competition, power, assertiveness, and anger tamed by institutional constraints.
Goodman, J. F., & Kitzmiller, E. (2010). Suppression of the aggressive impulse: Conceptual difficulties in anti-violence programs. Retrieved from http://repository.upenn.edu/gse_pubs/225
Date Posted: 19 July 2011
This document has been peer reviewed.