Educators propose anger management lessons in schools

Published by rudy Date posted on April 24, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Young children are exposed to too much violence in video games, and educators from a Quezon City-based international school say that anger management should be taught to elementary and high school students to reduce aggression among kids.

Emil Ong, director for school development of the Reedley International School, said anger management lessons would help school children deal with stress, the reason why many students fail to focus on their studies.

Ong cited a recent study by Dr. David Grossman, a retired US Army Ranger turned professor of Military Science at the Arkansas State University, that showed that playing violent video games, particularly those wherein the player is the “first-person shooter,” trains children in the use of weapons and harden them emotionally to the act of murder by simulating the killing of hundreds or thousands of opponents in a single video game.

Ong said giving anger management and leadership skills programs to children who play video games could result in a reduction of aggression and an improvement in academic performance.

“With all these violence and stressful things they are exposed to, children should be taught to effectively control and manage their stress,” Ong said.        

Grossman’s study analyzed 790 second and third graders at 12 elementary schools in King County in Washington, who were divided into two groups, one immersed in anger management and leadership skills programs, and the other that did not go through any program.      

The results showed that the first group showed a 60 percent reduction in aggression and a 100 percent improvement in their academic performance.

Grossman recommended that children’s exposure to violent video games should be reduced if not totally avoided.

At Reedley, students are taught anger management and conflict resolution skills through the Life Skills subject.

Lessons in these classes are mostly based on the strategies recommended by the best-selling books “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens” and “Seven Habits of Happy Kids” of Sean Covey, son of American educator Stephen Covey who authored the phenomenal “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Anger management teaches children to articulate and analyze their feelings, then strive to control them.

Reedley follows the Singaporean curriculum in teaching Math and Science and the US curriculum in teaching English and Social Studies. – Rainier Allan Ronda, Philippine Star

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