Good School Toolkit
The Good School Toolkit is a methodology created to help educators and students explore what makes a healthy, vibrant, and positive school and guide them through a process to create their vision. It deliberately focuses on ideas and activities that do not require dedicated financial resources—just commitment and perseverance to create something extraordinary.
In a Raising Voices’ study conducted in 2005 in Uganda, over 60% of children interviewed said they experienced violence at school on a regular basis. To address this urgent issue, we developed The Good School Toolkit, a holistic and sustainable methodology for creating violence-free schools. The Good School Toolkit was developed with the help of schools in Uganda and has been revised once in order to better meet the needs of teachers and students.
“This toolkit teaches me that positive discipline comes from inside. I have clear goals, I work hard and I think of new ways of solving the old problems and to believe in myself.”
– Primary School Student
How the Good School Toolkit Works
The Good School Toolkit has four interrelated objectives that address:
- Development of a collective vision for the school.
- Creation of a nurturing learning environment.
- Implementation of a more progressive learning methodology.
- Strengthening school governance.
The Toolkit is designed to be systematic and child-friendly in its approach. It contains six steps that are designed to take a school through a process of growth that mirrors the stages of behavior change. This enables key stakeholders to experience change in a manageable and natural way.
The Toolkit comes in three packages.
- The Introductory Package introduces you to the Good School Toolkit and provides the necessary tools to inform your decision to embark upon the journey to creating a Good School
- Package Two assists educators in preparing a team of community members who are dedicated to joining you on the journey to creating a Good School and explores what it means to be a good teacher.
- Package Three addresses discipline and helps educators to establish a school culture and disciplinary methods that support positive discipline instead of corporal punishment. It also provides steps to think about the future, plan for the way forward, and measure and celebrate your success!
- Includes child-friendly and inspiring learning materials such as posters and cartoon booklets.
Good School Toolkit Study
The Good School Toolkit Study is a collaboration between Raising Voices, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Makerere University to investigate the efficacy of the Toolkit in Ugandan schools.
A Bold Question
What does it take to prevent violence against children in school? We hypothesize that interventions must be systematic, holistic and led by the schools themselves. Teachers, students, the administration and the parents must all contribute and the process must have support of the local government officials.
To this end Raising Voices developed a methodology that is currently being used in over 450 schools in Uganda. As the Good School Toolkit garners more interest and expands its reach, the need to study its effectiveness is critical.
The Good School Toolkit Study is a randomized controlled trial and is being conducted with 42 schools in the Luwero district of Uganda. The primary outcome of the study is the reduction in physical violence against children. The baseline was conducted in 2012 and the follow up will be in 2014. Our goal is to understand the impact of the methodology and whether there is evidence to advocate for the Good School Toolkit as a credible tool for promoting quality education at scale within East Africa.
The study will also ask additional questions to help illuminate key drivers of change including:
- How do teachers invest in changing their schools?
- What will stimulate children’s participation and imagination and does this have an impact on learning outcomes?
- Does the prevention of violence in school influence children’s experience of violence at home?
- Can we create this link?
Good School Toolkit Adaptations
The Toolkit was developed in partnership with six schools in Uganda and over a period of three years. The Toolkit was revised in 2011 in response to lessons learned and feedback during its pilot, making it even more accessible and user-friendly. We hope to revise it again in 2014 based on our on-going learning. We are also open to adapting and translating it in other languages.
Are you interested in adapting or expanding Raising Voices methodologies in your community? Contact us!