A Canadian educator, who formed a consulting firm with her husband which focuses on training to lessen bullying among children, has been quite successful in developing programs for the Nunavut schools.
According to their website, Susan Buchanan, with her husband Mark Buchanan, founded the firm Clarior Consulting in order to “create and deliver products and services that improve skills, communication, and cooperation leading to successful outlooks.” The Nunavut press has praised Ms. Buchanan for her anti-bullying programs in the Inuit schools.
The village of Chesterfield Inlet, on the western shore of Hudson’s Bay, benefited from Ms. Buchanan’s skills over the past month. Her courses, which she has presented in numerous other Inuit schools, try to teach the importance of friendship, social values, and life skills to young people.
She feels that, given proper training, children can deal with and effectively reduce bullying, which has become a problem in the schools. Her work also helps children improve their interpersonal relationships, their learning skills, and their abilities to communicate.
The programs she offers include parents, school staff, and daycare providers as well as children—she emphasizes the importance of the entire community becoming involved with the bullying problem. She offers a workshop for parents on how to overcome bullying in the family. “This program works well with Inuit values, and students, educators and parents all relate to it well,” she said.
She told the reporter that bullying is a serious problem in many Canadian schools, and it has been getting worse. Formerly, girls had the higher rates of bullying, but recently it has been increasing among boys. She didn’t mind praising her program to the press. She observed that many Inuit parents have complimented her for improving the social environment in the schools. “They see their kids getting along better with others in both the school environment and the community in general,” she said.
Allan Pitcher, the principal of the Victor Sammurtok school in Chesterfield Inlet, where she has been working with the students and their surrounding community, praised the program. He looks forward to evaluating the results after some time has passed. “Even though it’s called a bullying program, it’s much broader because of its premise that if you don’t teach proper social skills, maybe what’s being classified as bullying is simply students not knowing how to act properly,” he stated.
Pitcher told the reporter that he was quite impressed by the way the course is presented, and he’s sure the students will benefit from it. He likes the fact that the program involves the whole community; he says the students are beginning to internalize the lessons. He feels that Ms. Buchanan’s work complements what the community is already doing to combat tendencies toward bullying. All students need assistance in developing their social skills, he feels, and a program like hers that focuses on developing them is really important.