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Over the last several years, our nation has faced the sobering reality that all too often our school-age children have been victims---and perpetrators--of once-unthinkable acts of violence. In 1999 the Center for Civic Education (CCE) initiated the School Violence Prevention Demonstration Program (SVPDP) as an alternative approach for reducing the level of students' antisocial and violent behavior in schools. This program implements curricular approaches to violence prevention that draw upon effective instructional practices and materials in civic education. The national implementation of SVPDP by the CCE during 1999-2000 on a pilot basis in seven sites is premised on the belief that civic education for democracy can form the foundation for school-based violence prevention.
The purpose of this report is to document and assess the first-year SVPDP implementation process. The first chapter provides a brief look at current violence prevention and civic education efforts in American schools. Chapter 2 outlines the 1999-2000 SVPDP research strategy and design, the program's first-year implementation plan, and the challenges of balancing SVPDP's implementation and research objectives. Chapter 3 provides brief profiles of the seven first-year SVPDP pilot districts, highlighting characteristics shaping the program's implementation in each district. Chapters 4 through 8 assess in detail the seven pilot sites' first-year implementation of the SVPDP, identifying and examining the influence of the following factors: SVPDP site coordinators and evaluators; SVPDP teachers and training workshops; SVPDP curricular materials and culminating activities; the physical, instructional, and policy environments of SVPDP classrooms and schools; and school district, parental, and community involvement. Chapter 9 concludes by affirming the critical importance of curricula-based civic education programs such as SVPDP and recommends key action steps to support the sustainable and long-term use of civic education curricular materials for school violence prevention.
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