Lila Swell will present her problem-solving program, Let’s Work It Out, at the Kappa Delta Pi (International Honor Society in Education) 48th Biennial Convocation taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana, from November 3 through 5. The program provides student participants with specific tools necessary to promote nonjudgmental communication.
Let’s Work it Out was designed in 1999 to teach fourth to ninth graders communication and problem-solving skills. Swell, who also serves as head counselor for the KDP Kappa Gamma Chapter at QC, developed the program to give students positive tools to better express themselves without experiencing and promoting hostile behavior. “Often students do not learn conflict management skills at home—it is our responsibility as educators to teach it. Education is preparation for life. Problem solving is a skill that needs to be taught in schools,” says Swell.
In addition, the program focuses on developing students’ ability to objectively observe—which helps them analyze situations—and critical and creative thinking. Exercises range from beginning to advanced to serve as a permanent staple in an individual’s problem-solving skills. “Participants [in the program] learn that their actions affect the world around them, be it positively or negatively. Subsequently, they learn to explore and utilize healthy alternatives to control their emotions, and thus, their behavior,’’ says Swell. “Another aspect of the exercises concentrates on the acquisition of the self-discipline required as part of the problem-solving process. The consequences of certain behaviors are explored and behavioral limits established,” she continues. “To become a healthy, functioning member of society, a person must take responsibility for his or her own behavior. Students will learn to ‘Stop, Look, and Listen’ before acting or reacting.”
Let’s Work It Out has been adapted within many schools in Queens and surrounding boroughs. Currently, Queens School of Inquiry (QSI) is using two vital components of the program—Conflict Resolution and Peer Communication. Swell hopes to expand the use of the program beyond the NY school system. “The KDP conference is another venue to let people know more about the program and its benefits within schools.”
For more information on Kappa Delta Pi, visit their website.