The KiVa Method: a Strategy to end Bullying

Bullying or “bullying” is a repeated form of violence that produces damage to the victim at different levels, from social relationships to self-esteem.

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Bullying or “bullying” is a repeated form of violence that produces damage to the victim at different levels, from social relationships to self-esteem. Your goal is to subdue through intimidation. Although we have it associated with schools, it can be extended to social networks and to different areas. The consequences are fatal for the victims, both physically and psychologically. To combat this scourge, the KiVa method was created in Finland.

The protagonists of this situation tend to be minor, in the adolescent stage, and unfortunately it is a type of violence that occurs in many societies. Although it is true that technology, especially widespread in the Western world, I have made the spaces in which the victim feels safe have practically disappeared.

“Never do something wrong to make a friend or to keep one.”

-Robert E. Lee-

The most worrisome of this situation is the increase of cases during the last years in school education centers. Worse, some situations of bullying are so intense and frequent that the victim sees only one way out: suicide. For this reason in some countries of the world are beginning to take measures to solve this problem.

Finland, an example for the world

Experts point out that in some schools bullying exceeds 70%. For this, they have asked the educational community to recognize this reality. On the other hand, and even more importantly, that they adopt prevention measures where mistreatment and harassment are incipient.

KiVa method

Finland is an example for the world with the creation of the KIVa method, whose results after its application are encouraging. This Nordic country took on the challenge of ending bullying in its education system. As a result of this specialized intervention, Finland has managed to reduce school bullying by up to 90% in recent years.

This has earned him all kinds of praise worldwide, as occupy the first place in primary and higher education. Additionally, it has the first position in the formation of the Global Competitiveness Index (IGC). All this as a result of a high level of social awareness and having allocated a significant amount of resources to education.

Currently Finland is considered one of the most innovative and creative countries in Europe and the world. It should be noted that the consequences of bullying not only affect those directly involved, but the entire educational community and extends to their families.

What is the KIVa method?

The term KIVa results from merging the first syllable of the two words that in Finnish mean bullying. The application of this revolutionary method has spread to most schools and its success has not been long in coming. So much so, that educators consider it an essential tool to work with their students.

The KIVa project was the result of an express request made by the government to the educational community of that country, based on preliminary and worrying studies on school violence. Faced with this request, professionals from different areas and institutions of different order worked together to develop the KIVa method.

In its experimental phase, this program produced surprising results. During the first year, bullying was reduced by 41%. Within a few years, bullying had decreased by 80%. All this, additionally, motivated the students to study more and obtain better grades. These spectacular figures speak for themselves, which has sparked an unusual interest in educational conglomerates worldwide.

The great success of the KIVa method was not concentrating exclusively on the confrontation between the stalker and the victim. The gaze was directed towards the spectator, who indirectly participated in the abuse in question and reinforced it. It was not about inducing the victim to reveal his feelings as a result of the harassment, nor was it about instigating the aggressor to feel empathy for his victim.

Deciphering the puzzle

The key was to act on the students who witnessed this situation and who, in general, responded with laughter. These spectators could have an inclination to reject, to witness the aggression. However, they ended up internalizing it as something normal and even fun. Therefore, the purpose of the KIVa method was to influence viewers so that they would not participate indirectly in these situations of harassment.

The program, in its initial phase, was concerned with instructing children of seven years and older. I wanted them to be able to identify the different types of bullying. This instruction is composed of courses, in which different themes related to school mistreatment are discussed and analyzed. Empathy, respect for others and moral values ​​are also taught.

Pedagogic resources such as video games, manuals and talks are used. All this is reinforced with instructions for teachers, supervision during breaks and accompaniment in group work. A virtual mailbox was even created in which the student could report if he was a victim of abuse or had witnessed it.

Results of the application of the program

In each school in which it is applied, the director selects a group of three adults responsible for surfing. These will watch over the compliance of the method and will learn to use tools to detect early and investigate all forms of bullying that occur in school.

This process includes the dialogue with the victim, to reassure him; and with the aggressor to sensitize him. On the other hand, they talk to the spectators of the event, since they constitute the cornerstone of the project. Finally, a verification follow-up is carried out, which in most cases yields a positive result.

The drastic change that the implementation of the KIVa method generated in Finnish schools is only a sample of its potential. Its application, at an early age, produces the best results. In addition, it helps repair cracks in educational and family structures.

When minors are educated not to support, actively or passively, violent behavior of this type, we see how there is a change in mentality. Programs like this materialize in achievements thanks to people who think that changes can be made in a society, to make it more cohesive, just and supportive.