The school-based Change from Within (CfW) programme began in 1992 under the leadership of Sir Philip Sherlock, a former Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (UWI) and has been in operation from the School of Education (SoE) at UWI, Mona since 2002. The programme, which focuses on the reduction of violence and anti-social behaviours through capacity-building of stakeholders of schools, has experienced positive transformation over the years in the areas of student behaviours, academics, classroom management, interpersonal relationships, student leadership, and leadership development among principals.
In January 2016, the School of Education (SoE) commenced implementation of a new phase of the CfW programme and identified ten schools with which to partner for its implementation, inclusive of schools within the UWI community.
The current phase of programme implementation is focused around two principal goals: (i) the identification and implementation of various interventions that will enable the transformation and further development of these schools; and (ii) research to inform design and implementation of the practical interventions within schools.
Activities completed since the new phase of implementation began in January 2016 include:
- Constitution of a core team within the SoE to lead programme activities. This team comprises the Lecturer in Education for Sustainable Development, Citizenship, and Peace within the School of Education; a retired Senior Lecturer within the School of Education with expertise in Education for Sustainable Development and the CfW programme; and a founding member of the CfW and Project Director for the CfW within the Faculty of Humanities and Education from 2002-2012.
- Meeting held with the Ministry of Education in January 2016 to reorient the Ministry to the CfW and the SoE’s new phase of implementation.
- Meeting held with the Principals of the ten schools identified in March 2016 to orient them to the new phase of implementation of the CfW.
- A series of ‘Circle of Friends’ meetings held with the CfW school Principals to ascertain their needs, challenges, and experiences as well as priority areas for intervention.
- Recruitment of an accredited practitioner coach/mentor to assist with programme activities and to serve as a coach mentor for teachers and students.
- Constitution of an Advisory Committee and convening of the inaugural meeting of the Committee in May 2016. The Advisory Committee will offer overall on-going guidance for implementation of the programme.
- Participation in a Psychosocial Support Training of Trainers Workshop organised by the Ministry of Education in June 2016 to share an overview of the CfW Programme as well as components of its methodology, such as the restorative justice circles.
- Introduction of the CfW programme and methodology to students in courses such as Changing Cultures, Changing Schools.