CHILDREN FIRST – An e-learning course and an online game against teen dating violence

Wednesday 4 August 2021

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During the last two years, the Children First consortium has worked with adolescents and adults to address the issue of teen dating violence, the gender-based violence that occurs in early relationships. We are happy to present some of the training materials created, which will continue to be available online for teachers and students on the Children First website and in our Digital Library.

Specifically, an e-learning course will remain available to teachers and educators who want to deepen their knowledge on the phenomenon of teen dating violence and on how to deal with it at school. At the same time, adolescents will be able to continue using an online game created by their peers, with the aim of making them reflect on the toxic dynamics that can occur within relationships.

In recent months, in order to evaluate the impact of the educational resources produced and understand if they actually meet the needs of users, we have tested both the e-learning course and the online game with teachers and teenagers between 12 and 18 years old in Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Lithuania and the United Kingdom. Although the pilot is still ongoing, we have collected some interesting results.

So far, 233 teachers and educators have participated in the virtual workshops held in all countries. Importantly, although half of the participants have at least 10 years of teaching experience, one third of them received no or minimal training on gender-based violence in school and in adolescent relationships, and report that they rarely face such incidents at school. school. The vast majority of them found the training interesting and expect it to have a significant impact in their daily work. Despite this, some teachers remain reluctant to change their attitudes and perceptions of school-related gender violence.

At the same time, 116 teenagers aged 12 to 18 tested the Children First game in all participating countries. Most of them have already played educational games online and seem to be aware of key concepts such as “gender stereotypes” and “gender identity”. The game was received quite well by the participants who identified themselves in some of the dynamics proposed in the game. As one boy noted, “the game has certainly pushed me to reflect even more on situations that unfortunately are frequent in the reality we live in”. However, the results of the evaluation show that well-established and common stereotypes among young people – for example: jealousy as a normal part of relationships or the existence of “appropriate” hobbies for girls and boys – still remain difficult to eradicate.

In Italy, last spring, the game was presented and evaluated by various classes of the “Maria Adelaide”, “Ernesto Basile” and “Danilo Dolci” high schools of Palermo, as a part of PCTO pathways, civic education or in curricular time. Moreover, about 70 teachers from all over Italy participated in the online workshops organized by CESIE to present the e-learning course between April and July 2021.

The full results of the pilot trial and impact assessment of the e-learning course and online game will soon be available on the project website. So, stay tuned to find out more!

About the project

Children First is an EU-funded project aiming at preventing and contrasting school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) among children, with a focus on dating violence.


For further information

Read more about Children First.

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