We are adding each of our seniors’ theses to our blog in order to showcase their work. Today’s comes from Diana Gutierrez:
What are the effects of circle keeping and positive blogging on gossip and toxic culture within schools?
Problem statement: According to the U.S Department of Education the Milwaukee Public School district’s 2010 dropout rate was 61 percent. Toxic environments and gossip in schools are a major problem because they make coming to school uncomfortable. Gossip can spread and affect people who are not even involved. Students engaging in gossip/drama can not focus on their work and often have low self-confidence. This often leads to them dropping out and living an unhappy life.
Thesis Description: To address this problem, I will help the community by creating a blog, leading restorative justice circles in which we will be studying the potential to positively influence human behavior and strengthen civil society, and invite a guest speaker to Escuela Verde.
Methodology: This change will be measured by pre and post surveys. These surveys will measure self-esteem and confidence in power relations. My hypothesis is that there will be a decrease in drama and gossip, an increase in happiness and an increase in resiliency after reading the blog and taking part in the circles. I will also interview the blog and circle keeping audience to measure if their self-esteem increased.
Implications: This research will work to increase self-esteem, which will not only prevent toxic cultures within schools, but violence as well. The blog and restorative justice circles will help teenagers work with their communication skills, power relations, and give them a chance to own their own flaws so they can be happier and more confident within.