|How Does Cross-Age Teaching Prevent or Reduce Crime?
Teaching crime and substance abuse prevention skills directly -- such as how to resist peer pressure to use alcohol -- clearly helps students learn about safe behaviors and avoid crime. Teaching academic subjects or providing training in special skills also indirectly helps prevent or reduce crime. By giving students one-to-one tutoring in subjects such as math or English, for example, cross-age teachers strengthen students' academic abilities, allowing them to improve performance, gain confidence, and experience success.
With these results, students may enjoy school a bit more and become more involved in their studies and school activities and less likely to drop out. Since dropping out of school is closely linked with getting involved in crime, staying in school is a key step in avoiding crime. If you are interested in obtaining more information on how dropping out of school is linked to getting involved in crime, get a copy of the Bulletin Keeping Young People in School: Community Programs That Work.1
Cross-age teaching programs that focus on learning skills like playing a sport, performing music, mastering a painting technique, or preparing a meal can also help reduce or prevent crime. Youth who are busy practicing guitar, playing in a soccer league, or creating artwork obviously have less time to get involved in crime or other dangerous activities than students with no special interests or activities.
1 Obtain a copy of this Bulletin, published by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in June 1997, by calling the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (800-851-3420).