For decades, people Has argued that bullying is just part of growing up, that parents and teachers – children should not worry too much about harassing other children. “Read All-Aid” Wall Street Journal A few years ago.
Certainly this was my approach as a child, and I remember being hooliganism and bullying, as a normal part of what happened in schools. But a growing body of research suggests that schools can prevent bullying – and ensure that all children attend school each day without fear of being physically hurt or socially targeted.
Research on bullying builds on a substantial body of evidence around the importance of helping students develop social-emotional skills, and the study increasingly just outlines how Important These abilities are for the success of the child. This is true for bullying and many other aspects of life. Indeed, many scholars now believe that showing empathy for others is just as important as learning algebra.
But helping students to develop social-emotional skills can be challenging for some schools. For one, school leaders are under significant pressure to improve educational progress, and therefore many schools neglect the social and emotional side of learning. Also, socio-emotional skills may seem a little vague, and therefore teachers do not get much guidance on what to teach or how to teach it.
A few years ago, a team at the University of Virginia led by Catherine Bradshaw decided to help teachers understand how students would be able to develop better social-emotional skills in an effort to address bullying. Ultimately, bullying can have very negative effects. In an extreme example, a teenager Stabbed And killed another teenager in a New York City school over bullying last year.
So the UVA team has developed a widely used school-wide prevention framework known as “school-positive behavioral interventions and supports” aimed at improving school climate and student behavior across many outcomes such as discipline and academics is.
This framework is new for several reasons. First, it targets the whole school, and so all employees are involved in its implementation, thereby developing a shared sense of norms about things such as student engagement in the classroom and positive reinforcement for good behavior.
Second, the framework focuses on setting clear expectations for behavior around daily school interactions, and the staff provides support to students who have trouble following the criteria of everything from safety to teasing. This means that attempts are made to stop the bullying before it starts, allowing it to catch on quickly rather than stopping.
Finally, the framework provides ongoing support for both victims and bulls in each school. In particular, victims and bulls receive both small group or individual counseling for developing strong socio-emotional skills and a rich sense of empathy and alternative ways of coping with challenges.
Such a targeted approach works, and schools that had issues of better climate and less student discipline in this framework. There were also very few incidents of bullying.
Of course, there is no way to address every form of bullying in school. Because technology is so widespread, far from adults, a lot of incidents of bullying occur in private, and while this program may also help with technology, it may not address every issue. Furthermore, such approaches take time to implement well, and it can be difficult to obtain sufficient buy-in from the entire workforce around critical issues.
But what is clear is that bullying can be stopped. By learning better social-emotional skills and norms, students are kinder to each other. In other words, when we understand and care about bullying, we begin to understand that there are actually strategies to prevent bullying.