The general problem of this study is how teachers deal with bullying in the classes. The problem is that the teachers may take a lot of time addressing these acts of violence at the expense of instructional time in the classes.
Not only does bullying affect the academic standards of students and the school in general, but also leads to erosion of behaviors and morals of those involved, especially the bullies. This problem needs to be sorted out for there to be a good and ample environment for learning. Research has proved that most teachers take bullying for granted (Swearer, Espelage, Vaillancourt, & Hymel, 2010). The problem arises where the teachers tend to spend time dealing with bullying cases, time which could otherwise be used in productive academic work. This is because they are fully involved in the decision-making and policy formulation processes. Implementation of these policies is also time-consuming. Both school and student-intervention methods discussed earlier on should be implemented in order to cultivate a friendly learning environment. Available evidence shows that when teachings on bullying is incorporated in teaching curriculum, students learn to appreciate each other and incidences of bullying are greatly reduced (Farrington & Ttofi, 2009).
A quantitative descriptive research methodology is appropriate while carrying out this study. This is because it entails the thoughts and opinions of the people, especially the teachers. The population group has to involve Likert survey and teachers from Jacksonville, FL Schools.
Significance of the Study
Available studies on this topic shows a lack of consensus of views concerning how bullying affects participation in class. Whereas some argue that the bullies are never affected (Larson, 2008), others argue that the effects suffered by the victims of bullies are equally evident in the bullies themselves. Nevertheless there is one aspect that seems not be in contention, is that bullies are usually highly maladjusted – more so than children who are only victimized (Glew et. al., 2008). This study intends to fill this gap by examining bullying from a teacher perspective hence may lead to a more definitive difference between the types of bullies and maybe shed light on the controversies brought out by bully behavior.
School culture is a factor, which determines whether bullying is enhanced or discouraged. Culture is defined in terms of the relationships that are developed among students, teachers and other interested stakeholders. “A warm and caring social atmosphere, positive student behavioral norms, a strong emphasis on academics and curriculum” characterize a favorable school environment (Potter, Lunenburg & Bulach, 2008). A caring social atmosphere refers to “feelings of support, acceptance and belonging” between students and teachers (Morrison, 2007). There is great impact on student’ self-esteem when positive behavioral norms are reinforced against negative bullying tendencies. Examining the relationship between bullying and class participation from a teacher perspective represents a useful approach to understand bullying from a leadership point of view and come up with recommendations that are implementable.
Furthermore, identifying the best practices in handling problem behaviors in the classroom provides an innovative approach for improving intervention methods and thus increasing class participation. The researcher believes that the findings of this study will be helpful to policy makers at the State level and school administrations as well.
Research Question and Hypotheses
This study intends to use teacher perspective to examine the relationship between bullying and participation in Jacksonville schools in Florida State. Bullying as reflected in the literature has become a pervasive issue in the educational system worldwide (Aluede et al. 2008). This study, therefore, will seek to find answers to questions surrounding the connection between bullying and participation in class as discussed below. According to Creswell (2008), research questions frame studies by creating for the observer a description of the study and the path for accomplishing the study. The questions build upon and address issues described in the area of interest, problem statements, and purpose statements. Research questions focus the general nature of the problem and purpose statements to solicit succinct and well-defined answers. A series of questions are used to holistically address the topics in question. Most importantly, the research questions address the issues that the researcher is interested in and has a desire to explore further. This study seeks to address a number of questions that will provide the main guideline for the study.
First, what are the perceptions that teachers hold about victims of bullying? Different views seem to be emerging on how bullies adjust in the classroom. Some argue that these bullies are neither insecure nor anxious under their “tough surface” and might be thinking of themselves in positive ways (Larson, 2008). On the other hand, others argue that the effects suffered by the victims of bullies are equally evident in the bullies themselves. Answering this question will guide the researcher towards understanding the effects of bullying both on the victims and the bullies based on teachers perception. Teachers handle bullying cases on a day-to-day basis thus analyzing their perceptions on this vise will shade some light on the topic under study.
Second, it is a widely accepted fact that bullying has a negative effect on academic performance outcome. Both the bullies and those bullied show poorer psychosocial functioning than those who are exclusively uninvolved. This translates to very low school attendance and consequent poor performance in school. Not only does bullying affect students’ participation in class, but also consume teachers’ time that would have otherwise been used for productive academic work hence the eventual poor academic performance (Juvonen, Wang & Espinoza, 2011; Doll, LeClair, & Kurien, 2009). With this in mind, the researcher seeks to find empirical evidence to back this notion. The study, therefore, seeks to answer the question; what is the relationship between bullying and academic performance? This question will help the researcher to draw a link between bullying and academic performance hence come up with recommendations that will work towards making our schools conducive learning environments and thus improve performance outcome.
Third, how does the relationship exist between frequencies of teacher’s response to bullying and situations during class time? Teachers may take a lot of time addressing these acts of violence at the expense of instructional time in the classes. Teachers that have shown prompt response to bullying cases have managed to reduce bullying incidences in the classes. Further, teachers who have incorporated teachings on bullying into their teaching curriculum find it easy to deal with this vice. This is because the students learn to appreciate each other and incidences of bullying are greatly reduced (Farrington & Ttofi, 2009).
In order to answer the above questions, the researcher has developed a number of hypotheses that will be tested through statistical means. The hypotheses also indicate the nature of the experimental design, and the questions the researcher seeks to answer. Either a relationship is asserted and confirmed or no relationship is identified. A confirmation or disconfirmation (null hypothesis) states that there is a relationship between variables or there is no relationship.
These hypotheses are listed below:
- Ho1– There is no significant difference between the teachers’ perception and bullying victims.
- Ho2- There is a significant difference between the teacher’s perception and bullying victims.
- Ho1– The teachers’ perception about bullying will not enhance the instructional time at school.
- Ho2- The teachers’ perception about bullying will enhance the instructional time at school.
- Ho1– Teacher who do not perceive bullying to be more serious are less likely respond to bullying incidences in the class.
- Ho2- Teachers who perceive bullying to be more serious are more likely to respond to bullying incidences in the class.
- Ho1– Schools that have ineffective bullying policies are likely to have high incidences of bullying in the class.
- Ho2- Schools that have effective bullying policies are likely to have low incidences of bullying in the class.
- Ho1– There is no significant relationship between bullying and academic performance.
- Ho2- There is a significant relationship between bullying and academic performance.
- Ho1– There is no significant relationship between the frequency of teachers’ response to bullying and bullying incidences in the classes.
- Ho2- There is a significant relationship between the frequency of teachers’ response to bullying and bullying incidences in the classes.
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Creswell, J. W. (2008). Research design: Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks (CA): Sage publications.
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Morrison, B. (2007). Restoring Safe School Communities: A Whole School Response to Bullying, Violence and Alienation. Sydney: Federation Press.
Potter, L., Lunenburg, F. C., & Bulach, C. R., (2008). Creating a culture for high performing schools: A comprehensive approach to school reform and dropout prevention. Lanham, NY: Rowman and Littlefield Education.
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