Dr. Tracey C. Burns is a Project Leader at the OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, Directorate for Education and Skills in Paris (@OECD_Edu). She is considered a global expert on the subject of bullying. She notes “there is a huge amount of political attention being paid to the issue” and she summarizes this serious global problem as follows:
- In terms of prevalence, the bottom line is that it appears that traditional forms of bullying are remaining steady in terms of frequency while cyber bullying is increasing, although it is still not as common as face to face bullying.
- Bullies, motivated to enhance their status among their peers, bully in front of witnesses, whose approval (or at least tacit silence) is crucial. They tend to choose their victims from those who sit in the bottom line of the social ledger, those least able to fight back. And it works, both to raise the popularity of the bully and to hurt the victim.
- There are several commonly accepted myths about the causes of bullying for which there is no supporting evidence. These include claims that bullying stems from large class or school sizes, competition for grades, or other school life pressures. Another common assumption is that bullies suffer from poor self-esteem and insecurity.
What can be done? We asked our Top 12 Global Teacher Bloggers to share their answers to this question: What are several real ways you have seen bullying reduced?
Referred by Top 12 Global Blogger Todd Finley (@finleyt), James Alan Sturtevant (@jamessturtevant), Social Studies teacher at Big Walnut High School in Sunbury, Ohio and Author of You’ve Gotta Connect, makes the bold recommendation that reaching out to bullies can sometimes be as important as punishment. In his words, “Harsh consequences don’t always work, can make bullies worse, and sometimes evoke retribution for unfortunate victims.” Reaching out does not mean excusing but remaining in stealth dialogue to foster potential positive influence. Read more.
Pauline Hawkins (@PaulineDHawkins), author of Uncommon Core: 25 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in a Cookie Cutter Educational System, says the only way to reduce bullying is to be a good role model in your treatment of others, as a parent or teacher. She cautions, “The anti-bullying programs in schools will have little influence on students if the adults in their lives are not teaching and modeling respect.” Read more.
Adam Steiner (@steineredtech) dispels myths about cyberbullying and provides much needed pragmatic advice to school administrators. One of many gems is that no school, no matter how genial it is in real life, is exempt from online bullying. Read more.
From Australia, Lisa Currie (@RippleKindness), Creator of the Ripple Kindness Project, provided two insightful articles this month. The first proposes that social and emotional learning must be emphasized in schools to reduce bullying. Rather than merely blaming the bully, other factors must be looked into-such as a lack of character building education. Read more.
Lisa’s second article elaborates on the beneficiality of emotional learning by pointing to studies that show how the practice of kindness not only produces joy but also reduces bullying in schools. Read more.
Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) uses personal experience to give surefire ways to nip bullying in the bud. One of her advisements is to form allies with peers. Her real world advice will be a must to concerned students. Read More.
From New Zealand, Craig Kemp (@mrkempnz) offers three tools that parents and administrators will find very assuring in combating bullying. One is creating a culture of trust from the top down, another is educating parents. He provides useful tips for how to get started in this process. Read More.
Tom Bennett (@tombennett71), Joe Bower, Susan Bowles (@FloridaKteacher), Lisa Currie, Vicki Davis, Todd Finley, Pauline Hawkins, Craig Kemp, Karen Lirenman (@KLirenman), Adam Steiner, Silvia Tolisano (@langwitches), and Richard Wells (@iPadWells) are The Global Search for Education 2014 Top 12 Global Teacher Bloggers.
Our special thanks to Dr. Tracey Burns at the OECD in Paris. For more information: http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.fr/2014/10/combatting-bullying-in-schools.html and http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/Spotlight%205-%20Infinite%20Connections.pdf
(Lead Photograph featuring TJ Coates and Dorali Arambula with James Alan Sturtevant is courtesy of Caroline Prater)
Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today. The Global Search for Education Community Page
C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, “The Global Search for Education” and “How Will We Read?” She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.
Follow C. M. Rubin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@cmrubinworld