Bullying and its affect on Education
Aggressive and violent behaviour among school pupils has become a research and public policy priority, owing to its consequences for children’s and young people’s development and academic performance and outcomes. This type of conduct, which is becoming a daily occurrence in schools and is known and to some extent sanctioned by adults and the students themselves, flies in the face of what is expected from school: a place where young citizens receive ethical, moral, emotional and cognitive education. It also seriously jeopardizes the school’s possibility of acting as a forum for the exchange of knowledge in a healthy and socially democratic and fair environment. Students must be able to learn without fear in a secure and reliable environment in order to build skills of all types and absorb the learning they need to develop comprehensively and participate fully in society.
Authors who have studied school bullying in order to understand or try to prevent it, or both, agree that Olweus was the first researcher to develop a framework and a set of criteria for describing violent behaviour among peers in the school setting. In the 1970s, Olweus (1978) raised the alert by denouncing aggression and abuse as a common and systemic practice among pupils in Norwegian schools. Today this phenomenon is known universally as “bullying”, which refers to different types of repeatedly occurring intimidation, harassment, abuse, mistreatment and victimization (Rigby, 1996; García, 2010).Bullying refers to repeated and ongoing situations of injustice and abuse of power (psychological or physical) and it has different, though all equally worrying, consequences for the students involved (Olweus, 1989, 1993, 1998; Smith and Sharpe, 1994; oecd, 2004; Cerezo, 2006; Skrzypiec, 2008). The available evidence distinguishes at least three actors in peer situations: (i) the student or students who do the harassing or bullying; (ii) the student or students who are harassed or bullied; and (iii) the students who see or are otherwise aware of the bullying (Schäfer and others, 2005). As many as six roles may be identified if we include those who assist the perpetrator, reinforcers of bullying and defenders of victims (Rigby, 2003; Andreou and Metallidou, 2004; Rey and Ortega, 2007; Slee and Mohyla, 2007).At the root of these behaviours lie cultural patterns of domination and submission among peers living closely together on a daily basis in institutionalized environments. The literature identifies four main forms of bullying: physical, verbal, psychological and social (Rivers and Smith, 1994; Espelage and Swearer, 2003; Smith, 2003; Avilés, 2005; Cerezo, 2006).
Climate, school culture and bullying
Researching the form or magnitude of violence among students within schools means exploring more deeply one of the dimensions of the school climate. School bullying is a complex phenomenon arising in thecontext of daily life in the school and therefore within the framework of the rules, routines, processes, systems of interaction and exchange, subjectivities and cultural patterns of each institution. Underlying violent conduct are the behaviours, beliefs and attitudes of all the actors involved, be they affection, regard, satisfaction, friendship, collaboration or tolerance, as well as dislike, prejudice, discrimination, exclusion and intolerance (Ortega, 2000; Kuperminc, Leadbeater and Blatt, 2001; Loukas
and Robinson, 2004; Blaya and others, 2006; Gazelle, 2006).So bullying and its various forms are an integral part of the school and classroom life and climate which pupils live and breathe. They affect and impinge not only upon the well-being of every member of the educational community, but also upon their practices and performance. The universal presence and magnitude of school bullying and, above all, its consequences for the socio-affective and cognitive development of students, make it a priority in the...
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