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TITLE OF DOCUMENT:

Bystanders and bullying - A Summary of Research for Anti-bullying Week

NAME OF AUTHOR(S):

Anti Bullying Alliance

NAME OF PUBLISHER:

Anti Bullying Alliance

LANGUAGE OF DOCUMENT:

English

LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW:

English

KEYWORDS:

Clarifies the role of bystanders, suggests what bystanders can do, a range of different researches is summarised,

DOCUMENT TYPOLOGY:

Research

TARGET GROUP OF PUBLICATION:

Policy Makers, Teachers, Researchers, School Directors.

SIZE OF THE PUBLICATION:

1 - 20 pages

DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS:

This short briefing document (nine pages) focuses specifically on the roles of bystanders in bullying situations involving children and young people. It summarises recent research and also explores the responsibilities of peer and adult bystanders who want to seek solutions to bullying and take action where it is needed.

A wide range of research from a number of different countries is drawn together into this document e.g. research from the UK, Canada, Finland, Norway, etc. Both the Finnish and Canadian projects demonstrated a discrepancy between children’s attitude(how they intended to behave) and their actions (what they actually did when they saw bullying happen). The attitudes of most children were found to be against bullying, yet most children acted in ways that maintained and encouraged bullying rather than reduced it.

Roles of peer bystanders are identified and described - assistants reinforcers, outsiders and defenders. Reactions to bullying are split into three main groups those who ignore bullying behaviour; those who support bullying behaviour; and those who actively intervene.

The research makes reference to SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) which we will also be reviewing for this project and gives some useful ideas on how it is possible to change the role that witnesses have, and at the same time encourage them to tell. A useful acronym given is - NICE: Notice that something is happening; Interpret if the situation is one in which help is needed and can be given; Choose a form or assistance; Engage with the problem. nb SEAL has a range of learning outcomes that support childrn not to be bystanders.

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS ON THE DOCUMENT:

Research has clearly demonstrated that bystanders play a significant role in bullying. Proactive and preventative interventions implemented at individual, class, school and community level have the potential to reduce bullying, alongside reactive strategies to deal with bullying incidents when they occur.

This briefing pulls together much of the research done in this area and identifies areas for further research if required.

The report acknowledges the risks of encouraging children to intervene in bullying situations and challenges the reader to translate the findings about the role of bystanders in bullying into innovative strategies that create a safe, positive and healthy environment for learning.

NAME OF THE REVIEWING ORGANISATION:

Wilsthorpe Community School

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