The article is based on qualitative research. Various naturalistic approaches were evident in this research. A phenomenological approach was used to understand the experiences of students. It is a shared belief that the person has a world or identity (i. e. culture, relationships. Languages) by virtue of the culture they are born into, and can be understood only in the context of that world (DePoy and Gitlin, 1998). The qualitative methods that have been employed in Article Two are mainly: Semi structured interviews, observation and Narrative stories.
Researchers used semi structured interview techniques used to obtain feedback from the children. It offers the interviewer the opportunity to explore bullying, and allows the interviewee to express their opinions, concerns and feelings. The fact that it is semi-structured allows the conversation to flow where it needs to in order to deal with issues as opposed to cutting someone off because they stray from the topic. The researchers also tape-recorded and transcribed one to one and a half hour long interviews with these children.
An ethnographical approach is another research process of learning about people, by learning from them. Ethnography literally means a description of peoples or cultures (DePoy and Gitlin, 1998). Relationship between Writer and Subject Matter: Faye Mishna (author of this research) is an associate professor, in the Faculty of Social Work, at University of Toronto. She has done extensive work in research of bullying in behaviours of both the bully and the victims, and the educators. Ethical considerations:
Children and adolescents are vulnerable population and need to be protected from exploitation, especially when research is conducted. Ethical practice often requires researchers to obtain informed consent for children. In this article a research assistant reviewed the study with students during class time. Also to obtain parental approval for children to complete the survey, a consent form was sent home. Of 105 students invited to participate, 61 (58 percent) received parental consent. Cultural issues: Student behavior is influenced by the ethics of a school culture.
“School culture” refers to the social system in a school building, including goals, identity, and customs. After “everybody knows how things are done in school,” the school culture has a behavior plan. A culture’s plan is rarely evaluated to see if to see if the plan allows, encourages or prevents bullying (Geertz, 2003). School cultures do not often develop with altruistic planning; “bad things happen” and are tolerated (accepted / normed in) or “good things happen” which increase tolerance and respect.
School culture is shaped by agreement on how behaviors are to be interpreted and valued (or devalued) (Geertz, 2003). A few intimidating individuals can dominate those agreements and make the discussion of an idea in class a nerdy thing to do. Then bullying has hurt the instructional process without a disruptive incident! Smiles and laughter can write bullying into a behavior plan. Culture is the context which gives behavior meaning. Summary: I have found with the quantitative study of Article One that the most reliable method for assessing levels of bullying in the schools was to use questionnaire surveys.
The survey can help to identify classes or year groups where levels of bullying are high and enable evaluation of the effectiveness of whole school policies and strategies to tackle bullying. The strengths of this study were the relatively large sample sizes. Of the sample of 3623 students, 2680 (79%) students participated in a least one wave of data collection which is satisfactory for a study of this type (Bond, Carlin, Thomas, Rubin, and Patton 2001). The qualitative study in Article Two draws together research findings about children’s experiences of bullying.
It is important for the educators and the parents to try to understand children’s experiences in order to provide appropriate help. This study revealed that, although children’s experiences are all very different, there are many common themes that arise when they talk about their experiences, feelings, coping strategies and what would help make things better. From these studies I found that parents understanding and perception of bullying were totally different from a child’s perception of bullying.
The pattern that emerged from the study was how difficult it is to define bullying. Identifying an incident as bullying can be complex and confusing for children, parents, and teachers. Conclusion: Qualitative data complements quantitative data and privileges individuals’ live experience. Increasing our understanding of the views of children and adults is key to developing effective interventions. I believe it is vital to have children’s perspectives when trying to identify the processes involve in problematic peer relationships.
My only recommendation, if not already practiced, would be that those who are conducting qualitative interviews with children, should be trained in child and adolescent development and be familiar with the ways that children at different ages understand and use language. From an undergraduate’s perspective, critically researching an issue is important as future practitioner because it involves continual seeking of knowledge – continual asking of questions – and continual learning of how diverse circumstances require diverse methods to bring about key interventions and solutions.
I have also gained an appreciation for psychological research as this will enhance my understanding of the research-based information presented in my psychology classes and in everyday life.
Bigbee, M. A. & Crick, N. R. (1998). Relational and overt forms of peer victimisation: a multi-informant approach. Journal of Consulting and Clinical, 66(2), 337-347. Bond, L. ; Carlin, J. B. ; Patton, G. ; Rubin, K. ; Thomas, L. (2001). Does bullying cause emotional problems? Bmj. com: the general medical journal website, 323 (7311), 480-484, retrieved 16 September, 2003, from http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov