Implementation strategy of best available research for bully prevention in schools.

Year: 2012

Author: Larsson, Paula

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:

Following the discussions of different bully prevention programs in the Swedish schools, the National Agency for Education´s evaluation of bully prevention programs is described. The evaluations have implications for the schools and for the school staff who have a role in the bully prevention groups. Due to the schools' commitment to prevent bullying and discrimination, it is imperative to describe the Swedish context and political climate where the prevention programs are implemented. With a critical social theory perspective, an Action Research [AR] Project was conducted in a midsized Swedish town. Action research is useful when practitioners are to be involved in changing critical issues of their life. AR is political and it is a democratic activity where the researcher uses herself as a democratic tool and strives for a result that leads to more questions and more research. One can say that AR is a powerful tool in order to change and improve with practitioners their own life and workplace.

The aim was to participate in a planned municipal intervention on bullying where the explicit goal was to base the implementation strategy on the best available research. Critical social theory promotes critical thinking and in this study the critical thinking from the participants had been important in order to question bullying and the bullying programs in schools. The project group consisted of four members of staff that work in the municipality and have a connection to the schools.

At the first meeting the group decided to use the survey that The National Agency for Education had used on the students in the schools. This survey is very extensive and it was necessary to reduce it for this purpose but the choice of using it was based on the details of the questions. The group continued to meet and evaluate the steps. Four pedagogical tools were used during the project; the survey to the pupils, the meetings with the principals, the training that was offered to the anti-bullying groups in the schools, and the evaluations of the different steps that was conducted in the project group where thoughts were discussed. The Action Researcher also kept a journal during the process.  The result will show the entire process of the Action Research and it will include possible strategies that may contribute to sustainable school health for all pupils.

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