Bullying and Its Effects on Learning and Development in Australian Primary School

Executive Summary

In a world where the society prides itself in engaging with people from all over the world and shunning discrimination, it is unfathomable that bullying continues in primary schools. Australia is a developed country where the best learning models are adopted by the school systems adopted in these countries. However, there are numerous cases of bullying in primary schools that leads to questions on the reasons and contributors of the problem in the society. This research paper assesses different aspects of bullying and uses different theoretical models to highlight and develop an understanding of the problem in schools.

We can help you With Your Research Paper

Your topic
Your E-MAIL

The children on most cases develop these behaviours from the societal models adopted by the parents, peers and the community at large. The paper uses Skinner Behaviourist theory, Bronfenbrenner model and Vygostky socio-cultural theory to assess the issue in the society. Self-esteem, trauma and other individual attributes are also critical aspects that need to be measured. The research assesses the effects of bullying on learning and development in the Australian Primary School setting and outlines the main recommendations that can be used to eradicate the problem.

It is a critical assessment of the individual attributes of change needed within the system and a focus on the social emotional development as well as its effects on cognitive development. The research concludes that bullying negatively affects learning and development and the society needs to work out a model to control its effects among the children in schools. Lack of proper handling and assessment of the problem will lead to a cycle of bullying for future generations in the society.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary
Introduction
Findings
2.1 Key points about bullying
2.1.1 Definition of bullying
2.1.2. Types of bullying
2.1.3 Roles of bullying
2.2. Contributing factors
2.2.1 Family
2.2.2 Peers
2.2.3 Social Influences
2.2.4 Behavioural factors
2.3. Effects on learning and development in the Australian Primary School setting
2.3.1. Effects and Impacts on Social/Emotional Development
2.3.2 Effects and Impacts on Cognitive Development
Conclusions and Recommendations
3.1. Recommendations
3.2 Conclusion
References

Introduction

It is disheartening and heartbreaking for every parent when they see fear in their child as a result of bullying. It hampers learning and development robbing the child self-esteem and confidence to face others and develop as an individual. The question on every parent’s mind is, Why are do some children bully others? It is an important question that is critically evaluated and has been present in the society for years to date. Most of the parents may have faced bullying in primary school, college, or at work in their present life but it appears incomprehensible for a child to be facing the same or orchestrating the same.

The critical aspect that needs to be assessed is what are the main contributors of bullying and the role of the community in stopping this behaviour permanently in the present society. It is a culmination of different societal and individual aspects that lead to the bad behaviour by children in the society. Charity begins at home, may be considered a cliché but one needs to assess how the family setting as well as the society contributes to this problem in schools. One of the theories that are used to explain this behaviour is Skinner behaviourist theory that notes behaviour to be influenced by the form of reinforcement. Skinner noted that the reward or punishment was the main attributes that led to formation of behaviour and the cognitive attributes were not critical in formation of character or behaviour.

Vygostky socio-cultural theory reiterates that the behaviour adopted by an individual is influenced by the interaction with others and the psychological processes of an individual. The two work in tandem to form the behaviour that an individual develops in the society and the individual attributes identified. Bronfenbrenner model supports Vygostky’s model in noting that the individual behaviours are informed by the socio-ecological models that are present within a specific setting. These are mainly developed through the individual traits that are identified in the social, political, economic and the environmental attributes that are divided into different ecological models.

Bullying can therefore, be described under different theories that can be used to arrest the condition and eradicate the problem especially among children in the society. Bullying hinders learning and development; it is pertinent to ensure that the best models are adopted towards creating a proper process of control and critical methods of change in the systems accordingly. An analysis of bullying and the contributing factors will further highlight the importance of developing proper controls to ensure that the critical changes have been implemented.

Findings

2.1 Key points about bullying

2.1.1 Definition of bullying

Bullying is defined as the intentional use of force, threat, intimidation, aggressive behaviour against others to dominate and control them (Allison et al, 2014). The behaviour has to be repeated and habitual and is motivated by different individual attributes and models that are essential towards overseeing change in the systems. There are different forms of bullying with the behaviours including but not limited to: verbal abuse, intimidation, blackmail, physical coercion, harassment and threats.

The perpetrators’ main aim is to gain control over others in the society and gain the support and superiority over others. It is important to note that bullying is in most cases cultivated and advanced by others with the bullies having no power when there is no audience and they are not interested in these attributes. In the world the main distinctions that lead to bullying are mainly as a result of differences in race, class, sexual orientation, language, size, reputation and ability of an individual towards others (Mundy et al, 2017). In schools the behaviour is mainly cultivated by the social attributes and peer pressure that inform the behavioural models that are adopted by individuals.

It is an important aspect that leads to problems in the systems and critical aspects that are essential for change in the system accordingly. There are different forms of bullying that range from individual one on one bullying to mobbing by a large number of people. It is these attributes that makes it critical to assess bullying and assess the contributing factors that lead to bullying in the society especially for young children in primary schools.

2.1.2. Types of bullying

There are many different types of bullying that are classified depending on the context or assessment of the individual case that is assessed.

Physical bullying: this is the main form of bullying that is accompanies by threats and intimidation when one has been overpowered in the school (Smith et al, 2016). Physical bullying critically impacts the child emotionally and makes the individual fear schools and the learning environment thereby hindering development of a child.

Verbal bullying: This is a form of bullying that includes: intimidation, name calling, racist remarks, and abuse. This form of bullying is only detrimental when the bully is supported by others within the school systems (Burger et al, 2015). Verbal bullying is more emotionally compelling to victim since it is not orchestrated by a single but many with their accomplices and bystanders.

Social Bullying: social bullying is not direct and is in most cases spread behind the victim’s back. This is a form of bullying where an individual spread lies in form of rumours that are spread across the society and causes a lot of humiliation and emotional distress to the child once they find out.

Cyber bullying: This is a new form of bullying where the perpetrators use the internet to spread lies and bully others within the school. The increase in the number of students who own devices ensures that this form of bullying is very effective in causing the victim a lot of harm due to the nature of the rumours that are spread (Kowalski et al, 2014).

2.1.3 Roles of bullying

One of the main roles of bullying is to cause harm to another. Bullying leads to negative effects to the victim and the more disturbed and distressed a victim is the more empowering it is to the bully.

Power is also another reason for bullying as the bully feels empowered and in control of their victim. The bully looks to gain satisfaction from bullying others and gain a form of purpose and character through hurting other students in the society.

It is also used as a source of fun and enjoyment among peers without any concern for the victim. Bullying in some of the cases is seen by children is seen as a source of fun when they plank or take control of another student in the society. It is one of the main roles of bullying since it is identified as a critical aspect towards changing and placing the individual at an advantage against others in the society.

2.2. Contributing factors

2.2.1 Family

According to Bronfenbrenner model, family is a micro-system that informs the immediate behavioural models that are adopted by a child. Children learn from observing and imitating others within the society, as a result the family forges the psychological and behavioural models of an individual. It is a contributing factor to the behaviours that are exhibited by a child who looks up to others in the society (Burger et al, 2015).

Families need to ensure that they develop the best behavioural models and do not make any discriminative comments or inclinations that may inform the behaviour of a child. Reducing the character of people to their race, sexual orientation, size and other attributes critically impacts a child and the behavioural models that the child later uses. It is therefore, imperative to ensure that the best workable approaches are created towards ensuring that the family model encourages positive engagement and thought with the child thereby reducing bullying (Turner et al, 2014). Trauma, abuse and other negative effects inflicted by the parents on a child are also major contributing factors to bullying.

2.2.2 Peers

Peer pressure is also a major contributor to bullying in schools since children want to be accepted in the society. As one looks to be integrated in a specific group or be accepted by others as strong, they are forced to become bullies to ensure that they develop the best behaviours towards changing the societal models (Turner et al, 2014). It is an important model that critically leads to individual behaviours especially among young children in the society.

Bullies are believed to be insecure and lacking self-esteem and courage to face up to others in the society and as such there are problems in the models adopted. It is therefore, critical to highlight the individual attributes that are critical towards changing the individual behaviours and models extrapolated within the society.

2.2.3 Social Influences

Social influences are also a major problem with the society being culpable of failing to control the level of bullying in the society. The society needs to take measures and a change in attitude and cultural precepts towards ensuring that they control the models adopted by individuals in the society (Garrick et al, 2014). It is critical for the society to change its position on bullying and change the tendency that is highlighted under individual societal influences and factors. The social media tendencies and depiction of bullying also needs to be controlled. It is important for the society to ensure that it strongly rejects the culture of bullying and critically develop methods that are aimed to change the position of the society on this issue.

2.2.4 Behavioural factors

The different behavioural models that are adopted by students in primary schools are also critical in developing the bullying culture. Skinner points out that behaviours are determined by their consequences are through punishment or reward. In a school where the proper reinforcement is not applied to bullying behaviour it cultivates a culture of bullying for one to be accepted within the larger society (Turner et al, 2014). It is therefore, imperative to change the individual behaviours and models that are adopted by the children in schools. There are proper approaches that are created outlining a specific pattern that needs to be informed on individual processes and models that match the main elements of change that are needed within the larger societal models outlined.

2.3. Effects on learning and development in the Australian Primary School setting

2.3.1. Effects and Impacts on Social/Emotional Development

One of the main effects of bullying is that it lowers the level of self-esteem and confidence among children in the society. Self-esteem and confidence are integral in giving an individual the potency to succeed and develop the best developmental tools towards engaging with others in the society (Golmaryami et al, 2014). The victims are also emotionally disjointed and find it difficult to make lasting relationships with others in the society.

It is a major problem since the victims are robbed of their innate courage and confidence of engaging with others in the society. It leads to shyness and lack of a strong character formation for a victim whose individual attributes has been critically reduced through bullying. The children have a higher likelihood of becoming introverts and as they are lonely and isolated within the society. They lack in terms of critical levels of resilience and proper conduct that are critical in developing the proper emotional models and methods towards developing change needed accordingly.

The victims are also suspicious and wary of others in the society and they face trust issues as they grow older that hinders their development (Fahie and Devine, 2014). Bullying therefore, negatively affects social and emotional aspects of the victims within the society that may be detrimental in the long-run.

2.3.2 Effects and Impacts on Cognitive Development

One of the main impacts is that it leads to depression for the victim who are negatively impacted by the bully. Depressive thoughts are the main attribute that lead to problems in the models and scope that is highlighted and critically influenced within the society. In severe cases of depression students are at a higher risk of committing suicide in schools. It is a negative attribute that is dejecting and critically impacts the individuals who find it difficult to handle continued bullying.

It also affects the level of academic excellence and outcomes for the students in schools. The victim becomes disinterested in the academics and on most occasions fails to attend the classes due to the negative effects of bullying in their lives (Chalmers et al, 2016). It is a major problem that leads to a difference in the models that have been represented and actualized across different school systems. It is therefore, a fundamental process that matches the individual attributes and critical measures that need to be improved in developing the cognitive abilities and mental capacity of an individual. There is emotional and cognitive imbalance due to the negative challenges and positions that an individual has to handle in such a porous environment.

Conclusions and Recommendations

3.1. Recommendations

In Vygostky’s socio-cultural theory, learning is noted to be a process that is characterized under two levels that is the interaction with others and cognitive and internal levels of thought process (Jackson, 2015). Vygostky posited that in learning it is essential to ensure that there is an alignment of the two models towards ensuring a workable model is met and an understanding of the innate cultural issues are highlighted.

The Australian Education system needs to be developed and formulated in accordance with the challenges and cultural models that are facing the people in the society. The proper tools of conditioning and learning need to be developed to ensure that there is a connection between the cognitive and social interaction attributes that are developed within the system.

Skinner notes that the main aspect that informs the models adopted by an individual is behaviour (Skinner, 2014). Skninner’s behaviourist perspective outlines the importance of ensuring that the critical operant conditioning models are developed to create proper reinforcement within the school system. Skinner notes that behaviour is forged by either the reward or punishment system that is applied to every case or outlines the important basis towards changing and positioning the best tools of change in the system developed accordingly (Skinner, 2014).

In line with this, the Australian school system needs to adopt strict rules and guidelines on bullying in schools. This would include punishment for the bully and accomplices and should stretch to the parents if they are found at fault. It is critical towards ensuring that the best practices are adopted to discourage bullying from the society completely.

According to Bronfenbrenner model, to understand human development one needs to dissect the entire ecological systems and how they relate to the individual issue that is being highlighted (Rosa and Tudger, 2013). The political, social, economic environmental, family, physical and other forms of social systems need to be assessed towards developing and understanding the societal issue.

In this case therefore, it is critical to ensure that the workable models and tools have been developed towards augmenting and critically evaluating all these levels to develop a framework to handle the issue (Rosa and Tudger, 2013). The recommendation therefore, follows that the Australian schools need to evaluate the issue of bullying across different systems that relate to their individual systems. This will compound a proper framework that will help in developing the best means towards change and creating a strong model of developing proper practices in schools.

3.2 Conclusion

In conclusion, bullying causes major negative effects to learning and development across schools in Australia. The education board, teachers, schools and parents are not doing enough towards ensuring that the proper models have been adopted towards changing the attitude and mentality of the children and adults in the society. It is equivocal to develop better practices as a society and actualize a society that takes responsibility for its children through sensitizing and developing practices to eradicate the issue of bullying.

References

Allison, S., Roeger, L., Smith, B., & Isherwood, L. (2014). Family histories of school bullying: implications for parent-child psychotherapy. Australasian psychiatry, 22(2), 149-153.

Burger, C., Strohmeier, D., Spröber, N., Bauman, S., & Rigby, K. (2015). How teachers respond to school bullying: An examination of self-reported intervention strategy use, moderator effects, and concurrent use of multiple strategies. Teaching and Teacher Education, 51, 191-202.

Chalmers, C., Campbell, M. A., Spears, B. A., Butler, D., Cross, D., Slee, P., & Kift, S. (2016). School policies on bullying and cyberbullying: perspectives across three Australian states. Educational Research, 58(1), 91-109.

Fahie, D., & Devine, D. (2014). The impact of workplace bullying on primary school teachers and principals. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 58(2), 235-252.

Garrick, A., Winwood, P. C., Mak, A. S., Cathcart, S., Bakker, A. B., & Lushington, K. (2014). Prevalence and organisational factors of psychological injury among Australian school teachers. The Australasian Journal of Organisational Psychology, 7.

Goddard, M. J. (2014). Critical psychiatry, critical psychology, and the behaviorism of BF Skinner. Review of General Psychology, 18(3), 208.

Golmaryami, F. N., Frick, P. J., Hemphill, S. A., Kahn, R. E., Crapanzano, A. M., & Terranova, A. M. (2016). The social, behavioral, and emotional correlates of bullying and victimization in a school-based sample. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 44(2), 381-391.

Jackson, G. (2015). Reflections on Australian home education research and vygotskian learning theory. In International perspectives on home education(pp. 30-43). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Kowalski, R. M., Giumetti, G. W., Schroeder, A. N., & Lattanner, M. R. (2014). Bullying in the digital age: A critical review and meta-analysis of cyberbullying research among youth.

Lau, J., & Ng, K. M. (2014). Conceptualizing the counseling training environment using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 36(4), 423-439.

Mundy, L. K., Canterford, L., Kosola, S., Degenhardt, L., Allen, N. B., & Patton, G. C. (2017). Peer victimisation and academic performance in primary school children. Academic pediatrics.

Rosa, E. M., & Tudge, J. (2013). Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory of human development: Its evolution from ecology to bioecology. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 5(4), 243-258.

Schott, R. M., & Søndergaard, D. M. (Eds.). (2014). School bullying: New theories in context. Cambridge University Press.

Skinner, B. F. (2014). Contingencies of reinforcement: A theoretical analysis(Vol. 3). BF Skinner Foundation.

Smith, P. K., Kwak, K., & Toda, Y. (Eds.). (2016). School bullying in different cultures. Cambridge University Press.

Turner, I., Reynolds, K. J., Lee, E., Subasic, E., & Bromhead, D. (2014). Well-being, school climate, and the social identity process: A latent growth model study of bullying perpetration and peer victimization. School psychology quarterly, 29(3), 320.

Your topic
type of service
pages