Engaging Children in Creative Solutions to Bully: Victim Problems in Schools

In: Educational Tales of the Unexpected: Children and Creativity

It is now widely acknowledged that the application of the philosophy of ‘zero tolerance’ through the use of traditional disciplinary methods in addressing cases of school bullying is commonly unsuccessful. It is apt to result in highly defensive attitudes on the part of those accused and a continuation of the bullying in covert ways. This has led to the development and advocacy of a number of non-punitive intervention strategies for working with students who have participated in bullying, either singly or as members of friendship groups. These include the use of mediation, including peer mediation, the No Blame Approach or Support Group Method, as proposed by Robinson and Maines, and the Method of Shared Concern. Each avoids blaming anyone and seeks to engage students in participating in planning and implementing a constructive solution to the bully–victim problem in which they are involved. They do so in different ways, making different assumptions about how students can best become creatively involved in the process. This chapter explores the rationale of each intervention method, how, in practice, each is implemented, and outcomes as they have been reported in evaluative studies.


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