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Teacher empathy and its impact on bullying in schools

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  1. Introduction and summary
  2. Bullying as it pertains to school-aged children: An overview
    1. Bullying defined
  3. Prevalence of bullying: A statistical overview
    1. The attitude of the youth in the US
    2. The U.S. school system
    3. Analysis of the study conducted by the U.S. Secret Service
    4. Interpretation of the study by 'The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development'
    5. Bullying, teachers and empathy
    6. Components of empathy
    7. Stages of empathy
  4. Definitions of empathy from well known social scientists
  5. Empathy as it pertains to classroom teachers
  6. Bullying-reduction programs
  7. Siann, Callaghan, Lockhart, and Rawson's view
  8. Statistical analysis on middle-school aged children
  9. Aggressive behavior and bullying in schools
  10. Empathy as a quality in teachers
  11. Empathic attitude in teachers'
  12. Case of a Vietnamese student
  13. The trait of empathy
  14. McAllister' study
  15. Empathy as the most important virtue
  16. Verbal aggression and social exclusion
  17. Lack of 'feeling cues'
  18. Studies on empathy and its effects on bullying in the classroom
  19. Types of bullying tended to be more nebulous
  20. Conclusions
  21. References

Bullying has been a difficult term to define, particularly before state legislatures began to define bullying in precise language for the purpose of law-making. Oftentimes, it was left up to teachers, or individual students, to express their own qualitative and subjective definition of the phenomenon. Teachers usually have taken a ?we know it when we see it? approach to bullying. The University of Manchester's report, Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying Policy, defines bullying as ?harassment, intimidation to varying degrees, taunting and ridicule.? The authors also distinguish between two different types of bullying: 1. physical and 2. verbal.

Some cases of bullying may involve more subtle social and psychological variables and cultural factors such as social-group exclusion, hate-groups, overt racism, overt classicism, peer pressure, or the need to retaliate against a person, or groups of people. Some forms of bullying come about through gang/group initiation rituals. This is often found in fraternity groups, where it has been labeled "hazing.? This draws into questions of whether an act of aggression is bullying if it has been a part of a tradition or a group initiation ritual. Bullying can also be an overt act meant to belittle. harass, intimidate, or inflict harm upon certain gender groups. This is commonly what constitutes sexual harassment, whereby one feels belittled or taken advantage of because of their sexuality.

[...] The focus of this review will highlight specifically the role that empathy plays in teacher response to bullying, as well as intervention likelihood, school-based support and bullying prevention. Tettegah et.al (2007) conducted a statistical analysis on middle-school aged children, the incidence of bullying, as well as teachers' empathy and cognitions. The study examined empathic qualities of 178 teachers through the use of animated narrative vignette simulations (ANVs) in regard to potential scenarios involving students in victim and bullying scenarios. The feeling/behavior of empathy was analyzed in the teachers and it was found that, shockingly enough, very few teachers actually showed empathy toward the victim in the simulations. [...]


[...] (1997), 'Observations of bullying and victimization on the schoolyard', Canadian Journal of School Psychology 41-60. Craig, W. M., Pepler, D., and Atlas, R. (2000), 'Observations of bullying in the playground and in the classroom', School Psychology International 21, 22-36. Crick, N. R. (1995), 'Relational aggression: the role of intent attributions, feelings of distress, and provocation type', Development and Psychopathology 313-22. Davis, M. H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 113-126. [...]


[...] Strayer (Eds.), Empathy and its development (pp. 47-80). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Merriam, S. B. (2002). Qualitative research in practice: Examples for discus sion and analysis. San Francisco: Jossey?Bass. Nansel, T.R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R.S., Ruan, W.J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth: Prevalence and Association With Psychosocial Adjustment., 285(16), 2094-2100. New Jersey Department of Education. (2002). Model policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying on school property, at school- sponsored functions, and on school busses (on-line). [...]

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