Introduction student development. I think schools, parents and the


“Over 24,000 Childline meetings were held with
children regarding about bullying in 2016 to 2017”, NSPCC Annual Report (2016).
The central theme of this research project is an examination of a teacher’s
perception of how bullying affects student development. Evaluating on why I
chose this sensitive topic is because I think bullying appears to be a regular
case in society, as it has been increasing in many schools. Bullying is a major
offence which could result in dangerous measures therefore, this is one of the
reasons why it is important to address. Bullying can take form in different
ways such as making an offence statement, physical violence or coercion. My aim
is to find out what strategies primary school teachers use to deal with
bullying and if it is effective to the situation. I will do this by
interviewing a primary school teacher. My future profession is to become a
teacher and it is essential for me to understand why bullying happens and in
what way it affects student development. I think schools, parents and the
government should be conscious of bullying and must consider the consequences
as it could lead students to suffer emotionally, physically and intellectually.

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This research project discusses a teacher’s
perception of how bullying affects student development, I would first like to
explore one of my key themes which are Social Isolation. Dr Ken Shore’s
definition of social isolation is when an individual has no contact with others
or the society. Bullying can cause many negative impacts on a child’s
psychological health and wellbeing, also their academic progress. Association
of Teachers and Lecturers Education Union 2008, primary school teachers believe
children become stressed when they are involved in bullying. They also witness
a change in their behaviour, in such cases, they isolate themselves and
disengage in learning. Clery, E. and Ferguson, C. (2011) provided research,
16,000 students aged 10- 15 years do not attend school due to the impacts of
bullying. This reinforces the fear of students attending school due to
bullying. Every Child Matters 2003 states, children who do not attend school
disconnect themselves with their own learning as it causes issues within their
own education and wellbeing as it decreases their self-esteem.

Hence, why do children go through this disturbing
experience? Well, Olweus à Limber, (2010) state, some children want to dominate
others within their peer groups. This is the reason why victims detach
themselves from others which causes them not to make friends in schools.
Students who go through this, feel traumatised and want to be left alone
because they feel embarrassed about what is happening to them. Teachers may
believe students tend to harm others because they may shadow this behaviour at
home and copy the actions Myrna B. Shure PhD “Behaviour Copying.  I think the media and television, for
example, wrestling, can influence children to act in an aggressive way, this
refers to Albert Bandura (1961) Social Learning Theory and experimentation
(Bobo Doll). Bandura’s research showed 60% of children enhanced their learning
by seeing other actions, demonstrations and live models.

Secondly, Lancet Psychiatry established a journal
which declared children who go through bullying, have a major risk of mental
health problems that can continue throughout their lives. Mental Health
Foundation (1949) stated children, suffer from health issues like anxiety,
depression and self-harm. According to the Journal of School Violence teachers
and parents recommend, bullying should be taken more seriously as it is too
accepted in schools which causes the situation to still repeat. Therefore, I
think schools should produce some sort of advocacy groups, so children have
someone that speaks for them as it may be hard for children to express their

Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry (2012),
reviewed the risk factors for bullying and mental health. Students who are
bullied in schools were four times more likely to develop a mental illness such
as anxiety than children who do not experience bullying Mark Greener December
(2015). This causes children from small years to suffer from harmful effects,
which can cause an interference in their future as their self-esteem and
confidence levels may decrease.


Schools need to address bullying to create a
supportive environment, to do this they follow the guidelines from the
Department of Education. Therefore, staff members should consider the
importance of following the protocol of bullying. Stop Bullying (2016) states
schools do not take bullying seriously can have the influence of students to
lose interest in education. Why do teachers need to follow policies? I think if
teachers do not act on the policies within the schools they may neglect the
situations of bullying behaviours. Students may feel they are not important
therefore, they not depend on the teacher for help or protection, MacNeil &
Newell, (2004). Behaviour policies ensure, every individual in the setting
feels respected and important. The importance of placing behaviour policies is
to ensure teachers work together to create a friendly environment for every
individual, Behaviour and discipline in schools (2016). Overall, this
reinforces the development of students and their character attributes, such as
self-awareness. However, J.C Piech argues placing anti-bullying policy is
futile because it is not effective. The government states it is compulsory for
schools to have policies, however, why are so many children still affected and
suffering from bullying.


Moreover, as bullying is a difficult circumstance
which leads to violence and crime, the government and school have placed
procedures to prevent bullying. These procedures have been addressed by schools
placing written lawful documents from headteachers such as anti-bullying
policies. Education and Inspections Act (2006), behaviour policies need to
reassure good behaviour and children, staff members and parents need to
acknowledge the importance of this policy. I think implementing this policy on
school premises also has its advantages as students would know how to behave in
other settings. However, Bullying UK helpline has also expressed concerns about
the government not accomplishing long-term action plans to support children.
Nor, the government has independent assessments of the anti-bullying policies
that schools produced. Therefore, the key issue is being the policies in
schools effective to students?


More importantly, children require support and
guidance when dealing with a serious situation like bullying. Victoria
Education Training (2017) states, possible issues can occur when students are
going through bullying; behaviour changes, decrease in school performance, lack
of interaction between family and other social relationships. It has been
shown, schools use the multi-disciplinary and child-centred approach as it is
the most effective approach to use when dealing with students who have been
going through the experience, Tackling Bullying: Listening to the Views of
Children and Young People (2003). Multi-disciplinary and the child-centred
approach is when professionals come together and ensure the child is provided
with the significant support they need. This include professionals; teachers,
parents, counsellors, mentors and assistant teachers come together to ensure
the best for the child. The results show the students are gaining support to
improve their development.

Social Interaction and Student Learning (2013),
teachers believe encouraging children to attend school clubs would allow them
to engage with other children. This will also help increase their
communication, confidence and recover the effects of bullying. I personally
think the buddy systems is a great way to help children with social
interaction. This will provide children with a friend and encouragement, De
Langue et al (1981). Hunter, Cath “Child Approach and Behaviour” states the
impacts of bullying is negative as children tend to isolate themselves, however
using the child-centred approach benefits the child as teachers are focusing on
the child and their needs. This would support student’s social development as
they would stop isolating themselves. Student Engagement and Experience Journal
declares children’s needs are being met by this approach because of professionals
and parents working in partnership. I think using this method will indeed
support the child’s wellbeing as well as improving their confidence and
self-esteem levels.

Parental involvement helps students that are
bullied in schools. Parent get to assess and understand children’s feelings by
witnessing themselves, Department for Children, Schools and Families (2007).
The parents can support students emotional and intellectual development by
working with them. However, bullying can cause lack of attendance in school
because of their frightened emotions, Henderson and Mapp (2002). Another
benefit of parental involvement in creating a home environment for the student,
so they feel comfortable and develops their social interaction with peers.
Parents allowing students to go to social events where the child can meet new
people, However, Levin (1984) state parental involvement is not effective
because parents do not understand teacher methods and notice a lack of interest
in student’s education.

In addition, schools implement the Zero tolerance
to bullying policy which encourages individuals to come together and promote an
action to bullying. Roland et al (2009), stated using this approach sets a
target, which improves student’s interactions with peers and synthesis in one
another. Furthermore, students may not understand what bullying is, hence I
think it is important for teachers to guide students about the measures and
impacts bullying could promote. Barone, (1997); Quinn et al (2003) state
role-playing demonstrates the whole concept of bullying which ensures students
to understand the impacts bullying could portray. I think this is an approach
that increases the insight among peers.

Approach and Methodology

Qualitative and Quantitative are common paradigms
that are used as methods for research. Qualitative also known as non-positivist
measure data by interpreting opinions and experiences (Anderson, 2004, in
Creswell, 1994). Quantitative also known as positivist measure data in a
numerical and statistical aspect, Punch (1998). 
However, my research is carried out on an interpretive approach which is
combined with qualitative data. The main purpose why I chose this approach is
because it would develop my research using the method of interviews. My aim was
to examine and collect a teacher perspective of how student development is
impacted by the experiences of bullying and what the teacher’s approaches are
to support students. The University of Lancaster states the quantitative method
provides numerical data. This would not help me find out teacher’s perspective
on how to support students with bullying. It does not help me find detailed
information and explanations about the student development, different impacts
and teaching approaches to support students with bullying. Valerie Anderson
“Research Methods in Human Resource Management”, stated the quantitative data
is superficial. I did not consider the positivist approach because I did not
want to obtain limited results in forms of numerical outcomes. I wanted to have
detailed results which provide more elaborated opinions and perceptions.

In this research project, I will be reflecting on
an interview with a teacher. The interpretive approach has benefits as it
permits a participant to provide their opinions on how bullying affects student
development. I thought it was important to have a teacher’s perspective as they
are involved in student bullying more often. Considering a teacher’s
perspective because they have a wider insight, experience and knowledge about
students. I personally want to understand how bullying affects student
development and in what ways this can be prevented. I also used this method
because it does indeed benefit the researcher, as it provides answers with
opinions (P Sheeran, 1993). This is vital because it would provide me with
valuable understanding from an authentic perspective of participant A.
Utilising this method provided benefits which allowed me to obtain valid data
about the participant’s attitude, values and opinions. However, there are also
disadvantages of the method such as it is biased. The interpretive approach is
mainly observed by my participant’s experience and opinions. Another detriment
was I obtained only represented one perspective, hence results are not valid.

The semi-structured interview was conducted in this
project with a teacher’s perception of how bullying affects student
development. I chose this qualitative method because it establishes a set of
open questions which means I would obtain detailed answers from the participant
which will result in deeper discussions. Moreover, the benefits of this
approach are it provided an opportunity to investigate different matters within
the topic. Bernard (1988), started using semi-structured interview benefits when
questioning one participant when gathering data. University of Bournemouth
(2014) touches on the positives of the semi-structured method and states it is
an organised method. This helped me on this project as it allowed me to prepare
for the interview and portrayed efficiency in the interview. Further discussing
the advantages of the method is it allows the participant to express their
opinions in their own words, National Institute for Health Research “An
introduction to Qualitative Research”.

Reliability and validity is the purpose of
examining of measuring the collection of data and the quality of it in the
project. The terms of reliability and validity are planted and used more in the
Quantitative approach, has the function of explaining. However, it is also used
in the Qualitative approach but considered and used in a different aspect which
is the function of understanding. Stenbacka, (2001, p. 551). Analysing the
research project, I believe the data is unreliable this is because I only
interviewed one participant. I only collected one perspective, therefore, my
data is unreliable. However, Bassey (2004) stated reliability and validity are
not considered in interviews alternatively other terminology like credibility
and trustworthiness are used. Lincoln and Guba, 1985, in Bassey, (2014)

Moreover, credibility is used to obtain
trustworthiness by using different methods to gather data, Seale (1999).
However, in this case, my project only collected one perspective, if I had a
large-scale project I would use additional methods like observations. I would
observe to witness the engagement between student’s behaviour in classrooms and
the playground. I would also use observations to witness teachers in practice.
In addition, to collect my data I had to make notes during the face to face
interview which was held for 20 minutes. I considered making notes for
examining and interpreting the interview, Oxford Academic Journal (2008).

Ethical considerations were conducted during and
after my research project. I had to ensure to take a professional manner and
consider all ethical duties. Furthermore, it is vital the participant
acknowledges the ethical fundamentals. This is necessary because it will
protect the participant’s identity and be keeping their information is
confidential. In addition, I also got informed consent from participant A and
my module teacher. These are aspects which will minimise any ethical issues, I
also informed the participant the key information about my project. 

Preserving anonymity by changing the name to
participant A, this is central, so their identity is protected. As I am using
the qualitative approach there is more ethical consideration than quantitative.
Using the qualitative approach, the researcher will have a professional relationship
with the participant which will result in more detailed answers. Stevens (2013)
states, ethics is important in a qualitative approach. I thought it was
important to develop a rapport with the participant. This will help reinforce a
positive confidential environment, where the participant trusts me, British
Psychology Society (2010). 


Firstly, participant A’s defines “bullying” as a
physical, intellectual and emotional attack. The teacher’s perception of
bullying is, students use force to gain dominance and power. Participant A
informed me “there’s a sequence from bullying and illness”. I found out
participant A believes bullying causes low self-esteem and confidence levels
which results in mental illness like depression. Similarly, this relates to the
literature I found Lancet Psychiatry and the journal JAMA Psychiatry, suggests
students can gain mental illness like depression and anxiety because of
bullying. Moreover, participant, A perspective is student’s development of
social interaction will decrease. For example, the participant informed
examples of impacts on bullying such as isolation and loneliness. Participant A
“I witnessed students isolating from friendship groups which causes them to
feel low and depressed”. However, participant A used methods which portrayed
all professionals working together to maintain and provide the needs of the
student. Participant A uses therapy counselling to support students as they
could express their feelings, also the centred child pedagogy which supports the
needs of students.

Moreover, when conducting the interview, I
critically analysed the guidance participant A uses to support students. For
instance, the zero-tolerance policy helps prevent bullying in the setting. This
relates to Department of Education (2014) policies because enhancing policies
is an aspect to support students, as it develops a new positive environment.
Reviewing the literature, it also states the Anti-bullying approach have shown
positive impacts in preventing and tackling bullying at schools. However, it is
important to promote these programs correctly. Therefore, Participant A
suggested individuals in the school including staff and parents need to portray
support for the tackling and prevention policies, for it to function with its optimum

My results showed student development has an impact
due to bullying. Participant A informed me her experience when she had to
handle a situation of bullying behaviour. She claimed students who are bullied
affect different developments such as social development. She informed me
social development decreases as the pupils would isolate or be rejected by
students. Therefore, she thought it would be helpful if she refers the student
to a professional counsellor were the students can express their emotions which
supports their emotional and social development. Participant A thought it was a
good idea to reinforce buddy system in the classroom. This relates to the
social isolation and student support. This provides students to be socially
interactive and supports the student to overcome barriers and impacts which
bullying has caused. Participant A called in parental involvement to show that
the student is important and professionals in school and home, care about the
student’s well-being and health. This will prevent bullying as it will model
parents to support bullies and victims. This relates to Maslow Hierarchy of
Needs (1943). Belonging is important as it contributes to self-esteem and
self-actualisation. Therefore, using this theory examines impacts of bullying
which shows it is not safe, Maslow declares if students do not have their
physical needs, safety and belonging needs it would be hard for a student to
acknowledge or even achieve their own attainment in learning and behaviour.
Lastly, Participant A states it is important the student acknowledge they are
important, so teachers, parents and others do care about them.

Reviewing the literature and the results, it shows
numerous encounters about how bullying is a crime and impacts students. This
relates to the data I collected from participant A as she expressed the impacts
students prone when involved in the bullying experience. She stated academic
performance decrease, depression, anxiety, and emotional levels increase.
Participant A views are these impacts can continue throughout their life.


The reason why I chose to embark on bullying is
that it is a factor I experienced while growing up. I feel bullying should not
happen to anyone and educational settings should measure bullying very
seriously. When deciding about bullying and student development as my research
project, I thought it would affect myself as I was bullied in the past which
may interfere the research as I would be biased by putting my own opinions and
thoughts about bullying. I was bullied intellectually, I realised by researching,
it can connect to emotional results. For instance, verbally commenting about
others intelligence can relate to emotional development, as they may feel
emotionally upset about what’s been said to them. I personally went through
this and know how it feels. Therefore, it was hard to put my views aside when
conducting this research. In the future I would recommend analysing and
conducting with a partner so there’s more than one view on the research, also
additional methods like observations this would make my results reliable.

Evaluating in this study, I had challenges in
conducting this research project. One of them was thinking and producing the
themes to start the literature. During the readings for my topic, I then came
across many themes however I knew I required to narrow it down to three
interesting themes. Making the decision of choosing themes for my research
project was difficult, however, I thought I will carry on my readings then pick
out three important themes to me which were student support, school and
government policies and lastly student isolation. Therefore, the readings
supported me to explore different themes and literature which I can relate to
my topic of bullying. I noticed my academic skills improved as I started to
analyse, interpret, understand the readings and the data. I extended my
knowledge by providing supportive research within my literature which made me
understand different perspectives for bullying.

In addition, during my research project, I also had
an implication which was two important factors for me which were time and
availability. The implication of availability was having a participant who was
available from their busy schedule. This was a practical issue as I needed to
have a teacher’s perception of bullying therefore, I needed a teacher. However,
I managed to have a teacher meet me with me, so I can receive the data I need.
However, due to participant A busy schedule I had to cut the time to 20
minutes, this affected the results I obtained. However, I managed to overcome
this by making notes when interviewing to examine and portray what the results
are. Writing notes within the interview was a challenge but in the future, I
would change the way I conduct the data by using a recording device with
permission and transcript the data as I would have much more understanding this
way. This will help me interpret the data more than only writing up notes.

The value of this project was to find out,
participant A approaches to support students who have been bullied. I found out
there are many strategies which participant A uses for student development when
it’s been affected by bullying. For instance, relating to my literature where I
started using the multi-disciplinary and child-centred approach benefits
children as it listens to views of students and supports them to stop bullying.
However, I also found out bullying is common and occurs in schools. It creates
a school social climate which influences students. My views when analysing this
research is school’s social climate act as a variable and connects with social
interaction and peer interaction. I recommend teachers and the government
should measure and promote bullying as a serious offence as it is indeed a
terrible crime. An example of this is benefiting students with social
interactive workshops. This results in supporting student’s development
socially, intellectually and physically. Overall, my perspectives towards the
research developed as I think teachers need to enhance on anti-bullying
programs to ensure bullying is prevented. This will ensure and maintain a
supportive environment for students and interactions between teachers and
parents. I think this is vital because it can minimise the bullying behaviour
by enhancing more interventions.