THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONGFACULTY OF EDUCATIONBBED4002 Understanding and GuidingWhole-Person DevelopmentVideo Case Analysis The video”This is Not a Game” is about an adolescent called Lee Wai Ho being physicallyand verbally bullied during recess and lunch time in school. This video showsthe phenomenon of bullying among adolescents in school. Therefore, to attain anin-depth understanding on school bullying, this essay will focus on analysingthe developmental problems faced by the students and suggest interventionstrategies that can be applied to the issue of school bullying. In orderto understand the bully’s behavior, Erikson’s (1968) psychoanalytic approach inanalysing the stages of psychosocial development is suitable. The students inthe video are experiencing the fifth stage of Erikson’s stages of psychosocialdevelopment, which is Identity versus Role Confusion (Erikson, 1968). According to Erikson (1968), adolescents maystart to be confused or insecure about themselves and how to be accepted by thesociety, so in the process of pondering and establishing a sense of self;adolescents may attempt to experiment with different roles, behaviours, andactivities. During this changing phase of human development, they are apt toconfuse the roles and their behaviours may be impulsive and unpredictable.
The video shows three parties of students who weredirectly or indirectly involved in the bullying; they are the victim, thebullies, and the witnesses respectively. The “bullying triangle”, suggested bySullivan, Cleary, and Sullivan (2004), which represents the bully, victim, andwitness on each peak of an equilateral triangle. The meaning behind thistriangle is that each party shares equal standing in a school bullying case.
Thefollowing part is to discuss how each party’s developmental problems caused anincident of bullying and vice versa. Lee, thevictim of the school bullying, may lack social and interpersonal skills, whichalong with low Emotional Intelligence leads to his friendless school life. Inthe video, he doesn’t fit into the class and has no friends around himapparently. He is always sitting alone in his own seat during recess and lunchtimewhereas other students were playing in groups. When Lee was bullied, he did notchoose to avoid confronting the group of bullies and his verbal attack againstthe bullies just triggered the outbreak of bullying. He is also emotionallyunstable and bad tempered since he threw his book away and thumped his fist onthe table after the bullies had left. Moreover, there are no classmatesstepping forward to help Lee because Lee is not recognised as a friend oftheirs, but an acquaintance at most.
Lee is the victim because his poorinterpersonal and social skills unfortunately lead him to be an easy target forthose bullies in the class. During this stage, adolescents’ socialrelationships will take a particularly important part in shaping their identity(Erikson, 1968). However, Lee cannot develop a sense of self or healthyself-esteem because he does not have any proper and adequate interactions withhis peers due to experiencing social rejection during class. Apart from hispsychological development, Lee’s cognitive development might be affected toobecause Vygotsky (1978) stated that the fundamental importance of socialinteraction in the development of cognition in a sociocultural approach. Inthis social environment, Lee will just be more and more unsociable and eccentricbecause of social isolation and bully, and it will finally become a vicious cycle.The weaker attributes Lee gets, the easier Lee gets bullied (Juvonen andGraham, 2001). The bulliesalso face developmental problems during the adolescence stage of psychosocial development thatcause their bullying behaviour.
They representthe negative outcomes of this stage; displaying characteristics such as a lack of social skills, negativeself-esteem, and role confusion. In fact, some adolescents become bullies inschool because of the negative influence from their family social environment.According to Newman, Horne, and Bartolomucci (2000), if an adolescent is raisedby neglectful or abusive parents, he/she might have low level of cognitive andbehavioral development. These kinds of families will cause the adolescents to have role confusion becausetheir parents never guide them to explore the roles they will play in the adultworld and correct their misbehaviours when they are figuring out existential questionssuch as “Who Am I” and “What Can I Be”.
Thus, those adolescents will becomebullies because they are eager to gain self-esteem and attention so try to filla powerful role by dominating or manipulating others in schools which isanother major social environment for adolescents. (Ross, 1996). Moreover, somestudents in the video call one of the bullies “Master Hei” in the video, itshows that some students in the group of the bullies bullied Lee because ofpeer pressure and obtaining social approval from the powerful student in theclass.
It can be assumed that some students become bullies because they want toavoid falling victim to bullying. The bystandersin the video are some female classmates and they did not attach any importanceto the bullying incident. Some of them are sympathetic and criticise thosebullies secretly; some furtively laugh at Lee instead; however, no one standsup for Lee. From the video, it can be seen that the classroom atmosphere isslightly threatening because those bullies are physically stronger and act likegangsters. It is inevitable for those girls to passively accept the bullyingincident because they want to protect themselves as well as fit into theclassroom environment, but the bullies will just abuse others more blatantly.The bystanders will also suffer negative consequences themselves.
For example,they might feel overwhelmingly guilty because they did not intervene thebullying; besides, they might also be overly afraid of being the next victims.The bystanders might eventually either choose to associate with those bulliesor avoid any social events because of fear and it brings damaging impacts totheir psychological and cognitive development during the adolescence stage. If I were theclass teacher in the class shown in the video, I would use both remedial and preventiveintervention strategies to help those adolescents in school bullying. Firstly, if Ifound out Lee was bullied by others, I would make sure he is not physically injured,and immediate remedial actions should be taken. As Lee is already beingisolated in the class, I would not bring up the bullying incidents in front ofthe whole class. It would just put Lee in a more dangerous situation becausethe bullies might think that Lee had reported to me.
Since Lee has poorself-esteem and little trust of other people, I would offer him individualcounselling to make him feel cared about and first establish the trust betweenus. Further, I would ensure him to believe that I have the authority tointervene the bullying incident. In the regular counselling sessions later on,I would help him build up self-esteem which he urgently needs in thisadolescence stage and deal with his negative emotions caused by being bullied. Plus,if necessary, I might have to seek for more professional counselling advicefrom school-based social workers. Remedial programmesare not only for victims; individual counselling should be offered to thebullies as well. As mentioned before, the bullies might grew up in a poor familysocial environment, so teachers should be understanding and empathetic because bulliesare also the victims in the family. They need attention and guidance fromadults so that they can get back on the right track in psychological andcognitive development. In Lee’s case,more than one bully was involved in bullying behaviour, as suggested by Garrett(2012), teachers should talk to each bully in quick succession separatelybecause they might minimise and limit their behaviour.
The more seriousimplication is that these bullies share the same value that violence isentertaining also a tool to solve problems. Therefore, teachers need to discernwhy the bullying happened, educate them to be more empathetic for the victims,and foster correct values during the counselling sessions for the bullies.Teachers should uphold a serious attitude towards those bullies by telling themzero tolerance for school bullying and let them bear the consequences forbullying behaviour. Apart fromcounselling for the students, the immediate remedial work at the classroomlevel is also important.
It can be speculated from the video that the teachersin Lee’s school are negligent and irresponsible since there are no teachersintervening during the bullying. This is due to insufficient supervision in theclassroom; the area where most bullying occurs. Moreover, those bullies paintLee’s book, but what makes him most concerned is to be blamed by teachers. Therefore,I would kindly ask school prefects to patrol more frequently in Lee’s classroomduring recess and lunch time and report to me if they suspect a bullyingincident (Ma, 2005). I would increase teacher’s supervision as well, such aspaying more unannounced visits to the classroom to check on Lee. Under adultand student prefects’ supervision, the bullies would not easily demonstratebully behaviour since they clearly know any bullying behaviours of theirs willbe exposed easily.
Nevertheless,the intervention strategies mentioned above can only be temporarily effectiveto prevent the instances of bullying in a short term. Long-term preventiveintervention strategies aim to assist and educate all students to develop highself-efficacy, strong interpersonal skills, and bonding with classmates,teachers and parents, or in a larger scale, change the classroom atmosphere tobe more positive and caring (Wong, 2000). According to Vygotsky (1978), hestated that how a person thinks and what a person thinks about are influencedby the environment he/she grew up in. Thus, the interventions are for the wholeclass or even the whole school, especially for the bystanders.
At a classroomlevel, creating a safe and engaging learning environment for adolescents is amust. Whether teachers observe bullying behaviour or not, they always shouldmake clear guidance and classroom rules to warn the bullies, reassure thevictims and empower the bystanders to bravely stop any bullying behaviours. Students mustbe guided how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence or hurtfulforms of verbal bullying.
In the video, the students are just running andchasing each other in the classroom and the corridors. However, since the rootcauses of school bullying are that students lack life skills and lowself-esteem, teachers should encourage both the victims, bullies, and otherstudents to instead join some activities or workshops that emphasise conflictresolution, assertiveness, problem-solving skills, emotion management,teamwork, and career planning during lunch time or after school (Ma, 2005). Oncethey have more opportunities and guidance to identify themselves and achieve ingender roles and occupation, incidences of bullying in schools will be reducedbecause they successfully get through their identity crisis that suggested byErikson (1968). Furthermore,long-term intervention programmes for Lee and any other victims or the studentswho likely fall victim to bullying are necessary. For example, teachers shouldselect and train some peer facilitators in each class.
A peer facilitator is anemotionally mature student leader who is able to recognise and intervene in schoolbullying. Therefore, I would assign one to two relatively trustworthy and maturestudents to try to accompany Lee as much as possible. The bullies targeted Leebecause he is a lone student in the class, so they can sense that no one wouldlikely help him if they bully him. According to Erikson (1968), adolescents arein the process of developing the virtue of “Fidelity” which is known to be asincere, genuine and responsible role in relationships with other people.
When victimsare with their “buddies”, they are not only being protected from bullying butalso acquire “Fidelity” and rebuild positive solid self-esteem from socialinteractions with the student mentors and vice versa. In addition, thesestudent facilitators help create a caring and peaceful classroom environment. To conclude, thisessay demonstrated different practical intervention strategies that can becategorised into remedial and preventive strategies. Remedial interventionstrategies should be put into action promptly when bullying occurred, but whatis more important and proactive is to help all adolescents in school to developdifferent life skills and healthy self-esteem in their transition fromadolescence to adulthood. Furthermore, another long-term preventiveintervention strategy is cultivating caring and harmonious classroom atmosphereby setting up clear rules and guidance that school has zero tolerance towardsviolence.
Bullying is undeniably prevalent in most of the schools in Hong Kong(Wong, 2004 Ma, 2005); however, it can be stopped and prevented as long as interventionstrategies are implemented.Word Count:2075 References:Erikson,E.H.
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