Author(s)

Rebecca Goldberg

Date Approved

8-24-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.T. Teaching

Department

Teacher Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Browne, Susan

Subject(s)

Bullying in schools;Children's literature

Disciplines

Elementary Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate how using literature to educate students about bullying would support their understandings about bullying and how to address it. This study was conducted at Osage Elementary School in Voorhees, New Jersey. Twenty-one third graders voluntarily participated in this study. An initial and final survey, four discussions and four surveys following the discussions along with a teacher research journal were used in this study to gather data. A qualitative approach was utilized to analyze and draw conclusions from the research. The data showed student understanding about bullying changed over the course of the study. The data yielded five distinct findings. Anonymity allows students to achieve a level of comfort to share information with their teacher. Students were able to see themselves as having a role in issues around bullying. Critical texts help to engage students in discussions about critical issues. Students related to the characters and events in the stories. The stories center around the bullying of the main characters. A learning community was established that allowed the students to better determine the severity of a disciplinary problem. One implication that emerged from this study is a need for further research to determine the long term effects literature has on the perspectives of the students about bullying.

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