Bullying is considered a form of aggression which has a social context; occurring among social groups in regular contact. Bullying includes negative aggressive behaviours intended to cause physical/ emotional damage to those who experience it, over the past 20 years has found to be a problem for a substantial proportion of children and young people living in Europe. Left unresolved, the experience of being bullied can have a detrimental effect on a child’s development, leading to a variety of physical and psychological problems throughout adolescence and later life. Bullying includes a variety of behaviours.
We will reach 5000 young people in 150 primary, secondary and special schools (+60 support agencies) 2500 parents/carers, 2380 teachers, school and other types of support staff.
Our objectives are:
EUBULLY offers a blended approach – creating innovation in the virtual world alongside transfer and roll out of best practice in the use of drama in the physical world, both providing safe and secure environments for bullying to be addressed openly. Many anti-bullying initiatives are built upon the core philosophy of the Whole School Approach: on the assumption that bullying is a systemic problem, and, by implication, an intervention must be directed at the entire school not just at individual bullies and victims. EUBULLY reflects this, but wider by working with young people who are most vulnerable (Roma, travellers, ethnic /faith minorities, young people in care, disabled, risk of offending, those living in poverty) and recognising their lives include additional support staff (in residential homes, associations supporting these groups in schools and community, health care staff etc)
The High-Level Expert Meeting “Tackling Violence in Schools” held in Oslo in June 2011 identified that children, and often their families, feel frightened to speak up and conceal incidents of violence, particularly when perpetrated by a teacher or staff in school. It is often difficult to get staff to commit to addressing bullying as so much of it happens under the radar. Statistics show that bullying goes undetected by school staff, and students report that it occurs in the classroom even when a teacher is present (James Dillon principal of Lynnwood Elementary School, New York). EUBULLY supports teachers and school staff to be more proactive in bringing bullying out into the open for victim, offender and bystander using the new app to be developed for mobile technologies and new skills linked to drama in education. This will be supported a pack of training and support carried out with young people, teachers, parents, support staff in and out of school.
Drama is sometimes used in bullying management, but rarely as part of a coherent, whole-school scheme which is still innovative. An analysis of the EVE database identified only 2 bullying projects, one youth project (153086-3.1-RS–2009-R1) and one Comenius project (510062-LLP-1-2010-1-IT-COMENIUS-CMP), one of which was drama based. From 1997-2005 21 anti bullying projects were approved, non drama or addressing cyber bullying. From 2005 three projects approved addressed cyber bullying, but none using drama. There is extensive evidence that drama provides opportunities to create and experiment with life-like models of conflict, even ones drawn from real life which are ‘made safe’ by being altered and made fictional. Students themselves have said they prefer the use of drama to other approaches in anti – bullying programmes (Crothers, L.M. Kolbert, J.B. Barker, W.F. (2006). Middle School Students’ Preferences for Anti-Bullying Interventions Psychology International, Vol. 27, No. 4, 475-78) Success of drama in dealing with issues such as bullying is reliant on skilled management of structured drama work; trust in students’ peer teaching ability and their ability to put what they have learned through experience into mature practice; and strong support by school administrations. With these three factors, any school can implement it and EUBULLY aims to provide the training, resources and tools to do this.
Recommendations from the 2009 Unlearning Intolerance Seminar (United Nations Headquarters, New York), call for international strategies on awareness, education, family involvement and policy change in dealing with “cyber-hate”. European Data Protection Legislation is now being applied to issues of cyber bullying, online harassment and identity theft. In 2014, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union are due to implement reforms to the EU Data Legislation. The European Commission has also been active in curbing online abuse by forming an agreement with 17 of the world’s leading social networks, including Facebook and Myspace, to ensure young people and children are better protected online. Added value within EUBULLY is the development of an app to be downloaded onto mobile (handheld) technologies for use within the curriculum in schools as part of ICT key learning strategies but also impact in the wider community in that it can be accessed outside of the physical classroom and become a tool in the wider virtual world of all our young people. The new app for mobile technologies will provide real time support and empower the victim to both log the event, with the content identified and report it.
Four work streams in addition to Work Stream 0 (WS) will be implemented, recognising that this project includes both transfer of best practice and development of innovative new tools, resources and approaches. Our blended model ensures that are not reinventing wheels but creating new cogs recognising ever changing environments. WS 1- research with young people (primary, secondary and special schools), teachers and school support staff, youth workers and parents/carers in each country, will influence content and design of new resources and programmes offered in schools and community. The research will use two methodologies:
drama research techniques led by our theatre in education partners (Wales, Ireland and Hungary), as well as through discussion/ interview workshops linked to WS2.
a new innovative app (WS3) which will help beneficiaries become more aware, record and report both physical and cyber bullying incidents so providing real time research data.
WS2 Integrating drama into whole school responses to bullying takes current best practice from three very different providers in three countries (England, Wales, and Hungary). Bringing these three practitioner organisations together adds value through sharing experiences, methodologies and knowledge to address bullying and addresses culture and language. Drama techniques on bullying will draw out qualitative data which can be reflected in the content of the short drama to be produced as a new resource for EUBULLY but also influence content of the new app (WS3). New resources will be produced and shared to enable roll out of drama/theatre in education in schools to address bullying as part of school mainstream activity. Resources include new teaching guides, a new drama and new drama techniques. Themes in the dramas will cover cyber (WS2) and physical bullying particularly addressing alterophobic, disablist, sexual orientation and racist bullying. Resources will be further disseminated through WS4.
WS3 will develop a new app for mobile technologies using a competitive learning game platform where pupils can play solo or challenge each other. A separate stand-alone application that will allow pupils to report incidences of bullying with type and circumstance as a bullying log offering a real time research opportunity (WS1) .The content of the game will be influenced by the research undertaken with the target beneficiaries using drama techniques as a way safely drawing out the issues (WS2) The game can be differentiated by age and will be accessible through a number of channels, the web, mobile web, native iOS and Android and potentially others.
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