Acting Against Bullying: Using Drama and Peer Teaching to Reduce Bullying (page 3)

By — Bullying Special Edition Contributor
Updated on Apr 17, 2009

Does the Acting Against Bullying Program work?

Our most recent statistics (10), show that after the program, 97% of the students were able to identify the three stages; 87% stated they were more able to recognise when bullying was taking place, and 87% believed that bullying could be de-escalated or stopped. 64% believed they were more likely to respond to de-escalate or end bullying, with 33% unsure (only 3% responded negatively). 70% believed they had learned to manage bullying situations better, and most believed that bystanders had the most real power to ameliorate bullying. Extensive anecdotal evidence reported that over 50% of the students were in fact using what they had learned in real-life conflicts; and a number of genuine life-changes were identified and followed. Over 80% of the teachers believed the program should be incorporated permanently in their schools. Surprising results included the prevalence of students self-disclosing as bullies.

All the evidence shows that the three keys to Acting Against Bullying are 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 system and school administrations. With these three factors, any school can implement it.

Details of both the drama program and school organisation, together with our bibliography, further results and statistics, can be found in our book Cooling Conflict.


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  2. Roberts Jr., W.B. (2006). Bullying From Both Sides: Strategic interventions for working with bullies and victims. California: Corwin Press
  3. Rigby, K. (2002). A Meta-Evaluation of Methods and Approaches to Reducing Bullying in Pre-Schools and Early Primary Schools in Australia. Canberra Commonwealth Attorney-General.
  4. Belliveau, G. (2007) An Alternative Practicum Model for Teaching and Learning. Canadian Journal of Education 30, 1.
  5. Zins, J.E. Elias, M.J. Maher, C.A. (2007) Bullying, Victimization, and Peer Harassment: A Handbook of Prevention and Intervention. New York: Haworth Press, 2007
  6. 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.
  7. Falchikov, N. (2001) Learning Together: Peer tutoring in higher education. London : Routledge Falmer.
  8. Gordon, E.E. 2005 Peer Tutoring: A teacher’s Resource Guide. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Education.
  9. O’Toole, J., Burton, B. & Plunkett, A. (2005). Cooling conflict: A new approach to managing bullying and conflict in schools. Frenchs Forest, Aus.: Pearson Educational.
  10. Burton, B. (2008) Acting Against Bullying in Schools in Donelan, K. and O’Brien. A. Risky Business Cambridge UK Cambridge Scholars Press
  11. Smokowski,lP. R.; Kopasz, K. H. ( 2005) Bullying in School: An Overview of Types, Effects, Family Characteristics, and Intervention Strategies Children and Schools, Volume 27, Number 2, April 2005 , pp. 101-110(10)
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