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2. My Position
The purpose of this paper was to examine the correlation between bullying and empathy in order to show that teaching empathy and allowing children to learn how to be empathetic can reduce bullying and change the mentality of students to enable them to become kinder and more compassionate individuals.
A specific typeof aggressive behaviorthat
causes distress or harm
demonstrates an imbalance of power
is repeated over time
4. Today students school concerns often revolve around school safety concerns as much as achievement.
5. This was not the case with previous generations, who were primarily focused on academic pursuits.
6. Generally, bullying is seen as a component of more generally antisocial and rule-breaking behavior (Olweus, 1993, p.1).
7. Those who bully are four times more likely to be convicted of a serious crime by age 24.
8. Additionally, studies conducted by Dan Olweus at the Research Center for Health Promotion, show that 35%-40% of boys who were characterized as bullied in grades six to nine had been convicted of at least three officially registered crimes by the age of 24.
In contrast, this was true of only 10% of boys who were not classified as bullies (Olweus, 1993, p.1).
9. One idea toward bullying prevention is to teach children empathy in order to prevent the bullying behaviors from ever taking place.The idea is that when children possess empathy, they are less likely to bully or to be bystanders who watch someone else being bullied.
10. There are many myths surrounding bullying, such as the idea that bullies have low self-esteem and are insecure, and that they are rejected by their peers.
11. The research has found this belief to be inaccurate in some cases (p.32).
What we think we know about bullies and bullying is simply not so.Graham (2010), states that there is little evidence in peer research to support the notion that bullies suffer from low self-esteem.
12. To the contrary, many studies report that bullies perceive themselves in a positive light, often displaying inflated self-views (Graham, 2010, p.66).
13. While the research may differ as to how bullies are perceived, what it agrees on is that bullying is much more related to how children grow up and how they feel about others.
14. Environmental influencesplay a crucial role in determining the extent to which these [bullying related] problems manifest themselves in a classroom or a school (Olweus, 1993, p. 2).
One of the environmental influences is the way in which a child is brought up at home, the way parents model behavior and, more specifically, whether or not a child has been taught empathy.
15. Parents need to start working to reduce the aggression felt by their children in the home.
They need to be validating the emotional experiences of their children and demonstrating concern for and the value of family, cultural values, and feelings.
sharing another persons emotional stateputting oneself in the place of another person, seeing events from that persons point of view and understanding the feelings and ideas of that person correctly and expressing this situation
Ozkan and Cifci,2009, p.33
17. There is much support in the research about the correlation between empathy and bullying.
Szalavitz (2010), states that increasingly, neuroscientists, psychologists and educators believe that bullying and other kinds of violence can be reduced by encouraging empathy at an early age.
18. The capacity for empathy is believed to be something we all possess as human beings.
the presence of empathy in an individual helps encourage and grow the capacity for prosocial behavior while inhibiting antisocial behavior.
19. Children need to be taught to be empathetic, and childhood is a critical time for the development of empathy (Szalavitz, 2010, p.2).
20. the presence empathy facilitates prosocial behavior and inhibits antisocial behavior (Jolliffe and Farrington, 2006, p. 540).
Teaching children to see the world from anothers perspective may allow for a reduction in aggression and violence.
21. Those with low empathy may fail to connect their antisocial behavior to the emotional reactions of others (Jolliffe and Farrington, 2006, p. 540).
22. Bullies are unable to understand the emotional reaction of their victim, and therefore continue their antisocial behaviors.
They are not empathetic with their victims and do not even make a connection between antisocial behavior and their own behavior.
They also view anyone attempting to be empathetic as vulnerable and, consequently, a potential target (Piotrowski and Hoot, 2008, p.359).
23. Bullies are in emotional distress themselves and are consumed with fear and jealousy (Piotrowski and Hoot, 2008, p.359).
In many cases, they are unaware of their own emotional deficits which are causing them to act out.
24. 25. Children need to be taught to understand their own behavior and feelings in order to ever be able to understand the behavior and feelings of others (Szalavitz, 2010, p.3).
Children need to also be taught that violence does not equal power.
This could then, in turn, lead to a decrease in aggressive behaviors and the bullying that often comes as a result of them.
26. Scientific findings show that empathetic skills have an effect on preventing bullying amongst peers (Ozkan and Cifci, 2009, p. 35).Students who improve their empathetic skills and become able to see the situation from the perspective of the victim end up less likely to continue to repeat their antisocial, bullying behaviors.
27. Opinions Against
28. They do see the bullying-empathy connection.They just do not feel that it is fair to broadly label all bullies as not possessing this quality. 29. They point out that research suggests that some bullies report feeling sorry after bullying their peers when they are surveyed anonymously 30. As a result, they feel that in order to prevent bullying, it is necessary to foster more prosocial and respectful behaviors among all students and not just to focus on increasing empathy amongst a select group (Espelage and Swearer, 2003, p.373)
Ultimately, it is clear that there is a connection between bullying and empathy.
While the ability to have empathy seems to be innate in humans, the way to express it or show it is a skill which all children are not being taught.
The data provided in the research shows that programs designed to teach empathy and to help children learn compassion are succeeding in reducing bullying rates
32. These programs, such as Roots of Empathy, seek to change the behaviors of young children before they escalate to bigger problems as they get older.They are also trying to teach children how to manage their emotions and to be kinder to others (Anderson, 2010, p.2)
33. The problems that result from bullying do not just lie with the victim.
Accepting this and dealing with the bully as an individual who has problems of his or her own in managing and projecting behaviors inherent to the majority of us may be a step in the right direction toward eliminating the bullying problem.
Anderson, L. (2010, December 15). Can Schools Teach Empathy? Newsweek,
Retrieved from www.newsweek.com
Graham, S. (2010, September). What Educators Need to Know About Bullying
Behaviors. Kappan, 92(1), 66-69. Retrieved from www.kappanmagazine.org
Jolliffe, D., & Farrington, D. P. (2006). Examining the Relationship Between Low
Empathy and Bullying. Aggressive Behavior, 32, 540-550.
Olweus, D. (2001, March). Bullying at School: Tackling the Problem. Observer,
(225), 1-5. Retrieved from www.oecdobserver.org
35. Ozkan, Y., & Cifci, E. (2009). The Effect of Empathy Level on Peer Bullying inSchools.Humanity and Social Sciences Journal, 4(1), 31-38.
Piotrowski, D., & Hoot, J. (2008, August 15). Bullying and Violence in schools:What teachers should know and do. Childhood Education, 84(6), 357-363.Retrieved from www.galegroup.com
Szalavitz, M. (2010, April 17). How Not to Raise a Bully: The Early Roots of Empathy.Time, 1-6. Retrieved from www.time.com