Step 3: Put it into Practice

Who is involved?

The following exercise is designed to help you explore the issue of bullying in greater depth, by observing the dynamics in students’ social relationships, as described in Steps 1 and 2 of Module 3.

Your assignment is the following:

Observe the social relations of students during class, on field trips, in the hallways, during assemblies, etc.

While you do so, as yourself the following questions:
  1. Do you notice that some students are isolated socially from others?
  2. Are there some students who seem particularly vulnerable?
  3. Are there some students who seem to be “in charge”?
  4. Are there interactions between students that indicate a power imbalance? What kinds of subtle, everyday ways of taking power away from others have you observed among students? Do some interactions reveal a power imbalance, even though they do not constitute bullying?
  5. What leads you to the conclusion that there is a power imbalance? (Consider the following: students’ behaviour, words, actions, body language, visual contact, facial expressions, who is listening to whom, who is speaking without anyone listening?)
  6. What kind of atmosphere exists within a group of students when one student tries to dominate another?
  7. How do students’ react to this kind of situation? Have you observed that some students seem uncomfortable?
  8. When students seem uncomfortable with a situation, how do they react?