THE BACKGROUND TO THE STUDYBullying has become a challenge that numerous schools are battling with. Olweus (1995), noted that bullying happens at schools during times when a person is exposed over and over again to negative behaviour which can be either verbal or physical to one or more learners.
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The Statement of the Research ProblemBullying is a problem that affects all learners either as the person being bullied, the victim, or by-stander. Bullying can take many forms from verbal to physical assaults, threats, jokes or language, being mocked and criticized, to being insulted or given funny facial expressions. These factors work either individually or together in leading to a learners being bullied. Bullying has several impacts in the school and one those is the impact it has on academic achievement. For many years now evidence has shown that bullying does have a negative influence on a learners well-being. With so many learners experiencing the effects of being bullied, many schools in the province have decided to act on the problem. The effects of bullying within the school environment and persistent pressure from legislators and the community as a whole for an increase in the academic performance of learners, is a concern for school administrators, teachers and the parents. This research aims to investigate the link between bullying and the academic performance of learners.
- How does bullying affect the academic performance of learners?
- Does bullying have an effect on the academic performance of learners?
- What are the forms of bullying that take place at the school?
- What are the effects of bullying on the victims, the bullies, by-standers and the school environment?
- What are the characteristics of a bully?
Purpose of the StudyThe aim of this study is to investigate the effect that bullying has on the academic performance of learners' achievement in schools. The more we are informed about bullying in schools the better equipped the school and district will be and also the school leaders will be able to minimize the bullying from taking place and bring about changes that are positive to the schools, district and also the community. There is evidence that bullying is a serious problem for schools and this has been found in professional literature and the local setting. The goal of this study is to provide better understanding of the effects of bullying on the academic performance of learners in the school district.
The Significance of the StudyBullying is a problem that affects many learners lives. Problems linked with bullying have grown over time due to the increased access to technology and social media allowing more opportunities of cyberbullying (Patechin ; Hinduja,2006).Bullying is complicated and is linked to cultural, social, family and personal aspects of our lives (Pepler et al.,2006). This study attempts to reveal the nature of the relationship between bullying and academic achievement with the use of multiple regression technique and examine whether academic performance levels can be predicted by the frequency of bullying in a given school district. This study is aimed to at helping the district and the schools to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between the frequency of bullying in a school and learners academic performance.
Definition of Key Terms
- Academic performance: The extent to which a student , teacher or an institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.
- Bully: A person who intentionally causes harm to another person whet
- Bullying: Repeated aggressive verbal or physical behaviour with the intention of harming or hurting another person. This happens frequently and involves an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim.
- By-stander: A person who sees the act of bullying taking place.
- Learner: A person who is learning a skill or subject
- Victim: A learner who is harassed by another learner or a group of learners two, three or more learners leading to suffering physical or psychological harm.
Delimitation of the StudyThe study only includes incidents that were reported in the school district and will be based only on high schools in Bloemfontein. Participation in this study will be delimited to Grade 10 learners and their teachers. The amount of unreported bullying is beyond the scope of this study
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