Monday, April 14, 2008

The teachers are afraid of the pupils

Although bullying among pupils has received a great deal of attention violence by pupils against teachers has been less well studied. A study of 101 teachers in 7 urban high schools in the UK found evidence for student violence against teachers both from the teachers themselves and their peers and a 1998 U.S. study found that 56% of teachers did not feel safe in U.S. schools. Two studies in Slovakia looked into violence against teachers. The first surveyed 346 teachers and found that that 49% of them reported at least one experience of violence in the past 30 days with reports of violence being particularly widespread in vocational schools. The second study surveyed 108 teachers in vocational schools and found that 60 of them reported at least one experience of violence in the last 15 days. Unsurprisingly the more violence the teachers experienced the less positive and more negative was their mood and the less satisfied they were with their life. The teachers also investigated the impact of a concept called The Belief in a Just World - the idea that the world is basically a just place where people get what they deserve. The researchers found that belief in a just world had a beneficial impact on the teachers' well-being in terms of life satisfaction and positive affect. The more the teachers believed in a just world the less frequently they experienced negative affect.

Dzuka, Jozef and Dalbert, Claudia - Student violence against teachers: teachers' well-being and the belief in a just world European Psychologist December 2007, 12(4), 253-260

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