Stop bullying now!
A Singaporean child expert recently revealed that bullying really happens in our schools. Close to half of the kids surveyed said that they have been victims of bullies. Sadly, cases of bullying happened between close friends. Many parents are asking why bullying happens and how can we stop bullies from victimising their friends and classmates in school. Researchers from Warwick presents to us a solution.
Experts from Warwick Medical School and the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick examined the effects of an anti-bullying virtual learning intervention called FearNot! . Children who participated in this three-week anti-bullying intervention showed a significant decrease – 26% – in victimisation.
More than a thousand children between ages 8 and 9 from primary schools in the UK and Germany participated in the study. The FearNot software consists of a virtual school and 3D pupils. Children were asked what role they would like to assume when bullying happens – bully, victim or bystander. The situations in the software were based on real life incidents of bullying. Kids were allowed to interact with characters by giving suggestions for coping with bullies or resolving a situation.
Researchers said that although the effects were just short-term, they have discovered that using a virtual learning environment for stopping bullying is possible. Schools just need to integrate anti-bullying campaigns on a wider scope and longer duration.
The study was published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.