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Research Proposal Presentation

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Renee Grunfelder

on 14 September 2013

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Transcript of Research Proposal Presentation

The causal-comparative research design will evaluate the relationship between the number of bullying referrals for sixth grade students as compared to the number of bully referrals for seventh and eighth grade students and the effectiveness of the Olweus program across the middle school in general.

The quantitative data that will be collected and studied includes archival data taken in the academic school years 2008/2009 and 2010/2011.
1. Due to social skills development, bullying is more prevalent in sixth grade as opposed to seventh or eighth grade in middle schools.



By
Renee Grunfelder

North Georgia University
Is Bullying More Prevalent in Sixth Grade as Opposed to Seventh or Eighth Grade in Middle Schools: Can the Olweus Program Help?
June 19, 2012
If the student’s on the bus had been through an effective bullying prevention program in the sixth grade, this incident may have never occurred. It is nice to see the overwhelming monetary support the bus monitor, Karen Klein, has received.
Introduction
Transition to 6th Grade
Literature Review
The transition to middle school for a child comes with developmental challenges. Upon entering 6th grade, students may see themselves as being well accepted by their peers, and having good social relationships. However, others, when faced with the new environment, may be more introverted and unsure of themselves (Hawker & Boulton, 2000).

As these different types of students start to navigate their new environment, they have a natural need to improve their social status.

With some student’s social skills still needing to be developed, the process of trying to make new friends in a more socially diverse environment can lead to aggressive behaviors.
Haynie, Simons-Morton, & Nansel. (2003) states, “The definition of bullying by Olweus is an aggressive peer-to-peer behavior in which (1) there is intent to harm or disturb the victim; (2) the aggression occurs repeatedly over time; and (3) there is an imbalance of power, with a more powerful person or group attacking a less powerful one. The aggressive behavior may be verbal such as name calling, threats, physical as when hitting is involved, or psychological as with rumors, shunning and exclusion” (p. 46).
Bullying
Social Development
What makes middle school students bully in their social environment?

To understand that bullying is a part of the developmental process of children, one must have an understanding of social context (Lee, 2011).
Review of literature on peer relationship identified power dynamic as a factor that influence bullying behavior. Power dynamic occurs when children view bullying as a way to obtain higher social status. They bully the less powerful individuals or groups to maintain dominance (Faris & Felmlee, 2011; Hawker & Boulton, 2000, Juvonen, Graham & Schuster 2003; Lee, 2011).
Social status increases the capacity for aggression and competition to gain or maintain status motivates the use of aggression. Aggression varies directly to status and escalates as peer status increases until the student reaches the top of the social hierarchy. Over time, individuals at the very bottom and those at the very top of a hierarchy become the least aggressive students (Faris & Felmlee, 2011).
Prevention
Research suggests there are several ways to decrease bullying in school. These include creating a positive school environment, improving student’s social skills, and implementing a bully prevention program.

Is there program available that addresses all of these factors?
There is a huge market for bullying prevention and intervention programs that help with reduction of bullying incidences. The one program that has consistently appeared to be successful in research is the Olweus program. It was created by Dr. Dan Olweus and originally designed for the middle school student age range (Bauer, Lozano, & Rivara, 2007).The Olweus program has been studied extensively across the world. Implementation in the United States has been effective but to a lesser degree. Evaluation studies have shown reductions of 21-45 percent in student bullying (Olweus, 2003; Limber, 2004; Bauer et. al, 2007; Black & Jackson 2007).
Research has shown bullying is prevalent in middle schools. The researcher will evaluate the effectiveness of the Olweus anti-bullying program in the sixth grade as opposed to the seventh and eighth grades at North Georgia Middle School. This will be accomplished by comparing the number of bullying referrals for students in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades separately. The goal of the researcher is to evaluate whether the Olweus anti-bullying program is successful in reducing the number of bullying referrals in the sixth grade.
Methodology
Objectives of the research
Research Hypothesis
Population & Sample
Design & Procedures
The administration of the school will provide the researcher with the number of bullying referrals per grade level. This will not contain the names of the students, therefore protecting the privacy of the students. Parental consent will not be needed due to the fact that names will not be given to the researcher.
Ethical considerations
Instrumentation
The specific archival data, number of bullying referrals, will be provided from the 2008/2009 school year as well as the bully referrals from the 2010/2011 school year. The computer generated referral report, excluding student names, will be provided by administration. This report will give the researcher the number of bullying strikes per grade level.
Data Analysis
Why Receive Funding?
The researcher can test the conclusion that sixth graders need their own program that addresses:

C
- creating a positive school environment
S
- social skills development of students
I
- implementing effective bully prevention.
Through the help of a grant, we can be proactive in the prevention of bullying. Not only will our children, but also bus monitors, can be safe on the bus with other middle school students.
References
This research study will be beneficial not only to North Georgia Middle School, but also to other middle schools across the United States. The money would be used to research and develop a bully prevention program that would be specifically geared toward sixth grade students.
It does lend one to think, though, would the money be better spent in researching and developing an anti-bullying program that is specifically geared toward sixth graders?
Review of literature on age related bullying identified bullying occurring more frequently among students in year 6 of school as opposed to years 8 or 10. (Hynie et. al., 2003; Forero, McLellan, Rissel, Bauman, 1999; Milson & Gallo, 2006).
The most common form of bullying reported in the U.S. and abroad is verbal harassment previously defined as teasing and name-calling. (Forero et. al., 1999; Milson & Gallo, 2006). Verbal harassment, although not visually evident (unless caught on video), proves to be detrimental to students who are desperately working to become socially accepted.
2. The Olweus program is an effective anti-bullying program that will provide social skills training as well as prevention and intervention treatment for seventh and grade; however, it is less effective in sixth grade.
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