Polish teachers and cyberbullying - a qualitative exploration of the stakeholders’ perceptions and experience of the phenomenon

2019-11-07T09:59:07Z (GMT) by Magda Marczak Iain Coyne
Cyberbullying refers to bullying and harassment of others using new electronic technologies, the most popular being the internet and mobile phone. For young people the internet is an everyday means of communication and information gathering. Very often their social life after school consists of participating in chat rooms and social network websites. Using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological framework (1979, 1989), this study aims to investigate Polish teachers’ perceptions of cyberbullying, the effect of either being exposed to or engaging in cyberbullying on students’ psychological well-being and the importance of safety and support available in schools. Cyberbullying in secondary education is explored from the stakeholders’ perspective using a qualitative method of enquiry. A total of 23 teachers participated in the semi-structured interviews. Participants whilst sharing their beliefs about cyberbullying identified its dangers, characteristics, and reasons behind perpetrating cyberbullying. Furthermore, whilst teachers’ responses highlighted their awareness of available support both within and outside the school environment, they implored the need for further guidance in management of cyberbullying incidents. The current chapter highlights the value of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological framework (1979, 1989) whilst trying to understand a relatively new phenomenon of cyberbullying among young people from the teachers’ perspective. It is argued that this can be helpful when evaluating current and designing future interventions aiming at cyberbullying prevention and management.