AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Bullying and its prevention in early childhood education

by Laura Repo

Institution: University of Helsinki
Department: Department of Teacher Education, Varhaiskasvatus; University of Tampere, Department of Teacher Education, Early Childhood Education
Year: 2015
Keywords: kasvatustiede
Record ID: 1130195
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/154445


Bullying and its prevention in early childhood education The purpose of this research was to study the phenomenon of bullying in the preschool environment in order to expand understanding of the phenomenon and to be able to conduct effective anti-bullying practices. Thus, the aims of this research were to study the prevalence and forms of bullying and to find what kind of organizational and pedagogical practices used in preschools were related to bullying behavior and the prevention of bullying. The study also interprets qualitative research data, disclosing what meanings children give to the bullying phenomenon. Two kinds of data were collected for the study: a qualitative data from interviews of children, preschool teachers and practical nurses and parents (N = 114) and data from a survey of early education professionals (N = 771). The results of this study indicate that systematic bullying does occur in preschool groups. The interviews showed that young children were able to describe the phenomenon, and its content varied only slightly from adults speech on the topic. Results showed that 12.6% of preschool children were involved in bullying in one way or another. The most common form of bullying was exclusion from peer relationships. The findings also showed that bullying is a group phenomenon already in preschool groups. However, children with special educational needs were significantly more often involved in bullying situations than children without special educational needs. Thus, the bullying prevention programs developed in early childhood educational environments should be applied both with individual children and at child group level. A common way to intervene in bullying situations was excluding the child from the group. However, in those groups that exclusion was used as an intervention to bullying, respondents reported that they were unable to stop bullying behavior. In addition, in those groups where different pedagogical solutions were tested and evaluated often, less bullying occurred than in those groups that did not test and evaluate their practices. As a conclusion to this study, in order to prevent bullying in preschool environments, even more attention should be paid to strengthen the child group cohesion and to the pedagogical solutions when encountering misbehaving children. A child has a right to an appropriate education where he/she can learn alternative and socially acceptable ways to behave in relations with others. Key words: bullying, early childhood education, peer victimization, special educational needs, bullying prevention, discipline, bystander Varhaiskasvatuksessa käytetyt kurinpitokeinot eivät vähennä kiusaamista Lasten ja nuorten vertaissuhteissa esiintyvä kiusaaminen on vakava ja pitkäaikainen uhka hyvinvoinnille. Kaikki kiusaamiseen liittyvät ilmiöt ovat voimakkaasti syrjäyttäviä, ja niiden kansantaloudelliset vaikutukset ovat suuret. Varhainen puuttuminen kiusaamiseen on tärkeää syrjäytymiskehityksen ehkäisemisessä ja yhdenvertaisen yhteiskunnan…