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Bullies and victims in a primary classroom: Scaffolding a collaborative community of practice

Morcom, V.ORCID: 0000-0002-0944-1705 and Cumming-Potvin, W.ORCID: 0000-0002-4961-9379 (2010) Bullies and victims in a primary classroom: Scaffolding a collaborative community of practice. Issues in Educational Research, 20 (2). pp. 166-182.

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This paper is based on a year long research project that examined changes in participation of 31 students in a Year 4/5 classroom, where bullying was occurring. The teacher (first author and researcher) facilitated authentic learning opportunities to make the social practices explicit during weekly class meetings. A socio cultural perspective and an action research process framed this qualitative study. Data sources included school behaviour records, sociograms, semi-structured interviews, teacher observations and students' reflection logs. Rogoff's planes provided the analytical framework to examine how to scaffold a collaborative community of practice. The case studies of two students, Denis and Nathan, provide exemplars of how the teacher scaffolded students' social understandings within small social groups through collaborative leadership opportunities and values education. Results spanning the school year indicated that Nathan, like many of his peers, developed confidence to make new friends and become more assertive. Although Denis took longer to adopt pro-social goals, by the end of the school year, he refrained from bullying Nathan. The significance of this research supports recent findings that a focus on the social dynamics of the classroom can bring about positive change in student behaviour.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Institutes for Educational Research
Copyright: © 2010 Issues In Educational Research.
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