Classroom use of YA books with bullying theme may promote empathy in school

September 26, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

The Canadian Journal of Education has released its latest issue (2016, 39:3). One of the articles written by J.Hughes (UOIT)  and J.L Laffier (UOIT)  is titled Portrayals of Bullying in Young Adult Literature: Considerations for Schools.

Selected from the abstract, page 1:   “In this article, the authors examine how bullying is portrayed in three recent young adult novels, focusing specifically on whether the information about bullying is accurate, biased, or represents old myths in comparison to current research. The authors conduct a systematic analysis of the following four themes: (1) What is bullying? (2) Who are the bullies? (3) Who are the victims? (4) Who are the bystanders and what role do they play? They conclude by arguing for the inclusion of young adult fiction that deals with sensitive issues as a way to promote awareness, empathy, and social change to empower youth in school settings.”

Selected from page 5: “The three young adult novels selected for the purposes of this article were Bystander by James Preller (2009), The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen (2012), and The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale (2013). In our classroom-based research with students, we have also used Wonder by R. J. Palacio (2013), Freak by Marcella Pixley (2013), Schooled by Gordon Korman (2000), and Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (2000). For teachers working with students in secondary school, we recommend Thirteen Reasons Why (Asher, 2007), Eleanor & Park (Rowell, 2013), By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead (Peters, 2009), Speak (Anderson, 1999), and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock (Quick, 2013).”

Selected from page 19:   “Through critical discussions of how bullying is presented in the books in comparison to the student’s real world experiences, students can take an active part in finding solutions to prevent bullying. This can empower students to be “agents of change” and promote an equitable and empathic school community. Using YA books that focus on bullying has the potential to create awareness about the issues and transforms the lives of students, not only the 64% of students who report being bullied, but the 72% who report witnessing bullying events at school (Stop a Bully, 2014).”

And the article comes an excellent resource list. Check it out! Rowan

Entry filed under: Articles. Tags: , .

Word on the Street – this Sunday at Harbourfront (11am to 6pm) Educational leadership related to PLCs in schools

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