“Program Evaluation: Creative Responses to Bullying and Bias” 2003
PROBLEM: Bullying in schools is done by and to groups as well as individuals. It includes physical violence, taunts, name-calling, humiliation, threats, intimidation, extortion, and exclusion. Creative Response to Conflict in Nyack, New York has developed a bullying prevention/intervention program for grades K-12 that is intended to teach youth and educators conflict resolution skills as well as strategies to recognize and interrupt bullying and bias, and to create shared norms and standards for respectful behavior in and out of school. This research grant will help evaluate this curriculum in schools in Connecticut and Syracuse, New York.
RESEARCH METHODS: The primary method of evaluation has been to track the number of trips to the principal’s office and test scores. A team of researchers has examined the number of reports of bullying behaviors in school. Each school is required to keep a public record of bullying incidents that are related to biases such as homophobia, sexual harassment, racism, anti-Muslim bias and language bias. In Syracuse, researchers will be looking at a social skills rating scale and evaluating the implementation process, that is, how well teachers are able to replicate the curriculum. They will also be looking at test scores over several years, number of visits to the principal’s office, and indicators of teacher satisfaction.
RESULTS: The IPRA grant has helped this group test out various implementation designs. The bullying incident report has proven to be a low cost method of program evaluation. The challenges are to create a consistent, replicable scope and sequence that will meet the requirements of evaluation while meeting the needs of educators; and, second, to integrate bullying prevention programs with subject area studies, so that programming is seen as enhancing children’s academic work, rather than taking valuable time away from academics.