Coaching Teachers to Detect, Prevent, and Respond to Bullying Using Mixed Reality Simulation: an Efficacy Study in Middle Schools

Abstract

Teachers play a critical role in bullying prevention but often struggle to identify bullying and intervene effectively, particularly in real time and in the classroom. The coaching literature suggests that ongoing, tailored supports are often needed to promote changes in teacher practices. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of an adapted version of the Classroom Check-Up (CCU) coaching model, which utilized mixed reality simulation to allow teachers to practice addressing the detection of, prevention of, and responding to bullying in the classroom. The sample included 78 teachers within 5 middle schools, randomized to either receive coaching or serve as a comparison teacher. Teachers provided survey data regarding their perceptions about the occurrence of bullying and how they respond to bullying. Classroom observations of teacher preventive and responding practices as well as student aggression were conducted by trained observers. Regression analyses examining differences between intervention and comparison teachers, following coaching provided during one school year, indicated that intervention teachers were more likely to report responding to bullies with referrals to counselors and other staff, to intervene with the victims and perpetrators, and report that they do not perceive adults at their school do enough to address bullying in schools. Survey data regarding detection approached significance; however, observational data regarding preventive practices and responding showed no differences. Together with prior research findings showing that the intervention was acceptable and feasible, these results demonstrate the promise of this preventive intervention for increasing teachers’ responding to and detection of bullying in classrooms.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the coaches who helped to develop and implemented this intervention, Kristine Larson, Stacy Johnson, Dana Marchese, and Lauren Kaiser. We also thank Wendy Reinke for providing consultation regarding the adaptation of the Classroom Check-up for this project.

Funding

Support for this research study comes from funding provided by the National Institute of Justice (Grant # 2015-CK-BX-008).

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Correspondence to Elise T. Pas.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Ideas expressed here do not represent the position or policy of the National Institute of Justice.

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Pas, E.T., Waasdorp, T.E. & Bradshaw, C.P. Coaching Teachers to Detect, Prevent, and Respond to Bullying Using Mixed Reality Simulation: an Efficacy Study in Middle Schools. Int Journal of Bullying Prevention 1, 58–69 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42380-018-0003-0

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Keywords

  • Bullying prevention and intervention
  • Coaching
  • Teacher-focused
  • Mixed reality simulator