Social media commenters’ understanding of the antecedents of teacher-targeted bullying
This article reports on the findings of a small-scale, extant, qualitative social media research study on commenters’ understanding of the antecedents of teacher-targeted bullying. Comments on an article posted by Sarah Sorge (2013) on The Educator’s Room were used as data source. Guided by an ecological model and the attribution theory, the study identified victim and perpetrator attributes, colleagues’ indifference and unprofessionalism, school management’s lack of leadership and failure to address the problem, as well as socio-cultural factors and policy changes as antecedents of teacher-targeted bullying. It is argued that conventional teacher-learner power relations are flawed due to the unsupportive, even antagonistic attitudes of parents, colleagues, society at large, people in leadership positions and policy makers towards the victims of teacher-targeted bullying. It is concluded that, despite ethical dilemmas, the advent of the Internet and social media has created opportunities for researchers to use comments posted on the Internet as a data source to investigate teacher-targeted bullying.
Keywords: attribution theory; ecological model; educator-targeted bullying; qualitative research
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