Building a bully-free learning community for gifted adolescents


Author presented results of a research on prevalence of bullying in one of Slovenian secondary schools attended mostly by gifted teens. Since many students of the secondary school are clearly victimised by bullying experience from elementary school, staff proposed an initiative for a school research on peer violence. Students (N=168) of 1st and 3rd year filled out questionnaires on their experience with bullying and approaches to solving such relationships. Results were not surprising as they are congruent with research results on occurrence of violence in general population of Slovenian adolescents. Even though patterns of occurrence are similar for different types of violent behaviour, students in the observed school are less often exposed to bullying than their peers in general population. Most often, they are witnessing, experiencing or even implementing social exclusion, while physical violence is the rarest among the forms of bullying they face. Some differences between boys and girls were also found, but hardly any between generations. A decision was made to implement additional preventive activities and make a follow-up research. Workshops with theatre-of-the-oppressed techniques for 1st-year students were experimentally implemented in the school year 2018/19 with help from a local NGO. The approach seems to be very engaging and revealing at the same time. Students enjoyed the process and expressed interesting insights in written evaluation forms. Repetition of the whole quantitative analysis for comparison will will follow in 2020/21.