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Can young people develop and deliver effective creative anti-bullying strategies?
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Using action research within a critical paradigm framework the author investigated young people’s ability to develop a programme of work that raises awareness of bullying in schools. The research group was made up of six young people, to whom the author and other specialists offered anti-bullying and participatory training techniques. The group eventually designed their own anti-bullying activity programme, which they delivered in creative workshop style sessions to other young people in schools. The author located this research in critical enquiry, engaging the group in a self-reflective process that aimed to be democratic, equitable, liberating and life enhancing. This report is written in the form of a narrative and evaluates the author’s practice as an educative theatre practitioner. Central themes to this research are bullying, power, creative activity and youth participation. Schools, teachers and adults are often described as sucking out the creativity of young people and thus not allowing many of them achieve their full potential. In this context young people are often powerless to deal with some of the difficult issues in their lives such as bullying. The author suggests that peer support is a key strategy to deal with bullying in schools. The author introduces a new concept of peer support called external peer support, which he has evaluated against the current literature. The definition of bullying is explored in depth, as is its relationship to power. The author suggests peer support to be a key strategy in youth participation and ultimately helping youth empowerment.
PhD in Education