Teachers’ Beliefs and Perceptions of Bullying and Bullying Prevention Initiatives
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While bullying prevention programs appear to be decreasing the number of bullying incidents overseas, bullying prevention programs here in Canada have not been proving as effective. Evaluations of bullying prevention programs often focus on the outcomes and neglect to examine the training regimen for teachers. As teachers are on the front lines of bullying prevention programs, the current study explored teachers’ beliefs about the various types of bullying, their perceptions of their own abilities (e.g., teacher bullying prevention efficacy (TBPE), self-concept, and theory of mind) to implement bullying prevention initiatives, and how the school climate may influence their efficacy beliefs. Participants in the current study were 61 Canadian teachers (n = 51 women), predominantly from Ontario. Participating teachers represented all elementary division levels (primary, junior, and intermediate). Participants’ teaching experience ranged from zero years of teaching (pre-service) to 28 years of experience (M = 10.50, SD = 7.35). It was found that participants reported a relatively high TBPE score, which was related to their likely intervention in cyberbullying situations but not for other forms of bullying situations. It was found that teachers were most likely to intervene in physical bullying than verbal, relational, and cyberbullying, respectively. TBPE was influenced by the school climate. Teachers’ scores on the theory of mind scale was not a significant indicator of any teachers’ bullying beliefs. Analyses exploring the relationship between bullying beliefs and self-concept, morality predicted teachers TBPE scores and the likelihood of intervention. Teachers’ recommendations for bullying prevention training and school bullying prevention programs were explored. Results are discussed in terms of implications for practice and future research.