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ERIC Number: EJ1001167
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Long-Term Effects of Bullying: Promoting Empathy with Nonfiction
Ansbach, Jennifer
English Journal, v101 n6 p87-92 Jul 2012
"I didn't know that was bullying." Brianna turns to the author, her eyes wide. "I'd never thought of it that way." The author glances around the room and asks the 23 other students, "Quick show of hands: How many of us had thought of that as bullying before?" About five students raise their hands. "How many of us have seen this kind of behavior before?" Nearly all the hands go up. "How many now see this as bullying?" Every hand is up. The discussion continues for a few more minutes about how some kinds of bullying are openly aggressive while other types are indirect. Indirect bullying such as telling people who they can be friends with or excluding a member from a group of friends comes as a revelation to students. Their week-long unit coincides with the newly mandated "Week of Respect" in New Jersey, a combination of schoolwide and classroom-based activities. When the author began designing this unit, she wanted to open a dialogue with students, to help them stretch beyond the legal definition of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) according to the new law, to be able to analyze the behavior of themselves and others. Ultimately, she hoped to create empathy for victims while building students' literacy skills. In this unit, the students first read nonfiction about bullying. Then they create poems, posters, and letters to develop both cognitive and affective empathy. This project succeeded not only in raising awareness and creating both cognitive and, for some, affective empathy, but also in helping students consider their own role in bullying, spurring a desire to change their own behavior. (Contains 1 figure and 2 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey