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ERIC Number: EJ1001172
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Mythology of the Norm: Disrupting the Culture of Bullying in Schools
Miller, S. J.
English Journal, v101 n6 p107-109 Jul 2012
The mythology of the "norm" has direct repercussions for schools, and its ideological reinforcement is the primary cause of bullying today. Though it is difficult to pinpoint an origin for "the norm," the medical model and its systemic structural power is one powerful institution that perpetuates this mythology. The medical model has a biological orientation that focuses on the binary identifiers of sickness and mental health, which are considered as abnormal, unhealthy, or which require intervention or something in need of fixing. Tobin Siebers, in "Disability Theory," explores how damaging the medical model has been to people who are disabled. He takes a counter-narrative approach through which to explore the perception of people with disabilities. He introduces the "social model," which challenges the medical model and defines disability as "relative to the social and built environment, arguing that disabling environments produce disability in bodies and requires interventions at the level of social justice." Siebers's social model can help one explore the ideology of the norm that is sustained and embodied in school today. While it appears that little is being done to disrupt the norm from the top-down, exposing the damages of the norm through curriculum, classroom discussions, and social justice projects can shift the environment that sustains bullying. The author suggests that future leaders in NCTE will devote an entire conference to bullying where educators at all levels can demonstrate what they are currently doing to disrupt bullying and generate a wish list of statements that can thrust an anti-bullying policy into law. (Contains 1 figure.)
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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A