Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Suha R. Tamim

Abstract

At White Rose Middle School (WRMS), in the lower Piedmont of South Carolina, students with individualized education plans (IEPs), behavioral intervention plans (BIPs), and 504 Plans were placed in the inclusion classroom setting resulting in repeated negative behavior patterns that drew the attention of their peers. Students assigned to the inclusion classroom included regular education students, students identified with a “learning disability,” and students identified as English language learners (ELL). The negative behaviors expressed in the inclusion classroom were categorized as bullying behaviors that disrupted the classroom environment. The purpose of the present action research study was to determine if the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program© had an impact on the middle level students identified with “learning disabilities.” The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program©, funded by the school district, was implemented for 10 weeks in the inclusion classroom as an intervention to determine its impact on these students. The researcher collected and analyzed data in a concurrent mixed method study. The quantitative data consisted of a bullying knowledge pretestposttest, a pre- and post-observation of bullying behavior, and a pre- and postquestionnaire of perceived bullying in school. After calculating the differences in means and the dependent samples t-test for each instrument, the bullying knowledge pretestposttest showed no significant impact on student understanding, the pre- and postobservation of bullying showed no significant impact on bullying behavior in the inclusion classroom, and the pre- and post-questionnaire of perceived bullying showed no significant impact on the student perceptions of bullying in their environment. Then qualitative data of transcripts from the Olweus classroom lessons were analyzed, resulting in the students struggling to identify bullying situations and applying the strategies taught during the intervention. The short-term intervention of 10-weeks had no significant impact. The implications for further practice discussed the implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program© in the middle school, the need to increase teacher participation in the program, a reevaluation of the OBPP© pre- and postquestionnaire on perceptions of bullying, and an application of an intensive approach in the inclusion classroom for students identified as having “learning disabilities.” Therefore, the longer commitments suggested by the implications supports the claim that the program should be applied over an extended period of time.

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