36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Good data but needs more specific examples,
This review is from: Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do (Paperback)
I was elected to my local board of education and we recently received a credible complaint from a parent that harassment of her son was being overlooked by school administrators. Accordingly, I felt obliged to read up on the issue of bullying. This book sets forth both the problem and the recommended solutions. Prof. Olweus is Norwegian and his studies primarily involve Scandinavian schools. Accordingly, questions came to my mind such as "Is Norway a more homogenious society than the United States? If so, are there any differences in both the problem and the solutions in a more ethnically heterogeneous society?" I don't know the answers but, the reader should keep these issues in mind when reading this book.
Prof. Olweus describes the problem and he sets forth well organized solutions to the problem which require involvement of teachers, administrators and parents, and further require communication with all students, even those who are neither bullies nor victims. The one problem I have with the book is that there are very few case histories and specific examples given. The book proposes solutions but does not provide a case history in which the specific solution was successfully applied to the problem at hand. Reliable data and sound recommendations are important but a few specific examples of how these recommendations worked would be helpful. For example, Olweus recommends that parents of a bully apply sanctions if the bullying behavior does not improve. He states, "The consequence should be associated with some degree of discomfort or unpleasantness, but corporal punishment must not be used." OK, fine; but what are specific examples of "discomfor or unpleasantness?" Where are the case histories giving examples? Without these, the book does not provide as fulfilling reading as it otherwise might. This book is well worth reading and I recommend it with the reservations expressed above.