Secondary school educators' perceptions and practices in handling cyberbullying among adolescents : a cluster analysis
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Computers and education. - Oxford
, p. 192-201
University of Antwerp
School educators play an important role in cyberbullying management. Since scarce earlier research indicated low perceived competence of school educators in handling cyberbullying, more insight is needed in what determines their actions and how to improve these practices. This study assessed school educator practices, their perceptions and context factors from a behavior change theoretical framework, and investigated educator clusters related to this. An online survey was conducted among 451 secondary school educators (teachers, principals, school counselors). School educators mostly used recommended actions (i.e. conversations with pupils, enlisting professionals for support, parental involvement, providing supportive victim advice). Four educator clusters were identified: referrers (65%), disengaged educators (14%), concerned educators (12%) and use all means educators (9%). The first two clusters were less adept at handling cyberbullying and comprised mostly teachers, particularly indicating a need for training teachers. Our findings show a need for tailored educator training, e.g. by job position, gender, school size and grade. The behavior change theoretical framework can help target educators' particular needs.