• Highly committed, enthusiastic and creative professional with over 10 years experience in teaching, freelance design, project management and realising clients’ requirements through effective communication and interpretation
  • Talented online marketing specialist with experience in employed and freelance roles who can show demonstrable success with a number of high profile national and international clients
  • Now wanting to utilise the extensive skills and experience learnt to develop a career with a forward thinking, progressive organisation


Adobe CS5, Captivate, Final Cut Studio, iWork, Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010


  • PRINCE2 Practitioner
  • PRINCE2 Foundation
  • PGCE ICT (Masters Level) – University of Huddersfield
  • MA Graphic Design: Communication – University of Salford
  • First Class BA Honours Graphic Media: Communication – University of Bradford
  • NVQ Level 3 Hairdressing


Visiting Lecturer: Protocol National | Leeds City College and Bradford College, 2009 to present

Achieved 100% OCR Nationals Pass rate plus 33% received Merit also a similar BTEC success with Merit learners reaching 90%

  • Organising the curriculum to ensure cohesive delivery of a mixture of creative, technical and research-based units
  • Incorporating marketing strategy techniques focusing on target audience demographics and psychographics using the Young and Rubicam 4Cs model
  • Analysing media texts including semiotics, denotation, connotation and the deciphering of codes for greater understanding
  • Planning and constructing a range of media products including typography, graphics, interactivity, web, video, sound and animation
  • Creating safe, inclusive environments inspiring learners to become more creative and empowered, improving skills, raising aspirations and preparing them for further opportunities

Teacher of ICT: Carlton Bolling College; Bradford, 2008 – 2009

Raised 30% of learners Advanced level grades from D to B, with an overall class result of 60% gaining grades A and B

  • Delivered The Progression Module during registration as Year 12-form tutor, including pastoral duties, taking register and dealing with learner issues
  • Planning, preparing and delivering engaging lessons across all Key Stages
  • CPD in the form of MSc Multimedia and eLearning
  • Designed and developed high quality resources for e-Safety awarded Outstanding by Ofsted

Student Teacher of ICT: Carlton Bolling College; Bradford, 2007 / Farnley Park High; Leeds, 2008

  • Developed good working relationships with socially dysfunctional learners
  • Gained awareness of minority ethnic group needs and interacted with diverse populations of learners with varying levels of technical ability
  • Identified learners’ strengths and weaknesses and developed individual plans to improve their performance

Designer: Andrassy Design; Huddersfield, 2006 – 2007

Created animations, video, web and printed material for charities and “not for profit’ companies

Part Time Lecturer: Bradford School of Art; Bradford, 2005 – 2006

Delivered video capture and typography to first year degree students

Stylist / Assessor: Oasis Hairdressing; Leeds and Bradford, 1993 – 2001

Trained junior stylists various aspects of hairdressing adhering to NVQ standards

Trainee Stylist: West Row Hairdressing; Leeds, 1990 – 1992

Ensured effective running of salon with clear client focus and essential presentation


Designer: Cuerden Valley Park Trust; Leyland, 2009 – Present

Developed an online communication tool bringing members of the community together using a social media approach, reduced printing costs and increased regional awareness of the charity

  • Charity organisation promoting events held to prevent the closure of the park
  • Liaising with trustees and park management whilst dealing with stakeholders and sponsors
  • Responsible for the conception and production of a vast array of promotional media


Over 10 years freelance experience working on a range of projects for various prestigious regional, national and International clients including Isis, Carphone Warehouse and Synergem.

Web Design and Interactivity

  • Integrating content managed sites with social networks
  • Designing fully immersive Flash experiences incorporating video, sound and animation
  • Developing accessible, search engine optimised, HTML and CSS sites

Video and Animation

  • Capturing video footage for exhibitions and charities
  • Editing promotional videos to be engaging, entertaining and informative
  • Producing moving image sequences optimised for use on the web

Print and Promotion

  • Creating specifically designed mood boards communicating ideas
  • Developing marketing material involving corporate sponsorship
  • Producing print ready standard work packages

Branding and Identity

  • Redefining local and global brand identities
  • Establishing rules and guidelines to follow in house
  • Producing digital graphics in appropriate file formats


My name is Mark and I like to design things, share my knowledge and manage projects.

I’ve had the experience of working on a wide range of projects with an eclectic client list that spans the globe.

If you have a graphic design project that requires attention please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Online CV available here.

Developing the Learning Gateway

An exploration into the possible use of SharePoint Learning Kit to support teaching and learning across the whole school using Experiential eLearning


The 2020 Vision that is sweeping the globe foresees a time according to Gilbert (2006) where religious diversity will be greater than social diversity with “further concentrations of minority ethnic groups in particular geographical areas”.  Young people will need to be better qualified to secure employment and “will be expected to take personal responsibility for their impact on the environment”.

It is the responsibility of schools to address the issues regarding the lack of prospects for minority ethnic groups ensuring that their achievement and attainment reduces the gap of social inequalities.  Helping each pupil achieve society’s aspirations that are outlined in the Every Child Matters framework.

To meet this challenge involves Personalised Learning (see appendixes), a highly structured and responsive approach focussing on the individual needs or each pupil.  This requires a greater collaboration between schools, learners and their caregivers to ensure the pupils’ achievement is successful.

With the rise and impact of Learning Management Systems and ICT within education “it is crucial that we engage with developments in digital technologies at the earliest stages” (Facer, 2006) however “there will need to be changes both to the way the education system operates and to the practice of many teachers” (Gilbert, 2006).

The aims of this proposal are:

  • To understand the school and local community
  • To critique the current delivery of resources and suggest a move towards a more constructivist method.
  • To explore the possible impact of Learning Objects
  • To develop the student tracking system by calculating students’ knowledge and retention at the beginning and end of a module.
  • To enhance the possibilities of personalised learning



Bradford, the “4th largest metropolitan district” in England, is politically split, between Labour’s 33 seats and Conservative’s 32, whilst also being culturally divided where inner city areas are ghettoised with minority ethnic groups.  The school sector is predominantly segregated according to Education Bradford (2005, cited in House of Commons, 2007) where pupils attend schools with a population comprising over 90% of one “single cultural or ethnic identity”.  X is one of those schools, predominantly Muslim, containing a high percentage of Pakistani pupils alongside other minority ethnic groups, Bangladeshi, Gypsy and Roma pupils, Travellers and Black pupils, who nationally “do not achieve well” according to the Commission for Race Equality.  Students’ attainment on entry is well below average and a higher than average numbers of students have learning difficulties and/or disabilities; nevertheless the school received Outstanding from Ofsted in 2007.   This diverse culture “is considered desirable and necessary for the development of secure ethnic identities and positive self-feelings” however diversity “is also challenged for being inequitable and a threat to social cohesion” (Verkuyten. 2006).

Situated in the heart of BD3, an inner city area undergoing regeneration, which Regen 2000 claim “was an area of high unemployment, poor housing, poor health, poor education and high levels of drug-related crime”, has received around £150 million from government and private investment during the period 2000 – 2008 to help develop “an economically active and self-generating area” (Bradford Economic Partnership).  Yet near one year on, after the target date for complete regeneration, this area still reflects social deprivation, where the streets are strewn with litter and crime still prevails embodying the disaffection and the break down in community cohesion (Chattoo et al, 2004).  West-Burnham (1997) describes, “Attitudes and `theories of practice’ are constructs derived from a prevailing culture and expressed, reinforced and elaborated into practice through language”.  To enable the community to develop we need to look at the heart, X, and readdress the disaffection through transforming the prevalent social misconceptions and poor attitude, developing a climate that shines like a beacon throughout the community.  As West-Burnham continues to explain “If schools are to respond to the fundamental changes that are taking place in social and economic terms then it is necessary to re-conceptualise leadership”.  The Commission for Race Equality insist, “All schools make clear what their contribution is to community cohesion”.

In a bid to change the surrounding area and community attitude, senior management have developed a scheme to “Tidy up X and BD3”.  This is currently coinciding with Phase 3 of the Building Schools of the Future (BSF) consultation with Bradford Council, which will contribute to the regeneration of BD3.

To become a School of the Future requires a major investment into learning technologies to help meet the required standards.  This venture in technology must be accompanied by a comparable investment by teachers and other employees to realise the full benefits of the technology.  However there tends to be a lack of ICT skills and experience within the school sector nationally to ensure the technologies used are to their full potential (Microsoft, 2007).  In spite of this the school received Specialist Status in Maths and Computing in 2006, sponsored by Microsoft, (a deal struck up with the DfES to help around 100 schools situated in poor areas which was “the subject of an Office of Fair Trading investigation” (Lettice, 2005)), and is well equipped with new technologies, whilst the sponsorship “will almost certainly become an extremely important device for acquiring additional resources“ (Bennet and Gabriel, 1999) in the future, Microsoft’s monopoly should be carefully considered as there are free open source applications readily available.

The school’s intranet is delivered by Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, which acts as the school’s Learning Gateway (LG) whose objectives are:

  • Achievement for all
  • Excellence in teaching
  • Improve learning

The school has prematurely launched the LG (without fully realising the capabilities) and numerous INSETS have taken place where faculty members across the school have been taught how to upload their resources, Word and PowerPoint files, from the existing Public (Y) drive, a large networked storage drive, to the LG (a system built on internet technologies which has great potential), “Reeves (2002 cited in Nichols, 2003) argues that, in the main, technology is not being used innovatively in education”.  Questions have been raised by staff as for the need to distribute the files through the LG and move away from the Public (Y) drive.  This decision has led to the LG becoming an over glorified file storage system where the course materials are delivered using the internet technologies which as Pan & Hawryszkiewycz (2004) describe does “not provide effective and efficient supports for using these materials to construct knowledge. As a result, learners only passively receive the presented materials”.

The resources uploaded “are designed to make the knowledge transmission easier”, which emphasises “the teacher’s control over what is learned and how it is to be learned” (Nichols, 2003).  This somewhat Behaviourist method “centres on students’ efforts to accumulate knowledge of the natural world and on teachers’ efforts to transmit it” (Murphy, 1997) which is comparative to the Objectivist learning theory where the learners’ goal is to receive knowledge whilst the teacher is to transmit.  The theory also implies that the learner will gain the same understanding from what is transmitted however as Pan & Hawryszkiewycz (2004) argue the resources “can hardly match to all individual learners”.  This stereotypical view of teaching does not cater for Personalised Learning (PL) where learning takes place through different methods to improve attainment.

Described earlier the pupils’ attainment on entry to the school is well below average, nevertheless the school pays particular focus to assessment for learning (AFL) to improve attainment.  Goal Tests, a recognised online assessment tool provided by Education Development International (EDI), are introduced at the beginning of each year within Key Stage 3, “identifying pupils’ strengths and weaknesses” which support “target setting and tracking pupils’ progress”.  Conversely the scores generally show pupils as having higher levels of attainment than the current National Curriculum (NC) level they are working at (according to the assessment records), which opens the debate whether teaching and learning is personalised in such a way that helps them to achieve (based on the snapshot taken by the Goal Tests) or could the online delivery method of the Goal Tests be the answer to improving attainment.




Birbili (2005) has discovered that schools are finding it “increasingly difficult to motivate and keep the interest of their students”.  This is not exclusive to England, as Birbili discusses, how, the individual needs of students are not recognised by schools, resulting in the reportedly high figures of disaffection within the school sector.

During the expansion of the Internet and the development of Web 2.0 the online community has emerged.  Communities like Facebook and Myspace, offer the opportunity to develop online personas, individuality and friendship, for instance Wenger describes these as Communities of Practice (CoP) where “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Learning Theories Knowledgebase, 2009) this for instance could be “a clique of pupils defining their identity in the school” (Wenger), creating an opportunity for the Digital Native (DN), a term coined by Prensky (2001) who are “a generation that has grown up with digital technology”, to be heard.   Developing an online digital community could promote community cohesion through blogging regarding the regeneration of the local, physical community as Smith (2003) describes “Members are involved in a set of relationships over time (Lave and Wenger 1991: 98) and communities develop around things that matter to people (Wenger, 1998)”.  Grace (2007) considers the opportunities of developing online communities alongside summer school and found that targeting both primary and secondary schools, helped “to catch and develop children before they’ve had a chance to become disaffected.”

X delivers a summer school program throughout summer for future attendees, namely year 6 pupils from surrounding primary schools.  During this time I propose using “the internet and technology in ways that speak their language” (Masters, 2009) by establishing future pupils’ online identity within the LG alongside developing a communal blog.  Referring to Salmon’s “The five-stage model of online learning”, stage one would be achieved by setting up their ‘My Site’ (a space where users can save and share work; add friends or colleagues for effective communication and collaboration, creating networks where specific users can be targeted with information), which scaffolds on the DN social networking experience.  Explaining that this is a safe online community exclusive to X that is not accessible by people outside should encourage the pupils to complete their profile.  Highlighting their likes / dislikes, building up a picture that teachers can use ‘to get to know’ the individual as “learning and teaching should be founded on an understanding of the learner” (Birbili, 2005).  This will help teachers to develop PL with Learning Objects (LO) appropriate to the individual.

The second stage of Salmon’s model is Socialisation where social conditioning, the understanding of what is right and wrong and what is acceptable in civilised society is reflected online.   Giddens (1986, pp. 8-11, cited in Cosio, 1998) states “We create society at the same time as we are created by it”.  Monty, (2005) describes certain aspects of netiquette, “Always acknowledging feelings and offering support. Allow the feelings of everyone involved in e-tivities to be surfaced, owned, expressed and respected”.  This can be achieved through establishing the communal blog where the pupils would create their online identities and interact with other members of the digital community.  Inviting the new members to participate by letting everybody know they have joined would break the ice.  As the blog develops the context becomes Social Constructivist where the users are invited to share their thoughts regarding BD3.  Initially introducing the concept of what they like, secondary what they don’t like.  This approach provides the links between social, cultural and learning environments, which “makes knowledge construction easier to achieve” (Monty, 2005).  The third task would be to reflect on what other users have written and respond appropriately.  As Smith (1999) describes, “It is learning that is achieved through reflection upon everyday experience and is the way that most of us do our learning”.  It has been uncovered that Muslim pupils “often lack competence in critical analysis and independent thinking” however “acquiring knowledge in Islam is not intended as an end but as a means to stimulate a more elevated moral and spiritual consciousness, leading to faith and righteous action” (Islam).

Once attending X, the NC Level 3 involves “Sharing and Exchanging Ideas” similar to stage three of Salmon’s model “Information Exchange”, which over the summer break the developed online community should have achieved.  Considering Salmon’s model, the DN introduced to a CoP (Lave and Wenger) at the age of 10 should in effect over seven years of future secondary schooling competently (Carver et al, 2007) reach stage 5.  This process scaffolds on their personal experience spent on the web, offering the opportunity to practice transferrable skills within the Constructivist curriculum.

Moallem (2001) highlights 5 areas of consideration for Constructivist teaching and learning:

  • Learning is embedded in a rich authentic problem-solving environment;
  • Authentic versus academic contexts for learning are provided;
  • Provisions for learner control are incorporated;
  • Errors are used as a mechanism to provide feedback on learners’ understanding; and
  • Learning is embedded in social experience.

It can be argued that the constructivist theories do not take into consideration members of ethnic minority groups especially with regard to the globalisation of constructivism in relation to Islam.  This debate needs further research especially in the context of inner city minority ethnic ghettoisation in conjunction with western ideology (Bowers, 2004, Bowers, 2005).  However Constructivist learning theories do provide an opportunity for the development of pupils with learning disabilities and special educational needs especially in a vocational context (Tennant, 1997: 92 cited in Smith, 2001).

Constructivism is the foundation of PL where pupils build upon their experiences and apply them to the larger social constructs they belong.   In a report highlighting the managers’, teachers’ and learners’ perceptions of PL, pupils had a tendency to confuse PL with individualism questioning the amount of freedom to choose, quite probably in a bid to do less work.  In the same report teachers and senior management recognised the impact personalisation could have on pupil voice and autonomy.  However their main agenda for PL was the improved result of student tracking alongside pupil feedback (Underwood and Banyard, 2007).

One of the main features of the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is the SharePoint Learning Kit (SLK) (which has been installed but not yet able to be implemented).  SLK is an e-learning tool compliant with the Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) “developed by the US Department of Defence” (Friesen), which makes it easy to deliver course materials containing both basic and interactive resources and offers this support.

This method of delivery requires the construction of SCORM reusable LOs that can be shared over the LG and should “provide learners with a wide range of services to assist and facilitate knowledge construction” (Pan & Hawryszkiewycz, 2004).

Constructivist in theory, this environment moves away from the imposed Objectivist distribution of ‘one size fits all’ resources.  To ensure successful delivery and flexibility, with the collaboration of all faculty members, the scheme of work should be broken down into simple, cohesive LOs that contain a variety of “hypertext / hypermedia” (Kurzel et al) to enable PL.  The correct format should be selected to ensure effective delivery of the learning object whilst also being student centred, helping them stay focused.

Once the LO is uploaded onto the LG it can then be allocated to the relevant pupils.  This method allows the teacher to select the correct hypermedia for the individual based on their established profile meeting the PL agenda more effectively.

The SLK includes various web parts that can be introduced into the individual unit sites.  ‘My Assignments’ is one of those, where both the pupils and teachers can review the designated materials.

As pupils log onto a site they will see that they have been assigned a LO which will include the date set and the date needed for completion.  Pupils therefore will have strict deadlines highlighting when they need to hand work in which will make the collaboration between schools and caregivers easier as they can check the ‘My Assignments’ part of their child’s personal space, engage in their learning and ensure their child is working to the best of their ability.

As the LOs are delivered over Internet technologies, accessible through the LG and being platform independent “encourages learning anytime, anyplace, anywhere” offering the opportunity for pupils to catch up.

For the teacher, they can see who has started the LO and when it has been completed.  From there they can retrieve the LO and assess the work, feeding back to the pupil immediately, offering advice for areas they need to develop, using “Assessment that promotes learning” (Gilbert, 2006).  Student tracking is made easier by the LO being accessible by all staff who can review the assignment results and feedback which could enable earlier intervention for pupils who are not yet achieving at their potential.


Influenced by the Goal Tests (EDI) approach, I propose pupils begin a unit in the form of assessment to establish current knowledge, which will act as a baseline to measure progress.  Using SLK the assessment is allocated to the pupils who work through the task using the Internet technologies.  Once completed the LO is submitted and stored in the LG database where the teacher can retrieve it.  The work can be immediately marked and sent back to the pupil improving the feedback process, “to enable them to make learning choices”.

From the results both teacher and pupil can discuss the possible targets and goal settings and common specific areas can be identified and addressed.  As the school has a high percentage of disaffected pupils and special educational needs Maher (2006) found in his research paper regarding behavioural problems that there was a  “greater degree of goal attainment and satisfaction with counselling for pupils who participated in goal setting”.  This approach could ensure the development of PL, minimising behavioural issues and reducing disaffection.

To recognise all learners’ abilities the unit could be delivered in the following ‘game like’ levels,

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert

As pupils became more competent they could begin to self-assign modules, taking ownership of their learning by scaffolding on their experiences, allowing “the students to use particular content in different, albeit overlapping, contexts,” (Kurzel et al) developing autonomy and attainment.

When the unit has been completed, pupils will undergo a further assessment to review their progression and “attainment” (Ozga, 2003).  This will give clear indication of how the PL has impacted on teaching and learning, making tracking more effective.



Within this paper I have considered at a macro level the social implications of X and the surrounding BD3 community and the possible impact of ICT as a force for change.

Using the Social Constructivist approach through experiential learning, connecting social, cultural and moral experiences within learning I have highlighted how this could promote the development of pupil autonomy alongside community cohesion.  Cosio (1998) recognises the influence of institutions outlining the responsibility to condition the behavioural norms shared by society.  However this socialisation faces a series of obstacles and should be approached sensitively considering the predominance of the Muslim community who have developed their own social and cultural norms that do not fit within western ideology conversely Modood, T. & Ahmad(2007) quite poignantly states “ it is clear that there is much overlap between the two, with some creative tension and enough scope for dialogue and negotiation, contrary to the ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis”.

The concept and method of teaching is changing, shifting away from the didactic Objectivist transmission model to the more collaborative Constructivist facilitator, who manages learning by moving between groups, “helping, suggesting, encouraging and learning along with the learners”(Ntombovuyo, 2006).

Understanding that not only does the approach to the LG need to be readdressed but also the Behaviourist pedagogy needs to move forward to accommodate the DN learners with rich experiences akin to those outside the school environment.  I have offered ideas for faculties to collaborate more effectively using the technology.  The investment in technology requires the future intentions to be clearly defined to ensure the successful harnessing of its potential to enhance teaching and learning.  This will require teachers to rethink their methods of delivery and relearn how to use the technology innovatively, which will involve encouragement and investment.  However I predict a resistance to change considering some of the negative attitudes entrenched within the profession.

Retrospectively I believe the system should have been fully realised before its launch.  This would have minimised error and the distrust that staff and students alike have began to feel towards the technology.

In conclusion, I have only scraped the surface of the future possibilities yet I firmly believe this approach could not only support social cohesion but also cross-curricular cohesion, the collaboration between departments and home environments developing into a whole community school policy which would require further research.



Report of the Teaching and Learning in 2020 Review Group

Together, schools, local and national government need to work towards a society in which:

  • a child’s chances of success are not related to his or her socio-economic background, gender or ethnicity
  • education services are designed around the needs of each child, with the expectation that all learners achieve high standards
  • all children and young people leave school with functional skills in English and mathematics, understanding how to learn, think creatively, take risks and handle change
  • teachers use their skills and knowledge to engage children and young people as partners in learning, acting quickly to adjust their teaching in response to pupils’ learning2
  • schools draw in parents as their child’s co-educators, engaging them and increasing their capacity to support their child’s learning.

We believe that personalising learning and teaching must play a central role in transforming England’s education service to achieve these aims between now and 2020.


J. Underwood and P. Banyard

Personalisation: a political aspiration

The political aspiration for personalisation is that it will be a strategy for ensuring over time that:

  • · every pupil experiences success appropriate to their age and ability;
  • · all pupils are engaged and excited by learning;
  • · every pupil will have high aspirations for their work;
  • · every pupil feels supported in making progress;
  • · pupils know that they are valued;
  • · parents know that their child is valued.

Personalisation: objectives for education

As applied to schools this will offer learning which:

  • · reflects the most appropriate ways of learning;
  • · takes account of any past performance or prior learning;
  • · is presented in a way which is engaging and effective for that individual;
  • · encourages learning anytime, anyplace, anywhere;
  • · facilitates more ways to learn;
  • · recognises the learner’s short-term needs and longer term aspirations;
  • · encourages the learner to reflect on and self-regulate their learning;
  • · helps the learner to achieve recognition for their achievements that enables them to progress within the wider community.

Personalisation: a set of operational measures

Our experts agreed that personalisation can be observed in schools when they carry out some or all of the following activities:

  • agree targets with pupils;
  • help pupils to understand their own learning;
  • give pupils appropriate responsibility for their own learning;
  • allow the learner voice to be heard;
  • relate learning to pupils’ out-of-school experience;
  • relate learning to contexts unfamiliar to pupils;
  • provide ‘enrichment’ activities beyond the core curriculum;
  • give appropriate feedback to pupils to enable them to make learning choices;
  • are flexible in the way teachers present the curriculum in order to meet pupils’ individual needs;
  • get to know their pupils well as individuals;
  • offer their pupils pastoral care;
  • accommodate pupils’ individual learning needs appropriate to their age and ability.

“The five-stage model of online learning” by Gilly Salmon




Community Cohesion Framework 2007 – 2010

A cohesive community is defined as a place where:

  • There is a common vision and a sense of belonging to the local community;
  • The diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances are appreciated;
  • Those from different backgrounds have equal opportunities; and
  • Strong and positive relationships have been developed between people from different backgrounds in the workplace, in schools and in neighbourhoods.


References and Further Reading


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Communities of Practice (Lave and Wenger) at Learning Theories. Available at: [Accessed January 25, 2009].

(2006) Education and Inspections Bill. Commission for Race Equality. Available at: [Accessed April 4, 2009].

(2007) EXECUTIVE NEWS. Available at: [Accessed April 5, 2009].

Islam – History of Islamic Education, Aims and Objectives of Islamic Education. Available at: [Accessed April 7, 2009].

Islamic-World.Net: Learning-Based Personality Theory. Available at: [Accessed April 7, 2009].

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LETSI Blog – Social and Experiential Learning. Available at: [Accessed April 1, 2009].

Listen up: hearing what students have to say about learning. Available at: [Accessed April 5, 2009].

(2008) Microsoft SharePoint Learning Kit. Available at: [Accessed April 6, 2009].

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School Websites, Podcasting, Learning Platforms, Moodle: Moodle and the Personalised Learning Agenda. Available at: [Accessed April 3, 2009].

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Akdemir, O. & Koszalka, T.A. (2008) Investigating the relationships among instructional strategies and learning styles in online environments. Computers & Education, 50 (4), pp.1451-1461. Available at:

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Bennett, R. & Gabriel, H. (1999) Headteacher characteristics, management style and attitudes towards the acceptance of commercial sponsorship by state-funded schools. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, pp.41–52.

Birbili, M. (2005) Constants and Contexts in Pupil Experience of Schooling in England, France and Denmark. European Educational Research Journal, 4 (3).

Bowers, C.A. (2005) 1 Title: Is Transformative Learning the Trojan Horse of Western Globalization? Available at: [Accessed April 7, 2009].

Bowers, C.A. (2004) False Promises of Constructivist Theories of Learning: A Global and Ecological Critique. Available at: [Accessed April 7, 2009].

Bradbrook, G., Imran Alvi, Fisher, J., Lloyd, H., Moore, R., Thompson, V., Brake, D. & Helsper, E. (2007) Meeting their potential: the role of education and technology in overcoming disadvantage and disaffection in young people . ,  (A review of literature, policy and practice commissioned by Becta in 2007). Available at: [Accessed April 5, 2009].

Bradford Economic Partnership (2008) Regen 2000 | Bradford Economy. Available at: [Accessed April 4, 2009].

Bradford Economy (2009) Current Population | Bradford Economy. Available at: [Accessed April 5, 2009].

Byles, T. (2007) Building Schools for the Future: Progress Update. Available at: [Accessed April 5, 2009].

Cattrell, V., Dawkins, E. & Dawson, L. The Critical Skills Programme. Bradford Critical Skills Programme. Available at: [Accessed April 11, 2009].

CEDERMAN, L. & DAASE, C. (2003) Endogenizing Corporate Identities: the Next Step in Constructivist IR Theory. European Journal of International Relations, 9 (1), pp.5-35. Available at:

Chattoo, S., Atkin, K. & McNeish, D. (2004) Young People of Pakistani Origin and their Families: implications for providing support to young people and their families, University of Leeds. Available at: [Accessed April 12, 2009].

Cleora D’Arcy, Darin Eastburn & Bertram Bruce  How Media Ecologies can Address Diverse Student Needs. College Teaching, 57 (1), pp.56-63.

Cole , P. & Wellington, J. (200) Conducting Evaluation and Research with and for ‘Disaffected’ Students: Practical and Methodological Issue, Available at:

Concentrix CRM Case Study: Education Development International
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COOK, L. (200) School without walls: reconnecting the disconnected at 14, Available at:

Cosío, R.G.G.Á. (1998) Social constructivism and capacity building for environmental governance. International Planning Studies, 3 (3), pp.367 – 389. Available at:

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Danzi, J., Smith , R. & Reul, K. (2008) Improving Student Motivation in Mixed Ability Classrooms Using Differentiated Instruction. Available at: [Accessed February 18, 2009].

Dunn, Rita, Andrea Honigsfeld, Laura Doolan, Lena Bostrom, Karen Russo, Marjorie Schiering, Bernadyn Suh & Henry Tenedero  (2009) Impact of Learning-Style Instructional Strategies on Students’ Achievement and Attitudes: Perceptions of Educators in Diverse Institutions. The Clearing House, 82 (3), pp.135-140. Available at:

EdAction (2001) From the classroom to the courtroom; constructivism, fully grown. Available at: [Accessed April 7, 2009].

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Multimedia and E-Learning



MSc Multimedia and E-Learning


The initial meeting of the MSc Multimedia and E-Learning course began with introductions, combined with this, a task to discover what skills other members of the group could offer, developing a network of likeminded people who could offer support throughout the duration of the course.  This soon progressed into the first step of Gilly Salmon’s, constructivist, five stage model (Monty, 2005), which Moule (2007) describes as the “coherent model upon which to base online learning design in higher education” (Moule also discusses the limitations of this model and offers a more conceptual approach using the e-Learning Ladder which uses an instructivist approach initially, developing into constructivist, as one progresses up the ladder), whereby Liz, the course leader / e-moderator, set a task where small groups discussed a topic.  The topic was recorded using a microphone and the free audio editing software, Audacity, which has made creating mp3s and podcasts far easier and readily accessible.  This encouragement from the course leader helped the group to form on a different level, creating podcasts and digital artefacts, engaging the students with the technology that would help them develop not only their skills but e-learning itself as described through Experiential Learning “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (Kolb, 1984, p.41 cited in Boyatzis, 1999).  Motivation is essential during this initial constructivist approach especially when recording a discussion, to be uploaded onto the web, as the majority of people do not like to hear the sound of their own voice.  Understanding that this was to gage peoples views there can be a slight air of cautiousness when uploading material on the web where it is readily available for all to see and scrutinise however it does offer the opportunity to reflect.  This was particularly true in my experience of the task.  I was happy to discuss with my partner but not to record my voice, therefore it is essential to encourage and develop the motivation of the student not only with regards to the technology but also their initial engagement with the approach of the course.   My experience of this initial task highlights the problems with adopting Gilly Salmon’s five-stage model as Moule (2007: 39) quoting Lisewski and Joyce (2003) describes how the approach does not take into account individual learning styles owing to the rigid structure which seemingly undermines the ethos of e-learning.

I was initially dubious about the use of podcasts within the school sector, although mobile learning technologies are continuing to develop; the podcast has the ability to reach the student on the move.  While Apple coined the term podcast (Trinder, 2008), the technology is not exclusively Mac, or limited to mp3 players but also easily listened to on an adequately equipped mobile phone.  Working within an institution that has over 80% pupils with English as an additional language the podcast could be an invaluable tool to help develop language skills as well as communicating complex instructions or answering frequently asked questions (Amadan, 2006).  For some time now, language courses have been available in audio format, which seems natural to develop a personalised, student centred program whereby their individual needs are catered for to help personal and social development within the school community through the use of podcasting.


Collaborating on the PBWiki set up for the MSc was incredibly challenging, as the task was to write a personal, descriptive paragraph, highlighting your interests and skills.  I particularly struggled here and as Monty states, e-moderators should, “try to avoid the ‘Post your first message here and say who you are’ type of message. It will frighten some of the participants”.

Wikis have become an integral part of the Web 2.0 boom, enabling the collaboration and sharing of electronic information and knowledge far more efficiently than the ‘old fashioned’ way of email.

Glaser (Glaser, 2004) describes how Wikipedia has more than 340,000 articles, written by a sprawling online community and asks the question “If anyone can change the page at any time, how can you trust it?”  Although wikis are beneficial for the contributing student, it does seem hypocritical as wikis are generally frowned upon within academic circles and pupils are advised not to use them as a reference as the information lacks validity, yet they are becoming increasingly popular as a teaching and learning tool.

Groups are able to coordinate easier through the use of wikis (leelefever, 2007) although there can be issues when working in small groups, as the collaboration can sometimes be dependent on one member.  This became evident when developing a wiki / discussion group, focussing on Digital natives and digital immigrants, the phrase coined by Prensky (2001) who discusses the divisions between educators and students and how the education system does not cater for the net generation, a generation that has grown up with digital technology.  The use of the wiki did not evolve into a critical, academic artefact, but that of a social discussion, whereby the members discussed their personal thoughts and experiences.  This could owe to the previous concrete experiences of blogging software that have solid foundations in social networking on a personal level rather than academic.  Scaffolding as the word suggests needs to build on prior experience, and the concept was not fully realised by the students and although ideas were exchanged, knowledge was not necessarily acquired as no theoretical underpinning took place.  As the task was not assessed this could have had a negative impact on the development of the group and the final artefact.


Continuing with the “setting up of the system” course members created a Skype account and added each other as contacts.  Having been a Skype user for some years now, since its launch, although not utilising the software on a massive scale, I am however aware of its capabilities.  During my PGCE at University of Huddersfield, the lecturers wanted to experiment with remote classroom observations using the product, although I did not participate in this method I can see its potential of not being invasive like having stranger in the room, yet within the school sector this raises quite a few legal issues, transmitting live video of children across the web.  Alongside the legal implications of filming children there have arisen a few issues regarding the ethics of Skype.  Created by the founders of Kazaa, a peer-to-peer downloading application, “the No. 1 spyware threat on the Internet, according to Computer Associates International” (Ilet, 2004), countries such as China, Germany and Australia have reported that Skype conversations can be monitored or hacked into. Being closed source, meaning the code is unable to be modified, and claiming to be free to use, this is technically not free software.  There are however other free open source programs with similar specifications that offer greater privacy such as Ekiga, Twinkle and Wengophone (Ubuntu, 2009).

Initially I did wonder how this social networking tool could actually be implemented in ICT, within the school sector, and thought hard about its relevance within my subject specialism.  With great consideration, I began to think about how the social software could be used within other subjects.  Considering Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger’s Communities of Practice (Learning Theories Knowledgebase, 2009; Wenger, 2009), using Skype within the domain of Modern Foreign Languages (Wolff, 2006), pupils could call native speakers in other countries; this approach would have mutual benefits for both parties, where information and ideas are exchanged between the practitioners of the foreign tongue, forming relationships within other countries.  Using this application in a formal setting the teacher becomes the facilitator where the students learn by applying the technology within the classroom setting, impacting on teaching and learning through a process of engaging and purposeful relationships based on the interaction between the online community.

Similarly a more visual approach could be considered implementing Skype within Geography.  As previously discussed, Skype has video capability, offering pupils the opportunity to see first hand how other schools across the globe live and learn.

Hot Potatoes

Another technology that was introduced was Hot Potatoes, which allows “you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web”.  Being an avid Flash user I found this piece of software quite unintuitive although it has great potential for non-Flash users.  I did however discover that the publishing settings would allow the results to be emailed to a chosen address.  This spurred me on to research whether Flash could do the same with such ease and have discovered the benefits of SCORM packages and how Flash quizzes integrate within them.


Mon, Dec 08, 2008 — Recording of Elluminate session Monday 8th December 20.15

I did not participate in this session; I have however, reviewed the recording and evaluated its impact on e-learning.  The initial setting of the Elluminate session involved the majority of people asking if they could be heard resulting in a communication problem, as people were not answering when they could clearly hear.

Referring back to Salmon’s five-stage model, students are again on Stage 1, as they are being introduced to a new technology.  This for some quickly developed as they reach Stage 2, Socialisation, where the online community of the MSc is contained in one place within the Elluminate session.  This shared space provided an opportunity for collaboration, becoming a Community of Practice, which should have progressed onto Stage 3.  In the beginning this however did not happen, as the structure of the session was not well paced and resources such as web pages did not work as intended, creating large gaps with no action, leaving users wondering if the technology had stopped working.  Because stage 1 had not been resolved, teething issues occurred, as users could not use the technology.  The session created a series of mixed messages whereby users were introduced to the initial voting technology as a “bit of fun”, however the application uses instant messaging, like AIM, and users were engaging in less formal online chat as no official rules had been put in place therefore Netiquette was not established.

The quality of the sound from the Moderator, Liz, was not very good and slightly low in volume, this required users to listen more attentively and could have been a strategy to ensure users paid attention.

As the session progressed, ideas were exchanged and for some time Stage 3 was acquired and knowledge shared clearly this shows the development of the group through the eventual familiarity of the software and the instruction from the e-moderator although the session seemed to end abruptly


Ning, another blog / wiki tool was introduced to the group.  Joining this and visiting it further there seems to be people who have become members of the site who have posted items related to Hoodia, a slimming aid, and Xanax, which is clearly not the site’s intended purpose.  As requests have to be made to join the group, it would seem that the e-moderator has not been vigilant in their selection, (an essential part of developing a community) vetting who becomes a member and what gets posted on the communal site to ensure that effective sharing of information remains the intended purpose rather than a spam area.  The communal area has given legitimate members the opportunity to share information, clearly forming Stage 3 of Salmon’s model where the community members have begun to share information, helping each other through the recommendation of resources.  The community is now well under way in progressing to the next level, Stage 4 – Knowledge construction.  Stage 5 – Development has yet to be reached.

Learning Journal

The learning journal is a demanding piece of writing, as it requires honest, personal reflection on the learning that has taken place.  Kolb alongside Roger Fry created the 4-stage Experiential Learning Model, which is broken down into the following categories

  1. Concrete experience
  2. Observation and reflection
  3. Forming abstract concepts
  4. Testing in new situations

This model has further been broken down into four learning styles, which can be applied as a constant spiral

Kolb and Fry on learning styles (Tennant, 1996 cited in Smith, 2001)

Learning style


Learning characteristic Description
Converger Abstract conceptualization + active experimentation ·    strong in practical application of ideas

·    can focus on hypo-deductive reasoning on specific problems

·    unemotional

·    has narrow interests


Diverger Concrete experience + reflective observation ·    strong in imaginative ability

·    good at generating ideas and seeing things from different perspectives

·    interested in people

·    broad cultural interests


Assimilator Abstract conceptualization + reflective observation ·    strong ability to create theoretical models excels in inductive reasoning

·    concerned with abstract concepts rather than people


Accommodator Concrete experience + active experimentation ·    greatest strength is doing things

·    more of a risk taker

·    performs well when required to react to immediate circumstances

·    solves problems intuitively


Smith (2001) deconstructs Kolb’s learning styles, critiquing the weakness in the results owing to the limited amount of studies, highlighting issues regarding his theories and how care needs to be taken when approaching.  He describes how initially the model successfully assists in the planning of activities and how actively engaged the learner is although it does not offer enough contemplation or reflection.   Reflection is an essential area where people can connect with their feelings and address emotion (Smith, 1999).  Smith (2001) continues to describe how the learning styles do not apply to all situations as memorisation and information assimilation could be more appropriate to different situations, the sequences of the stages are not necessarily in a logical order and as individuals should not limit themselves to one learning style hindering their development, which again returns to the concept of reflection.  Jarvis’s (1994, 1995 cited in Smith, 2001) experiential model considers different pathways realising that different processes can take place at the same time creating alternative routes rather than the systematic spiral.  Cultural and social experiences are also not considered in Kolb’s model as it is based solely on western experience, this lack of consideration will clearly be an issue if considered in the institution I work which has over 80% of pupils from ethnic minority backgrounds.  The model however “provides an excellent framework for planning teaching and learning activities and it can be usefully employed as a guide for understanding learning difficulties, vocational counselling, academic advising and so on”(Tennant,1997: 92 cited in Smith,2001).

Considering the experiential learning model and styles associated, writing this learning journal has given me the opportunity to reflect on the concrete experiences that took place throughout each day school.  From this reflection I have been able to form abstract concepts, contemplating how the application of some of the concrete experiences could develop my teaching and impact on learning.  Using these modes as a foundation I aim to implement and test the established applications and theories, therefore completing Kolb’s 4-stage Experiential Learning Model (Hanley, 2008).

References and Further Reading

Amadan, K. (2006) Benefits of Podcasting for Educators. Available at: [Accessed January 1, 2009].

A pedagogical model of elearning at KVL: “The five-stage model of online learning” by Gilly Salmon. Available at: [Accessed January 26, 2009].

Belshaw, D. 5 ways teachers can use educational technology to engage students at Available at: [Accessed January 2, 2009].

Benefits of Podcasting for Educators. Available at: [Accessed January 1, 2009].

BioMed Central | Full text | Wikis, blogs and podcasts: a new generation of Web-based tools for virtual collaborative clinical practice and education. Available at: [Accessed January 1, 2009].

Boyatzis, R. E. Kolb, D. A. & Mainemelis, C. (2000) Experiential Learning Theory: Previous Research and New Directions. [Internet] IN: Sternberg, R. J. & Zhang, L. F. (Eds.). Perspectives on cognitive, learning, and thinking styles. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, Available from: [Accessed 15 January 2009]

Learning Theories Knowledgebase (2009, January). Communities of Practice (Lave and Wenger) at Available at: [Accessed January 25, 2009].

BIONDI, P. & DESCLAUX, F. (1998) Silver Needle in the Skype. In  Suresnes, FRANCE: EADS Corporate Research Center, p.98. Available at: [Accessed January 25, 2009].

DICKMEIS, T. & BIHLER, P. (2005) E-Learning and VoIP?. In How Skype can revolutionize interactive E-Learning.  INSA de Lyon. Available at:

Eickmann, P. Kolb, A. & Kolb, D. A. (2004) Designing learning. [Internet] IN: R. J. Boland & F. Collopy (Eds.), Managing as designing (pp. 241-247). Stanford: Stanford University Press. Available from: [Accessed 15 January 2009]

Fry, R. & Kolb, D. A. (1975) Toward an Applied Theory of Experiential Learning. IN: Theory of Group Processes. (Cooper, C. ed). New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc

Glaser, M. (2004) OJR article: Collaborative Conundrum: Do Wikis Have a Place in the Newsroom? Available at: [Accessed January 1, 2009].

Hanley, M. E-Learning Curve Blog: Constructivism Pt.4: Experiential learning theory. Available at: [Accessed February 15, 2009].

Ilett , D. (2004) CA slaps spyware label on Kazaa – CNET News. Available at: [Accessed January 25, 2009].

Jarvis, P. (1994) ‘Learning’, ICE301 Lifelong Learning, Unit 1(1), London: YMCA George Williams College.

Jarvis, P. (1995) Adult and Continuing Education. Theory and practice 2e, London: Routledge.

Kanter, B. Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media: skype. Skype Me! Double Edge Sword … Available at: [Accessed January 25, 2009].

Kolb, D. A. (1976) The Learning Style Inventory: Technical Manual. Boston, Ma. TRG Hay/McBer.

Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential Learning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Prentice Hall

leelefever (2007) Video: Wikis in Plain English | Common Craft – Explanations In Plain English, Available at: [Accessed January 1, 2009].

Masters , A. 4 Ways to Engage Today’s Generation of Students. Available at: [Accessed January 2, 2009].

Monty, A. (2005) A pedagogical model of elearning at KVL: “The five-stage model of online learning” by Gilly Salmon. Available at: [Accessed January 26, 2009].

Moule, P. (2007) Challenging the five-stage model for e-learning: a new approach. Research in Learning Technology, 15 (1), pp.37-50.

Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. MCB University Press, 9 (5), p.6. Available at:,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

Smith, M. K. (2001) ‘David A. Kolb on experiential learning’, the encyclopedia of informal education, [Accessed January 15, 2009].

Smith , M.K. (1999) reflection @ the informal education homepage. reflection. Available at: [Accessed January 15, 2009].

Tennant, M. (1997) Psychology and Adult Learning 2e, London: Routledge.

Trinder, K., Guiller, J., Margaryan, A., Littlejohn, A. & Nicol, D. (2008) Learning from digital natives: bridging formal and informal learning, Glasgow Caledonian University. Available at:  [Accessed January 15, 2009].

Ubuntu (2009) Skype. Skype – Community Ubuntu Documentation. Available at: [Accessed January 25, 2009].

Wenger, E. Communities of practice. Available at: [Accessed January 15, 2009].

Wolff , P. (2006) Skype and distance learning. Available at:


Researching Multimedia in Education

Introduction & Myths


After graduating with 1st class honours I was employed by Bradford School of Art to deliver technical aspects of software to students on the BA where my interest in teaching developed.  Continuing my professional development in the form of MA Graphic Design and then PGCE ICT I realised the impact of ICT within society.  Although generally the vision of ICT is usually that of spreadsheets and databases, my focus and interest is developing the more creative side of learning through design and project management, harnessing the available technologies, fusing them together, ensuring that ICT can integrate seamlessly.  Through this approach I aim to develop pupils’ knowledge and attitude towards ICT demonstrating how this essential part of modern society can enhance their lives.


Learning technologies can improve teaching and learning, only if understanding exists from both pupil and teacher.  Problems usually arise when using technologies in the classroom, if it can go wrong it will go wrong and it is through the planning of using these LTs that a backup plan is usually necessary.

Currently the educational institution I teach within is developing their Intranet to promote excellence in teaching and improve learning, enabling “achievement for all.”  They implement Microsoft SharePoint, a corporate tool used by many leading brands, such as Easy Jet, and being a Microsoft product is not necessarily the most intuitive piece of software as it is not user friendly.  The development of the intranet is in its infancy and the school employs a single person to work full time on its development.  Throughout the next year I aim to improve the interface of the Learning Gateway (intranet) creating a more ergonomic experience, incorporating more assessment for learning through the creation of online activities, which will offer the pupils an immediate response also improving assessment and feedback from tutors.

The submission of work is an area I would like to develop as the handing in of Key Stage 3 and4 finished projects does not always go to plan as pupils have a limit to printing 2 pages at a time.  Sixth form pupils send work by email and as effective as this is, I believe it to be slightly inefficient and informal.  Over the past few weeks I have been looking at creating work areas and document libraries where a class of students can upload work.  This currently has its drawbacks as the security permissions are limited, as those who are allowed to upload, are also allowed to read, edit and delete other pupils’ work, which creates a series of security issues.

Another aspect I aim to undertake is building the social side of the Learning Gateway so that pupils can contribute through social networking tools such as blogs and wikis, helping them to develop their own online persona and bring the school together as a community helping departments to collaborate effectively improving cross curricular activities where pupils will be able to make more intuitive connections through their studies promoting a more fluid cohesive educational experience.  This should enable pupils to effectively share and exchange ideas, a key part within the curriculum.



E-mail is an integral means of communication within the education establishment, allowing collaboration between staff, enabling distance teaching and learning whilst giving the learner an easy alternative for making queries regarding current issues.

New pupils joining secondary education at year 7 may well be new to the communication theories behind email.  As the digital natives are encompassed within the notion that all have a similar access to technology, the reality is that some may not have Internet access or aware of the opportunities to set up personal email.  As described email is an integral part of communication within education, it is then essential to set up this service for each pupil.  Introducing email to pupils will help to develop key skills as Lerman (1998) describes such as “speak, listen, read, and write for purposes that seem meaningful to them” Transferring the FENTOs (Groves, 1999) key areas of teaching, implementing the use of email creatively within the classroom, the teacher is able to “promote and encourage individual learning”, helping pupils to determine a greater sense of autonomy, as they are able to offer support and advice to their peers.  Sharing and exchanging information with each other is a key skill that should be developed to achieve a level three although there are difficulties evidencing this and using email could develop this key issue.

To introduce the task, pupils are divided into groups of four and set a research project where they have to collaborate together to produce a travel package report, including mode of travel, hotel, performance and restaurant reservations.  Each pupil undertakes one of the research criteria, uncovering the important information using appropriate search methods.  Relevant pictures associated with each criterion are downloaded and saved to their personal space, suitable text is copied and pasted into an email along with the hyperlinks, acknowledging their sources, the images then attached.  This information is shared amongst the group electronically through the use of their email, transferring relevant data and images to each other without the use of verbal communication or transporting files through USB sticks, keeping pupils in their seats.  During the lesson, pupils communicate only through email, which should promote a positive work environment ensuring behaviour, and classroom management is of minimum effort as the teacher will be able to “facilitate learning in groups” more effectively.  Using the email client the pupils should learn how to set up group communication, from this the pupils should be able to attach files, select information and choose recipients.

Using the acquired shared information the pupils then produce a promotional report recommending their package deal aimed at a mature audience, this is then attached and emailed to the whole class.  Evidence is then easily obtained regarding sharing information and ideas in an effective manner whereby the pupils have learned from experience by sending and receiving emails, to and from multiple users, developing research, writing and general ICT skills.

Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive Whiteboards

Click here to open PowerPoint

Interactive whiteboards are rarely used for anything other than demonstrations, presentations or the displaying of lesson objectives.  Once delivered the whiteboard is then relatively redundant as the teacher works their way around the room, the screensaver activates and generally the “Windows XP” logo floats around.  The aim of my PowerPoint is to make use of the whiteboard whilst the teacher is not there.  The lesson is developed for OCR Nationals Level 2 ICT, Unit 21, AO3, and would aim to get all pupils to a Distinction grade.  The tutor would initially explain the objectives, demonstrate the task in approximately 10 minutes and then move onto the next slide.  This slide contains a pre-recorded demonstration accompanied by a written description of what to do.  This approach would help the pupils to develop their own sense of autonomy as the tutor can only be in one place at once.  To accompany the video a Word document containing step by step instructions to aid understanding.




The Sun (2008) in their article “ePortfolios in Education: The Time Is Now” claim that ePortfolios are here today and in great use yet, Tolley (2009) in his thesis, discusses the ongoing discourse regarding universal eportfolios, and states that “only 5% of the population uses an ePortfolio 5% of the time.”  However ePortfolios and emerging technologies are constantly being developed and tested yet as Rogers et al (2006) suggest “the implementation seems to be limited at this time.”

There will however be a significant emergence of ePortfolios over the next five years as it is expected that each child should possess an online portfolio as part of one of the government’s key objectives (Spider, 2008).  This development of key skills will prepare the child for further study or future employment, making a positive contribution to society.  Although here lays the debate, what is an ePortfolio comprised of?  Since the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies and the boom of social networking, digital artefacts are being constantly created, dotted around the web in the form of images, videos, blogs, wikis and tagging.  These artefacts combine to build a progressive picture of the online users “social” development that as Vuorikari (2005) suggests, “could be combined to create an ePortfolio utilising learning progresses through the ability to organise one’s own knowledge.”  This skill will enable pupils to make connections between their works and reflect on their progress, yet there are many issues regarding the implications of social networking within the school sector (which appear later in this paper), and the employment sector where it has been known that employers use social networking sites to keep tabs on their employees or decisions regarding employment (SmartPros, 2006).

Developing an ePortfolio within the school sector relies on the education and understanding of new skills, which are required for the constant, reflective process that takes place in building this lifelong artefact, a process that must coincide with the curriculum, integrating all subjects, yet heavily reliant on ICT, skills not all pupils and teachers are competent in.

Luca (et al) citing Bloom and Bacon (1995, p.2) found “that especially new students may have difficulty with the lack of structure in the process,” the learner therefore needs to take ownership of the portfolio, understanding that through the student centred learning, combined with their individual approach, personal development will occur, although this is not as simple as it sounds.  The systems life cycle, a key element within the delivery of units within ICT, a process students are constantly reminded of, is an ideal model to map reflective learning, yet evidence suggests there are difficulties when completing a task as pupils tend not to complete the self evaluation forms, highlighting what they did well, not so well and how they can improve the next time.  As this is an integral part of developing an ePortfolio, aimed at enhancing learning, strategies such as rewarding good reflection, need to be put in place to ensure this learning tool is successful.

This is an area I shall attempt to introduce to my year 7 students.


Social Software

Social Software

During my time as Lecturer at Bradford School of Art I attempted to tap into the Social Networking technology through using Myspace, to ensure candidates were aware of deadlines and the current brief as the Myspace community was at its peak and seemed the logical way to ensure they were receiving messages as the majority spent a considerable amount of time building their online personas.  Students were not receptive to this approach, keeping their private and student lives separate.  Being also guilty of this, not adding colleagues from work, preferring to keep my work and personal life detached, I do however believe that this form of networking could aid education within secondary schools.

Social networking within the secondary school provokes a sense of fear and accountability within the institution (Nightingale, 2008), as the responsibility of “socialising” these young people (Coughlan , 2007), ensuring they adhere to the unspoken norms, lies greatly on the shoulders of the educators as well as the compelling, global, issue of
e-Safety (BECTA, 2007).  Whilst schools are generally approaching this as a whole school, PSHCE issue (Chapman), raising awareness not only regarding the dangers of grooming and predators but also that what you post online is there for the world to see, digital subcultures are forming who redefine the social norms of dominant culture to that of their online group (Buckingham, 2007).  Yet the norms of online behaviour are not defined or agreed for any digital social group, which can lead to online disputes.  One dispute that appears to be on the increase is cyber bullying and with the advancements in technology it is becoming more difficult for the victim to ignore and even more difficult for schools to deal with (Barton, 2008).  Institutions are generally unable to control this form of “socialising” and are reliant on webmasters of social networking sites to deal with any issues, although generally unsuccessfully and sometimes with consequence as there has been a severe increase in teen suicides related to cyber bullying.

In an attempt to control, links to sites such as Bebo, Myspace and Facebook are usually filtered and blocked, whilst instant messaging software, such as AIM and MSN Messenger are not installed; pupils find a way to bypass security protocols and use these technologies during lessons through third party sites.  It is therefore in schools’ best interests to absorb this phenomenon and utilise its impact through developing an online community of their own (Larsen, 2007), which can be monitored more vigilantly.   As social networkers are deemed socially uninhibited this would allow schools the opportunity to monitor problems such as bullying, identifying the bullies and bullied and tackle the problem with written evidence.

Social networking, online, is a skill that should be developed within the school environment alongside socialising, offline, facilitated by the educators, ensuring that the form of behaviour, is acceptable by all that contributes and online etiquette adhered.

My institution employs Microsoft SharePoint Server for the delivery of their intranet and Learning Gateway, which incorporates a variety of technologies that could develop, control and educate using the social networking approach.
Questioning pupils regarding the development of a school social network, many were enthused by the idea and thought it would be of great benefit.  I look forward to developing the social side of SharePoint.


Computers and Assessment

Computers and Assessment

Click here to open Assessment

Assessment for Learning is an area that is developing rapidly within the school sector.  The sharing of objectives and what is required to achieve the highest possible grades seem light years ahead from the primitive teachings of the 20th century.  Self-assessment is also key, developing autonomy and independence of thought.  Computers and assessment can have a significant impact on learning, developing quizzes and online assessment, that feeds back instantly can enhance and improve teaching and learning, showing the pupil where they need to concentrate on to develop.  In an attempt to develop the Learning Gateway at my institution I created an online quiz using Flash, to grasp whether the pupils understood the terminology for “Information: Fact, Opinion, Reliability, Validity and Bias.”  The response was good, and most pupils were engaged and focused, showing a clear understanding, benefiting from the quiz and the immediate feedback.




Barton, G., 2008. Let’s leave no hiding place for these cruel, silent cyberbullies. Published in The TES on 15 February, 2008


BECTA (2007) The role of the e-safety officer. Printer-friendly: Becta Local authorities – E-safety – E-safety issues – The role of the e-safety officer. Available at: [Accessed January 10, 2009].


Bernard, S. Should schools regulate student use of online social networks? | Edutopia. Available at: [Accessed January 10, 2009].


Bloom B. & Bacon E. (1995) Using portfolios for individual learning and assessment Teacher Education and Special Education 18 (1) 1-9.


Buckingham, D. (2007) Introducing Identity. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning, -, pp.1-22. Available at:


Chapman , R. e-Safety in Schools. Available at:,+issue+of+e-Safety&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=10&gl=uk&client=firefox-a [Accessed January 10, 2009].


Coughlan  , S. (2007) Political lessons from discipline. BBC NEWS | Education | Political lessons from discipline. Available at: [Accessed January 10, 2009]. Use ePortfolio to achieve your goals. Welcome! | Available at: [Accessed December 30, 2008].


Groves, B. (1999) Standards for teaching and supporting learning in further?education in England and Wales. Further Education Development Agency, p.45.


Larsen, M.C. (2Larsen, M.C. (2007) Social networking in school. Social networking in school « My PhD Blog. Available at: [Accessed January 10, 2009].


Lerman, J. (1998) You’ve Got Mail! Electronic School. Available at: [Accessed November 16, 2008].


Nightingale, J. (2008) Alternative social networking: Overprotection or necessary control? Julie Nightingale on social networking sites in schools | Education | Education Guardian. Available at: [Accessed January 10, 2009].


Luca, J.,  Polinelli, D. & Howell, J. Creating E-Portfolios to Support Student Career Opportunities.





SCRIBD Cyber Bullying. Cyber Bullying. Available at: [Accessed January 9, 2009].


SmartPros (2006) Employers Google Job Candidates, Check Social Networking Web Sites. Employers Google Job Candidates, Check Social Networking Web Sites. Available at: [Accessed January 9, 2009].


Smith, M. K. (2003) Jean Lave, Etienne Wenger and communities of practice. Available at: [Accessed December 29, 2008].


Spider Networks ePortfolio. Spider Networks | ePortfolio. Available at: [Accessed January 9, 2009].


Sun (2008) ePortfolios in Education: The Time Is Now. Edu Connection. Available at: [Accessed December 21, 2008].


TES (2005) E-portfolios | Article | TES. E-portfolios | Article | TES. Available at: [Accessed December 30, 2008].


Tolley, R. (2008) A Universal e-Portfolio? , p.9. Available at: [Accessed December 30, 2008].


University of Glamorgan  (2006) About Blended Learning. CELT | Enhancing the Student Learning Experience: About Blended Learning | About Blended Learning. Available at: [Accessed November 16, 2008].


VMAP VMAP Visual Mapping of Portfolios. Available at: [Accessed December 21, 2008].


Vuorikari, R. (2005) Social networking software and e-portfolios foster digital learning networks. Available at: [Accessed December 30, 2008].


Young, D.D. & Lipczynski, K. (2007) Transferability of e-Portfolios in Education. Projects & Funding: Transferability of e-Portfolios in Education | ESCalate. Available at: [Accessed December 21, 2008].

Warner, B. (2008) Is social networking a waste of time? – Times Online. Is social networking a waste of time? Available at: [Accessed December 28, 2008].


Behaviour Management


Behaviour management of the classroom, is very complex, based on a hierarchical system of beliefs, controlled by the acceptance of behaviour within dominant culture.  Teachers within their established learning areas are expected to create harmonious, safe environments that produce socially acceptable beings who will make a positive contribution to society.  This duty is a great one with many perils as the school “social” structure is a place where the majority of its population, are members of differing subcultures, who, throughout their development aim to defy the “system” which strives to control and shape them into model citizens.  This could be considered to be deviant behaviour although very typical of human development.  Can then, the teacher mould the future generation and develop their interpersonal skills?  An arduous task that involves a great deal of intuition from the teacher, who must identify the needs of all pupils and cater for them, to promote a positive haven where safety, trust and security is key.

This paper aims to uncover aspects of behaviour and behaviour management based on the evidence and experience of a student teacher during their teaching practice at two placement schools, reflected critically against established academic writing.

To preserve anonymity the schools shall be identified as “[i]School A”, an Outstanding school according to Ofsted, and “[ii]School B”, a Satisfactory school, while the student teacher shall be referred to as “Student.”



Models of Behaviour


Models of behaviour can be clearly split into two categories within the school environment, compliant or deviant, yet each has varying levels of complexity, relevant to the individuals circumstances.  These can be broken down into a selection of variables such as; “immediate situation, general background, teacher, school, student and home” (Cole and Chan, 1987).  Each element can be favourable or unfavourable, as one would expect, reflecting general life.

These models are not exclusive to each child as they can sway from behaviour to behaviour depending on the implied classroom strategy.


Clearly conforming to schools’ regulations, the compliant child is effectively a model citizen, adhering to the role set out by society and therefore exudes assertive behaviour and a positive attitude towards learning.

Assertive behaviour is:

• proactive;

• confident;

• consistent;

• positive in language and behaviour;

  • effective in communication
  • calm and self-controlled.


Non-compliant pupils become viewed as anti-social, thus deviant.  Deviant behaviour varies depending on the current beliefs and norms within dominant culture and is recognised when Macionis describes this as a “violation of cultural norms.”  The most familiar representation of deviancy, is crime, translating this into an educational context would be noted as juvenile delinquency, yet unlike crime this is generally considered as a “passing phase.”  Whilst the educational environment echoes the moral boundaries of societal behaviour, deviance is only perceived through the definition of what a school will find acceptable depending on its organisational structure and form of “social control.”  Crime therefore can be behaviour such as not adhering to the school uniform policy and for example wearing large gold hoop earrings to more serious offences like physical assault.

Deviancy can be broken down into categories, passive or aggressive.

Passive behaviour tends to be:

  • •vague
  • •inconsistent
  • •unconfident
  • •reactive

Aggressive behaviour tends to be:

  • •reactive
  • •threatening
  • •rigid and authoritarian
  • •blaming

Through the existing power struggles determined between the “rule making and rule breaking” (Macionis), deviants attempt to establish their own position within an educational subculture that unknowingly emulates their foreseeable designated roles within society.  Macionis discusses the reflection of social inequality when he states “people we commonly consider deviants share the trait of powerlessness.”  This would imply pupils from low socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to behave in a deviant way, Cohen’s opinion on delinquency affirms that it is more pronounced “in lower class youths because they have the least opportunity to achieve” these theories shall be the clear foundation as both schools are situated amongst areas of social deprivation and exclusion.  Quoting Spitzer, Macionis states “people who cannot or will not work risk being labelled deviant” and there is clear correlation between grades and performance regarding the socially excluded as Petrides’ (et al, 2002) paper highlights the relationship “that trait EI (emotional intelligence) is relevant to scholastic achievement and deviant behaviour at school, especially for disadvantaged and vulnerable adolescents.”

The implications set out for deviant behaviour are generally negative but Covington (1999) quoting Durkheim’s argument,

“…crime is an inevitable and normal aspect of social life.  A limited amount of crime is necessary and beneficial to society, so much so that society could not exist without some form of deviance.”

As schools reflect society, this would suggest that without the presence of deviance, schools would not be able to function.  MacBeath describes how “people in positions of leadership” break the rules in order “to get things done.”  He suggests “it might be argued” that the 1990’s political climate has given “a license for deviance to school leaders.”  Headteachers were able “to indulge in creative accounting” an element that is still evident today as School B has a deficit of £350k, yet there was a £40k discrepancy for ‘cleaning services’ that had gone unnoticed by the Board of Governors affirming MaBeath’s analogy of creative accountancy and Macionis’ view of “social power.”  With this abuse of power, should teachers expect the pupils, not to engage in deviant behaviour, according to the TES “one of the most cited reasons for teachers leaving the profession,” and desist in the existing power struggle when it is clearly one rule for one and different for another.  If corruption and deviancy occurs within senior management, can the objective of educating pupils, social norms and values, occur through teachers, acting as role models and “agents of socialisation and control,” implementing school rules and expecting pupils to adhere to them.  It is important then to understand the structure of rules.



Classroom Rules


“Rules are there to be broken.”

The classroom setting is built upon rule structure and forms of behaviour acceptable to the social norms within a school which are usually set in place to promote a positive learning environment.  Rules are initially set out by the school, as a whole school policy, this is then usually adapted within each faculty according to the learning environment.  Sturt referencing Stone (1990) highlights five areas to be considered when drawing up rules

1.students’ safety

2.students’ respect and care for others in the classroom

4.students’ efforts at learning

5.obedience to the teacher

As discussed the variants of deviant behaviour do not intentionally begin with malice but classroom rules manifest themselves in various forms and are not always clear.  Rules therefore need to be established as early on in the term, considering the pupils’ opinions.  This task is quite difficult for any student teacher to undertake in an already established classroom setting, as the foundations have already been built and the student’s appearance can result in a compromising struggle of power between themselves and the pupils as their expectations may be very different to that of the host teacher.

The hierarchical system of beliefs begins with the unspoken rules, the norms.


Right and wrong are clearly defined words but not so in practice.  Society is built upon unspoken rules, norms and social expectations, which are generally thought of as “do unto others as you would have them do to you.”  This quote has different meanings for many individuals, as those clearly from deprived, low socio-economic groups with low emotional intelligence will have a very different interpretation of what “that doing” is.  Unspoken rules according to Moore (1989) are aimed mainly at adults and so it is from the teacher’s own expectations and morality that unspoken rules are based which would be considered generally as basic manners.  One must consider the behaviour variables of a pupil, if not conforming to the required norms, it is then that the unspoken must take on a new form, written.


Written rules are usually displayed within the classroom setting for all pupils to see, as a reminder of the unspoken.

School B

1.Arrive on time, fully equipped and place your planner open on your desk.

2.Do as you are told by staff – first time, every time.

3.Listen carefully when requested by the teacher.

4.Put your hand up and wait for permission to speak.

5.Work to the best of your ability in every lesson.

6.Always record homework and deadlines in your planner.

7.Stand in silence at the end of the lesson until you are dismissed.


Spoken rules according to Moore (1989) should be “clearly stated, consistent and as few as possible.”  These can be used to reinforce the already established, not yet adhered to, unspoken and written.  After ending half term on a bad note, whereby the Student kept the pupils in 5 minutes after school as punishment for not being quiet during register and persistently talking after two verbal warnings which resulted in the Student shouting and losing control, at School B in February the Student returned to implement a new classroom strategy.  They initially delivered the written classroom rules, as stated in the previous section, emphasising 2,3 and 7.  With the written rules clarified the Student explained the first new spoken rule, whereby the class would sit in silence for one minute whilst the register was being taken.  If any member of the class spoke the Student would start the register again, from the beginning, and any seconds over the given minute would be added on to the registration on Friday afternoon after school.  The pupils questioned how the Student arrived at the time, a minute, to which the reply was “a second for each of your names, a second for each reply and 12 seconds spare.”  This the pupils disputed and on the first day of implementation, the register took 5 minutes 26 seconds, indicating the beginning of the power struggle, and over the week the pupils accumulated 8 minutes 52 seconds to the end of their Friday.  Surprisingly by the end of the week, on Friday morning the register was taken in 39 seconds and to be consistent and fair, 21 seconds were removed from the total.  Alongside the no speaking during registration was the second new spoken rule which accompanies written rule number 7, where the pupils are given 30 seconds to stand behind their chairs in silence.  This regularly takes 90 seconds plus and the time over is also added to the Friday registration.  After a few days of unsuccessful attempts the Student demonstrated how to stand behind a chair in silence and was timed by the host teacher.  The result was 5 seconds, although this strategy has not yet been successful, the pupils are however getting better and during registration at the end of the second week the pupils were so well behaved and quiet that the Student did not know what to do apart from smile inside.  The Student should have offered praise or a reward.


Reward schemes accompany the positive discipline policy as an incentive to promote good behaviour in both of the subject schools.  School A uses a series of Positive Referrals, which pupils collect and deposit into a post box.  These are counted at the school office and recorded in the Bromcom system

1.           A school ethos of encouragement is central to the promotion of good behaviour.  Rewards are one means of achieving this.  They have a motivational role in helping students to realise that good behaviour is valued, and are clearly defined in the procedures.  Integral to the system of rewards is an emphasis on praise both informal and formal to individuals and groups.

School B uses a stamp system, where student collect stamps from lessons which accumulate into credits.  These credits are recorded in their planner and the teacher counts them and writes down the total on a form which is then sent to the office who then issue a certificate on completion of each page.  The certificates are in order of importance using precious gems and metals as their names.



This is the key to Positive Discipline.  A rewards framework which encourages the active and direct involvement of as many teachers and pupils as possible is vital to the success of the system.  It is essential that all pupils are given the opportunity to operate within the rewards framework.


School A

1.           Sanctions are needed to respond to inappropriate behaviour.


2.           A range of sanctions are clearly defined in the procedures and their use will be characterised by clarity of why the sanction is being applied and what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future sanctions.  The procedures make a clear distinction between the sanctions applied for minor and major offences.

School B



All teachers have a responsibility to design and deliver interesting and well planned lessons. These must be in accordance with department policies and schemes of work.


Normal classroom management skills are to be employed and only if these fail do we use P.D. sanctions.

Sturt lists the typical hierarchy of sanctions

1.the look

2.hand sign

3.rule reminder

4.warnings one two and three

5.sanctions related to the behaviour problem

6.move place

7.time out, kept in at play

8.letter home to teacher

10.letter home from head teacher

11.on report to head teacher

12.formal warning letter from head teacher exclusion

14.two-day exclusion

15.five-day exclusion (Governors meets)

16.permanent exclusion (Governors meeting, local education authority involved)


School A

BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT The key to good behaviour management is clear, consistent & shared expectations.


The subject teacher will:


1.Use a range of responses to any incidents of disruptive behaviour (including internal faculty sanctions).

2.Share their rules and expectations with the class (this is best done in the first lesson you take with them) and be clear about what sanctions they will use and follow them through BUT

2.Reward good behaviour rather than punish bad.

3.Be assertive but try to avoid confrontation.

4.Remain calm and avoid shouting whenever possible.

5.Treat each student as an individual and be flexible and adaptable in their approach.

6.Fully use incident slips and BROMCOM codes and ask for form tutor/YAL/Assistant Headteacher / class reports at the start of the lesson.  Students know that these will be followed up.

7.Involve and seek the support of the form tutor, HoF, YAL, and parents.

8.Use CLASS SUPPORT only if all else fails.  Class Support will try to reintegrate the student back into the lesson


Models of Discipline


Behaviour management, the name given to the more ‘aggressive’ act of discipline, is founded on models which have been designed and constructed based generally on educational psychology and psychoanalytical theories.  Their aim, to offer a solution to the manifestation of the varying behaviours shown within the classroom environment.  There are many recognised models of discipline, this paper will specifically focus on Dreikurs and apply his model to classroom situations.


Rudolf Dreikurs, an American psychiatrist, has based his work on the theories of [iii]Adler, whereby human behaviour is motivated by the desire to achieve a certain aim, goal or purpose.  His theory proposes that, “The need to belong is the fundamental motivator of human behaviour” and the negative behaviour displayed by a child stems from the feeling of isolation and social exclusion in an environment where they do not feel they belong.  Their behaviour can manifest itself, either passively or aggressively, in the following four simplistic mistaken ways, according to Dreikurs.

  • •Attention seeking
  • •Power seeking
  • •Revenge seeking
  • •Withdrawal / avoidance

Attention seeking behaviour can manifest itself on many levels in both acceptable and unacceptable ways.  A compliant pupil with an assertive behaviour would display socially acceptable behaviours and achieve at a high level as discussed earlier.  Unacceptable forms of behaviour that occur within the classroom and take time away from learning are:-

  • •to misbehave
  • •to be disruptive and lazy
  • •to ask for favours
  • •to throw things
  • •to cry, yell, fight

These reactive, disruptive behaviours do not always involve discord.

Power seeking behaviour is where a pupil attempts to gain control over the classroom environment.  Whilst in registration with a Year 7 class at School B the Student asked the class to be quiet whilst they took the register, yet most of the pupils continued to chat amongst themselves.  One pupil decided to scream “QUIET” in an attempt to control the class.  This display sees the pupil’s effort to gain acceptance or significance from the teacher and class through acting as a leader yet this strategy only causes disruption.  Their mistaken behaviour attempting to control the class results in the apparent loss of control by the pupil as they themselves were unable to follow the Student’s instruction.

During registration in the same class, the Student offered an incentive.  This was an invitation to a party on the Student’s last day for all the pupils who do not get five written comments in one week for the rest of the term, and in effect do not receive a detention.  The response was mixed as the pupils were quite surprised although the typically deviant pupils responded with “we don’t want to come to your party anyway.  It will be rubbish.”  This revenge seeking behaviour indicates the pupils unwillingness to co-operate, with the intention to hurt the Student in order to gain some satisfaction from the hurt they’re feeling in that they do not belong, unable to identify that it is their behaviour that does not belong, not them as a person.  This act could also be linked to avoidance and failure, where the pupil has already given up on the attempt of becoming a better behaved class member because of their feelings of inadequacy.  This theory is backed up by the consistent misbehaviour from one “deviant” pupil, who, through using low level strategies such as forgetting their glasses, claiming they cannot see the board, creates a situation where they are unwilling to challenge themselves, whilst also implementing more confrontational techniques such as refusing to sit in his seat amongst his peers.    Quite regularly does this pupil obtain twelve written comments a week from other teachers, a sign that their behaviour is consistently poor and sadly will not be attending the Student’s party.  It is characters like this that can bring the classroom alive if their energy is channelled productively.

In order for the Student to remedy the pupil’s behaviour reference was made to Dinkmeyer and Dinkmeyer’s (1976, cited in Sturt) procedures that breakdown Dreikurs’ model.  Initially the Student queried the amount of written comments in the pupil’s planner and why they were not concerned about detention.  Their reply was “I have other things on my mind.”  The Student uncovered that there were family variables, where the pupil’s parents had separated, the mother had taken in a new boyfriend, which was the cause of the misbehaviour.  Whilst discussing the Student determined the pupil’s motives and discovered they were misbehaving in order to cause disruption at home with the hope of the boyfriend leaving.  Explaining the flaws in the pupil’s mistaken goal and how the discipline and aggravation would occur at both school and home the pupil was able to understand the consequences with a hope to applying a better behaviour strategy.

Dreikurs’ model builds upon logical consequences where the pupil is more autonomous and responsible for their own behaviour, therefore faces the outcomes if the behaviour becomes deviant.  Edwards(1993) cited in Sturt “notes it also promotes respect between teachers and students.”  Sturt continues to explain “it may be over-simplistic to categorise all behaviours in the four classes of goals and to attribute all misbehaviour to mistaken assumptions about how to achieve goals” and that, “clear logical consequences can’t always be arrived at for all behaviours, or for all students.”  We must consider further corrective strategies with the aim to prevent misbehaviour.

Corrective Strategies


Corrective strategies can take form in both prevention and solution within the school context.  Di Giulio (2006) states there are four dimensions within corrective strategies, which are, “Spiritual, Physical, Instructional and Managerial.”


The Spiritual dimension is communication and key within the behaviour management strategy of a classroom.  As a tactic, the Student, whilst teaching a lesson “Publishing on the web” displayed a previously prepared website that offered a personal insight into their history.  They had created 4 pages that contained images of themselves growing up combined with an amusing caption.  This approach from the Student, offering the pupils little bits of information regarding their life is a means of forming positive, caring relationships with the pupils as Cothran et al. (2003) discovered that pupils “believed that part of getting to know each other was for the teacher to open up.”  This produced a positive work environment where the pupils were engaged and saw a purpose to their work creating an improved level of autonomy.


Building a positive learning environment is the Physical dimension where pupils safety and security are essential for successfully managing behaviour, as identified on the second level of [iv]Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  The environment is not just the positive climate and inviting classroom surroundings, as physical appearance plays a huge part in behaviour from both teacher and pupil.  As stated in the Student’s Periodic Report from School A, pupils and staff frequently commented on the Student’s attire.  This appearance gained respect and co-operation from the pupils as Hawley et al (2007) discusses how physical attractiveness is seen as power.  Reaffirming this a member of staff in School B whilst introducing herself to the Student and querying who they were stated “you look more important than a student.”  From the teacher’s point of view, the physical attractiveness of a pupil can have a detrimental effect if this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy as pupils who were seen to be without beauty were often neglected by their teachers as they were seen as low achievers and in areas of social depravation and social exclusion this is quite common.  The Student whilst in School B was timetabled with a vocational year 10 group, with severe behavioural difficulties, a reduced timetable and whom according to the majority of staff “teachers of 25 years cannot teach them.”  They typified socially excluded pupils and “chav” culture with their appearance.  On their first meeting the Student’s initial presence provoked an aggressive response from the pupils which in turn created bad impression whereby the Student refused to teach the pupils for the six hours they had been timetabled.  Combining social aggression and the perceived unattractiveness of the pupils, formed negative expectations of academia and achievement from the Student.  After a few lessons the pupils and Student were able to build relationships as the pupils found the Student “cool” and the girls in the group found the Student “cute and attractive” which created the foundations for a positive learning environment.  This relationship has prevented the self fulfilling prophecy as Tauber (1998) discusses owing to the Student removing those “initial expectations” regarding attractiveness.


The third dimension is Instructional.  Autonomous learners feel a greater sense of achievement, which can be promoted through Assessment for Learning, a strategy used successfully in outstanding School A, but not yet adopted satisfactory School B.  Engaging the year 10 group in School B with a creative brief involving designing video where the pupils had to create an awareness campaign highlighting the dangers of unprotected sex, substance abuse or smoking.  These topics, relevant to the socially excluded and as Halsey et al discovered “that themes, stimuli and creative activity worked successfully when they appeared to be relevant and meaningful to the young people.”  Another contributing factor to improving their behaviour is knowing that the Student was previously a designer providing “authenticity” to the project.   Instructed by the Head of Department to “just get them to a pass” the Student introduced the assessment criteria to the group and using AFL the Student was able to promote positive self discipline as the pupils saw the goals and knew what they had to do to achieve.  This inspired some pupils to aim toward Merit and Distinction grades, becoming more than what is expected of them.  The Student gave the pupils responsibility where they were allowed to go out and film within the building on their own.  This increased creativity and engagement within the pupils combined with the feeling of trust, producing fantastic results.


The Managerial dimension sees the solution strategy of teacher intervention.  Howarth describes the purpose and method of interventions

  • •Allow the teacher to change the mood speed and activities of the class.
  • •Interventions should be clear, well directed, effective and easily read by the student.
  • •They should be as non-confrontational as possible

As the whole structure of behaviour management is built on a hierarchical system of behaviour, rules, rewards and sanctions, so is the teacher intervention strategy.





An example where we can appreciate the role of society on conscience is the differences in moral standards across cultures (Bandura, 1963).

This quote still rings true today as cultural beliefs and expectations seemingly play a huge role within behaviour.  School A, a predominantly Asian school of which approximately 80% are Muslim, employs a positive discipline strategy and detention scheme with pupil co-operation, yet School B, a 95% Caucasian school of no denomination, struggles with the implementation of positive discipline and detentions.  School A holds hour detentions after school which pupils attend on time and has been known that pupils have arrived and the teacher has forgotten, so the pupils leave after waiting five minutes for the teacher, showing clear responsibility and acceptance of consequence.  Yet in School B a team of teachers who are free during last lesson, period 5, ‘round the pupils up’ 15 minutes before the end, ensuring they attend a twenty minute detention, a third of the time compared to School A.  Clearly this method of removal not only impedes on the learning of the pupils but interferes with the “free time” of staff.  Whilst being escorted, the pupils regularly run away, not attending their detention and facing the consequence.  This defiance, results in a spell in isolation, a period that most pupils like as they are removed from their lessons and have escaped the detention which did not impinge on their personal time.  Although with the spell in isolation, another detention is issued, but the process begins again.  Yet if the pupil misses the second detention their parents are contacted, a threat which does not seem to bother the pupils.  This lack of pupil self discipline and sense of responsibility is clearly quite alarming and does not aim to produce socially acceptable beings.





To improve behaviour, it is essential that pupils are offered the opportunity to prove themselves by being given responsibility and not over controlled as this will result in rebellion.  Responsibility is essential in creating inclusive pupils who are able to act acceptably and communicate effectively, understanding the consequences for their actions.  As Ogden (2006) deconstructs Freud’s psychosexual theories, he highlights that responsibility and autonomy occurs in the formation of the superego whereby the child develops a conscience and guilt.  Blum (1985) outlines the “superego issues related to family and culture, social exclusion and persecution.”

Behaviour management therefore must not be seen to over control pupils but to encourage and develop the superego, forming social inclusion through learning consequence, acquisition of a conscience, and hence guilt.




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School A




The Principles

1.         The Governing Body believes that in order to enable effective teaching and learning to take place, good behaviour in all aspects of school life is necessary.  It seeks to create a caring, learning environment in the school by:

•          promoting good behaviour and discipline;

•          promoting self-esteem, self-discipline, proper regard for authority and positive relationships based on mutual respect;

•          ensuring fairness of treatment for all;

•          encouraging consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour;

•          promoting early intervention;

•          providing a safe environment free from disruption, violence, bullying and any form of harassment;

•          encouraging a positive relationship with parents and carers to develop a shared approach to involve them in the implementation of the school’s policy and associated procedures.

Roles and Responsibilities

2.         The Governing Body will establish, in consultation with the Headteacher, staff and parents, the policy for the promotion of good behaviour and keep it under review.  It will ensure that it is communicated to students and parents, is non-discriminatory and the expectations are clear.  Governors will support the school in maintaining high standards of behaviour.

3.         The Headteacher will be responsible for the implementation and day-to-day management of the policy and procedures.  Support for staff faced with challenging behaviour is also an important responsibility of the Headteacher.

4.         Staff, including teachers, support staff and volunteers, will be responsible for ensuring that the policy and procedures are followed, and consistently and fairly applied.  Mutual support amongst all staff in the implementation of the policy is essential.  Staff have a key role in advising the Headteacher on the effectiveness of the policy and procedures.  They also have responsibility, with the support of the Headteacher, for creating a high quality-learning environment, teaching good behaviour and implementing the agreed policy and procedures consistently.

5.         The Governing Body, Headteacher and staff will ensure there is no differential application of the policy and procedures on any grounds, particularly ethnic or national origin, culture, religion, gender, disability or sexuality.  They will also ensure that the concerns of students are listened to and appropriately addressed.

6.         Parents and carers will be expected to take responsibility for the behaviour of their child both inside and outside the school.  They will be encouraged to work in partnership with the school to assist the school in maintaining high standards of behaviour and will have the opportunity to raise with the school any issues arising from the operation of the policy.

7.         Students will be expected to take responsibility for their own behaviour and will be made fully aware of the school policy, procedure and expectations.  Students also have a responsibility to ensure that incidents of disruption, violence, bullying and any form of harassment are reported.


8.         The procedures arising from this policy will be developed by the Headteacher in consultation with the staff.  The procedures will make clear to the students how acceptable standards of behaviour can be achieved and will have a clear rationale which is made explicit to staff, students and parents.  The procedures will be consistently and fairly applied and promote the idea of personal responsibility and that every member of the school has a responsibility towards the whole community.


9.         A school ethos of encouragement is central to the promotion of good behaviour.  Rewards are one means of achieving this.  They have a motivational role in helping students to realise that good behaviour is valued, and are clearly defined in the procedures.  Integral to the system of rewards is an emphasis on praise both informal and formal to individuals and groups.


10.      Sanctions are needed to respond to inappropriate behaviour.

11.      A range of sanctions are clearly defined in the procedures and their use will be characterised by clarity of why the sanction is being applied and what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future sanctions.  The procedures make a clear distinction between the sanctions applied for minor and major offences.


12.      The Governing Body will ensure the appropriate high quality training on all aspects of behaviour management is provided to support the implementation of the policy.

Interrelationship with other school policies

13.      In order for the behaviour policy to be effective, a clear relationship with other school policies, particularly equal opportunities, special educational needs and anti-bullying, has been established.

Involvement of outside agencies

14.      The school works positively with external agencies.  It seeks appropriate support from them to ensure that the needs of all students are met by utilising the range of external support available.


15.      The Headteacher, in consultation with the staff, will undertake systematic monitoring and conduct regular reviews of the behaviour management policy and procedures in order to evaluate them to ensure that the operation is effective, fair and consistent.  The Headteacher will keep the Governing Body informed.

16.      The Governing Body will regularly review this policy and associated procedures, to ensure its continuing appropriateness and effectiveness.  The review will take place in consultation with the Headteacher, staff and parents.

17.      The outcome of the review will be communicated to all those involved, as appropriate.

26 April 2004




School B




Good behaviour and discipline in school are essential to successful teaching & learning.

The school plays a significant part in promoting the spiritual, moral and cultural development of its young people.  The ethos of this school as specified in its aims, includes reference to the values which matter in school and the community, including respect for each other, self, property, honesty, trust & fairness.

This school, like most others is largely successful in promoting good behaviour and discipline.  However, the behaviour of a proportion of pupils is unacceptable.

We believe we are entitled to the support of parents & guardians and will always try to enlist this; we have to accept that it is not always forthcoming.

The school’s positive behaviour policy sets out the behaviour expected of pupils, rewards to encourage this and sanctions and procedures available for instances of unacceptable behaviour.

The style and atmosphere of the school itself, including the demeanour of the staff is acknowledged to be of significance in encouraging an atmosphere of respect for others.

Teachers are expected to follow good practice and show respect for pupils: clear rules, clear instructions, clear work and behaviour requirements.  Misbehaviour should be handled quickly & fairly, work designed to be appropriate to pupils’ needs, lessons started and ended on time and with a minimum of interruptions.

A sense of responsibility and consideration among pupils may be fostered by positively acknowledging acts of consideration, giving responsibility of caring for younger or new pupils, commending behaviour to parents and encouraging public reward of pupils who demonstrate commendable attitude and conduct.


Heads & teachers have legal authority to impose reasonable punishment.  These punishments and the behaviours likely to incur them should be known to parents and pupils and must be administered fairly and consistently.

Punishment of whole groups is rarely (if ever) appropriate.  Punishment should be in proportion to the offence.

Humiliating or degrading punishments are not acceptable.

Those who provoke or lead misbehaviour should be dealt with accordingly.


Exclusion is used sparingly.  Alternatives to exclusion include:

internal exclusion (pupil working on their own), “close supervision” (pupil attached to one senior member of staff), serial loss of free time, referral by HoY to Mentor.

Any significant incident(s) or patterns of unacceptable behaviour will be communicated to parents.  When possible, close consultation and partnership will be promoted with parents/guardians including ongoing review meetings or contact.

When school is made aware of stresses within the family, consideration will be made of the implications of these problems.

Preliminary factors considered when exclusion may be used;

•          age & state of health of pupil

•          pupil’s previous record at this school

•          particular personal (eg; domestic) circumstances

•          extent of peer (or parental) pressure

•          degree of severity of the behaviour, frequency & likelihood of its recurring

•          whether the behaviour impaired the functioning of the school (ie its effect on other pupils & staff) or whether the behaviour impaired the safety of pupils or adults

•          whether the behaviour was on the school premises, on the way to or from school or while pupil was in the care of the school (eg of site activities)

•          degree of violation of school’s behaviour policy and its relative importance

•          whether the incident was perpetrated by one pupil or the pupil as part of a group – scapegoating is to be avoided

•          whether it would be more relevant to use another strategy including reference to outside support agencies such as Educational Psychology or welfare agencies.

*** In all cases of exclusion, Education Leeds guidelines & procedures are followed strictly ***


A set of principles, rules, routines and procedures which:

•          Is designed to enhance the learning and social environment of the school.

•          Represents a framework for the conduct of members of the school community.

•          Provides a hierarchical range of responses to promote positive        behaviour at all levels.

•          States the range and use of responses for those who do not act in acceptable ways.

•          Incorporates mechanisms to maintain and review procedures.

Pupil behaviour:

The extent to which pupils’ attitudes and actions, contribute to or restrict~

•          Standards of achievement

•          Effective learning in the classroom

•          The quality of life in the school

•          The functioning of the school as an orderly community


The extent to which the school’s policies, procedures and practices contribute

to ~

•          Good behaviour

•          The quality of life in the school

•          The functioning of the school as an orderly community

•          The development of self-discipline

Additional to these:

•          Data on exclusions and referrals

•          Views of pupils, parents and teachers on incidence of bullying and the school’s response

•          Rewards and sanctions


As well as aiming for the highest possible academic achievement for all our students, School B High School considers standards of good behaviour and appearance to be of the utmost importance.

We are proud of our existing and improving reputation for being a school in which visitors are treated in a friendly, courteous and helpful manner.

Positive Behaviour

1) Merit System

Teachers are encouraged to award Merits for particularly good work or effort in class. These should be recorded on the “Personal Achievement Record” pages in the Student Planner/Homework Diary. Pupils will then take their merits to their Head of Year / School who will keep a record and also place a Merit Sticker in the planner.  At the discretion of the Head of Year / School, when an appropriate number has been achieved by an individual, a commendation, signed by the Head will be presented in the Head’s office.  Achievement of a third commendation will result in a personal letter from the Head being sent to the successful student’s parents.  Any pupil achieving 5 Commendations, will be awarded a Gold Merit for inclusion in their RoA. Further categories of certificate may be devised.

Teachers are urged to make use of this reward and to consider giving merits to all Year groups, including those in Upper School.

2) House Points

From September 2002, house points will relate only to extra curricular activities.

Form tutors are invited to grant 1, 2 or 3 house points per pupil at the end of each term for general conduct and contribution to the form.  Pupils who take part in activities/clubs/teams and form discussions and who behave & attend well (thus contributing to form attendance results), will deserve 3 points. Those who do not make a positive contribution to form or school life may not be given any points.

Sports activities and competitions already generate house points.

Opportunities exist within ALL subject areas to develop house activities and competitions.

Prizes will be awarded to the winning house.

Staff are assigned membership of a house.


3) Attendance Certificates

Attendance certificates and entry into a prize draw are awards for good and improving attendance as well as time bonuses  and class trips.

4) Record of Achievement

Pupils input to the record should include Gold merits/commendations, attendance certificates, & certificates of involvement in school activities (eg Residentials), as well as details of personal achievements not necessarily associated with school (eg membership of community sports clubs or activities).


There are times when pupils step out of line and behave inappropriately.  Misconduct should never be condoned or ignored and sanctions when used should be applied consistently with firmness and fairness.

Many of our pupils rarely misbehave so that the framework of expected behaviour and values is intended to provide an environment in which they can learn and develop positively.  For this majority of pupils, the system of referral and sanctions is the protection which allows them to be confident and to benefit from their school life in a comfortable and positive atmosphere.

A small minority of pupils “test” the system persistently for a variety of reasons.  These pupils must always be dealt with appropriately or referred to a proper authority in order to maintain the comfortable working atmosphere for which FPHS strives.  Staff who follow the principles and guidelines outlined as follows and combine them with the positive recognition of success, will find that they work effectively in most cases.  If they appear not to be having success, staff can expect and rely on the support and further action of colleagues, the Pastoral Team and the Head.


Good behaviour and positive attitudes towards work may be encouraged in pupils when they consistently experience the following:

1)   A prompt start to lessons.

2)   A controlled business-like classroom atmosphere.

3)   An orderly finish to lessons.

4)   Appropriate teaching styles and differentiation of work.

5)   Careful lesson preparation, and regular, prompt marking of class and homework with appropriate feedback.

6)   Recognition of good work through merits, house points and display.

7)   Sharing of teaching objectives/targets and evaluation of them through RoA.

8)   Insistence in all departments and areas of school life on consistently good standards of work and behaviour.

9)   Application of overtly fair and reasonable standards equitably to all members of groups.

10)  Consistent expectation of good organisation by pupils in bringing correct equipment, keeping to deadlines, use of Student organisers and asking  for help.




1)  Respect for others.

2)  Respect for property and environment.

3)  Common courtesy.

4)  Listening and responding appropriately.

5)  Respect for positive attitudes and achievements.


1)  Bullying of any kind.

2)  Bad language – including insults, racial abuse and reference to drug abuse.

3)  Excessive or inappropriate noise – including shouting out.

4)  Lateness

5)  Lack of proper equipment or preparation for lessons.

6)  Leaving room untidy.

7)  Eating in class or registration – including chewing gum.

8)  Wearing outside clothing in class or registration.

9)  Moving around or leaving the room without permission.

10) Disturbing the work of others.

11) Graffiti or vandalism

12) Violence – even in play.



Positive behaviour outside the classroom sets the tone for good behaviour within lessons.

The key areas and times are as follow:

1)  The beginning and end of each school session.

2)  Breaks and lunchtimes

3)  Lesson changeovers – it would be helpful & beneficial if staff stand at classroom doors and oversee transfers.

4)  Whenever pupils are outside the room during lesson time (eg toilet trips).

5)  Assemblies, including arrival and departure.

Staff should INSIST upon:

1)  Punctuality and prompt return to lessons when whistle blows.

2)  Orderly movement and care with bags.

3)  Care & consideration towards others.

4)  Reasonable levels of noise and use of language.


Staff should treat as unacceptale:

1)   Bullying of any kind or degree, or threatening behaviour.

2)   Spitting, swearing or chewing gum.

3)   Smoking on the premises or on the way in to or out of the school grounds.

4)   Litter or (especially in the dining room) mess.

5)   Graffiti, vandalism or abuse of property or facilities.

6)   Insolence.

7)   Disobedience.

8)   Leaving the premises without permission.

9)   Rowdy behaviour.

10) Association with drug culture (including comments and graffiti).


For minor infringements of standards, it is usually sufficient for an offending pupil to be told firmly and quietly that the behaviour is unacceptable and must not occur again.  Any apologies necessary to staff, peers or visitors should be made on the spot, and the matter closed.

If the situation is deemed by the member of staff to be more serious, then a range of sanctions or referral will be resorted to……


Separating pupil(s) within the room.

Asking pupil to wait outside for a moment to cool off.  (Beware of unsupervised misbehaviour outside room).

Keeping the pupil or sub-group of pupils behind at end of lesson.

NB:  It is rarely (if ever) justifiable to punish a whole class of pupils.  Usually, at least some will be behaving acceptably.

NB:  Pupils may not be delayed at a hometime for more than up to 10 minutes without prior warning to parents and consideration should always be given to transport problems & domestic situations such as collecting younger siblings.

Break or lunchtime detention(s) under supervision of teacher.

1/2  hour detention after school under supervision of teacher.  In this case, a detention form should be filled in and a copy given to the pupil and one to the Head of Year / School.  The forms are available in the school office and must allow at least 24 hours notice.

For any detention, activity should be provided.  This may be lines, work, incident report or a task appropriate to the behaviour such as graffiti removal or litter collection.


After any incident of significantly bad behaviour or after noticing repeated or a pattern of unacceptable behaviour, please will colleagues complete an Incident Report (obtainable from  school office) and give to Head of Year / School.  This is essential even though the situation may have been dealt with fully because it is necessary for the Pastoral team to be kept informed of  deterioration in pupils’ behaviour and to note trends developing.

All sections should be completed.

REFERRAL of Pupils for Disciplinary Action:

If a member of staff has a continuing concern over a pupil’s behaviour, would like assistance in dealing with a situation or considers an incident to demand more serious measures, then the support of the pastoral team is readily available.

It is important to make referrals through a chain of hierarchical command in order to retain flexibility in dealing with pupils and to allow for increasing pressure if necessary by climbing further rungs of the pastoral ladder.

In the first instance it can be useful to discuss small problems with the pupil’s form tutor who may be able to offer an experienced perspective on the miscreant or put pressure on the pupil to make a fresh start.

If the misbehaviour appears to relate to curriculum issues, it may be helpful to discuss the situation with the Head of Department regarding group organisation etc. or the possibility of temporary / permanent transfer of pupil.  Similarly, the SEN Coordinator may be able to assist in situations particularly those involving pupils with learning difficulties.

If you consider an incident or trend in behaviour demands further sanction or investigation, referral may be made at the end of the lesson via an incident slip to the Head of Year / School.  Such a referral will always be followed up as soon as possible (although not necessarily immediately) and you will be kept informed and if relevant, involved.

In the first instance, Head of Year / School may choose to introduce longer

(1 hour) detentions, or multiple detentions.  Periods of isolation or internal exclusion may also be operated.

School B operates a policy of involving parents when concerned about pupil behaviour so parents may be invited by Head of Year / School to come to school to discuss strategies and possibly to fix follow up meetings to monitor progress.


If an incident is of major significance, referral should be made or assistance requested immediately.

Such misbehaviours would include violence, verbal abuse to staff, persistent disobedience / absolute refusal to do as told, eg to remove coat etc.

In these instances, the referral should be made immediately to the Head of Year / School or in his / her absence, to any member of senior management or staff.  NB: Ideally, as stated before, the chain of command is followed as usual.

The emergency referral may be made in any convenient, safe and efficient way.  Eg: telephone to a pastoral office, phone to school office with message, send reliable pupil to get assistance, enlist help from nearby Head of Department or colleague.

Colleagues are particularly requested not to tolerate any instance of “backchat” and to take immediate action at one of the above levels.

NB: Do not send pupils to Pastoral Office without first ascertaingin HoY is available.

NB: Do not leave a class unsupervised by a teacher.

If a pattern of unacceptable behaviour develops, strategies which may be employed include:

–  Daily report to form tutor  (Yellow)

–  Daily report to Head of Year (Red)

–  Pastoral support programme.

–  Referral to Learning Mentor

–  Referral to Pupil Referral Service – Outreach

–  Referral to Pupil Referral Service – Dual Registration

–  Referral to Learning Support Unit

–  Short term exclusion(s)

–  Permanent exclusion





Letter from Student to Senior Management



From: MFO

Date: 6/03/08

Re: 10voccit incident on 4 March 2008


During my initial meeting with 10voccit it became apparent that these pupils engage quite regularly in “inappropriate” behaviour in and outside school and are incredibly vocal about their actions.  I believed it in the best interests of this group to educate them about the consequences their actions could have.  During my time working with the group I have had some quite frank and interesting discussions regarding unprotected sex, smoking and substance abuse.


The class has divided into groups, each tackling one of the issues in the aim of creating an awareness campaign aimed toward 13 – 16 year olds about the dangers of the aforementioned topics.


I felt that the students would respond well given responsibility to film on their own, increasing creativity without the presence of a teacher.  On 2 previous occasions a group had filmed within the school, alone, and created some very pleasing, interesting and creative work, returning to the classroom, with the equipment undamaged, inspired and motivated.  I believed this was possible again and on the 4 March the same group of girls continued their filming in the toilets using the props I had supplied them.  After filming they returned to the class and continued with their work.  The second group of girls were also allowed to film their sequence in the toilets (the toilets used for the set as this is a refuge within the school environment for pupils).  Whilst they were filming they were approached by JNE who asked for a note in their planner.  JNE came up to see me and I followed her down to the toilets.  She aired her concerns about the girls being in the toilet as they had apparently been truanting in there the previous lesson.  I explained what they were doing.  Entering the girls toilet I was hit by the smell of smoke, a smell not uncommon coming from the toilets of both sexes in the Tech block.  Asking the girls if they had been smoking, their reply was “no we haven’t, we haven’t even got our bags with us so we couldn’t have.”  I was unaware that PUPIL had been smoking until the footage had been retrieved from the camera.  I had not given the girls permission to smoke in the toilets and as far as I was concerned they were tackling the subject of teenage pregnancy, not smoking.   Although their actions are incredibly inappropriate and illegal, the footage highlights the incidence of pregnant mothers smoking which was quite inventive, showing their engagement and knowledge of the topic and offers an opinion which is quite admirable.


Within 10voccit are 2 pupils who are tackling smoking.  We have been trying to arrange for them to capture some footage of smokers but have been unsuccessful in doing this for the last 2 weeks as it has not been convenient for myself and the pupils to meet off the school site at lunch.  This inconvenience clarifies that I have not allowed any pupil to engage in smoking within the school grounds as had I have allowed this behaviour the footage would have been captured 2 weeks ago.  This idea has now evolved and has been shot (6 March) within the school grounds without the use of a lit cigarette or anyone smoking.


Regarding the incident of filming, “rolling a joint,” I believe I acted in the best interests of the pupils in keeping the shooting of the video within the classroom as had I have let the boys out to film, the footage captured would have been more inappropriate.  We were using the FRANK statistic of “1 in 3 people have taken drugs” and the “joint” would signify the “1.”


I realise that my liberal approach has resulted in some quite inappropriate behaviour, but my intentions are to engage the pupils using topics that they relate to in the hope of educating them not only in ICT but aspects relevant to their life.


I sincerely apologise for causing any concern and the resulting behaviour of 10voccit and shall readdress my approach to this topic with immediate effect adhering to the structure set out by ARY.



[i] “School A” is a larger than average mixed comprehensive school for 1,402 students aged 11-18 of whom 309 are in the sixth form. The school is located approximately 1 mile outside the city centre. The area is recognised as having significant socio-economic deprivation and a high proportion of students are eligible for free school meals. Nearly all of the students are from minority ethnic backgrounds and the majority speak English as an additional language. The students’ attainment on entry to the school is well below average and a higher than average number of students have learning difficulties and/or disabilities.  In September 2006 it acquired specialist college status for mathematics and computing.

[ii] “School B” is smaller than average with a small sixth form. It is, however, growing and serves a catchment that includes areas of social and economic disadvantage. The great majority of pupils are from White British backgrounds and a higher than average number of pupils are eligible for free school meals. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is below average, although the number of pupils with statements to support special educational needs is broadly average.  It is also part of the Building Schools for the Future proposals which will take effect from 2009, when the school will admit 1200 pupils. A new headteacher was appointed in September 2005.


Alfred Adler was a General Practitioner and a Psychiatrist who lived in Vienna, Austria. In the last eleven years of his life, he devoted most of his time to teaching, lecturing and travelling in England, Scotland, Scandinavia, Germany and the United States, where he eventually settled. He died while on tour in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1937.

As the founder of Individual Psychology, he is amongst the most important figures in 20th Century psychology. (The term Individual Psychology refers to the indivisible nature of the human personality).

Originally a colleague of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, Adler resigned from Freud’s Psychoanalytic Society in 1911 due to growing differences in their respective theories. In particular, Adler disputed Freud’s assertion that sex or libido is the fundamental drive which determines human behaviour. Rather, Adler argued that human beings strive to belong and to overcome early feelings of inferiority through the construction of personal and subjective goals. Adlerians stress the unity of the mind, body and spirit and the interactions between individuals and the larger community.

Many of his approaches are well suited to the 21st Century and his work is today more relevant than ever before. His jargon-free lectures and books for the general public are characterized by a crystal clear common sense and applicable for use in ever day life.

The Representation of Cultural and National Identity


Pears’, a company that has nearly been in existence for two hundred years owes its success to not only the founder Andrew Pears but also to Francis Pears, son in law, and Thomas J. Barratt, a man often referred to as the father of modern advertising. Andrew Pears initially identified the cultural stigma attached to a tanned face, as this was seen to be associated with the lower classes and those who toiled with manual labour. Not only was this tanned face established from work but also from the use of inferior, harsh soaps which were then used by the upper classes. Through this abrasion caused by soap the indistinguishable colour of class was established. Andrew recognised the necessity to create a purer more gentle soap. Spotting this gap in the marketplace he continued to create a superior product to fill it. Pears product was so exclusive and expensive that he personally signed each package he sold. Thomas J. Barratt, who had married Francis Pears’ eldest daughter Mary was a risk taker, whose aggressive vision and foresight saw the revolution of the distribution of Pears products. His vision of modern advertising was to think in terms of weeks, and the campaigns to change direction like yachts in a strong breeze. His highly original publicity schemes greatly improved the company?s sales. Through extensive advertising and promotion Barratt convinced as many people as possible to purchase Pears. His radical methods struck fear into Francis Pears and he left his son and Barratt in sole charge of the business with £4000 as a loan. Barratt forced the manufacturing world to see the ad-vantages of paying good money for good advertising; in the 1880s Pears were spending between 30,000 and, 40,000 pounds a year on advertising and by 1907 the figure had risen to 126,000. Even advertising took up the phrase. Pears’ Soap claimed to be “a potent factor in brightening the dark corners of the earth as civilization advances.”

iOnly the pictures themselves changed from time to time, and it is interesting to look at a 1907 newspaper interview with Barratt in which he says:

‘Tastes change, fashions change, and the advertiser has to change with them. An idea that was effective a generation ago would fall flat, stale, and unprofitable if presented to the public today. Not that the idea of today is always better than the older idea, but it is different -it hits the present taste.’

Pears advertising on a whole aimed to provoke an emotional response rather than an intellectual one. It was considered tasteful and restrained. This helped to communicate through art to the working class illiterate masses, not only the exclusivity of the Pears product and its global domination of the soap commodity but the global success of Imperial domestication. Pears advertisements generally used black people as a source of amusement in their use as displacing commodity racism. Thomas J. Barratt aimed, he said, to make his advertisements ‘telling, artistic, picturesque, attractive, pretty, amusing’ -and of course commercially successful.

Barratt joined the Pears company at the time when advertising was seen as an afterthought. Crude handbills, posters and small newspaper advertisements were the basic methods. Barrat?s sophisticated techniques opened up new horizons and he successfully pioneered saturation advertising. Pears soap was everywhere in Victorian and Edwardian times. The image would have been displayed as a poster on hoardings and on railway stations, billboards, buses, shop fronts, newspaper advertisements and leaflets. 3W. E. Gladstone, searching for a metaphor to convey a sense of vast quantity during a debate on a topic now forgotten in the House of Commons, suggested the articles in question were as numerous as the advertisements of Pears Soap, or as autumn leaves in Vallombrosa’. After the end of the campaign the image would then be redisplayed in the Pears cyclopaedia. This form of advertising saw commodity racism delivered to the masses as it had the ability to cover all class systems and introduce art and the news of the apparent colonial conquest and civilising of the natives. The working classes would have been the general audience for this type of image and product as Pears? claimed to remove the dirt associated with the working class. This was particularly predominant with the female members, hence the majority of the advertising slogans had them in mind -‘Matchless for the complexion’, ‘Good morning! Have you used Pears Soap?’ were simple and unchanging, reflecting an era of guiltlessness and security in which the good things in life might reasonably be taken for granted -at least by the more fortunate.

iBarratt evidently had philanthropic as well as commercial motives in bringing art to the public eye: the 1897 edition claimed that: ‘It is beyond controversy that, before the popular advent of Pears Annual, pictures of the refined quality of our Presentation Plates (which surpass any works of even this high” class order ever previously attempted) were unattainable by picture-lovers at anything less than a guinea a-piece.

Our ambition has been to offer an appreciative and increasing public, which has grown to expect these advantages at our hands, presentation pictures of superior quality and of artistic values, to ensure our extended popularity, and to constitute Pears Annual the foremost achievement of this kind . . . ”

His method of delivery was through Pears Annual, which was first published in 1891 continuing until 1920.

The more recent audience for this image would be collectors of nostalgia and advertising enthusiasts Barratt created the association between product and culture. It is with this form of advertising in mind that I wish to discuss the identity established through representation of cultural and national form within an image. My aim is to deconstruct the image and through the removal of its layers perform a semiotic analysis of its elements. These elements are entwined in a multitude of ways and that culture is crucial to the construction of national identity.

My choice of image for discussion is a Pears soap advertisement (Figure 1) of the late nineteenth century where an African woman attempting to bathe her child in a wooden bath on the porch of her wooden house whilst three boys peep around the side of the domicile enjoying the infant’s misfortune. Above their heads on the exterior wall of the home is the previous successful Pears advertisement, ?You Dirty Boy? campaign.

The image was created in the latter part of the nineteenth century, some time after 1878 as the inset image is from the campaign ‘You Dirty Boy’ which was based on a sculpture created in 1877 by Focardi. I cannot establish the exact designer or artist who created the main Pears? soap advertising image I am discussing, but for the time period the artists who created Pears? presentation plates included Frank Dadd, J. C. Dollman, Hugh Thompson, Will Owen (of ‘Bisto Kids’ fame), Maurice Greiffenhagen, Gordon Browne and Tom Browne. Thomas J Barratt, who is often referred to as the father of modern advertising who from 1877 had control of the family firm A & F Pears?iii had a great influence in the plight of bringing art to the masses which confirms the image is post this date.

This form of image finds itself in the genre of advertising although if the typographic elements were to be removed the image would belong within the realm of fine art and painting. The majority of Pears? soap advertisements generally started out life as paintings. The branding of the image and strap line are clearly considered and work harmoniously with the image.

My initial discussion is the image components within the implanted advertisement of the previous successful campaign ‘You Dirty Boy’, which, are not, displayed exactly the same as the original. The original image was an illustration of the statue created by Focardi (Figure 2/3), which was then transformed into a painting (Figure 4). We can see the colours of the woman?s clothing are unlike the one portrayed within the image. In this version it shows the elderly, working class woman dressed in a crisp white apron combined with a red blouse and a blue skirt. This combination of colours reflects the Union Jack communicating the national identity of Britishness, symbolising the Imperial domesticating force that was sweeping the colonies. The young street urchin child she forcefully cleans is partially clothed. He wears trousers and shoes and over them an apron. Not the pristine white the woman is clothed in, but a seemingly dirty apron. This reluctance of the child’s behaviour with regards to being washed echoes the defiance of the cleansing within the colonies. The position of this image is significantly higher than the main subject matter contained within the picture. Through this intertextuality the meaning of the image is transformed as it acts not only as the definition of superiority within the social hierarchies, acting as an example of how to behave but demonstrates that consumer culture is bound through the processes of imperialism, colonialism and whiteness associated with civilisation. The location of the image is embedded within industrial capital relations, which were defined by the imperial power relations (the uneven relationship between the imperial western civilisations and the colonies) this definition is affirmed by the use of UPPER CASE letterforms within the advertisement verifying the dominant position of Imperialism within the social hierarchies and is also reflected through the use of Title Case within the main image containing the natives.

The presence of the previous advertising campaign poster acts as a role model and dictates how the African woman should behave and shown as an image to aspire to. Although her aspirations could never be anything more than working class.

The aspirations to develop into civilised and through the dominant influence of the West, and the heavy influence of Christianity and the aim to become closer to God through the use of soap.

If “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” soap must be considered as a “Means of Grace” — and a clergyman who recommends moral things, should be willing to recommend Soap. I am told that my commendation of Pears?’ Soap some dozen years ago has assured for it a large sale in the U.S. I am willing to stand by any word in favour of it that I ever uttered. A man must be fastidious indeed who is not satisfied by it. HENRY WARD BEECHER Nov 29, 1882iv

Moving on to the main image we are presented with this display of apparent defiance from a young child whose mother is attempting to bathe him while three young boys find amusement at his misfortune. The African woman and children are presented here as degenerates and their structure portrayed as being only slightly higher than ape like.

The African woman is in brightly coloured attire along with a headscarf. Her dress, which seems traditional, mimics the clothing presented in the poster. Her feet are oversized and the presence of shoes seems incredibly masculine and western and not the typical wear for a woman who would most probably work the fields. The shoes symbolic reference denotes the confusion of cleanliness and dirtiness as in Victorian England; shoes were seen as threshold objects. This element adds to the racist and sexist, masculine portrayal of this ‘degenerate’ woman and the fact that although she has acquired some, she has not yet reached civility. The woman is portrayed in the cultural role of domesticity, as a maid-cum-housewife seen attempting to wash a child. vAlthough her presence within the image is huge her significance culturally, is the visibility of the invisible, as being female, black, working class and presented as a degenerate she is everything hidden within Victorian England. Her character reflects the imperial domestication occurring through the globalisation of the use of soap as a commodity to civilise.

The bath unlike Victorian England is outside, although the material and structure seem to reflect the Pears’ advertisement the bench that the bath is placed on seems solid but of poor construct signifying poverty.

The house appears to be constructed of quite weathered, unfinished wood. The hinge fixtures are quite rusty on the door, which gives the home the look of a stable portraying to the western civilisation the poor way the colonials live unlike the civilised homes of middle class Victorian England whose metal fixtures shone and gleamed like reflective surfaces.

The frying pan is symbolic of a mirror (McClintock, 1995) although this, still dirty and black reflecting the cultural identity, its display in full view affirms the uncivilised behaviour of the woman as in Victorian society cooking utensils and implements that were used in manual labour were never on show as dirt was seen as a scandal. Dirt was seen as an association with waste and disorder while cleanliness with rationality and industry. Inside the house there is what looks to be a nicely polished kitchen chair with carved spindles. This is clearly of better construct than the elements displayed on the porch signifying that the ‘degenerate’ has acquired some western influence within her domicile. The woman through the influence has aspirations of achieving civility through the use of Pears’ soap.

The three children who appear to be laughing at the child, who does not want to be washed, seem to be clean, dressed in smart white clothes and black shiny shoes although are seen as aged and disfigured affirming the portrayal of degeneration. Their appearance seems to be civilised and their positioning within the image defines the dominance of the Pears’ image as the increasing height of each child leads to the advertisement. The children are portrayed as being civilised and ‘domesticated’ no longer savage like animals. Alongside the three children are three chickens sitting on a fence. The hierarchy continues through the representation of the chickens’ domestication who are seen as being fenced in like prisoners. This demonstrates that alongside the domestication and civilising of the colonials they have been given the information on how to become self sufficient through the domestication of animals.

The small child, who does not want to be washed, suggests that the natives are born uncivilised and that until they are washed and clothed they will remain that way. “A person without clothes is a person without language” West African proverb.  Emergent middle class values class control cleansing the great unwashed and the imperial civilising mission “washing and clothing the savage”. (McClintock, 1995) The child?s fist represents the defiance of the colonies in the attempt of Imperial domesticity, yet we see immediately above this sign the dominant presence of Pears? soap confirming the discourses of inequality and power.

Unlike the clear control demonstrated by the working class white woman, appearing in the ‘Dirty Boy’ advertisement, the African woman does not seem to have any power, necessitating the dominance of western civilisation to aid with the domestication of the natives.

The spectator is positioned in a high point of view where they view a chronotope of global history. This is what McClintock (1995) calls ‘panoptical time’. viPanoptical time is a framework of progression evaluated by an overseer in a role of dominance. McClintock (1995) states that the panoptical stance is enjoyed by those in privileged positions in the social structure, to whom the world appears as a spectacle, stage, performance. viiThe image of global history consumed – at a glance – in a single spectacle from a point of privileged invisibility.

This portrayal of colonial life would be interpreted by Western civilisation as how the ‘degenerate’ third world live and that the civilised world was expanding through Imperial domesticity. The image communicates that the company Pears’ has reached the colonies and through the use of soap has begun to civilise the ‘degenerates’. Through the use of commodity racism the company has achieved global domination in partnership with Imperial domesticity and the civilising of the colonies.

In conclusion I feel that racism as a hegemonic ideology, expressed through the display of domesticity portrayed in the use of soap is the apparent social, national and cultural

identity of  ‘Britishness’ within the latter part of the nineteenth century, which Pears’ successfully manufactured and communicated through Imperial domesticity. Thus as domestic commodities were mass marketed through their appeal to imperial jingoism, commodity jingoism itself helped reinvent and maintain British national unity in the face of deepening Imperial competition and colonial resistance. The cult of domesticity became indispensable to the consolidation of British national identity and at the centre of the domestic cult stood the simple bar of soap. (McClintock, 1995)

Dempsey, M. Bubbles; Early Advertising Art From A.&F. Pears Ltd. Glasgow. William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1978

ii 15:32

iii (1 of 2)09/02/2006 15:32


Baldwin, Elaine et al. Introducing Cultural Studies; London; Prentice Hall Europe; 1999

vi (1 of 5)09/02/2006 15:34

vii McClintock, Anne, 1954-Imperial leather: race, gender and sexuality in the colonial contest / London ; New York : Routledge, c1995


JAY, 15


JAKE, 18



The aim of this research project is to highlight the issues surrounding homophobic bullying within schools and construct a piece of communicative media that engenders a greater awareness of this issues relating to this specific form of bullying.

There are many aspects of bullying, which have been clearly identified within this research. Bullying behaviour often goes unnoticed and can include; name calling and teasing, damage to belongings, excluding people from social activities, spreading malicious rumours, abusive phone calls, text bullying (via your mobile phone), physical bullying or threats. Verbal Physical Extortion Gesturing Exclusion These forms have a proven detrimental effect on a large percentage of children.  Bullying at its most destructive claims lives.  This is clearly unacceptable.

A broad range of both primary and secondary research has been undertaken, with specific relevance being placed on the National Curriculum, its current structure and policies with regards to educating difference and sexual awareness, bullying and homophobic bullying strategies.  Focus has also centred upon existing and contemporary bullying campaigns with regard to their nature, medium and modes of dissemination.

Aims and Objectives

  • To undertake research in to the varying forms of bulling
  • To focus this research towards the varying forms of bullying within schools
  • To undertake a broad range of both primary and secondary research regarding this topic, with specific relevance being placed upon the National Curriculum
  • To identify and discuss existing mechanisms / structures which are designed to prevent / alleviate these issues within schools
  • To investigate existing policies with regards to educating difference and sexual awareness within the National Curriculum
  • To specifically refine this research towards the issue of homophobic bullying within schools
  • To identify and discuss existing strategies and mechanisms designed to prevent / alleviate these issues
  • To utilise these findings in order to create an effective awareness campaign relating to this specific form of bullying.


The repeated intimidation of others by the real or threatened infliction of physical, verbal, written, electronically transmitted, or emotional abuse, or through attacks on the property of another. It may include, but not be limited to actions such as verbal taunts, name-calling and put downs, including ethnically-based or gender-based verbal put downs, and extortion of money or possessions.”

Bullying is a complex issue that can manifest itself in many forms. Complete agreement upon one single definition is quite difficult given the nature of the subject and the fact that, in general it is very personal experience and individual specific. This said there remains common agreement and consensus that the effects of bullying are always detrimental and that as Zimmerman et al states “is a major public health issue, the risk factors for which are poorly understood”. It is with this in mind that this research project has been undertaken in an attempt to more fully understand the potential reasons / causes of bullying in general and by doing so ultimately inform and construct an effective awareness campaign that attempts to address these inherent themes and issues.

There are numerous forms and of bullying, however the more mainstream manifestations of bullying can be described as falling into the following main categories*


In classist bullying, a person is targeted for representing a perceived class or socio-economic group. This not only impacts on the individual person, but on their families and others perceived to be from that same group.


People with Special Educational Needs or disabled people may be less able or more reluctant to articulate experiences as well as others. However, they are often at greater risk of being bullied, both directly and indirectly, and usually about their specific difficulties or disability.


In homophobic bullying, a person is targeted for being perceived as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (trans) person. People do not have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans to suffer homophobic bullying. This bullying not only impacts on the individual person, but on their families and others perceived to be from that same group. It may be based on gender stereotyping.


In racist and religious bullying, a person is targeted for being perceived as being a member of a different ethnic, cultural or religious, group. People do not have to be of that group to suffer racist and religious bullying. This bullying not only impacts on the individual person, but on their families and others perceived to be from that same or similar group. Inappropriate assumptions maybe made about some one’s religion or belief because of their ethnic origin.


In sexist bullying, a person is targeted for being perceived as being a member of a particular gender. This bullying impacts on the individual person and on all men and women.

*It is important to note that people can be assigned to a member of more than one group.


Bullying in effect is a way to cause distress and disrespect either mentally of physically through the continuous tactical use of various passive or aggressive mechanisms.  These can take the form of

PHYSICAL – hitting, kicking, pinching, sexual assault, extortion, stealing, hiding belongings;

VERBAL – name calling, mockery, insulting, making offensive remarks, sexual innuendo, threatening;

INDIRECT – spreading unpleasant stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, rumour mongering, graffiti, defacing of property, display of inappropriate material

In the report entitled “Tackling Bullying” commissioned by ChildLine, funded by the DfES in 2003 saw 1000 children in 12 schools interviewed to establish why, even though the majority of schools have anti bullying policies, children are still calling ChildLine in such vast numbers.  The views of the children and young people detailed that approximately half (51%) of all primary school children and (54%) secondary pupils believed that bullying was either a big or quite a problem. However these findings appear in stark contrast when compared to the actual percentage of children who actually admitted to having personally suffered from some form of bullying themselves within the same report. Here only (28%) of all secondary school children felt that they had directly experienced some form of bullying compared to over half (51%) of all of all primary children questioned.

On a base level these research findings appear to highlight some anomalies. Indeed they even appear to actually contradict one another somewhat. Do these findings show that bullying becomes less severe / prevalent within secondary schools or are there a large proportion (26%) of children within secondary schools suffering in silence?  This attitude from children is reinforced by quotes from adults, such as:

“Bullying is a part of child hood better get used to it”

“Teasing, name-calling, excluding from games and spreading rumours have always happened and always will.”  Anonymous parent

“When nine-year-old Sebastian Clarke came home from school saying another child kept picking on him, his mum Jackie thought he was being a bit soft. ‘My first instinct was that there was no problem, or that it was just something and nothing and he’d soon sort it out,’”

Children therefore are receiving mixed messages.  Why should they report they’re suffering if they are only to be rejected further?  This lack of support from adults only adds to their isolation and misery.  I suggest that adults in caring positions such as parents/guardians and teachers need to readdress their beliefs regarding bullying and try to remove the ideology that has been firmly entrenched that bullying is acceptable and a ‘normal’ way of life. This could be achieved through a more open based form of communication where children and young people’s views are heard rather than dismissed.

It is important then to note that children have other places to turn to anonymously, such as ChildLine.  The ChildLine service counselled 141,872 during the period April 2003 to March 2004, which is a staggering increase of 18% in comparison to the 119,746 who used the service the previous year, April 2002 to March 2003.  According to Government statistics the percentage of people under age 16 fell from “25 per cent in mid-1971 to 19 per cent in mid-2004” so this increase is even more dramatic than it seems, as the youth population is the smallest it has been.  You need to confirm this for the reader.

Summary – children calling about bullying

All figures are calculated for the period 1 April to 31 March.

Table 1

2003/04 2002/03
Age Number of children % of total Number of children % of total
11 & UNDER 8498 27 5658 26
12-15 YEARS 10361 33 6911 32
16-18 YEARS 602 2 380 2
AGE NOT GIVEN * 11616 37 8917 41
TOTAL ALL CHILDREN 31077 100 21866 100

*Many children who call ChildLine choose not to give their age. Percentages are for all

Table 2

BEENBULLIED Not at all Only once or twice Sometimes(2-3 times per month) Once perweek Several times per week
OVERALL 55.5 32.3 4.3 3.8 4.1
BOYS 56.8 30.5 4.9 4.0 3.8
GIRLS 53.9 34.3 3.7 3.6 4.5
OVERALL 73.4 23.7 1.3 1.0 0.6
BOYS 71.9 24.1 1.7 1.5 0.8
GIRLS 75.1 23.1 0.9 0.5 0.4



Bullying is a complex issue and the perpetrators who carry out this kind of attack have a varied profile as evidenced by Smith when he states that: “Children who bully others can come from any kind of family, regardless of social class or cultural background.”  There is however a general theme that continues throughout, namely that something or someone is making the bullies feel insecure and self-esteem is incredibly low.  It is understood that some bullies suffer from a lot of distress caused by grief, anxiety, or unhappiness. These bullies are most likely to use fighting, alcohol and drug abuse as mechanisms for dealing with their problems. In simplistic terms these people usually bully in order to make themselves feel better and are in need of immediate support, guidance and help.  In the “Bullying  Symptoms, Strategies and Solutions That Work.” report, ChildLine established 38% of male and 21% of female bullies had suicidal tendencies.  These percentages are evidently a reason for concern but the bullying of others is inexcusable and should clearly be prevented. At the same time we need to work with these children and young people in an attempt to address the roots of the problem as a whole.  Establishing whether they have any grievances at home or school which may be affecting them psychologically, listening to their views.

The bullies’ behaviour is usually with the intent of gaining respect.  This is usually displayed in the form of attention seeking exhibitionism in order to impress, which is at most disruptive and tends to be “defiant”, disrespectful and disapproved by others.  The bully is usually unwilling or unable to recognise and distinguish the difference between respect and fear and in their attempt to gain respect through their intimidating behaviour; they frighten their peers and disrespect their elders.  This behaviour is a form of attack whether passive or aggressive. There is a tendency and inability to accept responsibility for their actions, (although this said I am sure that this could be used across the board with regards to children’s behaviour) combined with a “lack of remorse” and empathy and the addiction to the empowerment they gain from bullying, these people in effect are a destructive force that needs to be challenged.

For some people bullying seems like normal behaviour as they have not been well informed in how to behave and it is thought that bullying takes place as a natural form within their home life.  The bully may well have suffered some form of abuse or are suffering from some form of bullying themselves within their home environment.

There are also bullies who bully through peer pressure whose behaviour is so to fit in with a larger group.  Although this is still a case for concern this type of bully feels remorse for their behaviour, therefore has a conscience and is normally willing to accept responsibility for their actions.

Another factor that could cause a person to bully is the exposure to violence either on television or through video games.  This can have a detrimental effect on a child’s personality.  Anderson states that “playing violent video games has been found to account for a 13% to 22% increase in adolescents’ violent behaviour” however the Committee on Public Education states “there has not been enough time to completely assess the influence they have on the well being of a child as they are so new.”  These games increase a child’s proclivity to violent behaviour far more than passive media such as television.  Television, although not proven to cause aggression, should be limited to only a couple of hours a day.  There needs to be a good balance of parenting, including emotional support for their children and the provision of good stimulation and physical interaction. Children who watch more than this are generally being emotionally neglected.   Browne states “Parents who don’t take a great interest in their children and what they are watching are also those parents who emotionally neglect them or physically assault them”.  These children who are neglected may tend to become more violent which may increase the factor that they go on to be bullies.  Zimmerman suggests that “maximising cognitive stimulation and limiting television watching in the early years of development might reduce children’s subsequent risk of becoming bullies.”

It is impossible then to analyse the outline of all bullies as agreement of a clear diagnosis is incomplete.  We can establish though, everybody is capable of bullying.


Like the profile for a bully, the target is very varied but again has a connecting factor, this being difference.  This statement seems ridiculous for we are all different and individual which surely should be a positive thing as

”Being different is a gift…”

These differences could be such as weight, social background, race, religion, appearance, gender, sexual orientation, Special Educational Needs or disability, to name a few.  Potential targets tend to be above average academically, high achievers, imaginative and creative.  They are usually quite passive and not as physically powerful as the bully tending to avoid conflict, having a low proclivity to violence.

Children with obvious differences aren’t the only victims of bullying. Some children are victimised because they are different in some way, but many others are bullied for no obvious reason as bullies have a tendency to be opportunistic.

Moldrich writing for ChildLine understands ”that adults tend to believe that people don’t pick on others without cause,” which suggests that it is the targets fault for being bullied, however “ChildLine found in a recent survey that none of the children who admitted to bullying singled out their own or their targets individual characteristics as an explanation.”  This last statement cannot be taken for granted as I established earlier, children who bully do not accept responsibility for their actions.  Admitting to bullying is one thing, (as they are usually proud of their actions) but admitting why, requires honesty and decency and the conscience to realise that what they have done is wrong and unacceptable.


The Crown Prosecution describes homophobia as

”A fear of or a dislike directed towards lesbian, gay or bisexual people, or a fear of or dislike directed towards their perceived lifestyle, culture or characteristics, whether or not any specific lesbian, gay or bisexual person has that lifestyle or characteristic. The dislike does not have to be so severe as hatred. It is enough that people do something or abstains from doing something because they do not like lesbian, gay or bisexual people.”

In 1967 Weinberg began calling some of his fellow clinicians homophobes. Homophobia was an expression considered to be an acceptable alternative form, developed more fully in his book, Society and the Healthy Homosexual, published 1972, to refer to the psychological, irrational fear of or a dislike directed towards lesbian, gay or bisexual people.In an interview by Raj Ayyar, George Weinberg is quoted as describing homophobia as:

“Homophobia is just that: a phobia. A morbid and irrational dread, which prompts irrational behaviour flight or the desire to destroy the stimulus for the phobia and anything reminiscent of it. Because human beings are the stimulus, a common homophobic reaction is brutality in many cases, as we all know. We also know its consequences.”

Homophobia is fuelled by the inability or unwillingness to change the hatred taught during childhood.  It is manifested through varying levels, that transfer and filter into primary school children, which creates, the fear of people who are different.  Alongside this is the promotion of homophobia by the various religious organisations that see same sex relationships as a threat to heterosexuality.  How can 6% of the population who cannot breed, and rely on heterosexuals’ procreation threaten humanity?  There is also the natural feeling of repulsion, as a heterosexual would feel with regards to engaging in sexual activity with the same gender.  Although they identify that same sex activity is not for them, some tend to generalise and generate the belief that it is wrong for everybody.  This is where people need educating about difference and clear acceptance needs to be put in place so that people may live their lives how they choose. Not only is homophobia an insidious, groundless fear of homosexuality and its perceived lifestyle but the fear that they themselves may be homosexual or have homosexual thoughts.  This behaviour is most commonly described as “homosexual panic” connecting homophobia with repressed homosexual urges. Researching homophobiaAdams et al found that homophobic men are aroused by homosexual stimuli although the results need more research as it has been found that fear can arouse a man, identifying the possibility that homophobic men are fearful of their own mind and responses thus being less adjusted to non homophobes with regards to sexual difference.

It is these attitudes that filter through society to young children, as they are intuitive and realise that there are definite negative associations with the word gay and being homosexual.  Although they have no inclination what happens sexually between same sex relationships they do understand it is not accepted and undesirable.


Homophobic bullying is a particular type of bullying which is related to a person’s sexuality or assumed sexuality.  If young people do not conform to the stereotypical image of the dominant masculine or feminine role, which brings into question their sexual identity or perceived orientation, they will be subjected to this form of abuse.

“Homophobia can be manifested on a number of levels.”


This is behaviour that establishes a climate of homophobia, even if it is not intended to do so. 

The telling of jokes featuring homosexuals

The making of unpleasant abstract remarks

The use of innuendo and mockery, e.g. “lesbian time” (for “let’s be on time”)

The casual use of terms of abuse (e.g. Homosexual, bent, fag, faggot, gay-boy, woos, homo, poof, poofter, bender, queer, lesie, lesbo, lemon, dyke….)

The teasing of an individual rightly or wrongly identified as gay in a manner that they are thought, or claim, not to care about



This is behaviour that specifically harms a specific individual or identifiable group 

the social ostracism, marginalization or rejection of individuals thought to be gay;

Gossiping or spreading rumours about someone’s sexuality

Obscene graffiti

The promotion of the idea that homosexuals are per se wicked or depraved (e.g. “god hates fags” posters)

The stipulation that some activities or benefits are only open to or appropriate for male-female or married couples



This is behaviour that proposes physical violence to a specific individual or identifiable group. 

Incitement to violence against homosexuals in general

Personally directed verbal abuse

Taunting, ridicule and mockery

The use of obscene gestures

Intimidation and threats of material abuse



This is behaviour that does material harm to some person. 

Theft of property

Damage to property

Physical assault

Sexual assault



Homophobic bullying behaviour is generally established within the first few years of primary school.  Research has shown that 82% of teachers are aware of homophobic language.  Words that call into question young persons masculinity or femininity are incredibly damaging.  The use of the word gay is common homophobic language, used frequently within the playground and seen as a general insult and form of abuse. This word, although usually misunderstood and used out of context, is a word that children recognise as a “negative adjective.” Through this misuse of the word gay, children call into question others’ sexuality thus empowering and establishing their own identity.  This is particularly common within young boys as competitive masculinity stimulates this act of aggression.  The use of this word does not necessarily mean that the person receiving the abuse is gay but that he does not appear masculine enough.  Subjects of this abuse could be academic types, who work hard in their studies.  As Epstein describes, “boys who work hard at school are often labelled as gay and this may deter them from studying and achieving their potential.”  Academically bullies tend to be below average as it is not seen to be cool to be intelligent or seemingly to have good morals, hence they resort to “deceitfulness” and manipulation in order to succeed, this is especially prevalent in males, as they tend to reject studies and opt for more masculine areas such as sports.

The word gay is sometimes used out of turn to describe something that is dysfunctional or worthless.  Children may use the word to describe an object, for example “This computer isn’t working it’s being gay.”  Clearly the computer cannot feel sexual urges and so the description is because it is being dysfunctional.

GAY, slang (chiefly U.S.). Foolish, stupid, socially inappropriate or disapproved of; ‘lame’. Oxford English Dictionary SECOND EDITION 1989

Amazingly one could speculate that it is society’s prejudiced view on homosexuality that has transformed this word into this negative adjective, as being gay is deemed socially inappropriate and undesirable. Children are generally unaware in primary school years about sexual difference and sexuality and this use of homophobic language sees prejudice firmly entrenched in these early years, as Jennett discusses, “are likely to be highly resistant to change in later life.”

This view clearly does not promote a healthy environment for a same sex attracted young person to consider disclosing their sexuality or ‘come out’.  This is very difficult for young people as all they know is who they are.

The famous 1948 Kinsey report came up with the unpopular and startling result that as many as 10% of the male population was homosexual, basing this on self reported homo-gender sexual activity. Recently the government, Department of Trade and Industry has recently released the first official figures regarding what part of the population is homosexual.  Statistics show that “just over 6%” of the United Kingdom is gay or lesbian” asTowney quotes the DTI.  This figure does not include the people who are homosexual that will not come out or disclose themselves as gay or lesbian, in fear of family or social ostracism.

Previous available data suggests that between 2-9% of young people may have had some same-sex sexual experience. The 2001 census found there was a population of 58,789,194 and around 20% of that figure are under 16.  That would suggest that there are approximately 11,757,839 children under 16.  If we then apply the 6% DTI figure we could estimate then that there are a possible 705,470 homosexual children.


‘I think it can make a difference if someone explains to bullies what effects they have on people, so they can understand the gravity of their actions. Maybe if the people who bullied me had heard that I tried to commit suicide, it would have made a difference.’

Rivers’ (1998) study of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth found that

82 per cent had experienced name-calling at school,

71 per cent had been ridiculed,

60 per cent had been hit or kicked,

59 per cent had the subject of rumours,

58 per cent had been teased,

52 per cent had been frightened by a look or stare,

49 per cent had experienced theft,

40 per cent had attempted suicide.


The rate of suicide among young lesbians, gay men and bisexual people in the UK is much higher than the average for young people andsince 1984 attempted suicide has doubled from 20% to 40% for same sex attracted pupils.  This is an appalling figure, which is in desperate need of attention. If there are a possible 705,470 homosexual children and 40% of those attempt suicide, the calculation suggests that 282,188 children have slipped through the net and not been helped by society or the education system.  There needs to be clear recognition of homosexual children in order to establish how best to tackle this issue.


What is wrong? Homophobic bullying is endemic in British schools.  Four in five secondary school teachers say they are aware of verbal homophobic bullying. One in four secondary teachers are aware of physical homophobic bullying. Just 6 per cent of British schools have fully inclusive anti-bullying policies which address homophobic bullying.

In civilised society it is thought that homosexuality is becoming more acceptable and homophobic bullying is decreasing but for young people within the school environment this may not be true as the tables below describe

Table 3

In 1984 a survey of LGB young people found that: In 1998, a GALOP survey found that:
60% had experienced verbal abuse 83% had experienced verbal abuse
20% had been beaten up. 47% had experienced physical abuse.

Table 4 Experiences of homophobic bullying.

Male (%) Female (%)
             Name-calling 85 69
             Public ridicule 75 54
             Hitting/kicking 68 31
             Rumour mongering 57 67
             Teasing 58 56
             Frightened by a look/stare 54 44
             Belongings taken 47 31
             Social isolation 24 41
             Sexual assault 13 5

Table 5 Homophobic bullying in secondary schools: where it happens.

Corridors Classrooms School grounds Changingrooms On way home Otherplaces
Name-calling ??? ??? ? ?
Teasing ?
Hitting/kicking ?? ??
Frightened by look/stare ? ?? ??? ?? ?
Rumour mongering ?? ??
Public ridicule ?? ??? ?? ? ?
Sexual assault ?
Belongings taken ? ?

??? = frequently ?? = regularly ? = sometimes

Homophobic bullying incidents are generally left unnoticed and go unchallenged due to schools’, society’s and religious movements’ denial of the existence of homosexual children and also the wide acceptance of the hegemonic masculine attitude boys display.  Such homophobic incidents may also go unreported, as a homosexual child could be embarrassed with regards to the situation and the social in-acceptance and invisibility they may feel.


”We need to work with these children and young people, not just to suspend them, Adrienne asserted. One young victim said that suspension just gave the bully time off to lie in bed and plan how to attack them at the end of the day! “

Adrienne Katz

Director of Young Voice


The government issued the “Sex and Relationship Education Guidance“ booklet that advises teachers and members of schools about structuring their policy.  This policy is required to be up to date and developed with input from parents and guardians and inclusive of all pupils.  There is the need for consultation of carers with regards to sex and relationship education, especially for primary school pupils.  Although as established earlier homophobic and sexist language is firmly entrenched in this educational environment and I feel there needs to be a firm policy addressing these factors before the hegemonic masculine, misogynist and homophobic attitudes are developed.  Also included should be how this information will be delivered allowing the parent/carer decide on the appropriateness of this subject regarding their child.  As it is not the sole responsibility of the school to educate children in this sensitive area, the school should work harmoniously with the parents.  This can be easier said than done, as many people find addressing the subject of sex and relationships difficult, not only parents but teachers as well.  Extra support maybe required in informing educators within the school especially areas regarding homosexuality and same sex relationships.  There is a particular need to address all forms of sexual behaviour as pupils whom adults think are not engaging in sexual activity, usually are and the rate of infections transmitted sexually are incredibly prevalent within young teens. Occurrence of sexually transmitted infections is continuing to rise and the incidence of HIV/AIDS infection remains unacceptably high, particularly for young men. 39%of those with AIDS in the UK are in their 20’s, most of whom will have contracted HIV in their teens.  This can only affirm the necessity for a more informative sex and relationship education.  There seems to be a great deal of concern for the emotional well being of children, yet the facts are evident that they go out and find out for themselves unknowing the consequences that occur.  I realise that some pupils will not be exercising their sexuality as early as others but nevertheless I feel there is a need to educate all pupils regardless.  If the continuation of this lack of information regarding sex and relationships, their enjoyment and hazards, the figures discussed earlier will only increase.  Schools therefore have an obligation to educate, along with carers the varying aspects regarding this sensitive area.  I have therefore isolated specific chapters within the policy document highlighting certain areas that incorporate the education of homosexual/same-sex relationships and difference.

Chapter 4 to the Sex and Relationship Education Guidance Head teachers, Teachers & School Governors Status: good practice shown below

4. This is the first time that schools have had a national framework to support work in this area. As part of sex and relationship education, pupils should be taught about the nature and importance of marriage for family life and bringing up children. But the Government recognises – as in the Home Office, Ministerial Group on the Family consultation document “Supporting Families”- that there are strong and mutually supportive relationships outside marriage. Therefore pupils should learn the significance of marriage and stable relationships as key building blocks of community and society. Care needs to be taken to ensure that there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home circumstances.


This chapter sees the recognition of same sex carers and parents as stable homes.  This along with the recent acknowledgement with regards to the civil partnership denotes this as a positive recognition.  Although this recognition does not seem to stretch to the educational environment, as established earlier in1984 60% of homosexual pupils experienced verbal abuse and 20% had been beaten up whereas, 1998, 83% had experienced verbal abuse and 47% had experienced physical abuse.  This is an enormous increase, which clearly needs rectifying.  As highlighted in Table 3 these figures are not on the decrease.

5 Pupils need also to be given accurate information and helped to develop skills to enable them to understand difference and respect themselves and others and for the purpose also of preventing and removing prejudice. Secondary pupils should learn to understand human sexuality, learn the reasons for delaying sexual activity and the benefits to be gained from such delay, and learn about obtaining appropriate advice on sexual health.

Paragraph 5 establishes the need for education with regards to human difference.  Although this is not recommended until secondary school, the removal of prejudice will become much harder.  As discussed earlier bullying and prejudice against homosexuals is firmly entrenched in primary school and prevention will be too late.  Clearly there needs to be more research into the ways of delivering the information, regarding loving, stable relationships that are outside marriage to primary children.  This information does not need to involve sex.

1.25 It is therefore important for policies to be both culturally appropriate and inclusive of all children. Primary and secondary schools should consult parents and pupils both on what is included, and on how it is delivered. For example, for some children it is not culturally appropriate to address particular issues in a mixed group. Consulting pupils and their families will help to establish what is appropriate and acceptable for them. Generally, parents appreciate support from the school, if they are consulted and involved.

There need to be clear involvement with parents and carers to ensure a positive acceptable delivery of information.  This is to account for other religious and cultural beliefs. It is necessary to respect others wishes although I do firmly believe that if consulted by a pupil information should be delivered respectfully, giving great consideration to their position.



1.30 It is up to schools to make sure that the needs of all pupils are met in their programmes. Young people, whatever their developing sexuality, need to feel that sex and relationship education is relevant to them and sensitive to their needs.  The Secretary of State for Education and Employment is clear that teachers should be able to deal honestly and sensitively with sexual orientation, answer appropriate questions and offer support. There should be no direct promotion of sexual orientation.

No direct promotion means just that.  Heterosexuality should not be promoted as better than homosexuality; this is clearly identified within this policy, as the use of copy is not directly promotional of any sexuality.  As established earlier in chapter 4 of the booklet there are recognised stable relationships outside that of heterosexuality and marriage.

1.31 Sexual orientation and what is taught in schools is an area of concern for some parents. Schools that liaise closely with parents when developing their sex and relationship education policy and programme should be able to reassure parents of the content of the programme and the context in which it will be presented.

1.32 Schools need to be able to deal with homophobic bullying. Guidance issued by the Department (Social Inclusion: Pupil Support Circular 10/99) dealt with the unacceptability of and emotional distress and harm caused by bullying in whatever form – be it racial, as a result of a pupil’s appearance, related to sexual orientation or for any other reason.

We have identified earlier that schools do not address homophobic bullying as vigilantly as they should.  The fact that 6% of schools, the same percent of the homosexual population, have a fully inclusive policy, which covers homophobic bullying is insufficient as the amount of same sex attracted youths that attempt suicide is 40%.  This figure is in desperate need of attention and we all need to realise that there are children very much in need of our help.


In the, Bullying, Don’t Suffer in Silence- an anti-bullying pack for schools, Professor Peter Smith states that:

23. Strategies for reducing such bullying include:

Including it in the school’s anti-bullying policy – so pupils know discrimination is wrong and the school will act

Covering it in INSET days on bullying in general

Guaranteeing confidentiality and appropriate advice to lesbian and gay pupils

Challenging homophobic language

Exploring issues of diversity and difference – discussing what schools and society can do to end discrimination

Exploring pupils’ understanding of their use of homophobic language – they may not understand the impact


A selection of schools have policies focussing particularly on behaviour, but because of the varying degrees of bullying and that, as established earlier is a very personal experience and individual specific, schools are therefore looking toward different approaches which include the ”No-Blame Approach, the Pikas Method, Circle Time and Peer Counselling.” 


The initial step is to interview the target, who is then asked to draw a picture or write a poem on how the bullying has made them feel and the effect it is having. The next is a group meeting incorporating a group of students including the bullies, bystanders and people who are not involved, along with a teacher.  They then discuss how the bullied target is feeling and the group then aim to find a solution through the suggestion of positive, practical problem solving solutions.

The purpose of this approach is to stop the bully from feeling threatened and that they are not being blamed for what they have done but they can be a positive part in finding the solution to the problem.  The bystanders are involved in the discussion as their lack of intervention regarding the bullying is seen as an action, which makes allowances for the bullying.

It is then each individual’s responsibility to carry out the found solution and each have a responsibility to ensure that no bullying takes place.  Thus including the bullied target in play times and ensuring future involvement.

Progress is monitored when the group next meets which is usually around a week later.  The children then discuss what they have achieved.  This is supposed to give the children a feeling of success.

If a school decides to employ this method, its approach needs to be clearly discussed with the parents/carer of the target.  It has been found that many parents seem to believe that this method lets the bully off without punishment, as usually emotions run quite high when a parent finds out their child is the target of bullying.  This said the “No Blame” approach was a resounding success in hull when it was carried out in Hull.  From the 55 cases that used this method there was an 80% success rate which seems an incredibly successful amount.


This strategy to deal with bullying is apparently quite effective.  It involves a counsellor discussing the issue with the bullying ringleader and then with his comrades before any contact has been made with the target.  This is so the target does not appear to have been naming names and placing the blame.

The discussion then sees the counsellor explaining that no blame has been placed and how the target is feeling with regard to the current situation.  The bullies are then asked how they think the situation could be improved.  If no suggestions are made then the counsellor may do so.  This method of communicating initially with the bullies prevents antagonism and the defensive behaviour a bully might feel.  Also with the removal of punishment avoids the possibilities of tension and the bully retaliating.

The next step after adequate suggestions have been made, the counsellor meets with the target and then evaluates from their point of view.  The counsellor also analyses the target ensuring that they are not provoking the situation.  If so this is acknowledged without the counsellor judging or blaming.

A series of individual meetings are held with the people involved which then leads to a whole group meeting to acknowledge that the problem has been resolved.


Circle time is used in many schools.  The structure is that the children sit in a circle and for a short period of time, play games or do something enjoyable.  After that period they are then able to discuss issues that they have as a group, which can include bullying.  This seems strange that the reward comes first but I imagine that this method eases the children into a comfortable environment so that the group can communicate efficiently.  This dynamic setting is usually coupled with the use of an object, which determines that the only person who holds it shall speak.  With the use of this implement the group cannot shout out or laugh at the person holding the object.

The teacher can use this time effectively and get to the root of issues by asking some key questions, for instance, “If anybody knows anyone who is being bullied then change places.”  The children then change places if they know of anyone.  This gives the teacher a great insight into the size of the problem.


These strategies are a combined method of communication brought together to ensure the school is a safe place and that bullying is not tolerated.  They are usually implemented in secondary schools as assurance that new pupils will feel safe.

The older pupils participating in the scheme are volunteers and are usually girls.  They undergo an intense training program for a month, learning about aspects of bullying and the effects it has on people’s lives.  These pupils are generally identified by a badge or ribbon and are there to help.  They also learn to deal with younger people who are suffering from aspects of bullying.  They do not deal with this just by themselves, as there is a strong teacher involvement as some of the possible issues that could be encountered could be aspects such as child abuse.

Alongside the support of these volunteers is a designated room for where people who have not yet made any friends, to spend time at lunch or break time, where they can interact with people like themselves and establish relationships.  Here they can use the space to play indoor games, chat and continue with their studies.  For children who are experiencing bullying or have any issues they need resolving, but wish to remain anonymous have the opportunity to air their grievances through the use of boxes situated around the school where children can post notes with their issues on.


A strategy that is becoming increasingly more popular and effective within schools is the ‘telling’ method.  If the bullied target is too afraid to report the bullying the bystanders are aware that it is their responsibility to report to a person of authority.  The bystander will not be accused of telling tales although we know that some children fear that they too will be bullied, but if the reporting continues then the bully will never get away with the crime and the school will become a safer place, although we will never actually resolve why the child bullies.


These strategies all seem very liberal in their approach and I do hope that it is because these methods have made bullying easier to report that the figures have become ever more increasingly high, even though the population of people 16 and under is far less than the last census.  I hope that bullying campaigns and strategies help to bring the numbers down.


A 60 second film is to be launched on 3 Sept by Ivan Lewis to support his zero tolerance message that all forms of bullying are unacceptable and encourages children to ‘tell someone’ if they are being bullied. We see young people in a series of everyday situations finding creative ways to share their problem with adults, including a parent, grandparents, a teacher, a lunchtime supervisor and ChildLine.

This campaign by Ivan Lewis identifies the need to tell somebody about the bullying and not to suffer in silence.  As discussed earlier there is a great deal of bullying that goes unreported, as children do not see adults as supportive figures as a huge percentage of pupils identified a great deal of risk associated with informing adults about the incidents as adults are seen as thinking that it is just part of growing up.  This campaign I feel is greatly necessary and wonderfully executed. Awareness created by this campaign identifies that the targets have supporting roles to turn to and not to be afraid of reporting the incidents. Within this campaign the children attempt to communicate with adults through various means possible.

There has also been another recent campaign involving some celebrities, such as Sharon Osbourne, Vernon Kaye and the Sugarbabes to mention a few.  This was part of the campaign, which incorporated the promotion of the blue anti bullying band.  The campaign was the delivery of a poem by the various celebrities that was courtesy of Bully Online.  For me this campaign I feel was nothing more than promotion material for the celebrities own careers.  The delivery of the poem felt false and provoked a negative response from me.  I realise that children will admire the influential people that clearly do not condone bullying, and hopefully they will take notice and not continue to bully.  Although this poem is from the eyes of the bullied, in an attempt to make the bully realise that the target is just a person like them.  We know that there are a great deal of similarities between target and bully but we also know that the majority of bullies feel no remorse for their actions. It is with this thought in mind that I continue to think that this campaign is unsuccessful in its delivery.


Rivers’ (1998) study of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth found that 82 per cent had experienced name calling at school, 71 per cent had been ridiculed, 60 per cent had been hit or kicked, 58 per cent had been teased, 59 per cent had the subject of rumours, 49 per cent had experienced theft, 52 per cent had been frightened by a look or stare, and 40 per cent had attempted suicide.”

JAKE, 18 “There was one bloke who really annoyed me. He had a funny high-pitched voice and he jumped even if you just said ‘Hello.’ We hid his stuff, pushed him out of queues, and everyone knew better than to talk to him. We just did it for a laugh. I suppose he must have hated us.” 

DARREN, 17 “I suppose I just messed around most of the time at school. I had a couple of mates and we used to make the younger kids pay us every week or we’d give them a right kicking. We must have been pretty frightening. None of that’s much good to me now.”

JAY, 15 “It got to be a habit.  I felt good seeing him cry. The others laughed and that made me feel even better. But then the teacher said that he was in the hospital because he had tried to hurt himself to get away from the bullying. It was only a bit of fun really – I didn’t mean him to take it seriously.”

I felt that there was a need to take a different point of view regarding this global problem, so my approach was to use quotes from real bullies (written above).  The delivery of these quotes would mean different things for different people, be they bullies, bystanders, targets or adults.  Although I hope that they listen to what is being said, along with the horrific statistics, described above, and acknowledge that bullying behaviour is wrong thus dis-empowering bullies.

I chose a black screen to display the statistics in white, which is very simple and effective.  This choice had to be simple, as the viewer has to concentrate on both what is being said and the information displayed.  My choice of font was, Univers Bold Extended, which I feel is incredibly effective as it’s legibility on screen is excellent.  I had attempted many other choices, which were unacceptable, such as Impact, Futura and Helvetica to name but a few.  None of these fonts displayed the horrific information with such impact, as does Univers.

The end result I feel is a hard-hitting, factual piece, which encases, cause and symptom together, effectively.


Bullying is a huge global problem to which there is no one solution.  The main problem I feel with regard to homophobic bullying is that a lot of changes need to happen within society before we can expect this to filter through to the education system.  The fact that only 6% of schools have a fully inclusive bullying policy, incorporating homophobic bullying and the current curriculum, seems to be a clear disregard for the guidelines established by the government.   It seems that schools not only deny that they have homosexual pupils but that they also deny they have any bullying at all.  There needs to be clear acceptance that homosexual children exist and are acknowledged before schools can move forward and stamp out this form of bullying.

Within British culture there is a need to censor children from sexuality, assuming that they would benefit from this.  Through this action in an attempt to preserve a child’s “innocence” they leave them ignorant to important factors such as disease, abuse and loving relationships as described earlier.  With the removal of this censorship we can hope to eliminate prejudices in the hope of making a more tolerant environment for school children to feel secure and safe.

I can only hope that bullying ceases to exist.



(2005) This Month in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 159, 313-.

COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC, E. (2001) Media Violence. Pediatrics, 108, 1222-1226.

Ayyar, R., George Weinberg: Love is Conspiratorial, Deviant & Magical[online]. (Vol. VIII Issue 167) Available from: (1 of 8)3/1/2006 3:14:45 pm

Browne, Professor Kevin. University of Birmingham. TV ‘could create child bullies’ . 15 June 2006 <>

EPSTEIN, D. D. (2000) Schooling Sexualities. London, Open University Press.

HANCOX, R. J., MILNE, B. J. & POULTON, R. (2005) Association of Television Viewing During Childhood With Poor Educational Achievement. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 159, 614-618.

Moldrich, Chrissan.  ChildLine, Bullying Factsheet Information for teachers and professionals working with young people

NANSEL, T. R. & OVERPECK, M. D. (2003) Operationally Defining “Bullying”–Reply. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 157, 1135-.

OLIVER, C. & CANDAPPA, M. (2003) Tackling Bullying: Listening to the views of children and young people. Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education.

OZMERT, E., TOYRAN, M. & YURDAKOK, K. (2002) Behavioral Correlates of Television Viewing in Primary School Children Evaluated by the Child Behavior Checklist. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 156, 910-914.

Rivers, I. (1998) cited in Mullen, Andy. (2001) Mesmac Inclusive Schools.  Bradford

Rivers, I (2000) “Social exclusion, absenteeism and sexual minority youth” in Support for Learning, 15(1),13-18 NASEN  cited in

Rivers, I. (2001), The bullying of sexual minorities at school: Its nature and long-term correlates, Educational and Child Psychology, 18 (1): 33-46.

SALUJA, G., IACHAN, R., SCHEIDT, P. C., OVERPECK, M. D., SUN, W. & GIEDD, J. N. (2004) Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Depressive Symptoms Among Young Adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 158, 760-765.

SMITH, P. P. Bullying Don’t Suffer in Silence- an anti-bullying pack for schools. Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Townley, Ben. 15 June 2006 <>

Trenchard, L. and Warren, H. (1984) ‘Something To Tell You’ – The Experiences of Young Lesbians and Young Gay Men in London, London: London Gay Teenage Group.

ZIMMERMAN, F. J., GLEW, G. M., CHRISTAKIS, D. A. & KATON, W. (2005) Early Cognitive Stimulation, Emotional Support, and Television Watching as Predictors of Subsequent Bullying Among Grade-School Children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 159, 384-388.


  1. 1
  2. 2 Oliver, C. & Candappa, M. (2003) Tackling Bullying: listening to the views of children and young people, London, DfES.
  3. 3 Channel 4, 3 minute wonder, Bully for you, 1 December 2005 09:25
  4. 4 Moldrich, Chrissan. ChildLine Bullying Factsheet Information for teachers and professionals working with young people.
  5. 5 Moorhead, Joanna. is your child being bullied? 15 June 2006 <>
  6. 615 June 2006 <>
  7. 7 <>
  8. 8 Smith, Professor Peter. Bullying Don’t Suffer in Silence- an anti-bullying pack for schools(Goldsmiths College, University of London).
  9. 9 Bullying Don’t Suffer in Silence – an anti-bullying pack for schools Professor Peter Smith  (Goldsmiths College, University of London).
  10. 10 Katz, Adrienne. Bullying  Symptoms, Strategies and Solutions That Work.  A ChildLine Conference. London,
  11. 11 “antisocial personality disorder n.”  A Dictionary of Psychology. Andrew M. Colman. Oxford University Press, 2001. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Salford University.  15 June 2006  <>
  12. 12 “oppositional defiant disorder n.”  A Dictionary of Psychology. Andrew M. Colman. Oxford University Press, 2001. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Salford University. 15 June 2006  <>
  13. 13 The Impact of Interactive Violence on Children. Hearing Before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. 106th Cong, 1st Sess (2000) (statement of Craig Anderson, Professor, Iowa State University, Department of Psychology)
  14. 14 Committee on Public Education AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS 1222 PEDIATRICS Vol. 108 No. 5 November 2001 Media Violence <>
  15. 15 Browne, Professor Kevin. University of Birmingham. TV ‘could create child bullies’ . 15 June 2006 <>
  16. 16 ZIMMERMAN, F. J., GLEW, G. M., CHRISTAKIS, D. A. & KATON, W. (2005) Early Cognitive Stimulation, Emotional Support, and Television Watching as Predictors of Subsequent Bullying Among Grade-School Children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 159, 384-388.
  17. 17 Channel 4, 3 minute wonder, Bully for you, 1 December 2005 09:25
  18. 18Moldrich, Chrissan.  ChildLine, Bullying Factsheet Information for teachers and professionals working with young people
  19. 19 <>20 Ayyar, R., George Weinberg: Love is Conspiratorial, Deviant & Magical[online]. (Vol. VIII Issue 167) Available from: (1 of 8)3/1/2006 3:14:45 pm21 <>
  20. 22 3/18/99Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal? by Henry E. Adams, Ph.D., Lester W. Wright, Jr., Ph.D. and Bethany A. Lohr, in Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 105, No. 3, pp 440-445.
  21. 23 Trenchard, I. and Warren, H. (1984) “Something to tell you.” Cited in Rivers, I (2000) “Social exclusion, absenteeism and sexual minority youth” in Support for Learning, 15(1),13-18 NASEN  cited in
  22. 25 15 June 2006<>
  23. 26 <>
  24. 27 “hegemonic masculinity”  A Dictionary of Sociology. John Scott and Gordon Marshall. Oxford University Press 2005. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Salford University.  15 June 2006  <>
  25. 28 Epstein, Dr Debbie. Section 28 makes teachers ignore bullying 7 February 2000.  15 June 2006 <>
  26. 29 “conduct disorder n.”  A Dictionary of Psychology. Andrew M. Colman. Oxford University Press, 2001. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Salford University.  15 June 2006  <>
  27. 30 Jennett, Mark. Stand up for us. Challenging homophobia in schools
  28. 31 15 June 2006<>
  29. 32 Townley, Ben. 15 June 2006<>
  30. 33 Figures for numbers of lesbian or gay young people are based on findings from the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (NATSAL) of nearly 19,000 people published in 2000. This asked respondents whether they had ‘Ever had a sexual experience with a same sex partner?’ or ‘Ever had sexual intercourse/genital contact with a same sex partner?’ – the percentages quoted here are for young people aged 16-24. Applying these figures to pupils under 16 whose sexual practices are likely to be different is problematic. However, the figure is likely to underestimate the numbers of young people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (or who think they might be) and who have not had same-sex sexual experience. For further information, see a summary of key figures from AVERT, available online at: Accessed 28 May, 2004 Homophobia, Sexual Orientation and Schools: a Review and Implications for Action Ian Warwick, Elaine Chase and Peter Aggleton Thomas Coram Research Unit Institute of Education, University of London with Sue Sanders Schools Out
  31. 34 BULLYING HOW TO BEAT IT A Child Line conference 2003confereport.pdf
  32. 35 Rivers, Ian. (1998) cited in Mullen, Andy. (2001) Mesmac Inclusive Schools.  Bradford
  33. 36 ILGA-Europe, (2000) p.17. <>
  34. 37 Bullying  Symptoms, Strategies and Solutions That Work.  A ChildLine Conference3
  35. 8 Rivers, I. (2001), The bullying of sexual minorities at school: Its nature and long-term correlates, Educational and Child Psychology, 18 (1): 33-46.
  36. 39 Bullying A Child Line conference Symptoms, strategies and solutions that work. bullyingconferencereport2001.pdf
  37. 40Sex and Relationship Education Guidance Head teachers, Teachers & School Governors Status: good practice Date of issue: July 2000 Ref: DfEE 0116/2000 <>
  38. 41 Trenchard, L. and Warren, H. (1984) ‘Something To Tell You’ – The Experiences of Young Lesbians and Young Gay Men in London, London: London Gay Teenage Group.
  39. 42 Bullying Don’t Suffer in Silence- an anti-bullying pack for schools Professor Peter Smith(Goldsmiths College, University of London).
  40. 43 15 June 2006 <>
  41. 44 Rivers, Ian. (1998) cited in Mullen, Andy. (2001) Mesmac Inclusive Schools.  Bradford


Video Art

What is Video Art?

Established in 1965, Video Art, a medium conceived by a Korean artist, namely Nam June Paik, 1 member of the Fluxus2 art movement, uses technology in an exceptionally diverse manner. In that year Sony created the Portapak, the first hand-held video camera. Paik shot his footage of Pope Paul VI’s procession through New York City from a taxi and a couple of hours later showed the first “Video Art” at Café a Go Go in Greenwich Village, hence Video Art was born. During the late 1960’s technical developments made various types of portable video equipment available to artists. Although facilitated by Japanese technology, video art was initially developed primarily by American artists within the era’s politically volatile social context. The commercial availability and portability of the early video camera facilitated the medium’s use by visual artists, including painters, sculptors, and performance artists. During the late 1960s and 1970s, video art was monitor-based and often politically charged to the point that artists formed collectives such as TVTV (Top Value Television), which infiltrated the 1972 Republican convention.

This form has seen phenomenal rise since these continuing advancements. Video Art has developed so rapidly with technological evolvement. Various artists use this mode in creating installations, performance art and videotapes for broadcast. One of the key differences between video art and theatrical cinema is that video art does not rely on many of the conventions that define theatrical cinema. Video art does not necessarily use actors, may not contain dialogue, may have no discernible narrative or plot, or adhere to any of the other comfortable conventions that construct cinema as entertainment. This distinction is important because it delineates video art not only from cinema but also from the sub-categories where those definitions may become muddy (as in the case of avant garde or short films). Perhaps the simplest, most straightforward defining distinction in this respect would then be to say that cinema’s ultimate goal is to entertain (i.e., to get someone to watch the film) whereas video art’s intentions are more varied—be they to simply explore the boundaries of the medium itself (e.g., Peter Campus, “Double Vision”) or to rigorously attack the viewer’s expectations of video as shaped by conventional cinema (e.g., Joan Jonas, “Organic Honey’s Vertical Roll”).

Some of these manners of working are a permanent issue for most artists, as the affiliation between video art and television is unclear.4 The question seems to be how to get video art out to the masses. As the German video artist Egon Bunne stated, “In modern culture, video art still has not gained the rank it deserves. Though video installations are welcome visual points of contemporary exhibitions, enriching and revaluating them upwards, video art itself is still burdened with prejudices and exposed to suspicious looks, if at all looked at.” This goes also and to a high degree for the television. Both public and private television and networks find that “video art is too extra-ordinary to find a fixed place in the program” -with a few and irregular exceptions, “but they are soon dismissed because of low numbers of viewers”.5

My preferred topic of discussion is the work of video art pioneer, Bill Viola and the sequences, Emergence and The Greeting.

Bill Viola was born January 25, 1951 in New York City. He grew up in Queens and Westbury and attended the P.S 20. Later he studied at the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the prestigious Syracuse University where he took part in an experimental program dedicated to exploring the possibilities of film making in a fine art context, graduating with a B.F.A. in 1973. During the period 1973 to 1979, Viola acquired the position as an exhibition assistant and video technician at the Syracuse’s Everson Museum, to the aforementioned Nam June Paik, Frank Gillette, a founding member of the video collective Raindance, 1969 and Peter Campus, a video artist established in 1971, on various projects. At some point in the 1970s Viola lived for 18 months in Florence, Italy, as technical director of production in one of the first video art studios in Europe, and then traveled widely to study and record traditional performing arts in the Solomon Islands, Java, Bali, and Japan. In 198081, he lived in Japan with his wife Kira Perov on a Japan/U.S. Cultural Exchange Fellowship, where he studied Buddhism with Zen Master Daien Tanaka and was artist-in-residence at Sony Corporation’s Atsugi research laboratories.7 In 1984 he was an artist-in-residence at the San Diego Zoo in California for a project on animal consciousness. Bill Viola is widely recognized as one of the leading video artists on the international scene. His work has spanned over three decades since his first original piece, Wild Horses, created in 1972. Prior, Viola was a founding member of the Synapse video group. This was a student society, which set up and administered a cable television system in 1971.8For over 30 years he has created videotapes, architectural video installations, sound environments, electronic music performances, and works for television broadcast.9 Viola’s sensual video installations—total environments, envelop the viewer through use of image and sound, employing state-of-the-art technology which are distinguished by their precision and direct simplicity. His single channel videotapes have been broadcast and presented cinematically around the world, while his writings have been published and anthologized for international readers.10

Inspirations Whilst studying Viola researched philosophical ideas, exploring Christian mysticism, Islamic Sufism and Zen Buddhism, focusing on universal human experiences—birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness.11 This continuing journey of sense perception, self-knowledge was to become the backbone of his work, using video to explore these phenomena. He has been influential in the establishment of video as a vital form of modern art, and in so doing has helped to expand its scope in terms of knowledge, content, and historical reach.

Collectors Collectors of Viola’s work include Agnes and Karlheinz Essl,12 The Silent Sea (2002) Plasma screen DVD (10:07), 71 x 41 x 6 cm, Pamela and Richard Kramlich, exuberant members of the Silicon Valley elite, who have used their fortune to create one of the world’s leading private collections of media art, a catchall term for work incorporating moving images, sound, and a variety of high and low tech presentations, The Crossing, 1996 Video/sound installation13and one of Australia’s most powerful businesswomen, owner of the Sussan Corporation, Naomi Milgrom who has an installation of Viola’s work on a plasma screen.14

Viola’s videotapes and installations have been shown widely throughout the world, in major group exhibitions at festivals and institutions including Kolnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; Documenta VI, Kassel, Germany; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; and the Venice Biennale. He has also had one-person shows at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; ARC/Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, among other institutions. Bill Viola was chosen to represent the United States at the 46th Venice Biennale, which is the oldest and most renowned international contemporary arts festival. Five video and sound installations were created specifically by Viola for the Bienniale’s United States Pavillion. He was the subject of a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Amerian Art in 1998.15 The Messenger (1996) was commissioned by the Church of England, Chaplaincy to the Arts and Recreation for the 900-year-old Durham Cathedral in Northern England.


The Greeting

Inspired by the sixteenth century mannerist, Jacopo da Pontormo’s, painting, The Visitation, dating from 1528-1529, Church of San Michele at Carmignano. The scene depicts the meeting between the pregnant Virgin Mary and Elizabeth who was also pregnant with John the Baptist. The true inspiration for this piece of art is the following passage from the Gospel according to Luke 1:39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence [is] this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed [is] she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. 46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy [is] his name. 50 And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from generation to generation. 51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He hath put down the mighty from [their] seats, and exalted them of low degree. 53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of [his] mercy; 55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. 56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house. Viola says, “This is the beginning of the project. The first part of the creative process for me is in the form of writing, with a few pictures here and there, but it’s actually words describing situations or it could be quotes from different things I’ve been reading. The Greeting was triggered directly by an encounter with a classical artist by the name of Pontormo who created a painting called The Visitation. It’s a classical theme of when Mary comes to visit her sister Elizabeth when she finds out she’s pregnant. I began to think about particularly the social aspect of the work, as opposed to the religious theme in the work, and that is the sort of greeting where two people are coming together. And then I began thinking in my own life, about meeting people. I began to think about people I’ve seen greeting. You’re at an airport. You know, those moments when you’re in an airport and you turn around and there’s two people who obviously haven’t seen each other in a while and there’s that magic of, just happens every moment in every airport in the world, people are getting on and off planes, and there’s that kind of poignancy of the good-byes, and the poignancies of the greetings happening all the time around us. I distilled from the three figures out of the painting these kind of three generic figures here, and I just literally with tracing paper began to place them in this kind of

hypothetical space. This touching point between people became the real focal point of that magic moment which all paintings suggest but can never actually reproduce because they can’t create time. They can’t embody time.” 16

Viola, through the use of video technology has effectively embodied time and brought life not only to the masterpiece but revived this biblical tale. The sequence takes place within an urban setting. The backdrop shows a collection of buildings with varying degrees of perspective disorientating the viewer. Within the back alley we see a dimly lit passage where two characters interact. Their business is unexplained and their apparent being there leaves a feeling of unease, questioning the safety of the two females. In the foreground we initially see the interaction and silent conversation between two mature females. Their dress is clearly modern-day although emulating Pontormo’s painting encapsulating the flowing fabrics portrayed in the scene. The female facing the camera head on wearing a clearly contemporary outfit together with black leather shoulder bag and court shoes has a solemn look about her. Her attempts to engage with the Elizabeth figure in a tactile manner seem in vain as any approach of contact is declined by Elizabeth, clearly making this character feel uncomfortable. We see the agitation of this character through the subconscious hand gestures that clearly show the discomfort felt. The Elizabeth figure seen here does not appear to be with child. As the story goes Elizabeth should be approximately six months pregnant and entering her third trimester17 . The flowing clothes are possibly hiding her position although we are unable to tell.

The wind, clearly symbolising the Holy Spirit, increases in its velocity and with this disturbance the two characters are interrupted by a third, being that of the Virgin Mary. The Mary character wears a bright orange dress combined with a shoulder bag of which we are ignorant to its contents. Surprisingly Viola has replaced the muted blue colour of her attire in the Visitation, with which we would normally identify Mary, with the contemporary bright orange dress. Here we can see that Mary is heavily pregnant, more obviously than that of Elizabeth. Mary at this point would be around three months pregnant18 . With this entrance we see the dynamic shift between the characters and how the solemn character in muted blue has evidently been left out of the greeting. She clearly does not know the new addition to the conversation and seemingly been outcast. Here Viola has created an awkward situation by replacing the original tableaux of four females with that of three, creating the age-old adage “two’s company and three’s a crowd”. Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, depicted by the wind blowing through her clothes, greets Mary with open arms and we see the joyous expression on both their faces and experience the silent communication of their knowing each other’s predicament. The Mary character saying, “Can you help me”, breaks this silence?19 It is with this  question that Mary is seeking guidance from Elizabeth with regards to the experiences of being pregnant.20 Although we are inconclusive of whether the Elizabeth character can offer this advice, as it is unclear that she is with child even though the initial biblical passage confirms this we know that Viola’s intention was not to reenact the biblical story or restage Pontormo’s classical image. This entrance combined with the rude whispering increasingly adds to the third characters anxiety and feeling of unpleasantness. We see between the main characters and witness the expression of the character in blue’s sheer paranoia and worry from the exclusion. This thought provoking sequence helps the viewer to


relate on varying degrees the effects of all parties involved. Although the Mary character is not talking about the lady in blue, one can have compassion for the excluded character and with this realisation, take this on board and avoid the future implementation of these actions and performing in this way. Through the communication of this piece of video art one can contemplate their communicative abilities within society, questioning their own social skills. Mary steps back from Elizabeth and surprisingly Elizabeth then places her hand on the lady in blue’s back and brings her into the conversation.

She then introduces Mary to whom the focus shifts. They exchange pleasantries and the character in blue offers Mary her right hand to shake. Mary declines

stroking her pregnant bump. We see again the discomfort felt by the character who’s friendly approach has been refused. This is depicted again by the agitation of her hands and her clasping of her arm and fidgeting with her bag, not knowing what to do about the situation. Her body language suggests her insecurity and the not knowing of how to behave in this situation. Should she stay where she is not wanted? It is surprising that Viola portrays the Blessed Virgin Mary in this light. Is one to believe that Mary, the mother of our Lord was quite ignorant and she was above interaction, or should we surmise that Mary felt awkward being introduced to an already established conversation, not knowing the discomfort the lady in blue was already feeling? We can only speculate, as the outcome is unclear. The scene is ambiguous and purposely confuses the viewer. The main characters within the scene both wear sandals reminiscent of biblical times where as the third character wears more modern shoes with a heel. This difference in the footwear also seems to separate her from the protagonists, making her look even more out of place than she obviously feels. Through Viola’s thoughts of his own life, greetings he has experienced and of others he has witnessed, he has created a basis for bringing Pontormo’s masterpiece to life. Imagining the joy that Mary and Elizabeth experienced and the awkwardness of the third character with which most all of us can identify draws the audience further in to the sequence. One, feeling all the emotion evoked by the piece, and the great sentiment of affinity with this identification. Viola in effect is trying to educate society, creating an awareness of intrinsic social patterns. As each social greeting requires an awareness of all parties involved




Visual Analysis

Viola says that ‘Emergence’ began with a passing idea for a piece called ‘Woman Supporting Slumping Man’. Later, leafing through a book on the early Renaissance Italian

artists Masaccio and Masolino, he came upon a colour plate of Masolino’s fresco showing the corpse of the dead Christ in his tomb, supported by his mother Mary and John the Evangelist. 21 ‘I sketched it and put it away, ‘ he says. ‘I’m not interested in restaging historical paintings. ‘ Still later, an image occurred to him of two women pulling a dead man out of a well, and he looked back to Masolino’s composition. But since he wanted to embody the idea of birth, he began to imagine that as the body came out of the well, an unexplained surge of water would accompany it. 22 Emergence, shot on 35mm film and done in slow motion, colour high-definition video, rear projected on a screen which is mounted on a wall in dark room, 78’ by 78’23 is a piece inspired by the fresco painting of the Pietà, held at the Museo della Collegiata di Sant’ Andrea, Empoli, Italy, by the fifteenth century Italian artist Tomaso di Cristofano, also known as Masolino. This representation of Christ half-length in the sarcophagus, being supported either side by his mother and Saint John the Evangelist, suggests the biblical miracle of the Resurrection.24 Although Viola understands this to be the Deposition, this interpretation gives Emergence a base for its vagueness and ambiguity leaving the viewer open to arrive at his or her own decision. While Viola has no apparent desire to recreate or mimic classical paintings it seems the similarities between fifteenth-century Italian artist Masolino’s,

Pietá and Viola’s setting are uncanny. The positions of the actors within the Emergence scene seem to ‘reflect’ the Pietá, mirroring the position of the characters within a more contemporary setting.


Whilst researching the inspiration for Emergence I found that 25Violas picture of the Pietá is

flipped in comparison to the image I have retrieved. In effect Viola has not mirrored the image but seemingly reproduced the position of the characters according to his version. This is difficult however, to determine which is correct without seeing the actual source. The confusion seems to continue as within the book Bill Viola: The Passions26, the image is the same as the one I found not like the one seen within Viola’s note book in the film Excerpt from Bill Viola and Emergence by award-winning filmmaker Mark


Kidel. 27 Continuing the research into this anomaly, contact was made with The National Gallery, London, with hope that they could clarify the position of the characters. Chris Morton, Information Officer for the gallery states that, ‘The original painting features the Virgin to the viewers left as reflects her importance’. This importance is that the “right hand” is the place of honor28 (1Kng.2:19; Matt.20:21-23; cf. Matt.25:33-34; 26:64) With this feature now made clear it seems that Viola’s replication of the Pietá’s character positions are true to its source, although the Virgin Mary figure is that of an older woman, a young woman has replaced the Saint John the Evangelist figure. Even though the backdrop of Emergence is seemingly similar to that of the Pietá, and does evoke the feeling of a fifteenth century fresco it however would seem more at home within the confines of a shopping centre, baby portrait stall, with a sheepskin rug in the foreground.

Viola says. ‘What I saw in my mind was this man rising up out of the water, young man, and as he’s rising out the water overflowing over the top of this cistern, well or whatever and he comes out and there’s two women either side of him who are shocked and surprised and emotionally overcome with the appearance of this young man. So if I look at this from the point of view of our contemporary eye it’s the aftermath of a drowning its two women pulling a limp lifeless figure out of water if I look at it from the inner, with the inner eye what I see is a birth of water overflowing and a young man who’s practically naked being taken out by women almost in the function of midwives of bringing a being into the world so and I don’t want to specify that image and lock it in for me images have their life because their un-tethered and free flowing and that’s what I want them to be so I’ve probably said too much already29.’

With this quote in mind, the symbolic reference of

the two women seems to represent the Blessed

Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene as read in The

Holman Christian Standard Bible Mathew 27:61

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were seated

there, facing the tomb. While the two women are not facing the ‘tomb’ this beginning sequence does reflect the biblical reference as either side of the focal point, be it a wellhead, altar, column, tomb or monument, shown here in still frame 1 sits the two women. Each woman is looking in the opposite direction of the other. There seems to be no real relationship between them, implying distance. The wellhead is the only thing connecting them yet separating them at the same time. The divide that this causes emulates the possible relationship of wife and mother in law. The individual grief they seem to be suffering is representative of their connected loss of a loved one and their inability to console one another.

This distance is interrupted by the rising of a pale, meagre, naked man from the wellhead along with the unexpected gush of overflowing water, shown in still two. This symbolism emulates the breaking of a woman’s waters prior to the birth, corroborating Viola’s reference to midwifery and their participation within the labour of childbirth. The younger character is first to respond to the male’s presence, just as Mary Magdalene was the first to witness the Resurrection. She tentatively touches the wellhead whilst the young man begins his ascent. The older female has not yet received his presence although her attention has been drawn more to the opposite side to which she was looking previous. There is still no connection between the female characters and though the Christ like figure emerging from the well has the full attention of the younger female he does not acknowledge her. The young man’s eyes are closed constantly during the sequence as if he sees all without their use. One is lead to believe his focus is beyond the set and the viewer cannot participate visually with the man so the vagueness continues as the audience are left to make up their own minds regarding what the figure sees with his ‘inner eye’. This lack of clothing suggests his vulnerability, whilst the whiteness of his skin evokes not only the texture of a drowned corpse but also the purity of innocence and ignorance as with a newborn child. The younger female is the first to attend the young male while the mother figure seems to have an expression of disbelief. Each woman shows a different reaction to the man emerging from the ‘well’.

The young male pays no attention to either female while he rises. As seen in still three, this image seems to emulate the real inspiration for the whole sequence. Here we see a more intimate nature of involvement between the younger female and the emerged male. Although Viola, declaring earlier has no desire to recreate historic images, this part of the sequence quite clearly interprets the Pietá. The biblical references are somewhat clear that this is more than just a birth or a drowning. What intrigues me more is, does Viola’s research into Christian mysticism infer that Jesus and Saint John’s association was intimate? The character substitution of Mary by an older female signifying the mother figure and that of Saint John by a younger female whose individual behaviour within the scene seems of an intimate, sexual nature provokes thoughts of the possibilities of a homosexual relationship between Jesus and Saint John. It is said in the bible that John was the man that Jesus loved The Holman Christian Standard Bible John 20:2 and is thought that John was abeautiful effeminate man. One wonders that the replacement of the male figure that kisses Christ in an adoring, loving way has been replaced as not to alienate ‘people’ from the piece of work as we live within a heterosexist society. The Holman Christian Standard Bible Mark 1:9 Saint John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus, who baptised him into the faith. The unexpected gush of water could also represent this event where Christ emerges from the sea. The bible also claims that all life comes from water. Genesis: 1-31 which confirms Viola’s idea for birth from the gush of water as described earlier with the reference of waters breaking. There is the possibility that this character re-representation of Saint John could be Mary Magdalene with whom Jesus was possibly intimate. Channel Four The Real Da Vinci Code 5 February. Mary Magdalene is regarded as the wife of the historic Jesus who, as the Koran says, did not die on the cross and who came to France to live out His life with Mary and His children by Mary.30

Keeping the video art within a ‘normal setting’ makes the scene more acceptable within society. As who is to say that a male cannot deliver a child, referring to Viola’s reference of midwifery? In a contemporary setting of the twenty first century shouldn’t a man be shown as a bringer of life? Seeing that man plays a significant role in creating it. The Christ like figure’s focus is toward the heavens, as if he is ‘looking’ at God until his frail body cannot support him anymore. He collapses into the arms of the older woman whilst the younger

supports his legs as seen in still four. Here the females have joined forces collaborating in the aid of this apparent feeble man, although their centre of attention is only on the male, they knowingly cooperate while still ignoring each other. This limp lifeless body, which seems dead, although in Viola’s inner eye has just been born, evokes the feeling of a stillbirth. The ambiguity continues and the thought provoking sequence continues.

They remove the Christ like figure from the sepulchre and place him on the ground. Whilst doing this we see the male is not dead as he attempts to support himself by the use of his leg. This detracts from the supposed helplessness of the man and in my opinion also from the art. This is only shown within rehearsal as seen on the Bill Viola and Emergence video and the final sequence shown has had this part edited out so I am unaware whether the young male actually places his foot on the ground.

The older female pays no attention to the male’s indecency or natural state. The young female immediately covers the male as if to shield him from prying eyes, covering his modesty, seen here in still five. This sequence is reminiscent of when the shroud was placed over Jesus in the tomb. Although the Christ like figure is obviously not dead as the younger female only covers half his body, not all of it as one would do with a corpse, clarifying Viola’s ambiguity within this sequence, questioning again whether this is the Deposition or the Resurrection. This part of the sequence evokes the Lamentation. Amazingly the shroud is perfectly dry as it is strategically produced from a leather bag from the side of the wellhead.

Still frame six sees the mother figure gazing at her ‘child’ lovingly, nursing him whilst his head rests on her lap.

Her stroking of his head emulates the motion of a mother nursing her baby. This behaviour is joined by the somewhat sexual nature of the young female who seductively leans over the marble like figure with a longing expression. Her fixed gaze seems unreciprocated as the male is transfixed by the mother figure, although he mimics the caress of the older female by stroking the younger females head. The two women are still distant and no interaction has happened between them other than their cooperation whilst they lifted the man from the well. This separation is multiplied by the obvious difference in their roles. The positions of the characters are on different levels creating an equilateral triangle with the position of their heads indicating the holy trinity. The mother figure elevated above the others symbolising her importance of bringing the male into the world. Although the male is lower than the younger female, his importance is reflected by both females transfixed stares and the fact that she is slightly higher than him her position above his torso makes her appearance seem lower, as if she is insignificant to the family. This insignificance sees the young female take on the role of a handmaiden epitomising again the possible sexual relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. ‘And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.’ Acts 2:1831And the companion of [the Savior is] Mary Magdalene. The [Savior] loved her more than all his disciples, and frequently kissed her on the mouth. The rest of [the disciples] [got close to her to ask]. They told him: “Why do you love her more than all of us?” The Savior responded and

said: “Why do I not love you as I love her?” (Gospel of Philip 63-64). During this whole sequence of incredible video art, one not only recognizes Viola’s initial idea of combining a literal drowning with a lateral birth but also seemingly has experienced some of the most profound moments within Jesus’ life. It is obvious that Viola’s research into Christian mysticism and Islamic Sufism has had a dramatic impact on his work and the fact that even with all the biblical references has given this piece of work a great contemporary feel without imposing his own beliefs.


Although Viola is adamant that he is not interested in restaging and recreating works of art, thou dost protest too much, as the comparisons between them are uncanny. His video art sequences described earlier are clear representations of the poignant masterpieces in which the characters can be clearly identified. In effect he is creating digital paintings, bringing the works of art to life and capturing through the use of time the emotion and feeling evoked in the originals. This seems as if he is filling in the gaps, dictating what happens before and after the actual inspiration. However with the original paintings, you can explore the hidden meanings and emotions, on a more personal intimate level. This is not to say Viola’s work is not powerful, and thought provoking, it stimulated this dissertation. His technical ability, casting of characters, creation of stage sets, beautiful colour and composition is amazing, although I cannot help but think that this recreation of old masters approach seems slightly indolent and clearly not his original idea. Viola does however; through his contemporary, poetic license relate his chosen classic themes to modern day life, effectively helping the viewer to identify the subject matter with great reflection. This method of restoration does have its positive side. It has made the video art medium a more accessible genre, as appreciators of classic art, who would not necessarily recognize the value of this art form, may find themselves with a feeling of great affinity. On the other hand it seems Viola has stopped pushing boundaries unlike technology and settled for an easy life.


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 5 Egon Bunne: “Videokunst zwichen Warenhaus und Television/Video Art Between Department Store and Television”, Catalogue of European Media Art Festival 1993, Osnabrück 1993, p. 307ff cited in (5 of 6)14/11/2004 8:02:23 pm

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22 Excerpt from Bill Viola and Emergence by award-winning filmmaker Mark Kidel

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25 Excerpt from Bill Viola and Emergence by award-winning filmmaker Mark Kidel

26 Walsh, John (ed.) (2003). Bill Viola: The Passions. Los Angeles: Getty Publications ISBN 0-89236

27 Excerpt from Bill Viola and Emergence by award-winning filmmaker Mark Kidel

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29 Excerpt from Bill Viola and Emergence by award-winning filmmaker Mark Kidel


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