Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Christie McClendon

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Educational Psychology; Education, Guidance and Counseling; Education, Secondary; Education, Technology

Keywords

cyberbullying, digital immigrant, digitally wise, digital native, middle school, Prensky

Disciplines

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Educational Sociology | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology | Student Counseling and Personnel Services | Teacher Education and Professional Development

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the perceptions of middle school, technologically proficient, or digitally-wise teachers, regarding how they defined, prevented, recognized, and handled incidences of cyberbullying in four middle schools located in Southern Virginia. Data was collected using an open-ended questionnaire, archival data, including school public records and lesson plans, and interviews. Data for this study were triangulated and synthesized following Stake's data analysis procedures to create naturalistic generalizations for the readers. All data was coded and 10 emergent themes developed. Digitally-wise middle school teachers voiced confidence about their ability to define cyberbullying; they shared that they utilized multiple strategies to prevent cyberbullying, and they relied on their students' self-reporting to recognize cyberbullying cases, yet voiced that they were unsure of the exact prevalence of cases in their school environment. The participants shared that when handling cyberbullying they relied on their past experiences, felt empowered by Hilltop County rules, but would like further training on how to effectively handle cyberbullying. Implications of the study were to provide cyberbullying faculty training, conduct a school-wide survey to further explore stakeholder knowledge of cyberbullying, and provide an online method for teachers to have access to cyberbullying school data and resources.