A Transcendental Phenomenological Study Describing the Perceptions of Barbadian Teachers on Secondary School Violence
Document Type Article
The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe and give meaning to teachers’ perceptions of secondary school (U.S. sixth through 12th grade) violence in Barbados, West Indies through their lived experiences. In this study school violence was defined as (a) individual victimization experiences (Furlong, Chung, Bates & Morrison, 1995), (b) gang activities and weapon possession (Kingerly, Puritt, & Heuberger, 1985), (c) illegal substance abuse (Furlong, Casas, Corral, Chung, & Bates, 1997), (d) bullying (Morrison, 2009), and (e) conflict and crisis management (Nickerson & Brock, 2011, Gorton & Alston, 2009). The central research question was: How do first through fifth year (U.S. sixth through 12th grade) teachers in four different government-owned schools in Barbados describe their experiences with school violence, school climate, and school safety? The theory guiding this study was Urie Bronfenbrenner’s (1977) ecological systems theory as it explained the multilayered and multifaceted phenomenon of school violence. A total of 16 participants were selected using the criterion sampling (Creswell, 2013). Documentation, individual interviews, and focus groups were used as data collection tools (Patton, 1990). A combination of Moustakas (1994) and Saldana (2013) data analysis methods were employed in this research study. A total of ten sub-themes were identified in this study. Five sub-themes that describe how teacher participants in four different government-owned schools in Barbados described school climate and school safety; three sub-themes described what ecological factors teacher participants perceived needed to be developed, to help improve the school climate and create safer school environments, and two sub-themes revealed what ecological factors were developed, to help reduce school with a view of improving school safety.