SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.38 suppl.1Victims' experiences of learner challenging behaviour in primary schools in Phoenix, South AfricaAdolescent girls' behavioural characteristics and their vulnerability to bullying in Manzini high schools author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100


SMIT, Brigitte. Understanding bullying relationally. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2018, vol.38, suppl.1, pp.s1-s8. ISSN 2076-3433.

In this article, bullying in South African schools is conceptualised regarding both the phenomenon and the leadership style using a relational framework. An instrumental case study nested in social constructivism was applied. I employed semi-structured interviews, including some open-ended questionnaires, based on the same interview questions. Research participants were sampled purposively, after selecting a few schools that were part of a larger research project investigating bullying with the aim of countering this problem. To this end, I sourced data from 12 principals in these schools to inquire into their leadership style, and the possible ways in which a relational stance might assist in combatting this social and educational dilemma in schools. Empirical data revealed that in many cases where the school principals honed values such as care and relational attributes in their daily leadership practices, learners were more likely to respond to the relational and caring practices that they witnessed and experienced. A relational leadership style could assist in countering bullying, setting caring and supportive examples for both teachers and learners, adding much worth to a favourable educational landscape.

Keywords : bullying; educational leadership; ethics of care; instrumental case study; relational leadership.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License