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Bystander in the classroom? The role of feeling-of-being-concerned in the perception of the possibility to help unruly behaving pupils and its relation with social cognitive flexibility

ContributorsMechi, Aneta
Published inProblems of Education in the 21st Century, vol. 62, p. 62-73
Publication date2014
Abstract

With the aim of dealing with educational cross-domain problems that are likely to appear in each course regardless of the teaching domain, the teachers can either take the initiative to help or they can choose not to intervene. Despite the helpful recommendations to make all pupils participate (UNESCO) or no child left behind (NCLB in the United States), most teachers are unaware of their differential helping behavior when they are faced with an ambiguous or problematic educational situation. In line with the bystander effect literature and stereotype content model, the mechanism that underlies the decision of not helping is identified as the feeling that drives an individual to get into the given situation: the feeling of being concerned (FBC). FBC is supposed to redirect individuals away from hasty, biased conclusions and lead them to some distance from any information (i.e., social cognitive flexibility). It is hypothesized that the more one feels concerned by the situation, the more distance he or she tends to take based on the available information. In a current online survey, the participating teachers in training first gave their opinions about the proposed statements (i.e., the social cognitive flexibility measures), then they read one standardized scenario of the educational situation, and finally they responded to questions related to the perceived possibility of helping the pupils in the scenario. The quantitative results (according to ANOVA) show that the teachers with a high FBC report a higher perceived possibility to help and show a higher level of social cognitive flexibility compared to those with a low FBC. These results are supported by significant correlations and are discussed in terms of their implications for the teachers' practice.

Keywords
  • Bystander Effect
  • Feeling-of-being-concerned
  • Helping Behavior
  • Unruly behavior
Citation (ISO format)
MECHI, Aneta. Bystander in the classroom? The role of feeling-of-being-concerned in the perception of the possibility to help unruly behaving pupils and its relation with social cognitive flexibility. In: Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 2014, vol. 62, p. 62–73.
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Article (Published version)
Identifiers
  • PID : unige:125261
ISSN of the journal1822-7864
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