Societies2015, 5(2), 256-276; doi:10.3390/soc5020256 (registering DOI) - published 27 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Although principals are ultimately held accountable to student learning in their buildings, the most consistent research results have suggested that their impact on student achievement is largely indirect. Leithwood, Patten, and Jantzi proposed four paths through which this indirect influence would flow, and the purpose of this special issue is to examine in greater depth these mediating variables. Among mediating variables, we assert that trust is key. In this paper, we explore the evidence that points to the role that faculty trust in the principal plays in student learning and how principals can cultivate trust by attending to the five facets of trust, as well as the correlates of trust that mediate student learning, including academic press, collective teacher efficacy, and teacher professionalism. We argue that trust plays a role in each of the four paths identified by Leithwood, Patten, and Jantzi. Finally, we explore possible new directions for future research.
Societies2015, 5(2), 245-255; doi:10.3390/soc5020245 (registering DOI) - published 27 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Due to the ongoing debate regarding the definitions and measurement of cyberbullying, the present article critically appraises the existing literature and offers direction regarding the question of how best to conceptualise peer-to-peer abuse in a cyber context. Variations across definitions are problematic as it has been argued that inconsistencies with regard to definitions result in researchers examining different phenomena, whilst the absence of an agreed conceptualisation of the behaviour(s) involved hinders the development of reliable and valid measures. Existing definitions of cyberbullying often incorporate the criteria of traditional bullying such as intent to harm, repetition, and imbalance of power. However, due to the unique nature of cyber-based communication, it can be difficult to identify such criteria in relation to cyber-based abuse. Thus, for these reasons cyberbullying may not be the most appropriate term. Rather than attempting to “shoe-horn” this abusive behaviour into the preconceived conceptual framework that provides an understanding of traditional bullying, it is timely to take an alternative approach. We argue that it is now time to turn our attention to the broader issue of cyber aggression, rather than persist with the narrow focus that is cyberbullying.
Societies2015, 5(1), 220-244; doi:10.3390/soc5010220 - published 23 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: While there exists considerable protest against the use of animals in experimentation, less protest is voiced against the use of knowledge gained from animal experimentation. Pulling from arguments against the use of Nazi data, I suggest that using knowledge gained from animal experimentation both disrespects animal victims and sustains the practice. It is thus pro tanto morally wrong.
Societies2015, 5(1), 187-219; doi:10.3390/soc5010187 - published 19 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Whereas cross-sectional research has shown that transformational leadership, task interdependence, and self-efficacy are positively related to teachers’ engagement in reflective learning activities, the causal direction of these relations needs further inquiry. At the same time, individual teacher learning might play a mutual role in strengthening school-level capacity for sustained improvement. Building on previous research, this longitudinal study therefore examines how transformational leadership, task interdependence, self-efficacy, and teachers’ engagement in self-reflection mutually affect each other over time. Questionnaire data gathered on three measurement occasions from 655 Dutch Vocational Education and Training teachers was analyzed using a multivariate Latent Difference Score model. Results indicate that self-reflection and task interdependence reciprocally influence each other’s change. A considerate and stimulating transformational leader was found to contribute to this process. Change in self-efficacy was influenced by self-reflection, indicating that learning leads to competency beliefs. Together, the findings point to the important role transformational leadership practices play in facilitating teamwork, and sustaining teachers’ levels of learning in schools.
Societies2015, 5(1), 171-186; doi:10.3390/soc5010171 - published 18 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Using a subsample of the 2009 National Crime Victimization Survey, School Crime Supplement (NCVS-SCS), the present study explores the nature of the relationship between cyberbullying and traditional bullying victimization among students aged 12–18. One question of particular interest in the recent cyberbullying literature regards the classification of cyberbullying relative to traditional school yard bullying. As is the case in the cyber victimization literature in general, the question has become whether cyberbullying is an extension of traditional bullying or whether it is a unique independent phenomenon. Using the available data we attempt to address this question by exploring cyberbullying victimization as a standalone construct. Results of exploratory factor analyses suggest that cyberbullying victimization is both interlaced with traditional bullying modalities, and experienced as a unique phenomenon. Our results contribute a 21st century texture and dimension to the traditional construct.
Societies2015, 5(1), 151-170; doi:10.3390/soc5010151 - published 16 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The transition to adulthood is a developmental period marked by increased stress, especially among African Americans. In addition to stress related to emerging adulthood, neighborhood fear may contribute to depressive symptoms for African Americans. We examined gender differences in longitudinal associations between changes in perceived neighborhood fear, parental support, and depressive symptoms among African American youth who were in transition to adulthood. Five hundred and thirteen African American youths (235 males and 278 females) were included in the study. An increase in perceived neighborhood fear was associated with an increase in depressive symptoms, and change in perceived maternal support was predictive of depressive symptoms among males, but not females. The findings suggest that policies and programs should help parents provide support to young adult children who live in violent neighborhoods as a strategy to prevent depressive symptoms during emerging adulthood.