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Scope

Discuss about the Creating Safe space Classroom bullying.

Background

Creating safe spaces in classroom has emerged as a challenging task to all the teachers and the administrations across the globe because some students are there who love bullying the others (Brookfield, 2015). This may be because of various reasons such as racism, family background and many more.

In the chosen video i.e. Summer Heights High - Jonah Episode 1, Jonah is a type of student who loves bullying the others, disturbing the classroom with some unaccepted behaviours. The teachers have no clues on what to do to make Jonah disciplined. The video is chosen to describe some of the reasons that are creating an unsafe space in and around the classroom.

This assignment tries to understand an unsafe classroom environment and some of the possible reasons for this with the help of a chosen video i.e. Summer Heights High - Jonah Episode 1. The aim is to convey a message that a safe space in a classroom is required to construct a great learning environment.

The Jonah Episode 1 of Summer Heights High is a part of Australian Television Series, which was first aired on 5th September 2007. It has few important characters in it and the most important character of all is of Jonah, which plays an important role in creating an unsafe environment in the classroom (Hopkins, 2013). Moreover, the unacceptable behaviour of Jonah with some students such as Ben and disturbing activities in the classroom have all collectively created an unsafe environment in and around the classroom. Further, Jonah does not want to realize that his activities are actually damaging the environment of the classroom. He rather finds himself perfect and tries to find out problems in others. The main highlights of the episode 1 are the complicated activities of Jonah with some of the students especially with Ben and the English teacher Sarah Wheatley. Jonah just thrown away his bags and bullied him physically only because Ben has red hairs and has come from some different countries. Moreover, Jonah just insulted his English teacher in front of all the students for no valid reasons.

Safe space refers to an environment, which bears a healthy life for all its members irrespective of its kinds (Hermann-Wilmarth & Ryan, 2013). A safe space in a classroom is of utmost importance for a school and student across the globe as it prepares way for a supportive learning environment in the classroom. Moreover, a supportive learning environment in the classroom is a valuable asset for a student’s career (Jeong & Lee, 2013). The Jonah’s character in the chosen video is a very complicated one as it does not where to go and what to do. Jonah is a confused character, which only satisfies its soul by doing some unacceptable activities that might even disturb others. The student welfare member Mr. Doug Peterson in this video tries to explain him the wrong perspectives of bullying. Mr. Peterson explains that Jonah does possess some irresistible tensions that are compelling him for these kinds of activities. Moreover, Jonah did lose his mother in his early age. According to Mr. Peterson, Jonah is physically different to others of his age. However, a proper support from his family members might help Jonah in overcoming the ongoing problem in him (Thompson & & Smith, 2012).

Aim

Cultural intelligence can be defined as an individual’s capability to maintain a peaceful practice at the workplace or the classroom environment with people of different cultures (Booker, 2016). Moreover, it lets the individual adjust with various kinds of cultural peoples from irrespective parts of world. Cultural self-awareness can be referred to a knowledge, which helps in understanding the level of awareness in a person towards the different cultural values (Adeyemo, 2012). Cultural intelligence and cultural self-awareness have a very strong relationship with the safe space in the classroom. The unsafe environment depicted in the video indicates towards an unawareness quality of Jonah to the different cultural values. Moreover, if Jonah were full of all the cultural self-awareness and the skills of cultural intelligence, he would have never bullied Ben by throwing his bags. Jonah believes that whatever he wish to do is correct, no matter what consequence his action can produce to others. In the chosen video clip, the student welfare member Mr. Peterson says that the main problem behind Jonah’s activities is hard to explain (Lilley, 2017). However, it might be because that he lost his mother at his early ages, which might have hampered the proper nurturing of Jonah. Moreover, Jonah is physically underdeveloped, which might have also compelled him in behaving this way. Further, the cultural self-awareness and the cultural intelligence play a very significant role in adjusting with the diverse kinds of cultural people. Nevertheless, the family background is the primary learning centre for an individual, which helps in developing a required level of self cultural-awareness and the cultural intelligence in him or her (Booker, 2016).

Scene Number/ Time frame

Physical Factors: Size and layout of space Proximity and position other

Communication factors: Body language, Voice Words

Signs of Inclusion or Exclusion

Display or lack of cultural intelligence

1- 0:23 Seconds to 0:31 Seconds

Throwing of school bag of Ben by Jonah

Casual body language of Jonah and his two other friends Leon & Joseph with undisciplined loud voice

Sign of exclusion to create a safe space can be disciplined behaviours of Jonah and his two other friends in front of Mr. Peterson who is a member of student welfare

Saying sorry to Ben in an impolite manner by Jonah

2- 2:42 Minutes to 4:01 Minutes

Making fun of English teacher,  Sarah Wheatley

Disrespectful manner of Jonah where he insults his English teacher for wrong things

Sign of exclusion can be the sitting of Jonah at the back seat that was placed behind the class

Jonah did not show respect to his English teacher and blame her for wrong reasons

3- 4:21 Minutes to 4:38 Minutes

Cheating others assignment

Jonah did not do any work on his assignment and simply called Stuart the last night before the submission to know the content of his assignment

Sign of inclusion can be the awareness of other students towards the behaviour of Jonah

Jonah just cheated the other’s assignment

Source: (Created by author)

Some important theoretical perspectives such as the safe space, cultural self-awareness and cultural intelligence are very helpful in analysing the movie depicted in the chosen video i.e. Summer Heights High - Jonah Episode 1 (Richardson, 2012). The picture that is depicted in the episode represents an unsafe environment of a school. However, some scenes are also there, which are producing a safe space in the school. The one moment, which is the most effective, is the interaction of Mr. Peterson with the Jonah and his friends. That particular interaction between the member of student welfare and the Jonah tries to show the importance of a safe space in a school environment (Tucker, 2012). Moreover, Mr. Peterson tries to help Jonah in realizing his mistakes, which are damaging the classroom environment in particular. Moreover, all the teachers are tired of Jonah who has already been expelled from two other previous schools. Further, Jonah is a complicated character, which is not suitable for any classroom environment. The character of Jonah is not safe for any school environment as diverse cultural participation in a school is common. The hatred feelings of Jonah towards other cultures have compelled him in bullying Ben by throwing his bags (Campano & Edmiston, 2015).

Summary of Video Clip

Further, the comment from the English teacher, Sarah Wheatley about the destructive nature of Jonah is also supporting the fact that there are numerous unsafe spaces in the classroom as depicted in the movie. Jonah disturbs other student’s learning by doing some unaccepted non-sense things such as making fun of the English teacher by saying that the teacher has farted. However, Jonah feels that teachers only blame him for sits, which is not acceptable from his point of view. The film mostly constructs an unsafe space in the classroom, which is evident through various scenes in the film (Fisher, Frey, & Pumpian, 2012). The scenes when Jonah blames his English teacher for farting and when Stuart blames Jonah for cheating his assignment on some topic do well illustrate the unsafe environment in the classroom created by Jonah. Teachers in the depicted movie are fully scared of Jonah’s behaviours, as Jonah never hesitates in insulting his teachers. Jonah always believes that he is right, as it is evident in the scene when Mr. Peterson asks Jonah to say sorry to Ben for bullying him but Jonah does not. Moreover, Jonah was not at all polite at the time when he was saying sorry to Ben for his bullying activities.

The one point of recommendation is to arrange a meeting in between the principle and the Jonah’s guardians regarding the unsafe activities that Jonah is producing in the classroom. Discussing the major ailments in Jonah’s activities should be a part of that meeting. Moreover, Jonah’s unusual activities in the school need to be highlighted to his guardians to generate a sense of realization in them towards Jonah’s career (Baglieri & Shapiro, 2012). Mr. Peterson, the welfare member of students could not bring any changes in Jonah’s behaviour. Therefore, it then becomes a necessity to acknowledge the guardians about Jonah’s activities. Moreover, Jonah’s guardians need to take care of all his activities as students spend their maximum time at their homes. Nevertheless, family background is the primary learning centre, which contributes in the development of a social awareness in a student’s character. The major problem highlighted in the movie was the missing of cultural intelligence and the cultural self-awareness in the Jonah’s character. Cultural intelligence and cultural self-awareness are the two most important part of a student, which helps them in adjusting with diverse culture of students in schools (Baglieri & Shapiro, 2012).  

Summary of Literature

Conclusion

The assignment covers a brief discussion on the safe space of a classroom with the help of a video clip such as Summer Heights High - Jonah Episode 1. The video shows the other part of a safe space, which is about the disturbing nature of Jonah in his school. The disturbing nature of Jonah has created a destructive image of him in the school. Moreover, Jonah is happy in disturbing others and in doing so, he sometimes tend to forget the respect level that complies with the teachers. The moment where he does not say sorry to Ben in a polite manner and the moment where he insults his English teacher Sarah Wheatley for wrong reasons clearly indicate the disturbing nature of Jonah in this video. However, there are not any identified solutions for his unacceptable behaviours but the family background is the one way, which could have produced some effective remedy against such behaviours.

Adeyemo, S. A. (2012). The relationship between effective classroom management and students’ academic achievement. European Journal of Educational Studies. 367-381.[Accessedat:https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/32963797

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Baglieri, S., & Shapiro, A. (2012). Disability studies and the inclusive classroom: Critical practices for creating least restrictive attitudes. Routledge. [Accessed at: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=tkaC2eYg-eUC&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=creating+safe+space+in+classroom&ots=R1zgXhHUZP&sig=mxzBDq1bY2x6RCNJA4PCo57h_T8#v=onepage&q&f=false]

Booker, K. (2016). Connection and Commitment: How Sense of Belonging and Classroom Community Influence Degree Persistence for African American Undergraduate Women. Executive Editor. 218-229. [Accessed at: https://www.isetl.org/ijtlhe/pdf/IJTLHE28(2).pdf#page=77]

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The skillful teacher: On technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. John Wiley & Sons. [Accessed at: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=gAhhBgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA192&dq=creating+safe+space+in+classroom&ots=BoYvOtYp6S&sig=yj9If_RDY1TfkwTwa06p0aPd89Y#v=onepage&q&f=false]

Campano, G., & Edmiston, B. (2015). Literacy tools in the classroom: Teaching through critical inquiry, grades 5-12. Teachers College Press. [Accessed at: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=jnK0SesoRlEC&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=creating+safe+space+in+classroom&ots=MzVP-nYtGK&sig=pOYcsFMAuvAiahPHnngpIBzjiJI#v=onepage&q&f=false]

Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Pumpian, I. (2012). How to create a culture of achievement in your school and classroom. ASCD. [Accessed at: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=LCvrv2ggn2QC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=creating+safe+space+in+classroom&ots=wyDId9LBf5&sig=Tm9DvWEJqmIl1oKa2v6MBNQ-NV0#v=onepage&q&f=false]

Hermann-Wilmarth, J., & Ryan, C. (2013). Interrupting the single story: LGBT issues in the language arts classroom. Language Arts. 226-231. [Accessed at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/34481727/LA0903Conversation.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1486813597&Signature=C6WRg4nyEZafbx6AFLnFK%2FztQJI%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DInterrupting_the_Single_Story_LGBT_Issue.pdf]

Hopkins, D. (2013). Creating the Conditions for Classroom Improvement: A handbook of staff development activities. Routledge. [Accessed at: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1ZrHBQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT6&dq=creating+safe+space+in+classroom&ots=nezYybdc1N&sig=LJZkzNRg9eR7bOTkz1yAQCikVGk#v=onepage&q&f=false]

Jeong, S., & Lee, B. H. ( 2013). A multilevel examination of peer victimization and bullying preventions in schools. Journal of criminology. [Accessed at: file:///C:/Users/asus%20user/Downloads/735397.pdf]

Lilley, C. (2017). Summer Heights High - Jonah Episode 1. [image]. [Accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5eZ3zJVjg8]

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Richardson, G. R. (2012). Creating a Space to Grow: the process of developing your outdoor learning environment. Routledge. [Accessed at: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=8O3rYO1it4QC&oi=fnd&pg=PR3&dq=creating+safe+space+in+classroom&ots=rSkbtZmpI0&sig=15IHlhpdW0QGdlSEQ7jykeGGyNU#v=onepage&q&f=false]

Thompson, F., & & Smith, P. K. (2012). Anti-bullying strategies in schools: what is done and what works. British Journal of Educational Psychology. 154-173. [Accessed at: https://www.bullyingandcyber.net/media/cms_page_media/55/Thompson-Smith2.pdf]

Tucker, C. R. (2012). Blended learning in grades 4–12: Leveraging the power of technology to create student-centered classrooms. . Corwin Press. [Accessed at: https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=GmvIn8qBwssC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=creating+safe+space+in+classroom&ots=t86wIdcdjK&

sig=5wUHZymMTLz7ovQcmQ_FLKw4jLo#v=onepage&q=creating%20safe%20space%20in%20classroom&f=false]

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