School Violence: Perceptions of Guyanese High School Students

By Hazel Elizabeth Simpson.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Both media reports and surveys done in developed and developing countries point to the fact that violence in the wider society is increasingly permeating the walls of what was once considered safe schools. Although much has been reported in the media about violence in Guyanese schools, there appears to be few published studies which address this issue. This survey aimed to address this deficiency. A sample of 200 Guyanese high school students aged 13 – 18 years, completed a written questionnaire to indicate their perceptions of the nature of school violence and their experiences with the phenomenon. The survey found that rural and urban high school students had similar perceptions of the kinds of violence that occurred in school. Fighting and verbal abuse of students were perceived as the most prevalent kinds of school violence. The weapons most often used by students were knives/blades, pieces of wood/planks, and bottles. Urban students were more prone to use knives/blades than their rural counterparts. Male students were perceived to be both the perpetrators and victims of school violence by a majority of the students. Both rural and students indicated that the three most popular places where school violence occurred are the classroom, streets and playground. Results also show that more urban than rural students had experienced some kind of violence at school. The analysis allowed a comparison of percentages in terms of school types, that is, rural and urban schools. Some of the implications of these findings for the management of school violence are considered.

Keywords: School Violence, Perceptions, Rural, Urban, High School Students

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp.79-90. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.195MB).

Hazel Elizabeth Simpson

Lecturer in Curriculum Development and Social Studies, School of Education and Humanities, University of Guyana, Greater Georgetown, Demerara, Guyana

I have been a teacher/educator for over twenty years. I worked for a number of years as a high school teacher before becoming a Teacher Trainer. My main responsibility now is training elementary and high school teachers in Social Studies and Curriculum Development at the Unnversity of Guyana. I am also an Examiner for the National Grade 9 Social Studies Examination for the Ministry of Education, Guyana. I have also worked on the revision of Social Studies syllabi for the Ministry of Education and the Teachers’ Training College, Guyana. My research interests lie in the areas of Social Studies Education, policy and practice and social issues affecting education in Guyana.

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