The rapid growth of the internet and social media has provided a new platform for bullying, although traditional forms continue to exist. Cyber-bullying is the term used to describe any aggressive, intentional act, behaviour or communication undertaken an individual or group, using electronic and digital means against a vulnerable victim, repeatedly and over time.
The impact of bullying has been the subject of extensive research over many years in all countries. Bullying occurs throughout the world and can occur at many life stages, from childhood to adolescence and adulthood, in private, educational and work settings. Bullying is a distinctive pattern of harm and humiliation of others, especially seen as smaller, weaker, younger or in any way more vulnerable than the bully.
The report produced is the result of the Research and Analysis of School Needs conducted by Universal Learning Systems during the first year of the project and forms the first stage of the Intellectual Output 1 of APPs project. The report summarizes key factors involved and provides a comparative analysis based on research undertaken in four countries (Spain, Italy, Poland and Romania) and in seven schools.
In addition, the paper identifies innovative learning strategies, digital resources and detailed findings from surveys of teachers, students and parents that offer techniques and actions for educational establishments to ameliorate this phenomenon. This is designed to identify and pinpoint critical issues involved in developing evidence-based responses to cyber-bullying in European schools and it represents the an analytical framework that will be used in the development of the Vertical Learning Modules (VLM).