Blog Post #5, School Bullying

Bullying in schools has become a complicated international phenomenon. Whether schools are elementary or secondary, small or large, same-sex or mixed-sex, bullying behavior has spread and presents a threat to the well-being of students and the health of schools in countries around the world (Kennedy et al., 2012).

What is bullying?

Researchers of student bullying have recognized this behavior as a violation of other students’ rights (Olweus, 2011). Bullying is defined as the “tendency for some children to frequently oppress, harass or intimidate other children, verbally, physically or both in and out of school” (Alika, 2012, p. 523). Bullying is also described as the repeated exposure of one student to negative actions on the part of one or more other students (Olweus, 2003). These negative actions are intentionally inflicted and can consist of physical abuse that causes physical discomfort or injury and/or verbal abuse that causes feelings of inferiority or mental anguish. One student or group of students can initiate the bullying of another student or group of students, either physically or verbally or both, in order to cause unwarranted distress (Olweus, 2003). According to Olweus (2003), boys tend to use direct bullying more than girls while girls tend to practice indirect bullying more than boys. In general, bullying has been increasingly considered to be a subset of direct or indirect violence (Strohmeier & Noam, 2012).

Consequence of bullying:

Bullying has negative impact on the bullied or victimized. Studies show that bullied students have low academic achievement, self-esteem, self-confidence, numerous health problems, and high anxiety. Unfortunately, bullying also has led to a rise in suicides among elementary and secondary school students and some students more likely to drop out of school than their peers who are not subjected to any form of bullying (Alika, 2012). When a student is persistently exposed to bullying, he or she was more likely to suffer from a severe and long-term impact that sometimes lasted for years after school (Olweus, 2003). In fact, bullying has been used as predictor of later criminality (Olweus, 2011).

Reasons behind bullying:

To understand the bullying behavior, we have to understand why the students do bully others? Prejudice is one of the top reasons behind the bullying. Students bully other students for being different in some way for their color, race, religion, culture, abilities and disabilities, height, weight, or sexual orientation. This type of bullying is reflected to prejudices that students learn from their family and social community about the value of diversity in the community especially because these students (kids or young people) find it hard to understand the diversity of others and can only see it as a difference which can lead to prejudice bullying.

According to National Center for Educational Statistics (2016), more than one out of every five (20.8%) students report being bullied. The following table shows the number and percentage distribution of students ages 12 through 18 who reported being bullied at school: school year 2024-2015.

33% of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the school year (NCES, 2016). The following figure shows the percentage reporting various frequency of bullying among students ages 12-18 during the school year 2015.

The role of educators for preventing bullying:

So, how educators interact with this major concern and what their roles in protecting students from bullying in schools!! There are lots of people can help stop bullying such as teachers, school counselor, school principal, school superintendent and state department of education. I agree all these people can make efforts to combat and prevent bullying in schools I think more emphasis should be put on the role of teachers because they are in the frontline of observing student behavior. It seems reasonable to assume that when teachers notice bullying, they are more likely to intervene and stop this behavior. Teachers daily contact with students and are at the forefront of ensuring a safe learning environment, including protecting students from bullying and reporting bullying problems to administrators. Thus, teachers should to be trained about what bullying is, what the school’s rules are, and how to deal with bullying. For example, teachers can support a victim and a bully. For the victim, show her or him that the care and they have a friend. In the same time teachers can advise the bully that he or she is wrong without getting involved in an argument. Actually, the interaction will be based on the bullying situation.

Whitted and Dupper (2005) provided a guideline for teachers to prevent bullying:

  • Regular classroom meetings are held to discuss bullying.
  • Students are involved in developing rules against bullying.
  • The concept of bullying is integrated into curriculum.
  • All school personnel model positive interpersonal skills and cooperative learning and do not set a bad example by exhibiting dominating or authoritarian behavior with students.
  • Teachers encourage the reporting of bullying incidents and consistently follow school bullying policies.
  • Teachers respond swiftly and consistently and are sympathetic to students who need support.
  • Teachers encourage students to include all students in play and activities.
  • Teachers send clear messages that bullying is not tolerated.
  • Consistent enforcement of nonpunitive, graduated consequences for bullying behaviors are used.
  • Corporal punishment is avoided.
  • Parents are encouraged to contact the school if they suspect their child is involved in bullying.

Thank you!!


Alika, H. I. (2012). Bullying as a correlate of dropout from school among adolescents in Delta State: Implication for counselling. Education, 132(3), 523– 532.

Kennedy, T. D., Russom, A. G., Kevorkian, M. M. (2012). Teacher and administrator perceptions of bullying in schools. International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, 7(5), 1–12.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016.U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from

Olweus, D. (2003). A profile of bullying at school. Educational Leadership, 60(6), 12–17.

Olweus, D. (2011). Bullying at school and later criminality: Findings from three Swedish

community samples of males. Criminal Behaviour & Mental Health, 21(2), 151–156.

Strohmeier, D. & Noam, G. G. (2012). Bullying in schools: What is the problem, and how can educators solve it? New Directions for Youth Development, 2012 (133), 7–13.

Whitted, K. S., & Dupper, D. R. (2005). Best practices for preventing or reducing bullying in schools. Children & Schools, 27(3), 167–175.

Blog Post #4: The gap in women’s leadership positions is still exist!!

In my previous blog post, I discussed the pay gap as one of inequality issues between women and men that refers to the difference in wages and salaries between them. In this post I discuss women positions in higher education. White women and women of color in higher education experience discrimination across multiple dimensions, and it is well documented that academia itself is gendered (Morton, 2018). For example, according to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (2020), women’s salaries are lower at all ranks and in all types of institutions. Women are also much less likely to be tenured (Morton, 2018) or promoted. Also, women are less likely to be full professors (NCES, 2020).

Although there has been a slight change in the number of women in leadership positions, still the growth towards equity is slow. It is believed that the presence of females in higher education positions can have extreme impact on the institution and the scope of knowledge.

First of all, according to NCES, women earn more degrees than men. For the year of 2016–2017, women earned more than half of bachelor’s degrees (57.3%), master’s degrees (59.4%), and doctorate degrees (53.3%). While women have earned more degrees than men, they are less likely to hold high-ranking academic positions.

According to NCES, in 2017, the 1.5 million faculty in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, 53% were full time and 47 % were part time. Faculty include professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, lecturers, assisting professors, adjunct professors, and interim professors. 41% were White males; 35% were White females; 6% were Asian/Pacific Islander males; 5% were Asian/Pacific Islander females; and 3% each were Black males, Black females, Hispanic males, and Hispanic females. Those who were American Indian/Alaska Native and those who were of Two or more races each made up 1% or less of full-time faculty. (see the figure below)


Also, 30% of college presidents are women while about 56.5% of college students in the U.S. are women (Samsel, 2017).

In 2018, according to Department of Education (2018), the percentage of female Full Professors represented 27% of white women, 3% Asian/Pacific Islander women, 2% black women, 1% Latinas, and less than 1% of full professors reported more than one race. Also, the percentage of female Assistant Professor represented 38% white women, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander women, 4% black women, 3% Latinas, and again, less than 1% of Assistant Professors claimed more than one race (Department of Education, 2018).

Even though, the percentages of female in different positions in 2018 has been increased, women are less than men to achieve tenure among tenured faculty at four-year institutions, women held just 22.7% non-tenure-track positions, compared to 17.3% of men faculty.

It is clear that women are more likely to be in lower-ranking academic positions especially women of color and women from different races are more underrepresented in academia. The numbers mentioned above are sufficient indicators of lack of diversity among women and men which means that white women and women of color struggle to attain the tenured and the rank of full professor. I was surprised for the low involvement of women in color in higher academic administration, despite the ever-growing number of students of color. Consequently, not considering the issue of inequality can indicate that there is less opportunity for women to pursue these positions and thus discourage them from making an impact.

I found a research article that exploring the issue indicated inequality in higher education leadership positions among different genders. The article written by Blithe and Elliott (2019). The authors aimed in their study to examine gender inequality in the academy and women experiences in workplace. This study draws on stress process theory to identify stressors and supports for academic women. Through analysis of focus group data, the results revealed that women in academia continue to experience extreme workplace hostilities micro-aggressions, work- life conflict and that these stressors vary by rank. Also, they found low levels of institutional support. So, they also discussed some strategies from the participants of successful supports that may improve equity in the higher education. The study concluded with a discussion of how higher education institutions can implement some approaches for white women and women of color by reducing existing stressors and increasing supports for them. According to Blithe and Elliott (2019), the suggested strategies include research about gender inequality, (2) mentoring, (3) communication, (4) training, (5) research support, (6) university policies, and (7) hiring.

(1) The research: some topics could be discussed in future research such as observing faculty meetings, productivity, teaching loads, research support funds, letters for annual evaluations and promotion, and teaching evaluations.

(2) mentoring: forming a ‘Women’s Faculty Network’ that can connect women to mentors.

(3) communication: if a university creates the Women’s Faculty Network, it could be included a social media and newsletter that could promote, spotlight faculty, announce awards, publications, etc.

(4) training: training programs related to Safe Zone or Ally training for LBTQI+ faculty, creating male advocates, and to learn about gendered communication.

(5) research support: such as support for conferences, especially for mothers taking children to conferences, specific grants and awards for gender research.

(6) university policies: included leaves of absence, same sex partner benefits, work-life policies (like flex time), wellness policies for disabilities, face time expectations.

(7) hiring: targeted hires of women at higher ranks.

Actually, I certainly think these strategies are very helpful. Something came to mind when I read this article related to finding balance between work and family. While there is no lack of enthusiasm and efforts from female faculty to perform in academia, some of these women may get demotivated and discouraged because of the rigorous requirements to perform especially with tenure position. Also, insufficient maternity leaves, no considerations for female employees with children, and unsupportive environments may lead them to not take up such academic positions from the start. Thus, I think providing support to a diverse workforce will ensure retention of diverse faculty members. I hope would be that higher education institutions would provide equitable resources for recruiting, hiring and retaining diverse faculty members.

Thank you!!


Morton, S. (2018). Understanding gendered negotiations in the academic dual-career hiring process. Sociological Perspectives, 61(5), 748-765.

Blithe, S.J. & Elliott, M. (2019). Gender inequality in the academy: Micro-aggressions, work-life conflict, and academic rank. Journal of Gender Studies, 1-14.

Blog Post #3, Our History is Our Strength!!

Since we are in March. I would like to talk about The National Women’s History Month. March is women’s history month in the United States, UK, and Australia! It is a time to celebrate the women’s contributions that they have made to the history and the barriers they have had to succeed in dealing with. For many years, women’s history was forgotten and ignored as unimportant achievements, but the effort has been sought to close this gap and more concentration paid on women’s issues.

In the late 1970, academics and scholars lead a revolution for the acknowledgement women’s work throughout the country’s history. Actually, the celebration began with a single day and it has been changed over time. Local groups and municipalities began celebrating a women’s history week and the movement was so popular for a decade (Willingham, 2020).

In 1980, president Jimmy Carter determined the first official national women’s history week, beginning on March 8 of that year (Willingham, 2020). Schools, universities and local governments have started celebrating the achievements of women during this week and educating people about women’s history.

With more equality and opportunities for women, the Congress declared a women’s history week became a month. March 1987 was the first official Women’s History Month.

Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional decisions authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month

Since 1995, each president has issued an annual announcement determining the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

Consequently, women’s history month has been celebrated for the entire month of March to pay attention to the role women that have had during the country’s history.

Every year the National Women’s History Alliance selects and publishes one theme. The theme for this year is “Valiant Women of the Vote.”  The theme honors “the brave women who fought to win suffrage rights for women, and for the women who continue to fight for the voting rights of others.”Susan Scanlan and the History of Women’s History Month

Recently, there are many important organizations come together to celebrate and sponsor activities and resources for the commemoration of Women’s History month during March each year including The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (The Library of Congress, 2020).

Actually, I appreciate the idea of this celebration to make people more aware of issues that have faced women particularly gender issues and gender equality, but I’m wondering what have been done to change some of these issues? Even though there is an entire month to honor women contributions in American history, there is underrepresentation of women in STEM subjects, leadership careers, and wage gap between men and women!!

For example, there are still some issues with gender inequality in STEM fields. According to a nationally representative Pew Research Center survey, the majority of STEM women have experienced gender discrimination at work. Although women operate the half of jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25% of STEM jobs. The percentage of female faculty in STEM majors is on average 16.9% which is extremely less compared to male counterparts, however, this difference is less in non-STEM majors (Roy, 2019). Even though females might encounter some challenges including finding a balance between their work and family, which makes it more difficult for them to achieve some positions, I believe that women have different perspectives and experiences compared to their male counterparts, so they can target issues that might not attract a male’s attention.

In this respect, I would like to mention some examples of the first women in STEM fields.

Mary G. Ross (1908- 2008): was the first native American mechanical engineer. She was a founding member of Lockheed secret Advanced Development Program. At Lockheed, Ross designed rockets and ballistic missiles, developed systems for human space flight and interplanetary missions to Mars and Venus, etc. After retiring, she had a second career as an advocate for women and Native Americans in engineering and mathematics. To honor her contributions to the space program, the United States Mint included a design featuring Mary G. Ross to be on the US 2019 one-dollar coin.

Flossie Wong-Staal (1947- present) is a Chinese-American virologist and molecular biologist. She is one of the world’s foremost authorities in the field of virology. She and her team made a breakthrough, the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Wong-Staal was the first scientist to clone HIV and determine the work of its genes as an essential stage in proving that HIV is a cause of AIDS. For her participations to science, the Institute for Scientific Information ranked Wong-Staal the top woman scientist of the 1980s. Also, she was ranked as one of “Top 100 Living Geniuses.” in 2007.

Patricia Bath (1942- 2019) is African American ophthalmologist and laser scientist. She is the first black women to chair an ophthalmology residency program in the U.S. and the first African American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. She invented Laserphaco for the laser cataract surgery in 1986. Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness to “protect, preserve, and restore the gift of sight” for all people in spite of race, gender, age, or socioeconomic status. Her “personal best moment” according to her happened when she restored the sight of a woman in South Africa who had been blind for 30 years.

I think U.S. and other countries need to give women the opportunities for get advantages of brainpower and innovation of all people. Removing barriers to women’s participation and success in STEM fields will benefit the whole nation.

Finally, a quotation by First Lady Michelle Obama is “If we’re going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, we’ve got to open doors for everyone. We need all hands on deck, and that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.” (Michelle Obama, 2011).

Happy National Month Ladies!


Roy, J. (2019) Engineering by the numbers. American Society for Engineering Education. Retrieved from


Blog Post #2 Gender Pay Gap

Despite there have been a long way to address inequality between men and women, it still persists today. Pay gap is one of these inequality issues between women and men that refers to the difference in wages and salaries between them. The gender pay gap demonstrate how unfair access to opportunities maintains disparity between the genders, women earn less money than men. A well-known example of discrimination in pay between genders is Lilly Ledbetter, who had worked in at the Goodyear plant in Gadsden for almost 20 years. Ledbetter experienced sexual harassment at her work and her boss told her that he didn’t think a woman should be working in the factory. In the same time, her coworkers had bragged about their overtime pay even though it was not allowed for them to show off their pay. So, she did not know and did not receive the same payments likes other her male counterparts until a colleague left her “an anonymous note”, disclosed she has been making thousands of dollars less than three men in the same position. Ms. Ledbetter was complaining to be the subject of discrimination and her case went to trial. After that, the jury decided to give her back-pay and roughly $3.3 million in compensatory and punitive damages for pay discrimination. Less than two years after the Ledbetter decision both the House and Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. The Act was the first piece of legislation signed by US President Barack Obama.

Payscale shows in its 2019 report on the state of the pay gap. The report is exploring issues indicated a pay gap in different positions among different genders. Even though, the difference between the earnings of women and men has decreased, considerable disparity between the earnings still remains. Based on the findings of this report, the median salary for men is about 21% higher than the median salary for women. According to the report, with controlled gender pay gap which takes the ratio of median earnings of all women to all men, women and men who have the same employment characteristics doing the similar jobs, the women earn $0.98 for every dollar earned by an equivalent man which is still there is a different. With uncontrolled gender pay gap, the report states that women still make only $0.79 for every dollar men’s counterpart make.

In general, keep in mind the data shows the uncontrolled gender pay gap does not take into account important reasons that may affect pay levels. Example of these reasons maternity leave, years of experience, job title, location, education levels of employees, etc.

Also, the report discusses other issues related to racial wage gap, women of color, women with advanced degrees. According to the report, women are not one homogenous group. There are women of color and women of different races. They face more challenges in getting fair pay and advancing in the workplace compared to white women. White women on average make more than black women and Hispanic women that suffer wider pay gaps who have started their jobs in lower paying positions.

Also, according to data from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that women constitute the larger number of occupations in workforce such as healthcare, personal care & service, education, training, office & administrative support, and community & social services. On the other hand, the large majority of men occupied careers such as construction, installation and maintenance, architecture & engineering, computer science and transportation. However, there are a persistent difference pay gap between them in many areas.

The report concluded that despite employers try to advocate a meritocracy, the pay decisions making do not take into a consideration a merit-based culture. The employers do not appreciate education/degrees equally between men and women and that discrepancy in pay is clear even with controlling other compensable factors.

It’s not just paying that is unequal, it’s also the type of position that women have. According to Seltzer (2017) in her report (80 Cents on the Dollar), the percentage of women holding the leadership positions much less than men particularly in higher education and they also are paid less. The report shows that women are paid less in 12 executive positions and that in half of those positions, the difference is more than 10%.

In fact, the Payscale report (2019) mentioned that female workers are less commonly tend to hold high-level, high-paying jobs than men. There are some structural barriers that prevent female workers from growth in the workplace this is known as opportunity gap.

In conclusion, it is a sad reality that even with changing times, women remain behind in salary. I think gender discrimination or gender stereotypes about women’s abilities has still played a significant role in having this disparity. Consequentially, the gender pay gap has become another reason that hinders women from pursuing certain majors and positions. Even though some institutions have already taken steps in reducing gender wage gap, this will take a great amount of time to reform the system and there are certain institutions have not made any progress and there is still more work to be done.

In my opinion if women have higher positions this will increase the women power and authority to address the problem since as a mentioned above some women tend to choose to go into lower paying careers (for example, going into nursing instead of surgery, going into social science fields instead of tech and engineering which are male dominated). The problem will be solved when women go to study majors that lead to high-paying career.

Also, women should have enough skill to negotiate their salaries. They lack important skills to advocate for themselves when it is a time to negotiate about increase salaries.

Finally, women can discuss with employers about public policy such as The Paycheck Fairness Act that is a policy seeks to more effective reform to injured party of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes. This policy protects women workers when asking about wage and salary.



Before coming to the United States, I had no idea what diversity means. In my country, most students in educational setting are Saudi and we are all Muslim and female students (gender separation) based on religious and cultural norms of kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since, I’ve started my program, I’ve had experience with diverse students. I realize this is a new diversity space I have never imagined. I usually think about how we can define the diversity. I know the diversity refers to many variables. As we know about the diversity iceberg last class, some of these variables are visible, such as gender, color, and race; less visible such as age, socioeconomic class; invisible such as, religion, sexual orientation, life experience, education and skills. In the same time, diversity has many benefits to provide for educational setting, such as exchanging the cultures, ideas, opinions and thoughts even learning new languages among students, faculty, etc.
However, if I want to think about diversity in higher education institutions, I find it is hot topic and the universities with diversity in students, instructors, and stuff means they are welcoming everyone who wants to apply. I think to increase any university’s quality, diversity should be one of university mission and goals. However, enhancing diversity with universities is more complex. In any diversity space, there are a multitude of different perspectives from different backgrounds and universities with different perspectives should be taken into consideration different challenges to promote diversity in order to have better global community.
Educators who are working to enhance diversity should understand different points of view among students, faculty, and staff. I have read an article written by Manning, its title is “Philosophical Underpinnings of Student Affairs Work on Difference”, the author argued understanding multiple perspectives on the meaning of difference and the concept of diversity assists educators in their work. Manning confirmed all educators have a perspective on diversity articulated or not that supports their work. She outlined seven philosophical positions that inform university educators’ beliefs about diversity. These are political correctness, historical analysis, color-blind, diversity, cultural pluralism, anti-oppression, and social justice.
For example, diversity concentrates on structural diversity or numerical representations of groups on campus. Color-blind perspective believes in equality and does not see ethnic and racial differences and considerate them as invisible or irrelevant. Political correctness concentrates on using the correct language “talking the talk without walking the walk”. Cultural pluralism has two different meaning: assimilation or acculturation. Assimilation occurs when one culture is forced to adopt the ways of the dominant culture while acculturation involves blending cultures by choice.
Thus, according to Manning (2009), recognizing where they stand in this matrix allows educators to work more effectively with students, faculty, and staff about the complex issue of difference. I think each of these positions have their features and may lead educators to have different priorities in the higher education setting.
In general, recognizing one’s approach helps educators to understand the motivations, belief, and goals in order to take purposeful action associated with a particular perspective.

Manning, K. (2009). Philosophical underpinnings of student affairs work on difference. About Campus, 14(2), 11-17.
Retrieved from


​Hello everyone,
This is Rania! My preferred pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a PhD student in Instructional Design and Technology. I have been a Middle School Mathematics teacher with a Master of Instructional Technology degree, a Bachelor of Mathematics degree and a Professional Diploma in Education, all from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Since I had earned Master degree, I have had high expectations of initiating my career as a lecturer of Instructional technology at a Saudi university. For I was, and still I am, eager to utilize my knowledge in an applicable manner through equipping novice teachers with the tools and skills they need to be effective educators and presenting studies that can forward the study and application of the science in my country.
For my research, I am focusing on increasing access to education so that all students can have a good education, regardless of geographic location or socioeconomic status. I am particularly interested in hybrid learning as a method to allow more students to access education. Also, I am interested in topics that related to instructional technology and the use of modern educational techniques and instructional tools. During my teaching experiences, I introduced electronic games, computer applications and digital imagery to convey and simplify the material to my students in the most effective and time efficient manner possible.
Outside of school, I enjoy traveling and the idea of exploring new things through different perspectives. Also, I like cooking and watching movies in my free time. I always wish to make more friends of diverse backgrounds and perspectives and visit more places to enrich my exposure and experience.