A Student in Distress: Moral Frames and Bystander Behavior in School

The Elementary School Journal, Volume 110, Number 4.

By Robert Thornberg

The purpose of this study was to investigate and generate a grounded theory on how and why students behave as they do in school situations in which they witness another student in distress. Fieldwork and interviews were conducted in 2 Swedish elementary schools and guided by a grounded theory approach. The study resulted in a grounded theory of moral frames in bystander situations in school. In this study, 5 main moral frames of school have been identified: (a) the moral construction of the good student, (b) institutionalized moral disengagement, (c) tribe caring, (d) gentle caring-girl morality, and (e) social-hierarchy-dependent morality. The study highlights how moral action is generally inhibited by the conformity fostered in school settings and by moral dilemmas constructed by the moral frames. A revised model of bystander behavior adapted to the school context is also presented.

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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 by cait
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