Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Fall 12-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Teacher Leadership for Learning

First Advisor

Dr. David Martin

Second Advisor

Dr. Gwen McAlpine

Third Advisor

Dr. Jo Williamson


This paper investigates how the application of bibliotherapeutic intervention affects teachers’ perceptions of bullying in their young students, ages four and five. Bullying has become a serious global concern that has manifested itself in school dropouts, shootings, and suicides. Bibliotherapy is one way to help children solve problems using books and is advocated by researchers for use with bullying prevention.

Little research has been done on bullying in young children. This qualitative phenomenological study will add to the body of literature regarding bullying in young children ages four and five and will examine perceptions of teachers of young children regarding occurrences of bullying in school. The research question in this study is how the application of classroom bibliotherapeutic intervention affects perceptions of bullying among teachers of young children aged four and five.

Data sources include: 1) focus groups before and after bibliotherapeutic intervention sessions in the teachers’ classrooms by the participating school’s counselor, 2) teachers’ observations of their students on the playground before and after these same bibliotherapeutic intervention sessions, and 3) an interview with the participating school’s counselor that served to increase reliability and triangulate this research. Results of this study indicated that teachers’ perceptions of bullying were dramatically changed through bibliotherapeutic intervention in their classrooms. After the intervention sessions, teacher participants began to recognize bullying behavior in their students and reacted with positive steps to empower and protect their students. It is hoped that this study will create an awareness of bullying in teachers of young children who read this paper that will result in action to address bullying early, perhaps lessening this harmful behavior that has resulted in the death of several students in the last few years.