Teachers’ experiences of violence in secondary schools

Denise Martin, Nicola Mackenzie, Jane Healy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Earlier chapters have already noted the widely held popular perception that the behaviour of young people has somehow got worse and that media representations help contribute to this perception. We know that adult concerns about the behaviour of children and young people have been common throughout history and that it is difficult to verify these perceptions because of a lack of meaningful longitudinal data, as well as changing behavioural norms (Hayden, 2007). Teachers are not immune to this wider discourse and indeed are at the forefront of everyday experience and in contact with large groups of young people, so we need to take notice of their accounts. In Chapter 10, Visser presents the perspective of an educationalist. It is interesting to note that the word ‘violence’ is hardly used in this chapter. Educational researchers in the United Kingdom have been much more cautious about using the word ‘violence’ in relation to the behaviour of young people in school, in comparison with their European counterparts and other disciplines, such as criminology. As discussed in Chapter 1, some of this is to do with language and meaning — violence is more frequently seen as having a physical impact in the English language, whereas it is used as a more generic term in some languages, such as French (Hayden, 2009). It is also important to consider the terminology used in the context of debates about the criminalisation of social policy (see also Chapter 3) in which young people’s behaviour is constructed as more serious by the label of violence. Once a playground ‘fight’ is labelled as ‘an assault’, it also becomes ‘violent’ and the response may be more severe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrime, anti-social behaviour and schools
EditorsCarol Hayden, Denise Martin
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780230306295
ISBN (Print)9781349317646, 9780230241978
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Young people
  • Teaching experience
  • Disruptive behaviour
  • Physical assault
  • Verbal abuse


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