Helen Cowie Encourages Peer Support to Help Tackle Bullying

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Mar 10, 2017
by Andrea Abellan
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Helen Cowie Encourages Peer Support to Help Tackle Bullying

Helen Cowie, Emerita Professor at the University of Surrey in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, discusses significance of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Helen Cowie speaking at Salzburg Global Seminar

Professor Helen Cowie, who has developed an expertise on peer community training benefits, attended Salzburg Global’s session on Getting Smart: Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills. During the six-day program, Fellows working in many different fields discussed the importance of including Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills on the curriculums, seeking to help students achieve better academic and social skills.  

Professor Cowie’s research focuses on bullying and how to tackle it through peer support. She defines bullying as “a situation where a person or group of persons deliberately and repeatedly, enact behaviors designed to make another person hurt, psychologically or physically.” Professor Cowie points out bullying issues do not only involve victims and perpetrators, but also concern witnesses. “The audience behavior will determine if the victims remain in that role for a long time or whether they can escape of it,” she states.

According to Professor Cowie, these violent attitudes should be faced through “interconnected interventions” having different methodologies working together. She understands schools as “restoratives places” where children should learn to reflect on their behaviors, amend their mistakes and work towards their future with empathy.

Professor Cowie explains that the “restorative approach” she stands for is already widely adopted in the UK and hopes seminars such as Salzburg Global will encourage a wider dissemination of similar projects.

To see the full interview, check out the clip below.