Post graduate journey sheds light on how best to deal with the school bully

Janine Brown, has just completed her Master of Philosophy (Education) at The University of Notre Dame Australia's School of Education

9 September 2015

Ethical values are paramount in creating an anti-bullying culture in schools, according to the latest research by Janine Brown from The University of Notre Dame Australia's Sydney Campus.

Ms Brown, a sessional tutor at the University, has just completed her Master of Philosophy at Notre Dame's School of Education, documenting how schools deal with bullying. Specifically, Ms Brown was concerned with how the learning environment could change if values in education were articulated into the ethical fabric of the school.

"After interviewing parents, principals and teachers, I found that all considered ethical values as paramount in creating an anti-bullying culture," Ms Brown said.

As a classroom teacher in a primary school on Sydney's Northern Beaches for many years, Ms Brown said she was interested in the best methods of effectively dealing with bullying situations in both primary and secondary schools.

"I was motivated to study a Master of Philosophy in education research as this degree gave me the opportunity to achieve a higher qualification while researching a topic I was most passionate about and present it in thesis form," Ms Brown said.

"It has been an amazing journey of discovery using my existing professional knowledge and experience as a teacher. The knowledge I have gained during my course has been very useful in my role as an educator." A summary of Ms Brown's findings has been submitted to the International Journal of Moral Education.

Associate Professor, Dr Boris Handal from the University's School of Education, said the Master of Philosophy (Education) was a postgraduate research degree consisting of a coursework and a research component. "Coursework comprises four research training units to be completed before undertaking the research component. These four units familiarise candidates on research methods, topic refinement, preparing a literature review on the topic selected and formulating a research proposal for formal submission."

Dr Handal said the degree could be completed in 1.5 years full time or 3 years part-time. "Eighty-five percent of the candidates are part-time suggesting that they like working and studying at the same time with the additional benefit of connecting theory and practice," he said.

Ms Brown said she was assisted and directed by her three experienced academic supervisors throughout her studies. "The Master of Philosophy in Education offered at Notre Dame provided a balance of useful introductory course work followed by ongoing mentoring and support in the process of researching and thesis writing," she said.

For any information about the Master of Philosophy in Education please contact Dr Boris Handal at

A Postgraduate Information Evening will also be held at the University on Wednesday 30 September 2015 from 6pm at 104 Broadway, Chippendale, NSW. To discover what further study can do for you, come along to meet, network and ask questions of experienced industry professionals and academics. Phone 02 8204 4404 or email for further information.

Theresa Kyne: Tel (02) 8204 4141; Mob: 0407 408 177;