Explore a list of Facing History resources as well as other digital tools focused on combating bullying and ostracism.
The Ostracism Case Study grew out of the Harvard-Facing History and Ourselves research on improving inter-group relations among youth funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Dennis Barr is the Director of Program Evaluation at Facing History and Ourselves, as well as a psychologist. He is a Lecturer of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He was the principal investigator for the Carnegie Corporation of New York-funded research entitled, Intergroup relations among youth: a study of the impact and processes of Facing History and Ourselves. The Ostracism Case Study emerged from this project. Barr has published articles based on his research on social and ethical development and risk taking behavior in adolescents.
Administrators and school officials also face a tremendous challenge as they try to create safe spaces within their schools. The first video below features a school administrator addressing a bullying incident after the fact.
When does a simple disagreement between students turn into an act of bullying? How do we recognize this shift? What can we do when this happens? These are just some of the questions that educators have about tackling the subject of bullying in a classroom environment.
The Ostracism Case Study has been used in a variety of different settings with different audiences. It provides a structure for rich discussions on bullying and ostracism, regardless of whether the audience is comprised of teachers, students, administrators, parents, or a combination of groups.
Jenny Bender Berz holds a Master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has worked in the fields of education and psychology since 1992. From 1996 to 1998, she worked with Dennis Barr at Facing History and Ourselves to research what later became the Ostracism Incident. Currently, Jenny practices psychotherapy at the Brookline Community Mental Health Center, where she also directs the Connecting with Families parent education program. In addition, Jenny has a private psychotherapy practice and enjoys family life with her husband and two children.