Highland Learning and Teaching Toolkit

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Learning and Teaching should be Inclusive and Enjoyable:

Behaviour Management
 

 

 

 

Managing pupil behaviour is not simply about responding to inappropriate behaviour, but about creating conditions which will encourage positive behaviour.

Points Arising from Research

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Factors contributing to good behaviour in schools include:

  • a whole-school approach

  • high expectations

  • warm teacher-pupil relationships

  • a high-profile head-teacher

  • class teachers taking key responsibility

  • good communication with the local community

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Persistent low-level disruption is reported as the most serious cause of stress to teachers

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A 1999-2000 Scottish survey showed that 82% of pupils excluded were boys (see Toolkit on Gender

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Looked-after children are 13 times more likely to be excluded than others

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Excluded pupils tend to show characteristics such as:

  • poor basic skills

  • limited aspirations

  • poor interpersonal relationships

  • susceptibility to negative peer pressure

  • parents/carers who are unable to control them

  • having been victims of physical/sexual abuse

  • experience of racism.

Key Elements of Behaviour Management

Understanding behaviour:

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Teachers can get to know pupils’ backgrounds to make personal connections with them

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Emotional Intelligence is important (see Toolkit section on Emotional Intelligence).   Highland uses the “Lessons for Living” programme for upper Primary and lower Secondary pupils

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Teachers can benefit from seeing a discipline situation from different perspectives

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Audits of behaviour patterns can be used to identify key problems

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“Framework For Intervention” (developed in Highland as the “Structured Intervention Approach”) involves auditing the learning and teaching environment to try to understand what might be contributing to inappropriate behaviour

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Pupils, parents and teachers need to be aware of individuals’ rights and responsibilities

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Positive behaviour can be coached, as can strategies to work on challenging behaviour

Learning and teaching:

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Teaching should be interesting and varied and offer pupils a degree of choice

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Account should be taken of pupils’ preferred learning styles (see Toolkit on Learning Styles)

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Pupils should feel involved in the learning and teaching process

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Well organised, purposeful cooperative learning activities can improve behaviour (mixed sex groups can be good)

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Expectations should be regularly reinforced and should be realistic but challenging

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Teaching should encourage an accurate match between aspirations and ability

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When pupils feel that they are succeeding they are less likely to be disaffected

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Celebration of success of all kinds should be a part of classroom and school life

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Lack of challenge in S1/2 can lead to boredom, which can contribute to poor behaviour

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Effective use of ICT can contribute towards good behaviour

Teacher behaviour:

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The teacher’s every word and action should be based on the assumption that all pupils can achieve whatever is to be learned

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Teachers should be alert and show that they know what is going on in the classroom

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Work should be organised in a smooth but brisk way with clear appropriate deadlines

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Inattentive pupils can be questioned to bring them back on track

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Physical proximity to unsettled pupils can help (but avoid approaching from behind)

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Involving pupils in aspects of classroom management can help

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Using humour has been shown to have a beneficial effect on pupil attitudes

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Praise and reinforcement of effort/strategies/success are important, but should be dependent on performance and used with discrimination, so that pupils value them

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Simple non-verbal encouragement (smile, thumbs-up etc) is effective

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Teachers should model good behaviour patterns and be aware of their own stress control techniques

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When pupils arrive in the classroom, initial contacts should be positive

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Behaviour can be discussed with whole class and those meriting rewards identified

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An instruction forbidding something should be phrased positively and constructively

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Certain behaviours might be ignored if they will not damage the work of the class

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Accusations should be avoided

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It is not necessary to punish for inappropriate behaviour immediately

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The certainty of consequences is more important than their severity

Assertive discipline (Favoured by many, but not universally accepted):

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Pupils learn to choose responsible behaviour, to raise self esteem and improve academic success

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Teachers ‘lead’ their classes in a calm, assertive, consistent and supportive manner

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A classroom discipline plan is taught and frequently referred to

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Rewards/sanctions are clearly explained and used

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Pupils enjoy stability in their everyday working environment

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There is close home contact, of a positive nature, not just negative

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The Assertive Discipline system gives concrete suggestions for managing behaviour

Whole-school issues:

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Discipline paper-work should be easily managed

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It should also be constructed in a positive way, and not simply be about negatives

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Buddy, mentoring and “peer-mediation” have been successful

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Rules, rewards and sanctions should be: stated positively; clear and specific; few and comprehensive; understood by all pupils; frequently reinforced in a positive way; devised in consultation with pupils (and parents?)

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It is important to have good contacts with the home, children’s centres and carers

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Parents/carers can be involved through behaviour contracts and regular arranged communications

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All teachers should be aware of the work of the school’s pupil support systems, including the roles of those who have not traditionally been part of school life

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Providing more flexibility in the curriculum (especially related to pupils’ goals/aspirations) can improve behaviour

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Problems of reduced motivation in S1/2 need to be addressed

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Effective bullying policies are important - pupils need to feel safe

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Schools may become involved in schemes to teach parenting (see references below)

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Teachers should maintain a high profile outside the classroom in monitoring behaviour

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When sanctions are applied they should be seen to be appropriate to the misbehaviour, effective and should be accompanied by support for future improvement

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Absenteeism is a key area to tackle in promoting positive attitudes

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Teachers should be supported in a non-judgemental way

Reflection and Discussion

To what extent do you recognise the above principles in your own work?

Are there any areas which you might address in your classroom or the whole-school context?
 

Some Activities Relating to the Issue of Behaviour Management

Key element

Objective

Action

 

Some examples and suggestions

Understanding behaviour Framework for Intervention Find out about the FFI system.  Better Behaviour – Better Learning (see references below) contains information on this, along with a case study.  Does this strategy have any potential for the individual class teacher?  Is there scope for following this up on a whole-school basis?  Secondary teachers can find out about Circle Time and Golden Rules in Primaries.
Learning and teaching When pupils feel that they are succeeding…. Take time to consider how each of the pupils in a class may regard their achievements.  A questionnaire can be used for this.  Can you reinforce the successes that individuals have had – even, perhaps, out-of-school success.  What do you know about pupils’ out-of-school achievements?
Teacher behaviour Initial contacts should be positive Make a point of speaking to individuals as they enter the classroom, making a positive comment.  Try to make such contact with all pupils at some point, based on some personal feature of their lives/work.
Assertive discipline Assertive discipline is a structured approach Find out more about how Assertive Discipline works, perhaps following up some of the suggestions in the references below.  Evaluate this approach, considering particularly the rewards element and whether/how this might be implemented.
Whole-school issues Good home contacts are important

 

Consider the extent to which your pupils’ parents/carers are involved in proactive behavioural support.  Is there scope for sending home more positive news about pupils’ behaviour, in terms both of individuals’ situations and of school policies/strategies.  What concrete role can parents/carers play in prevention of bad behaviour?

Selected References

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Further Reading

Guidelines on Supporting and Managing Positive Behaviour in Schools – Highland policy

Teaching with Influence by Peter Hook and Andy Vass    Publ: David Fulton

Creating Winning Classrooms by Peter Hook and Andy Vass     Publ: David Fulton

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman     Publ: Bloomsbury

Behaviour Management: A Whole-school Approach by Bill Rogers      Publ: Paul Chapman

Cracking the Hard Class: Strategies for Managing the Harder Than Average Class  by Bill Rogers
Publ: Paul Chapman

Video titles by Bill Rogers:  Repair and Rebuild; Prevention; Managing Behaviour: Positive Correction; Managing Behaviour: Consequences; Decisive Discipline.

Incentive Plus catalogue – Excellent resources (Tel.01908 526120; www.incentiveplus.co.uk )

CD Rom:  Dealing With Disruption – Scottish Executive funded resource which was distributed to schools in 2002.  Interactive resource giving advice and guidance on managing disruption.  Includes video/audio clips, printable resources and suggested reading.
 

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Websites

www.inclusive-solutions.com
English-based site which offers a lot of practical support

www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ebdstudy/interven.htm
Extremely thorough analysis/advice, including behaviour profiling (with an example), information on teaching parenting and material on self-esteem and social skills

www.disciplinehelp.com/
Identifies well over 100 specific types of pupil behaviour and gives suggestions as to how to deal with them 

www.ltscotland.org.uk/wholeschoolissues/index.asp
gives access to:
www.scotland.gov.uk/library3/education/rdtg.pdf
This site provides a downloadable version of the document Better Behaviour - Better Learning, the important 2001 report of the Scottish Discipline Task Group 

www.nwrel.org/scpd/sirs/5/cu9.html
A 2001 American review of research on school discipline and behaviour strategies 

www.adprima.com/assertive.htm - a balanced view of Lee and Marlene Canter’s work on Assertive Discipline.

The following contains an explanation of Assertive Discipline:
http://maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu/pub/eres/EDSPC715_MCINTYRE/AssertiveDiscipline.html
 


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Last updated 20/08/2010
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