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This paper will critically review a Primary school’s behaviour policy and practice. In addition, it will address the topic of class room behaviour and how improving this may benefit pupils. Furthermore, how can teachers pre-empt misbehaviour moreover, how can teachers approach the issues of misbehaviour. Furthermore, different theories will be investigated to compare to those being used within the setting. In addition, differences and similarities of global interventional approaches will be investigated. In the conclusion of answering the above questions, a summary will be made to indicate how inclusive learning can be implemented within the classroom environment as well as the role of the educator in these situations.
The aims of the policy state that the values and beliefs of the behaviour policy within the workplace suggest that all pupils are encouraged and responsible in displaying appropriate patterns of behaviour and standards of discipline are equal to these patterns. This is accomplished through paradigm, of positive praise and rewards as well as sanctions.Â Furthermore, the rationale indicates that it is clear, consistently applied and enforced by all members of staff as a whole setting and community working together.
However, the word “appropriate” is used throughout the policy; no explanation is suggested to the meaning of this vocabulary used within this policy. Furthermore, within this policy which is outdated, only implies what the major offences are and the sanctions that apply to this unacceptable behaviour. This seems to be displaying a negative approach to the dealing with behaviour and therefore not highlighting other unacceptable behaviours that can be displayed by pupils.
Within the Primary educational setting rules and procedures are in place for all staff members alike. All staff members are expected that they model correct behaviour by using body language, actions and correct manners of addressing pupils within the class. Each class throughout the setting has class rules as well as whole school rule “Golden Rules”. These are displayed around the school and visible for all pupils and staff alike. As a result, everyone concerned within the setting should work together and therefore no one should be isolated allowing for full inclusion and a consistent approach.
Conversely, this is not the case within practice. This is due the different tolerances of staff members combined with the class rules as these can be seen to give the pupils extra opportunities to display unacceptable behaviour of which is only list half way through the policy (major offences). Furthermore, not all staff although agreed by all staff at the time of publishing follow the discipline procedures therefore, consistence is not obtained by all allowing a weak link and lack of understanding and confusion within the views of some of the pupils (Independent Work Based Research Task 1) Although the WBRT was limited there still seemed to be an underlying issue of what is acceptable behaviour and questions were asked by the pupils regarding why pupils are treated differently although they have displayed the same inappropriate behaviour in accordance with the school rules. Moreover, the pupils indicated that the teaching staff members were inconsistent and did not all use the same strategies. In addition, it has been noted that the use of sanctions seem to be labelled ineffective as staff did not use the sanctions consonantly as stated by one child.
“The teacher says things and then do not remember to give us punishments so we get away with the bad things we do.” Child A
Therefore, the rules, sanctions and rewards only work if the consistence remains, (Human Resource Management, Manufacturing Strategy, and Firm Performance Mark A. Youndt, Scott A. Snell, James W. Dean, Jr. and David P. Lepak The Academy of Management Journal Vol. 39, No. 4 (Aug., 1996), pp. 836-866)
moreover fully applied at all times by all members of staff. Furthermore, the use of reinforcement together with role modeling and rewards of value to the pupils is essential to behaviour management.
A wide range of rewards for positive behaviour can be seen within the policy may imply good practice and inclusion towards both genders yet, can not be seen within practice. For that reason, it may be suggested that the policy is out dated and not in context of the working setting, this is due to the delivery of the sanctions and they are not applied fairly and consistently by all staff. However, planning about behaviour improvement is informed by in house training and the use of statistics and theory to ensure the policy system identifies which matters should be dealt with by classroom teachers and those which require referral to a more senior member of staff.
Controversially, numbers of poorly behaved pupils has reduced in numbers, of pupils visiting the Senior Management Team (SMT) in the last twelve months. Indicating higher levels of praise maybe being used to motivate and encourage pupils within the classroom environment. At the same time, pupils are aware of sanctions that will be applied for poor behaviour and what poor behaviour is within the setting as a larger number of classrooms are now displaying behaviour management tips as well as suggestions to support pupils in behaving in the manner that is required within the setting suggested within Steer Report (2005) together with the teachings of Social Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL, accessed 2010). He also said that
“To enable the most vulnerable or disengaged children to gain full benefit from strategies in behaviour management, schools need the capacity to provide high quality support to the child and to the parents. Without that capacity schools will be unable to meet the aspirations contained within the Children’s Plan.”
In undertaking the making of the behaviour policy the school should have reflected on the ten aspects of school practice which should be effective, and contribute to the good quality of pupil behaviour and guidelines on how this maybe achieved through the use of positive praise and role modelling. Up until 1988 stood no national policy to state what educators should include within the services they provided (Pugh, 1988). However, nine years later the policy agenda stated that all should be entitle to an education of a high standard; this should include positive role models in behaviour.
A consistent approach to behaviour management, teaching and learning need to be in place for all staff member including the school leadership team (Senor Management Team, SMT). Achieving this allows classroom management, learning and teaching to be equally effective when using rewards and sanctions together with behaviour strategies and the teaching of good behaviour displayed by all staff members. In order to achieve this staff should receive regular training and personal development and support to keep in line with Government legislation. This maybe why the numbers of major offences have lowered, suggesting it has taken time to implement the policy and for all including staff to adhere to and practice the strategies needed to achieve the desired outcome of positive behaviour management.
Furthermore, pupil support systems such as behaviour mentors working together with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) within the school, are having a positive effect also. However, it can be seen within practice that they have different strategies in dealing with behavioural issues. Nonetheless, liaison with parents and other agencies is paramount alongside the managing of pupil transition within the setting whether it maybe into a different class, new teacher or indeed a new school as a result of moving to the area.
Pedagogy states that practitioners draw on a range of working theories as well as their own experiences on how children learn and how their teaching can support learning. The underpinning Strategies’ guidance and advice service share this common understanding whilst indicating and ensuring behaviour management can produce a better continuity and progression at all stages of learning for pupils and staff alike.
One theory based on the individual psychology of Adler titled Psycho Educational Theory (Watts & Critelli, 1997) attempts to promote positive behaviour. The fundamental belief of this theory is that it ultimately establishes the behavioural patterns of an individual (Arthur, Et al 2006). The theory is based upon positive behaviour promotions through development of self beliefs; therefore, can only change once the negative beliefs become positive beliefs (Arthur et al, 2006).
Encouraging pupils to promote positive behaviour can also be achieved by allowing pupils and young people to feel they are valued as individuals within the learning environment (Arthur, et al., 2006). However, this is multi part process; the first enabling pupils to negotiate class rules with clear outcomes. The second part is to develop conflicting resolution techniques. The third part is encouragement aimed at all pupils allowing them to feel valued. Finally, self satisfaction within the pupil, this should be achieved through an individualized plan to meet the needs of each student (Arthur, et al., 2006).
However, Curwin and Mendler (1999) would suggest a model of responsibility. The model proposes, welcoming warm environments, clearly defined rules and encouraging conflict resolution skills found within the National Curriculum (2000) within the subject of Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) to be a positive way forward in addressing these issues within the Primary school environment. Â Curwin and Mendler (1999) suggest that this is a more difficult strategy and is more time consuming to implement, although believe it to be a worthy strategy as it seems to be more effective with higher achievers.
Furthermore, lower achievers respond in a similar way to the higher achievers. Classroom management involving, interactive teaching and the use of cooperative methods of learning enables greater expectations for inclusion moreover, less serious misbehavior as measured by suspensions and expulsions from school.
Observational learning is yet another theory which can be implemented to encourage positive behaviour. Practitioners’ model acceptable behaviour at all times, this is seen to be good practice Kauffman, Et al (2006). Pupils receiving rewards in front of others for acceptable behaviour may also increase the desired behaviour. This can be seen within the enquiry school as within the pupils receiving rewards within class.Â In addition, this technique may be effective when minor misbehaviour is evident; one strategy is that an educator can ignore the misbehaviour and therefore, rewarding others for their acceptable behaviour may distract the misbehaving pupil (Kauffman et al., 2006).
The final theory for promoting positive behaviour is Rewards Theory (Bandura, 2008), by offering students rewards for positive behaviour, such as table points, house points, raffle tickets or stickers which can be collected (Akin-Little, et al 2004). This theory is evident within the Primary schools behaviour policy as well as practice this is indicated within Independent WBRT Rewards and Sanctions. Where pupils are awarded points which, when totaled, allows them to exchange them for goods in increasing value depending on the amount obtained each term. However, this indicated that the use of this form of reward that collecting some form of token in order to exchange for goods in increasing values appealed to learn and motivated them 70% of pupils to try harder.
The other 30% stated that they felt that they learnt and really had no interest in the rewards as the reward they strived for was to gain a good job to support them later in life therefore it was irrelevant.
This maybe as the school is situated within a deprived area with a high number of parents whom are illiterate and living on low incomes in this form of society this is common. Furthermore, Ofsted (2009) have recognized this within the inspection report, although they stated;
“This larger-than-average school is the result of the recent amalgamation and therefore newly built nursery, is included in the school’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) provision, moreover, is managed by the school’s governing body. The majority of pupils are from White British backgrounds. The percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals is well above average. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities in well above the national average and includes those with speech and language, emotional and social, and moderate learning difficulties.” (Ofsted, 2009)
Furthermore went on to state that the pupils behaved well. And provide good quality, relevant extended services and good support, which underpin its work with parents and pupils.
Controversially, this does not enthuse all pupils to behaviour in a manner which is deemed acceptable within the classroom environment and therefore other strategy would be put in place of this, following the old documentation Every Child Matters (2009) as treating the children as individuals. However, studies show positive results if this strategy is used correctly as Akin-Little et al (2004) suggested.
An overall view is that educators can prevent unacceptable behaviour by raising positive behaviour standards which in turn may assist in reducing misbehaviour as indicated by Moore, Anderson and Kumar (2005). In addition, it maybe that some behaviour can be interpreted as misbehaviour can actually be escape behaviour as pupils may have had confrontation during a period of playtime or indeed before they have entered the school grounds with situations involving parents. If this is not dealt with first then the child may react in this way. However, another cause of unacceptable behaviour maybe that the work set is not set at the correct level and therefore does not engage to pupil moreover misbehaves to avoid the task.
Within practice of the workplace Family Liaison Officers (FLO) are available to inform teaching staff of any changes that may affect pupils learning in any form and therefore, can place pupils with the correct strategies in order for them to remain in society and school with full inclusion.
Simply by using the extinction theory and therefore, removing any reward or reinforcement, the pupils was receiving for the undesirable behaviour will also obtain the desired behaviour. Response cost punishment is another behaviourism strategy- used within workplace at playtime behaviour this results in the loss of an event or task which is of interest to them, for example a Golden time, free play and even football pitch allowance.
Finally, all pupils can be fully included regardless of which strategies are put into place within any educational setting, if theories such as psycho educational and goal-centered theories were in place. This would support individuals’ needs enabling the pupils to reach their full potential. Greenspan (2005) supports this factor to create an inclusive classroom and therefore would lead to the staff creating the correct environment for pupils to learn at their fully potential. Topping (1983) would agree in suggesting that it is only the consistency in these intervention strategies that modify behaviour and therefore support behaviour management.
This could be achieved by providing children with opportunities and pro-social skills that allow them some control over their environment, especially during particularly stressful periods in their lives. Examples include opportunities to master new skills (e.g. in sports or the arts), to work with others on creative projects, and academic situations in which they can make choices for themselves.Â However, this can lead to other pupils not reaching their full potential in learning due to unacceptable behaviour of pupils within the same classroom environment as observed within Independent WBRT Rewards and Sanctions that when a child misbehaves in class and the teacher does nothing shows positive behaviour management it can stop pupils from working as they seem not to have been given strategies to deal with distractions within this environment. This is where it would be good practice to follow the policy and give positive behaviour management moreover, be consistent and parents and careers need to be informed.
As within the policy and believes of the school parents and careers are deemed an important aspect of the school and the child’s achievements. Therefore, the enquiry school works and engages with the local community and families to support learning, children tend to succeed not just in school, but throughout life when this takes place. This is seen to be a fundamental approach which aids in lowering unacceptable behaviour. The role of parents and careers is essential in assisting schools in achieving standards of behaviour. They have a duty to take responsibility for the behaviour of their own child and support the schools decisions in dealing with unacceptable behaviour. However this sometimes can be difficult when fighting against parents who do not support this.
Therefore, many schools may have in place a parenting contract (Department of Education, 2010). This is an agreement between the parent or career and the school about the child. This can be seen as a punishment, but really it should be seen as a way of working together to help the child. For example this may occur if your child has been excluded for several short periods of time, as a preventive measure of full exclusion therefore, this can be deemed as an intervention to enhance inclusion of a child to prevent a court hearing. However, by working alongside parents and careers as within the work place by offering parenting skills programmes and support for parents who divorce, who are unemployment moreover other stressful negative events that can disrupt their parenting skills.
Approaches within the United Kingdom are different at the same time similar to other countries. It can be suggested that many countries seem to deal with unacceptable behaviour before it occurs with intervention programmes. However, studies state this is dependant on the commitment of the staff (Roland, 2000).
Controversially, in Hong Kong suspensions and calling of parents is deemed as ineffective and therefore, adopt strategies such as supporting students in developing self-competency, social skills, and good relationships with parents as well as teachers seems to be a useful, very much like the teaching of SEAL (2010), Restorative Justice moreover, Personal Social Health Education (PHSE) in the UK. Typically have strict codes of discipline and the majority of schools adhere to “Demerit Points System” which is a record of student offences in disciplinary areas within education, and sometimes comments from tutors on whether he or she can graduate. Three points of minor poor behaviour will result in it becoming one major offence any student has accrued three or more major offences, he or she is automatically suspended from school. The point system can be carried forward to later in life and therefore jeopardize future career prospects for that pupil.
Within the USA two approaches seem to be used as whole school approaches to address behavioural discipline. School Wide Positive Behavioural Supports (SWPBS), which is an approach to communicate and teach rules (and reward students for following them) and function-based behavioral interventions Horner, et al, (2005) Social Emotional Learning (SEL), the American SEAL from which our derived incorporates approaches that emphasize self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making (Osher et al,2008, Watson, 2003).
These two approaches differ in their primary aims-developing systems to manage student behaviour against developing student self-discipline. These differences are consistent with the difference commonly made between teacher-centered and student-centered approaches to learning and classroom management (Freiburg, 1999). Discipline, in teacher-centered approaches, the main focus is on external school rules and the use of behavioral strategies, especially positive reinforcement and punishment (Skinner, 2002), to manage student behavior. In student-centered approaches, the main focus develops on the students’ capacities to control behavior, engaging, and trusting relationships. Whereas, SWPBS programs are teacher centered, SEL (American) programs are child centered. Yet, still, the two approaches are very similar: In addition, both highlight preventions regarding unacceptable behaviours as well as the promoting behavioral and social competencies in positive manners therefore decreasing negative, unwanted behaviour (Sprague & Golly, 2004).
SWPBS is not an original approach as many theories and strategies have be combined however, started from the theory of Skinner, (2002). Furthermore, research indicates that schools can gain clear expectations for learning and positive behaviour whilst encouraging a firm but fair discipline procedure through policy and practice (Mayer, 1995). Whereas, SEL is aimed at developing individual qualities, strengths, and social, emotional, cognitive, moreover moral development therefore increasing positive mental health (Berkowitz, Sherblom et al, 2006).
A common feature within both strategies is an authoritative approach within classroom management and a whole school discipline approach on supporting teacher-student relationships and student ownership of learning with the use of rewards and sanction in preventing and correcting behaviour problems, which is evident within the workplace through practice however, is unclear within the Behaviour Policy (2008).
If unacceptable behaviour continues parents are contacted and the issues discussed, in following LEA guidelines the Head teacher may decide that a child’s behaviour, over a period of time, or after a particular isolated incident represents a threat to health and safety standards in the educational setting, or to the educational progress of other pupils in the school. The child may be excluded from school for a temporary period, or permanently.
Controversially, WBRT C indicates that within the history of education the tackling of negative behaviour was achieved in schools by the use of corporal punishment. While a child was in school, a teacher took over the role of a parent, (as we still do today but not in such as harsh way) allowing the delivery discipline or rewards. In practice this meant that students were punished with the physical punishment such as the cane, paddle or strap if they misbehaved.
The use of corporal punishment within educational settings has now disappeared from most Western countries, including all European countries. However, mainstream schools in most other countries take non-corporal approaches to misbehaviour through the means of detention and suspension.
As within the setting the focus seems in practice to be more about promoting positive behaviour through reward systems and the use of policies having been introduced to support this. In addition, intervention programs such as Social Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL, 2010) have been brought into Primary as well as Secondary schools to help lower the unacceptable behaviour moreover the amount of exclusions happening within these settings.
Inclusion programs such as Youth Inclusion Program (2000, YIP) can clearly be seen to be in place throughout the UK and having a positive affect on pupils of many different backgrounds. This is due to the cohesion of the community approach within the schools working with parents and outside agencies to support this issue of unacceptable or antisocial behaviour. The reasons for changing the behavioural approach is due to the well being of individuals by regaining well-being the ability to function productively in the society can be obtained.Â In addition, this can lower the mental health issues that may occur later in life.
Within the work place many strategies can be seen to promote positive behaviour some include; Curwin and Mendler (1999) who would suggest a model of responsibility and the Rewards Theory (Bandura, 1994, cited in Huprich, S, 2008).
In conclusion, it can be suggested that a whole school approach is needed in order for the behaviour management to be effective. In achieving this it is necessary to work closely with parent and careers in dealing with poor behaviour that affects other from their learning and reaching the child’s full potential. By address issues and setting clear sanctions and rewards and reminding the pupils on a regular basis enables intervention programs to work effectively. However, this can only be achieved if the role modeling is positive and effective teaching is also in place.
Therefore, schools can play an important role in preventing problem behaviour, particularly when other parts of the community also become involved in prevention efforts. Many of the factors that increase a child’s risk for developing behaviour problems affect their behaviour in school and their academic presentations. Social and academic problems in school in turn make it even more likely that early problems will persist and become worse later in life.
A number of approaches are useful and therefore used for reducing negative behaviour and preventing problems later within schooling as well as adolescent years. Many of these involve school programs such as SEAL (2010) celebrating positive achievement by working together with families, careers and community members, to reduce the negativity moreover, increase involvement in positive activities that will improve their life skills.
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