Improving the behaviour of pupils to maximise learning is one of the most difficult challenges facing student teachers. It is the topic they most frequently request yet at times little time is allocated for it in most ITT programmes. In order to help students to develop the skills required, 26 scenarios have been created for subject tutors to use with groups of trainee teachers as a part of their training programme. The materials are equally suitable for use as the basis for short courses on behaviour improvement and for use by mentors in schools.
Whilst tutors and mentors may already be familiar with much of the content of the scenarios, the resource draws together information for those who wish to:
- be reminded about the key concepts in behaviour for learning
- see further explanation of the learning methodology
- receive assistance with planning a session
- be provided with links to resources and further information.
The scenarios are designed to slot into an existing ITT programme and to be flexible and adaptable. Although they present one or more answers in each case, they do not cover every aspect of each problem; moreover, the scenarios represent a selection from some of those which might be encountered by trainees and early-career teachers. There will obviously be different solutions to different situations and tutors and mentors will be able to elaborate on these and discuss them as appropriate. The suggested approaches do follow current good practice guidelines about improving behaviour for learning but are not intended to be exhaustive or prescriptive.
The opportunity for reflection, trying out different approaches, discussion, further reflection and the development of good practice are important features of these resources.
It is recommended that Scenario 23 is studied first to gain familiarity with the seven steps approach to conflict resolution.
Conflict resolution is an important strategy for creating a harmonious atmosphere for teaching. It is also an important tool for responding to violence when it occurs or is threatened. Teaching methods which apply the five stage learning process, modelled in these scenarios, use an approach which embodies many of the principles applied in successful conflict resolution. Consequently, the strategy recommended in this session is a natural extension of a teaching approach which will in itself reduce conflict in a lesson.
It is very disruptive and distracting to teaching and learning when pupils argue and fight or resist requests to be tolerant and respectful of each other.
If we want pupils to stop arguing and fighting we should first teach them the SEAL skills needed for resolving conflict. They need to learn problem-solving skills and develop avenues for generating socially acceptable alternatives for gaining agreement and getting what they want. We also want them to become independent and accountable.
Research has shown that a pupil's ability to get what he or she wants in an acceptable way is directly related to the number of solutions or alternatives the pupil can think of in a situation. A pupil who can think of five ways to get what he or she wants will generally display more socially acceptable behaviour than the pupil who can think of only one or two ways (Elizabeth Creary (1984) Kids Can Cooperate, Parenting Press).
This session explores how the seven steps approach to conflict resolution can be developed into some simple techniques that pupils can be taught to apply in everyday situations.
Each scenario is supported by PowerPoint slides
These resources have been developed in association with Centre for Learning Behaviour Ltd. (CfLB)