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.
Every trainee and teacher is likely to encounter situations where pupils misbehave and sanctions are necessary. However concentrating on punishments is usually counter-productive unless there is an equal or greater effort to praise pupils. Research has shown that even pupils who misbehave in some lessons behave better and challenge the teacher less if the classroom climate is positive. (See B4L site) This is not to say that that there should be no sanctions, just that the aim should be to produce a good outcome, which is more likely to be achieved if sanctions are used sparingly and the overwhelming atmosphere is a positive one. It is best to start with small sanctions, and offer a limited choice - e.g. "If you choose to do that, you will have chosen (sanction)" - ; redirect; use when ... then... directions; give time for take-up and use sanctions flexibly and sensibly. (See Tutor Handbook Section 8) When pupils misbehave it is easy to over-react. Tutors and mentors can confirm that this approach is firmly enshrined in current guidance of behaviour and attendance.
Each scenario is supported by PowerPoint slides
These resources have been developed in association with Centre for Learning Behaviour Ltd. (CfLB)