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.
In this scenario the emphasis is on using restorative approaches to help resolve peer-peer conflict. The teacher provided he or she is properly trained, is the facilitator. Trainee teachers, who have not received training as a facilitator, can still use a number of basic restorative approaches such as the use of restorative questions. If necessary, the participants can be referred to those who have been trained for further follow-up and work in more depth.
There are many restorative approaches which can be used in school. They can be applied to affect all members of the school community and help to build good relationships as well as developing social and emotional skills. Some approaches, such as the scenario described here, provide targeted support for individuals, pairs or small groups. Other approaches involve more intensive support for smaller numbers in rebuilding relationships.
It is fundamental to a restorative approach that both sides are encouraged to give an account of what happened from their perspective, to explain what their thoughts and feelings at the time were, and to consider who was affected or harmed. With or without the help of a facilitator, they then come to an agreement about how to repair this harm and move forward. Resolving issues restoratively can help to prevent resentment, recrimination and recurrence.
Each scenario is supported by PowerPoint slides
These resources have been developed in association with Centre for Learning Behaviour Ltd. (CfLB)