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.
This situation covers the problem of dealing with a confrontation in a way which enables the learning of the whole class to continue with minimum disruption. The potential for escalation in such circumstances is considerable, and this will be an issue which trainees will undoubtedly be aware of. They will need both reassurance (that a more experienced teacher will always be close at hand) and some insight into some of the basic skills needed to avoid this.
Obviously, even with excellent planning for behaviour, it does sometimes happen that , confrontation of this nature arises from time to time.
The whole issue of avoiding conflict by the use of a range of techniques including the use of the language of (limited) choice needs to be part of an ongoing discussion with trainees.
Trainee (and experienced) teachers may need help in keeping control of their own emotions, whilst being assertive rather than passive or aggressive. The ability to defuse conflict is a very valuable skill.
Each scenario is supported by PowerPoint slides
These resources have been developed in association with Centre for Learning Behaviour Ltd. (CfLB)