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 can be a tricky situation to resolve without falling into the trap of blame (which a teacher should never do) resulting in getting cross and handing out punishments. It is very easy to assume that it is the fault of the pupils for not listening or for coming without the required equipment, but a solution focused approach addresses those issues which are in the control of the teacher. We ask:
What will the teacher be doing differently when he/she does not face this problem?
Following a solution focussed approach, all the slides, including Slide 4, present positive solutions and actions to ensure that the way the trainee prepares, gives instructions and follows up will reduce disruption to the start of an activity in the lesson.
One very important teaching skill is the ability to give clear, precise, full but brief instructions so that pupils listen, understand and feel confident and are motivated to start the task in hand without making too much fuss about it. These approaches have been found to work with all age groups. Tutors and mentors can encourage trainees to adapt them according to the particular class they are teaching.
Each scenario is supported by PowerPoint slides
These resources have been developed in association with Centre for Learning Behaviour Ltd. (CfLB)