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Managing the behaviour of challenging children


Creating a good atmosphere in the classroom is important and crucial for the learning process and every child's needs have to be taken into account. The majority of pupils behave in an appropriate manner; however, there are pupils whose behaviour are challenging in many ways and their behaviour disrupts lessons, particularly in secondary school. The interaction between learning, teaching, and behaviour is complex and multifaceted, and admittedly there is no simple solution to the problem of disruptive behaviour. According to the Steer Report (2009) it is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that the quality of learning, teaching and behaviour is high, and it is suggested that schools can "raise standards if they are consistent in implementing good practice in learning" (The Steer Report, 2009, p. 2).  At the same time, teachers should also provide personalised or tailored teaching to the needs and interests of pupils (NASUWT, 2009).

In summary, several of the results in this study are supported by a vast amount of research (Brophy, 2006). A calm and well-managed environment is an essential prerequisite for learning. Systems and experience will help to achieve effective discipline, however, there are children whose problems are complex and they are unlikely to respond to a short-term interventions.  There was a difference between the numbers of times the two groups of children were told off by their teachers; children with behavioral problems were told off in more cases, and one child was told of in almost half of these cases. After a week of either positive or negative reinforcement the behavior did slightly change, particularly for the two children who received positive reinforcements.

It was suggested that more research might provide an explanation to the result, particularly another way of observing the children, for example, the children could be observed after a couple of weeks in order to study the long-term effects of positive and negative reinforcements. In another study a video recording of the observations could be made and the teachers' responses could be examined. The reason for the children's behaviour could also be examined and classified. It is possible that some type of behavioural strategies work better for certain problems.

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