By George Head
Better Learning, Better Behavior explores the issues surrounding young people experiencing social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties (SEBD) and suggests teaching strategies that, in targeting such children, work to the benefit of all at school. Furthermore, the book argues that, within a context of inclusion, provision for pupils regarded as belonging to the category of SEBD requires a refocusing onto their learning rather than their behavior. The focus of educational policy has become increasingly rights-based and conflicts arise from, for example, the right of children with SEBD to be taught alongside their peers as against the right of the majority of pupils to learn without the disruption caused by inappropriate behavior. Through a critical examination of theories of behavior and learning, and recent policy and research, this book argues that traditional approaches that focus on young people's behavior have been inadequate and have led to the marginalization of children and their teachers. These traditional approaches have led to the construction of pupil and teacher identities that are based on personal and professional deficit, thus reinforcing views that segregated provision is the most appropriate educational context for this group. Instead, the author recommends that a shift in practice that is posited on optimistic theories of behavior and adopts a focus on learning rather than behavior that will help create the identities of effective learners and teachers, enhancing the educational experience of all young learners in schools.