Investigating Troublesome Classroom Behaviour: Practical Tools for Teachers

Investigating Troublesome Classroom Behaviour: Practical Tools for Teachers

Investigating Troublesome Classroom Behaviour: Practical Tools for Teachers

Investigating Troublesome Classroom Behaviour: Practical Tools for Teachers


'Get on with your work!', 'Stop talking!', 'Pay attention!' Does it sound familiar? Research evidence worldwide shows that managing classroom behaviour continues to cause difficulties for teachers. It is not the acts of violence or defiance that grind down teachers' energy and enthusiasm for their work, but dealing with constant repetitions of minor misbehaviours. The prevalent explanation for disruptive behaviour is 'individual deficit' - blaming and shaming the children for their inappropriate behaviour and teachers for their lack of management skills. This book shows that this attitude ignores recent research and is prohibiting the future. This book helps teachers investigate children's troublesome classroom behaviour through action research, providing them with strategies that will lead to lasting change. A vast range of topics are dicussed from practical examples of good teaching and the role of the classroom, to carrying out your own research and identifying and building on a teacher's strengths.


I have written this book for practitioners and intending practitioners who want to know more about children’s classroom behaviour. One theme running through the book is that creating productive learning communities best begin by investigating the context of children’s behaviours in systematic ways. Change is likely to be effective when teachers use valid information as the starting point for their plans and actions. Another theme is that fostering learning relationships in schools is one of the most critical aspects of teaching.

You will find that theory is woven with practice throughout the book and illustrated with stories about classroom life. Some readers will want to know more about certain topics and theories, and for this reason I have added references for you to consult. These references will provide you with more details about the theoretical base of the book.

This book draws on research that I conducted in inner London that investigated how teachers managed classroom behaviour, as well as other studies in the United Kingdom and Australia. In addition, I refer to the work of many researchers from different contexts from the United States of America and the United Kingdom, to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.

The book is informed by my practical experience as an early childhood and primary school teacher in Australia and the United Kingdom. My teaching experience includes working with 5 to 13-year-old children who were withdrawn from schools because of their challenging behaviours. These children caused chaos in their classrooms, and many were aggressive and manipulative until they experienced trust relationships with staff. The children needed relationships that were based on consistency and they tested the limits vigorously. In this setting I learned the value of effective behaviour programmes and contexts that enabled children to build on their competencies and strengths.

I taught children in inner London who were newly arrived from war zones and vulnerable children living in poverty. Some of these children were silent, passive and compliant. It was hard to get to know them as it seemed that they would prefer the ground to swallow them up rather than attract the

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