Working with Emotions: Responding to the Challenge of Difficult Pupil Behaviour in Schools

Working with Emotions: Responding to the Challenge of Difficult Pupil Behaviour in Schools

Working with Emotions: Responding to the Challenge of Difficult Pupil Behaviour in Schools

Working with Emotions: Responding to the Challenge of Difficult Pupil Behaviour in Schools

Synopsis

Difficult pupil behaviour presents a number of issues for teachers, parents, other pupils as well as for children themselves. Inevitably it raises a number of emotions and challenges people's sense of their own personal effectiveness. This edited collection of short, concise chapters provides advice and guidance to professionals on how to respond to the emotions experienced and generated by pupils with behavioural difficulties in schools. Many chapters are written by such professionals themselves and address common problems in a practical and accessible way. Working with Emotions is an essential text for all schools, support services, LEAs, SENCOs and voluntary agencies and includes discussions on the government's current Social Inclusion initiative.

Excerpt

Peter Gray

Fear and loathing in the nursery-how toddler rage is spreading through the nation

Such headlines are becoming increasingly common, even in the so-called 'respectable' newspapers. They seem to capture a mood in Britain that is inexorably drawn towards notions of a breakdown in society. Standards of children's behaviour in schools and elsewhere are seen to be deteriorating as family and societal values change and children are exposed to an increasing range of corrupting influences. Incidents such as the murders of Jamie Bulger, Damilola Taylor and of the Head Teacher, Philip Lawrence, which gained significant media coverage, only serve to confirm such beliefs.

Teaching unions in Britain have continued to argue that their members are experiencing considerable stress and hardship as a result of difficult pupils and unsupportive parents. There are an increasing number of cases where teachers are seeking compensation for physical or emotional damage that they attribute to their experience of difficult behaviour in schools.

At the same time, pupils and parents have also become more prepared to assert their rights and entitlements. There have been some high-profile cases where teachers and head teachers have been brought to court following allegations of physical or other assault by staff. The application of European law has also opened up the question of pupils and parents seeking compensation for unfair treatment that can be proved to have caused personal harm.

The emphasis on rights has raised the stakes in relation to tensions and conflicts that have always to some extent been present. And there are now very real issues about how to achieve a proper balance between the rights of pupils at risk of exclusion and their parents and the rights of teachers and the pupils with whom 'difficult pupils' are educated.

The government's Social Inclusion agenda has attempted to show that there are no 'winners' from unresolved difficulties at school. While permanent exclusion may shift the problem on elsewhere, those pupils who become marginalised from education affect all of us to some degree,

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