Student Behaviour: Theory and Practice for Teachers

By Louise Porter | Go to book overview

1
INFLUENCES ON
DISCIPLINARY PRACTICES

Students are taught that they have choices about how to behave, and that their own
recognisability as credible and competent students will depend on learning to make
the right choices. They are coached in these right choices [about] …when to work,
how to learn, when to be creative (and in what contexts), when to speak and what
can be spoken, and when to be silent [p. 209]. The coercive practices through which
most children are persuaded to take up [these] practices of being a 'good student'
are themselves largely invisible to those with power to coerce [p. 207] and are not
necessarily benign [p. 208].

Laws & Davies (2000: 207, 208, 209)


KEY POINTS
Teachers' beliefs about children inform their educational and disciplinary decisions. When we regard children either as untrustworthy or in need of protection, we are most likely to impose both a curriculum and discipline on students, whereas when we see young people as competent, we are more inclined to give them some say in both their learning and discipline.
The explanations that we generate about disruptions will induce either a controlling (authoritarian) or an educational response.
Our values will govern which behaviours we define as problematical.
These personal beliefs, explanations and values can be informed and extended by formal theories of discipline and teaching. The resulting collection of recommended

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