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Advice on behaviour management

The engagement of young people affects their behaviour. If they are engaged by the activity then there will be fewer, if any, problems with their behaviour.

You can maintain engagement by ensuring you have thought about, and where appropriate, discussed the following with your Educator:

  • Is your activity suitable for the age group?
  • Does your activity rely on any prior knowledge? Do the young people have this prior knowledge?
  • Is your activity hands on? Or does it have elements of interactivity or participation?
  • Are you using appropriate language for the age group?
  • Can the students complete the activities in the time given?
  • Do the activities last a sensible amount of time for the age group?

By thinking about, and addressing, the above questions you will be able to maintain the engagement of the young people. Maintaining engagement is key to avoiding boredom and the disruptive behaviour that can arise from this.

Responsibility for behaviour

As a volunteer delivering a STEM activity, you are responsible for your own health and safety. The teacher or leader of the group of young people is responsible for the young people’s health, safety and behaviour. You should never be left alone with a group of young people or an individual.

The teacher or leader will need to do a risk assessment for the activity you are doing. This may be done by speaking to you about the activity or they may ask you to complete a risk assessment form (see the previous course in this program on Planning Activities). If they do ask you to do a risk assessment you must ensure the leader or teacher goes through this to ensure it is appropriate and then returns any amendments to you.

If there are issues with behaviour when delivering the activity, you should always defer to the leader or teacher for assistance. They will know the young people and the protocols setup to deal with misbehaviour and so are in the best position to deal with this. It is very unlikely you will experience any poor behaviour, as the expectations will have been set for behaviour before you start your activity.

Reflect

Do you understand your role and responsibilities when leading STEM Activities? Is there anything you don’t understand? Jot down any questions you might have and identify where you may seek the answers.

If you are a STEM Ambassador in the UK, we encourage you to ask your local STEM Ambassador Hub or the educator you are working with these questions before you engage in an activity.

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This article is from the free online course:

Inspiring Young People In STEM: Activities and Improving Communication

National STEM Learning Centre

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