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Don’t smile before Christmas?

Behaviour is something that is key to effective learning and teaching. This step will help you to explore different attitudes to behaviour management.
Behaviour definition in a book
© Sarah Hallam
“Children; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for adults and love chatter… They no longer rise when elders enter the room, they contradict their parents and tyrannize their teachers. Children are now tyrants.”
Some thoughts on behaviour from a very famous figure on behaviour… when do you think this dates from?
The quote is attributed to Socrates… in 470 BCE! What this tells us is that behaviour is something that has always been (and will always be!) a talking point whatever the age of the learners that we are working with.
The Government commissioned a review into behaviour in 2017 which was led by their ‘Tsar’ Tom Bennett. The Bennett review defines behaviour as:
‘any actions performed by any members of the student and staff communities. It includes conduct in classrooms and all public areas: how members work, communicate, relax and interact; how they study; how they greet staff; how they arrive at school, transition from one activity to another; how they use social media, and many other areas of their conduct.’

Bill Rogers is an established author on behaviour for learning. He would suggest that there are six key things for us to consider:

  • Behaviour is learned.
  • Behaviour is purposeful in a social setting.
  • Behaviour is chosen.
  • Behaviour communicates information about needs.
  • Behaviour can be changed.
  • Behaviour can be taught.

Some tensions exist in education as to how behaviour is managed. For example, Bennett would be seen to take a more authoritative approach, whereas Paul Dix advocates for an empathetic approach. Listen to some of the podcasts where each author is interviewed with. Who do you most relate to?

© Sarah Hallam
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