New book gives insight into classroom behaviour

New book gives insight into classroom behaviour

A University of Aberdeen lecturer has published a groundbreaking new book on how teachers can support primary pupils who lose interest in learning.

All teachers come across children who repeatedly play, chat, daydream, disturb others or wander around the classroom rather than get on with their work. Although these behaviours can appear trivial and controllable, research indicates that persistent disengagement of this kind creates stress for teachers and causes pupils to underachieve.

Now Dr Jackie Ravet, a Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen, has taken an in-depth look at the problem – and has come up with a framework that will enable teachers, pupils and parents to tackle disengagement issues together.

In her new book - Are we listening? making sense of classroom behaviour with pupils and parents – Dr Ravet explains how teachers can view acts of disruptive behaviour very differently from pupils and their parents.

Often, she argues, teachers fail to get to the bottom of whatever is causing the pupil to lose interest in lessons by viewing the child as the problem rather than considering how the curriculum, relationships and classroom ethos might be contributing. This can lead to misunderstandings and tensions between pupils and teachers that can, unfortunately, exacerbate the problem.

"I discovered a huge chasm between how teachers generally interpret and respond to pupil disengagement and the way pupils and their parents see the same behaviour," said Dr Ravet.

"As a result, teachers' actions often fail to address the issues that pupils consider crucial, undermining their effectiveness and perpetuating cycles of disengagement."

She instead makes the convincing case for developing a positive partnership between teachers, pupils and their parents to enable joint problem solving, planning and decision-making about behaviour.

"I believe that by adopting a more collaborative approach, all three parties are given the chance of establishing joint ownership and responsibility for the problem. This enhances relationships and generates new patterns of teaching and learning that will enable pupils to re-engage and succeed."

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