Restorative Justice in schools – what? and why?

1) What is Restorative Justice? And 2) Why it should not be used in schools Proof of guilt When someone is found guilty of committing an offence the justice system attempts to ensure that perpetrator suffers a suitable punishment for having committed the offence and makes restitution or compensation to the victim as evidence of their remorse. In the face of rising youth crime in […]

Read Me Leave comment

Stop working so hard and dream for a while

    Interesting suggestion Number 1 Our brains are never asleep but always active and scanning for information. Neuroscientists are renaming what used to be known as the ‘resting state’ as the ‘default mode network’. Sounds good doesn’t it? ‘I wasn’t asleep I was activating my default mode network’. 3000 scientific papers have been published on this topic. Interesting suggestion Number 2 Dreams seem to […]

Read Me Leave comment

Behaviour’s 3 Rs – Part 2; Reward

Part 2; Reward Starting work as a specialist behaviour support teacher in 1998 I could see that punishment and reward were the twin pillars of behaviour management in my numerous schools. I could see the awards and the children’s work displayed in the corridors, the school council members and the school’s values displayed in reception. ‘Every day is a new start’. And yet some individuals, […]

Read Me Leave comment

Behaviour’s Three Rs – punishment, reward and something different. Part 1

Part 1; Punishment  Looking at behaviour in detail A websearch of primary and secondary school behaviour policies highlights the global dominance of the behaviourist reward/punishment approach currently being taken in schools. As misdemeanours grow into more seriously bad behaviour punishment becomes the main agent of change, together with the involvement of senior staff who will hold meetings with the student, including family members later on. […]

Read Me Leave comment

Mindsets and set minds

Mindsets have been around for a while. I heard about them when I studied psychology in the late 1960s and was told about the lost stair effect; you’re walking downstairs in the dark, you lose track of the steps and think there is still one to go when you have actually already arrived at the bottom and you experience that jarring thump as your body […]

Read Me Leave comment

Why cruelty should be excluded from school

#kindbehaviour – a message in a bottle Now It is obvious that we should punish children who don’t behave isn’t it? Behaviour expert Mr. Bennett said in his Top Ten Behaviour Tips (TES June 21 2015) ‘The idea of sanctioning against behaviour we’re seeking to discourage, and rewarding that which is good, would appear to be uncontroversial. But the chattering classes can find offence in […]

Read Me Leave comment

Introducing #kindbehaviour and #behaviourinquiry

In 2001 I first met Tim Taylor (#imagineinquiry) across a table in the NEC Bimingham, when we attended a seminar as participants in the Teacher Research and Learning Programme. Tim was interested in the use of inquiry in teaching the academic curriculum in his primary classrrom and I was looking into an inquiry approach to my job as a behaviour support teacher in all phases. […]

Read Me Leave comment

An open letter to Nancy Gedge on inclusion

Dear Nancy, I’m writing to you with your article on exclusion (TES of October 9 2015) in front of me. It’s good to have a light shone into this dark corner. To put it in journalistic terms this is collateral damage happening right here at home with full official approval. Now it’s time to capitalize on your efforts and get into action. I’m writing to […]

Read Me Leave comment

A herd of elephants: Paradigm, ontology, epistemology, pedagogy

  I’ve just read a blog by a teacher working in a Pupil Referral Unit, for 12 students, with several teachers and teaching assistants. It provides for primary aged students with behaviour problems and secondary aged students with conditions that apparently make them medically unfit to stay in school. This little school could be seen as markedly different from mainstream school; it’s a temporary school […]

Read Me Leave comment

Part 2 Ontology – Getting Relevant

Part 2 Ontology – Getting relevant What’s the point of ontology? Who cares? It surprised me that when looking at the ontological question as part of research for my thesis, it wasn’t a big deal in research terms. Method seemed to be more important. But it seemed important to me to open up the assumptions about ‘gold standard’ positivist research and the about research into […]

Read Me 1 Comment

Part 1 Ontology – Getting Real

Part 1 Ontology – Getting real   The start When I was ten I spent every Saturday outdoors at Bullocks Farm in Canfield, Essex. It was a typical mixed farm; small fields with thick hedges, woods, pigs and chickens, potatoes, wheat, barley, field beans and sugar beet. There were old ponds and a big orchard with all kinds of apples, pears and plums. The farmhouse […]

Read Me 1 Comment

Elephantology

Elephantology: The study of what’s big and lurking in the room to which no-one is paying any attention. What kind of science can handle that? How can we investigate it, when by definition we will have to do it whilst not noticing that it’s there? How can we organise it, when even though we might individually have an inkling that it’s there, we can’t discuss it? […]

Read Me Leave comment

Thinking about children’s behaviour and learning

I’ll state the obvious. When children start school they are all young and small. They might have already learned how to walk and talk but they mostly can’t do maths and don’t read and write too well. They’re also pretty shaky when it comes to Geography and the history of the Celts and in how to behave courteously to other young and small people. Some […]

Read Me Leave comment

“Always someone else’s problem” – a comment on the Atkinson Report

Always someone else’s problem – (unless you’re the child involved) The recently published report on illegal exclusions ‘Always someone else’s problem’ by Dr. Maggie Atkinson, the Children’s Commissioner, looks into one aspect of a serious and recurrent question; what we do when we’ve tried everything to get children to ‘behave’ and failed? Her report, in common with most research activity, is problem focused. You could […]

Read Me Leave comment

A bit more direct instruction

A recent (April 11 2013) TES post said: “Social science is often not science. It is investigation; it is commentary; it often illuminates, and helps provide valuable light and guidance in human affairs. What it does not do is offer reliable predictive powers, nor irrefutable explanatory mechanisms for processes. Merely commentary, case study, opinion, and subjective analysis.” I’ll come back to this in the last […]

Read Me Leave comment

A bit of direct instruction

The ideas that the three psychologists, Clark, Kirschner and Sweller (Ed. Psychol. 2006 42(2)99-107) are putting forward to support their argument for direct instruction are: The brain is made up of structures, cognitive structures which handle learning. Two of these structures are the working memory and the long term memory. Their existence is demonstrated by experiments in psychology over a long period. Being described as […]

Read Me Leave comment

Ideas about agency

Ideas about agency I’ve been reading though a lot of comments and tweets from people interested in children’s behaviour today. There’s a theme about the motivation of children who come onto the ‘behaviour’ radar. This is how I see it. I am a solution focused practitioner. The solution focused framework for my work is very clear. I’m interested in where the child says they are […]

Read Me Leave comment

Guardian Education article April 2 2013

Two sides of the same coin – learning and behaviour

Read Me Leave comment

Doing something different – children’s behaviour

When it comes to children’s behaviour we’re all looking for something that works so how about this idea? I’m employed by a Children’s Service in England as an Advisory Support Teacher. The main behaviour problem in schools is low-level disruption which is routinely managed by consistent good classroom practice. My work is with the much smaller group of children whose behaviour soaks up so much […]

Read Me 1 Comment

Good evidence

The purpose of science is to reduce uncertainty. That is not to say that science claims to produce 100% certainty, but it aims to explain things in a way that makes the world more predictable, constructing a more solid reality than if we just guessed at explanations. It’s generally assumed that there’s one proper scientific method and it’s what scientists do, standing at their laboratory […]

Read Me Leave comment

That’s evidence for you…..

That’s evidence for you …………………     I hear people talking about ‘evidence based’ practice a lot in my work. It’s been creeping up for a while. ‘All our interventions must be evidence based’ I’m told. That seems like a very clear message. What do we mean by the ‘evidence’ we’re going to use to provided the basis for all of our work? That seems […]

Read Me Leave comment

Look into my eyes………….

Look into my eyes…..only my eyes………… We conceptualise students in school as being resourceful and engaged across the range of pedagogies that we use in our teaching work. After all it’s their engagement that makes our pedagogy work. That is, until we come to children making a few mistakes in becoming themselves, learning socially and emotionally to be the best person they can be. So […]

Read Me Leave comment

Making a start

Making a start I got my PGCE in 1994 when I was 46. I got my first job as the science teacher in a special school. I was told the last one went home at break time on his first day and never returned. There had been a two year gap before I came along. I’d been doing supply teaching in state schools for a […]

Read Me Leave comment

Growing the good – children’s behaviour in a new light

Making the paradigm shift: where children’s behaviour is concerned, go for the good and make the most of what’s already working for greater success and more happiness in school. It’s about pedagogy, the unique work that teachers do. It’s about children becoming themselves in the world, being the best they can be, and us knowing they’re doing their best, even when it doesn’t look like […]

Read Me 2 Comments