An exploration into the understanding of the responsibility for teaching children and young people with challenging behaviours: perspectives on supporting these pupils in mainstream classrooms.
Corfield, Jill Ruth
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The overall aim of this research is to explore my interest in the influences on teachers’ attitudes towards behaviours which challenge them and to illuminate my experiences and perspectives through those of others. It sets out to explore and to gain understanding about what affects how teachers feel about supporting pupils in mainstream classrooms with behavioural difficulties. As a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) in a secondary school, I saw the difference a teacher’s style of classroom leadership could have on children’s engagement with school and learning. I became extremely frustrated with the way that some teachers appeared to have little inclination to meet the needs of some of the pupils in their classes, particularly those with special educational needs. Comments such as “S/he’s one of yours! YOU deal with it,” because the children were on the Special Educational Needs Register, summarised this. Here, I attempt to scrutinise what may affect teachers’ understanding of their responsibility towards the specific special need of challenging behaviour. For the research, fifteen in-depth interviews were carried out with a variety of professionals whose roles involved supporting the needs of pupils whose behaviour can challenge teachers. All the participants were asked the same questions and a hierarchical questioning structure was used (Tomlinson 1989). The responses indicated a diverse range of factors influencing teachers’ tolerance towards challenging behaviours and these were used to construct a framework which gathers these together. The research has implications in two main areas; the links between school ethos and teachers feeling supported and able to manage challenging behaviours and the development of opportunities to share good practice.
EdD in Special Educational Needs