Hoe pak je best gedragsproblemen aan in de klas en op school (EEF-rapport)

Eind vorig jaar verscheen een EEF-rapport waar in drie reviews aanpakken om gedragsproblemen met elkaar vergeleken werden. Voor alle duidelijkheid: er bestaat wellicht niet 1 universele aanpak die voor elke situatie of voor elk kind werkt. De andere inzichten neem ik hieronder over:

  • A wide range of factors can influence school behaviour. Schools and teachers can only address some of these factors. Staff need to be conscious of some of the factors that may affect behaviour and consider these along with a response to misbehaviour.
  • This review has focused on interventions clearly aiming to improve school behaviour, as such a range of studies that assess interventions indirectly improving behaviour are not considered. But a range of high quality reviews can be drawn upon to recommend that behaviour may be improved by focusing on other skills (e.g. problem solving or social and emotional learning) or factors (e.g. parent engagement, symptoms of externalising disorders).
  • Either training teachers or putting in place clear reward systems can improve pupil behaviour in the classroom, not just for those pupils most likely to misbehave. A training programme that involves teachers reflecting on their classroom management, trying a new approach and reviewing their progress over time holds promise.
  • For schoolchildren who are disruptive, both interventions that train teachers and put in place interventions in the classroom for these individuals can be highly beneficial. It appears that these interventions for targeted populations of students with more behavioural issues are often highly effective when they are tailored to the needs of the individuals involved, rather than attempting to implement the same strategies for all individuals.
  • Looking beyond behaviour outcomes, interventions unsurprisingly often led to teachers using more behaviour management techniques. Effects on attainment were measured in some studies and findings seemed to be mixed. However, for whole school approaches to behaviour, there were more consistent beneficial findings in relation to attainment, which might be something to investigate in future research.
  • Some relatively straightforward approaches to behaviour management in the classroom have shown very large effect sizes in isolated studies. It would be useful to see if these effects can be replicated in UK settings and of interest to compare such approaches and consider additive effects of different components of behaviour management like teacher-pupil relationships and praise. Likewise many, if not all, teachers recognise the importance of these elements of behaviour management, however, research appears not to have distinguished what are the key features of effective teacher-pupil relationships and praise.
  • We had anticipated stratifying results according to school level, but were surprised tofind that amongst 73 studies included in Reviews 2 and 3, only two studies were situated exclusively in high schools or secondary schools. There is a need for further research focused on secondary schools.
  • Whole school behaviour programmes can improve behaviour across the student body, but these effects are not always large, which may speak to the time taken to embed a whole school change in behaviour or the difficulty implementing such programmes. One intervention combined a universal and targeted whole school approach, meaning that although a school may have a clear behaviour framework, within this can be flexibility to respond to those students who may struggle.
  • It would be worth considering the extent to which whole-school approaches to behaviour interventions fit frameworks for whole school approaches more broadly. Are all staff trained? Is there shared responsibility? Are those in the wider school community involved?
  • There are whole school approaches to behaviour management that do not appear to have been studied in randomised controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies. Therefore popular whole school approaches to behaviour management ought to be subject to robust research studies. This may include approaches such as zero tolerance behaviour policies, Teach Like a Champion and Ready to Learn.
  • The QCA indicates that effective behaviour management might need to either focus on improving academic and coping skills or train teachers while tailoring approaches to individual students and focusing on improving relationships. This suggests the need to both focus on the more typical management of behaviour through equipping teachers with necessary skills and strategies, tailoring the approach to individual needs and improving relationships with teachers and peers. These approaches can operate both within classes and across the school, as well as acknowledging that when students have the skills to cope and achieve in the classroom behaviour is likely to improve.
  • Finally, data linkage from trials to national databases would be helpful to be able to explore in more detail what factors may affect intervention effectiveness and indeed to test some of the ideas stemming from Review 1. More importantly, it would extend the duration of follow up and permit the study of real world outcomes, such as attainment, attendance and exclusions. This would have enabled some of the initial aims of the project to be realised such as which approaches to behaviour are most effective for pupils with special educational needs and to do a more thorough analysis of which approaches are most effective for pupils with more challenging behaviours.


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