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Are student teachers still taught that 'Poor behaviour will be prevented by more effective lesson planning'

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by garyconyers, May 10, 2011.

  1. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    I certainly was in the early '90s. I know that PGCE students I've mentored less than a decade ago were told this too.
    I agree that effective planning will possibly reduce some poor behaviour, but prevent it happening at all? No chance!
    This has been discussed on Opinion:

    http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/486601.aspx?PageIndex=1
    It has been rightly (IMO) dismissed as nonsense.
    So, can any student teachers comment on this please?
     
  2. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Of course student teachers are taught that effective lesson planning will prevent bad behaviour: it does. Nothing is more likely to make pupils kick off than a lesson that is ill prepared, boring and rubbish.
    On top of that, I am also sure that they are taught that effective behaviour management strategies empower teachers in the class to prevent and deal with disruptive behaviour.

     
  3. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    Yes they are (not by me I hasten to add). All too often I have seen student teachers work themselves into the ground trying to plan the perfect lesson because they believe that if they can only plan their lesson well enough the pupils will behave.
    "If your lesson is sufficiently engaging then pupils will be too engaged to misbehave" was the most recent wording of the OP I have heard.
    I convinced the teacher concerned to, as an experiment, do their uber-planned lesson on that day and walk in to the following lesson with the same class completely unprepared to see if it made any difference.
    The completely unprepared lesson was significantly better. I explained to the teacher why. When student teachers have put a lot of time and effort into planning a lesson they often feel they have to follow through with their plan regardless of what is actually happening in the lesson. This often results in a lack of flexibility and the teacher not responding to the situation or going with the flow.
    Most pupils can behave like idiots on any given day for a variety of reasons that are completely beyond the control of the classroom teacher. Some pupils more often than others. Some pupils are thoroughly unpleasant. Some have no interest in your subject at all (no matter how engaging or edutaining you try to make your lesson). Some have no interest in school at all.
    A well planned lesson will not turn a bunch of total dicks into good students simply by virtue of being a well planned lesson. It takes significantly more than that.
     
  4. "Nothing is more likely to make pupils kick off than a lesson that is ill prepared, boring and rubbish"
    An ill-prepared or rubbish lesson doesnt always help, I agree. But, as some others have already stated, there are a multitude of reasons as why students misbehave, with some deciding to play up before they have even walked in the room. Others have hormones playing up, family problems, can't be bothered or just happen to be unpleasant individuals which they may or may not grow out of it. An entertaining and effectively planned lesson will have little or no effect on the behaviour of these individuals.
    I had two year 10 students who were sodding around from the very start in a lesson yesterday, entering the classroom arguing over one having hidden the others phone. Various behaviour management strategies were attempted by me, sadly to no avail. They simply would not settle and stop bickering. The quality of the lesson/teaching was completely irrelevant as they never got to the point where they were even attempting to engage with the work. Needless to say I had to have them removed from the lesson for the duration. I am unclear what teaching strategies I could have implemented that would have stopped them 'kicking off'
    Some lessons may have to be boring as well. Sometimes the "Sit in silence and do this assessment for an hour" type lessons can be a godsend. A chance for a knackered teacher to catch a breather and actually get the class quiet. Almost guaranteed a good amount of work completed too.
    So I think an "ill prepared, boring and rubbish lesson" is just one of <u>many</u> reasons why students mis-behave, the others all being partly or totally out of the teachers control.

     
  5. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    So there is no point not preparing; if a poorly prepared lesson is one of the reasons why a lesson can go pear shaped, then make sure it's ticked off the list.
    As for the other reasons being partly or totally out of a teacher's control - I think that's an attitude that disempowers us as professionals.
    Good lesson planning as a starting point makes a huge difference.
    Good behaviour management strategies make a further huge difference.
    Strong relationships with pupils make a further huge difference.
    Strong inter-professional relationships with colleagues and managers make a further huge difference
    A strong ethos of high expectations and mutual respect makes a further huge difference.
    At the end of all that... well, yes, there may be some children who will kick off, but all of the above are in the hands of well-trained, professional teachers. The more we accept the situation is hopeless, the more we will feel hopeless about the situation, and the more that will communicate to the pupils.
     
  6. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I would agree with that. But I don't think that "working themselves into the ground", trying to plan the "perfect lesson" or "uber planning" are examples of "good planning", since they reduce creativity and flexibility, exhaust the student and set them up for failure because of expectations which are too high. Obviously, the student you are talking about was interpreting the whole notion of "good planning" wrongly. You put him right - good for you.
     
  7. I attended an Osiris course recently on 'Advanced Behaviour Management for NQTs'. Expecting some practical suggestions for behaviour management I was faced with a whole day on lesson planning, effective starters, good feedback etc on the basis that good teaching = good behaviour. There was little practical advice on how to deal with unruly students. This just echoed my PGCE course.
    It might be true that engaging lessons can sometimes diminish poor behaviour but those children who frequently refuse to learn, take part or behave sensibly, pulling out all the stops usually makes no difference but makes the teacher even more frustrated that hard work in preparation is completely down the drain.
     
  8. jubilee

    jubilee Lead commenter

    Well planned lesssons will prevent otherwise co-operative students kicking off through boredom.
    Well planned lessons do nothing to engage the large number of pupils in many State schools who do not go to school to learn.
    Those pupils will have their own agenda which is based on feeling that they have the right to spend their time as they wish, chatting with friends, using mobile phones and MP3 players and running around. The well planned lesson is often never delivered because the teacher is bogged down in trying to keep bums on seats.
    Strangely, those challenging classes are usually allocated to the lowest paid, least experienced teachers.
     
  9. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    If it's this course
    http://osiriseducational.co.uk/behaviour/advanced-behaviour-management-for-nqts.html
    the agenda seems to include a lot of behaviour management work, and how behaviour management and teaching and learning are integrally linked. Perhaps you expected a day's worth of "hints and tips", which is an approach I rarely recommend.
     
  10. If 'effective lesson planning' means well pitched resources and activities that allow a classroom teacher to manage tough classes then I'd agree.
    If 'effective lesson planning' means group work, entertainment and fads then I'd disagree.
    Clearly you've never been to a tough school.
     
  11. Advanced Behaviour Management for NQTs?? That is an oxymoron. What next, 'Advanced Rallying Techniques for Learner Drivers'? Aerobatic Stunts for Rookie Pilots'?
     
  12. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    This I completely agree with. Effective planning can and does reduce behaviour management problems in some cases. Every lesson should be properly planned, especially for classes where some pupils are likely to misbehave, as this lessens opportunity for bad behaviour.

    This I disagree with. The two quoted sentences are not necessarily linked IMO, it always bothered me that SLT and teacher trainers have assumed them to be. It saddened me that NQTs believed it.
    Just because classes will respond better to well-planned lessons doesn't mean effective lesson planning will (always?) prevent (completely stop from happening?) bad behaviour.
    Effective lesson planning could reduce bad behaviour, but I don't believe its true to say will prevent bad behaviour. Too many people do believe that all bad behaviour in all cases is always caused by bad planning, which I believe is just not true, and unfair.
    E.g:
    (Campamania, post 4):
    "I had two year 10 students who were sodding around from the very start in a lesson yesterday, entering the classroom arguing over one having hidden the others phone. Various behaviour management strategies were attempted by me, sadly to no avail. They simply would not settle and stop bickering. The quality of the lesson/teaching was completely irrelevant as they never got to the point where they were even attempting to engage with the work. Needless to say I had to have them removed from the lesson for the duration. I am unclear what teaching strategies I could have implemented that would have stopped them kicking off"
    I know of SMT who have blamed incidents like the above on poor plannign by the teacher.....
     
  13. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Problem is, it's very easy to read that into many of your posts and it's certainly the case that, in many schools, the first response of management to any behaviour issues is to assume the teacher is at fault and is not planning their lessons "properly".
    Often the teacher is "supported" by being required to complete thorough lesson plans for each difficult lesson before the possibility that the issues may be with the kids are even considered.
    And I'm afraid it's very easy to look at your posts as a collection and gain the idea that you believe this is the correct response.
     
  14. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    Far too many times people have inflicted their own narrow, inflexible, autocratic and arbitrary view of what constitutes a well planned lesson on teachers that are already struggling with no regard to whether they will work for the teacher concerned teaching the class concerned.
     
  15. garyconyers

    garyconyers New commenter

    That's not something I'd considered, but could be true. A theoretically 'well-planned' lesson plan could be useless and ineffective with one class/teacher, but brilliant for another.


    Its reassuring that most posters on the Opinion forum I took the thread from (linked in post 1) don't even question that 'Poor behaviour will be prevented by more effective lesson planning' is a myth. A few question whether its the biggest, most dangerous myth but not many disagree with the OP that the statement is not true. Many have my view that its not true because good planning does not automatically guarantee no misbehaviour. (Eg post 3, page 1).
     
  16. Interesting idea, jubilee, and not one I'd considered before. It could have some mileage, now you mention it. What about the women though?
    Apart from that novel suggestion, did someone in that other thread mention Groundhog Day? Too true! Gary raises his perennial topic with self-referential self-congratulatory link to some other thread (of his) on the same topic, and the usual suspects join in with their predictable 'opinions'. The ones they've made dozens of times before and no doubt will make dozens of times again. (Is repeating yourself ad nauseam a trait of teachers? Oh, yeah, I guess it is, eh?) All we need is Punxsutawney Phil to join in and the picture would be complete.
    It's all based on a nonsense of course. Gary, where do you get the "effective planning will ... prevent [poor behaviour] happening at all" from? Whoever said that? When? Where? On your 1990s PGCE?? Any evidence? Of course, as a couple of sensible souls have said, well-planned and engaging lessons will reduce behaviour problems. And that's well-planned and engaging, by the way, not necessarily "entertaining" (in a comedy sense) or "all singing and dancing", whatever that means. Just well-planned and engaging for the students. What on earth's wrong with that? But, to my knowledge at least, no one has ever declared or implied the "myth" that you invent in order to launch another of your "debates" on the subject. Oh well, always 6:00am to look forward to, I suppose.

     
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Lead commenter

    I don't mind garyconyers pooping up from time to time with threads about behaviour in our schools. Although some of us are regular responders to such threads, there are always new posters and new teachers readings posts on TES.
    It is quite true that SMT will often assume that the teacher is deficient when behaviour issues necessitate summoning them. I've had many instances of SMT and HOD attending my supply lessons and, instead of removing the challenging pupil/s as requested by me, proceeding to deliver part of the topic in a way that they deem appropriate. It's often a spookily similar to what I've just done but because the pupils are suddenly quiet in the presence of someone with status in the school, they assume that they have demonstrated something valuable to ME!
     
  18. jubilee

    jubilee Lead commenter

    Correction. I would mind if he 'pooped up' but not when he pops up from time to time!
     
  19. ' I've had many instances of SMT and HOD attending my supply lessons and, instead of removing the challenging pupil/s as requested by me, proceeding to deliver part of the topic in a way that they deem appropriate. It's often a spookily similar to what I've just done but because the pupils are suddenly quiet in the presence of someone with status in the school, they assume that they have demonstrated something valuable to ME!'
    Yes, isn't it irritating? And even worse when people patronisingly tell you things you dropped from your repertoire in 1974 because they don't work! But we must never forget, these people have a reputation to protect, and a role to (pretend to) play. After all, if it was ever admitted that teachers had a bit of commonsense and an ability to see and articulate problems as they really are... what would become of all the 'managers'? (and all the people who run 'leadership strategy courses', 'classroom management' , 'behaviour management',courses etc)
     
  20. jubilee

    jubilee Lead commenter

    Read my message more closely. I made it clear that I had already delivered the content in an appropriate way, which was 'spookily similar' to the way that the summoned SMT/ HOD then chose to REPEAT what the class had already had explained to them.
    The SMT /HOD made an unwarranted assumption that I was having difficulty teaching the topic and ignored my only problem, which was one or more unruly pupils who had exhausted the sanctions in the school discipline code and should have been speedily withdrawn from the room, as per the stated policy..

     

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