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Could teaching children about how their brains work be the key to behaviour management?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    ‘…Speaking last week at the 2018 IPEN Festival of Positive Education in Fort Worth, Texas, former school counsellor Lyndsay Morris explained how learning about the brain can help teachers…Instead of waiting until a child is hiding under a table and then trying to talk them through breathing exercises, Morris suggests taking a preventative approach. She recommends teaching children about how their brains work and then creating areas within your classroom where children can go to self-regulate.

    By setting up a “green room” space at the back of the classroom and allowing children to visit this area to perform movement or breathing exercises when they are feeling overwhelmed, teachers can help them to take back control.’

    What are your views? Do teachers really have the time to help children understand why they behave badly? Would this radical approach really help improve behaviour in schools?

  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    In theory, it's great, but in practice?

    In practice, some kids would see the 'green room' space as a place to escape from work and it would be used by the lazy as well as the overwhelmed.

    In practice, kids who misbehave often have no desire to correct that behaviour. They like playing up and getting a reaction.

    This might work for a few, but it's certainly not the answer to behaviour issues in schools
    stonerose and JohnJCazorla like this.
  3. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Always looking for the magic bullet.
    stonerose and JohnJCazorla like this.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Aren't we all. But even if it exists
    • Like all super-drugs resistance in the bacteria* will soon build up.
    • It means that you can have classes of 40,50,75, if they're all perfectly behaved.
    *apologies to all micro-organisms for comparing them unfavourably with school kids.
    BetterNow, stonerose and Vince_Ulam like this.
  6. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    Whats the biggie? I often ask children to take some time out. Usually if theyre crying or screeching at other children. Its said quietly and most often posed as a question, ie "do you need some time out?" Kindness as opposed to sanctions. It would come after I knew the kids (and they knew me) and I'd made it clear the behaviour I expect.

    I sometimes get told that they need time out...they dont abuse the privalage but know if they are feeling difficuties and 'take themselves off.'

    It's a great skill, really calmed the class down. I'm primary obviously so know the kids and it works.
  7. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    The body of knowledge about how our brains function is actually a paradox of progress. The more that is discovered about the brain, the more it becomes apparent that there is an increasing amount that we do not know. No neuroscientist can explain exactly what consciousness is, why we sleep and dream, how memories are stored or accessed or whether we genuinely have free will.

    Neither doctors nor neuroscientists know exactly how the brain works and probably never will.

    I'm glad former school counsellor Lyndsay Morris does.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
    Bumptious, elder_cat, TCSC47 and 4 others like this.
  8. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Neuroscience is a vast subject. There is a lot to digest.

    Pomza and nomad like this.
  9. stonerose

    stonerose Occasional commenter

  10. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    When I think of children with behaviour problems it's not generally that they are hiding under a table.
    george1963 and sparkleghirl like this.
  11. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Science chap at our place says all of this brain stuff is bunkum. Says all we know is that bits light up during activity. All the rest is conjecture.

    I’m with @koopatroopa - when they struggle with conscientiousness in your lesson they are not hard to spot.

    But magic bullets are what everyone looks for. The problem is, as every teacher will tell you, magic bullets are not generalisable. A qualified teacher has to hand build one for each child.
  12. SomethingWicked

    SomethingWicked Occasional commenter

  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I've seen very few classrooms with space for this.

    (Tongue in cheek warning) Why can't teachers have a space to self regulate? We're people too!
    On the other hand, maybe I'm serious about that one.

    As others have said, the brain is mysterious and there's a lot to know.
    We do seem to have rising numbers of children diagnosed with disorders and syndromes who need extra processing time or space alongside what seems to be an increasingly regimented teaching and assessment regime. I feel some cognitive dissonance coming on.
    Bumptious, Catgirl1964 and BetterNow like this.
  14. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    The cane in the corner helped us towards better behaviour management. There was no psychology applied.
    nomad likes this.
  15. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    It's a growth industry.
  16. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    I was going to make a sarky res ponce about stomach for eating and brain for thinking. Then I got the joke! But it was too late. I had started typing!
  17. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    The first 15 years of my teaching career was spent in a secondary school with philosophies of "time out" and child centred education. Being a Roman Catholic assisted school, we had a little extra funding and a somewhat selected intake, so I don't know how well it would have worked in an inner city school, but I didn't realise what bliss it was, and how lucky I was, until I moved to another school.

    Also to add, the children in the school achieved well above the other schools in the area and we ranked highly on the national stage.
  18. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Norsemaid likes this.
  19. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    That's what the book cupboard is for.
  20. install

    install Star commenter

    Teachers cannot be and should never be made to be accountable for student behaviour. That is the job of parents and guardians and students themselves.

    Teachers are not accountable for all of the problems in society. :cool:
    Norsemaid, nomad and Catgirl1964 like this.

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