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punishment science??!!

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by taitie, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. taitie

    taitie New commenter

    <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td class="post">Hi,
    bit cheeky here but need some help from you lovely people.
    When we remove certain students from classes for behaviour they go to a central room. We are asked to send work with them which as you may understand when we are doing practicals is not always possible so the plan is to make some kind of work pack which can be left at the behaviour room and when science students are sent there they can get on with it.
    Now the problem is what do we set as work?? This is where you guys come in as we need some ideas. We dont want to set them work like wordsearches as this is "nice". We are looking for something like copying out a science dictionary or along those lines which is boring and annoying enough that they wont (hopefully!) want to be removed from lessons.
    Thankyou in anticipation
    (PS have also posted this on the science forum)
  2. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I don't think copying out has any validity at all, Taitie; it's make-work, and has practically no educational value.
    What about comprehension questions on a passage linked to the topic you are studying?
  3. The pack of materials is a very good idea.
    Suggest a range of activities starting with something extremely easy. We ought not to agonise over providing educationally valid materials for badly behaved children who have just wrecked a lesson. The priority here is to get them out of the way and to stop them causing more trouble - with this in mind I can't think of a more simple and calming activity to start with than copying out!

  4. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    That is a reasonable comment, Mt L., except that the OP is quite clear that staff are instructed to provide "educationally valid materials" - work, not time-filling exercises - when they are sent to the central room.
  5. No they didn't.
    You are either misquoting the OP or you are changing the meaning of the word 'work' to suit your own argument.
  6. If you are teaching secondary science, don't you have any textbooks?
    I've got Year 5, but my pupils know that I will take them off practicals, if they mess about or are being unsafe. Usually, I sit them down with a copy of "Exploring Science", which covers most of the things we are doing. They can then work through the same objective without having to do a practical activity.
  7. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    A refreshingly sensible and non-confrontational post, dejana. It's nice to see people who want to offer advice rather than just pick a fight. [​IMG]
  8. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Hi Taitie
    I wouldn't agonise about this too much; the students have, by their own poor choices, put themselves in a position where they have disrupted their own education, and that of others around them. You are absolutely right- the point of the work set is to deter them from returning to the central area. It mustn't be seen as a nicer option to being in the classroom, otherwise they'll aim to get there rather than seek to avoid it.
    Bearing in mind that the work set must be able to be done unsupervised (as any adult monitoring the room can't be expected to be a subject specialist), and yet it must be enough of a deterrent to deter- so those two factors rule out especially hard work. The time constraint of the internal exclusion prohibits lengthy, simple work, so that avenue of deterrence is also closed.
    That leaves the good old standby: copying out tables, pages from books etc. I think it does have an educational value, although the lesson it teaches them is pastoral rather than curricular: it teaches them to not get sent there again. I shudder when I think about the wasted time teachers are required to spend creating work for pupils who have been monkeying about in order to get out of work. Believe me, while I'm happy to set work for excluded pupils at whatever level, in my experience the return rate of such work is between 0 and 5%.
    We mustn't pretend that coolers/ time out rooms/ central zones etc are there as miniature classrooms; their existence is predicated on the logic of the Panopticon; misbehave, and you set yourself outside of the mainstream community; your eventual aim should be reintegration with that community, not treating the sanction room as a lovely place to go.
  9. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Well you may say that Tom but I don't believe it's exclusively pastoral at all. IMHO "copying out" is severely undervalued.

    Copying out French verbs was a common punishment at my school and, like the cane in 1950s boarding school was used for "offences" we'd not even recognise as problems at all these days.

    So, although I was a pretty good kid, even I had a small number of sessions copying out verbs.

    I can still remember them today.
  10. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Completely agree. I was referring really to the main aim of the exclusion room, rather than making a point about copying in general.
    Repetition is an essential part of a balanced education; periodic tables, the bones in the body, verbs, Hindu Gods, the notes on the piano...these and a million other things can only become part of our intellectual armoury when they have been chiselled into our brains with copying again, and again, and again. I think that it fell out of fashion when the emphasis moved from content to skills in education, but of course the dichotomy is empty. Skills are useless without content upon which to operate; content is useless with interpretation and manipulation.
  11. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Mr Leonard (surely the poster to whom you refer here) DID give advice in post 3. Perhaps you missed this.
  12. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    I totally agree. Now try telling OFSTED.
  13. taitie

    taitie New commenter

    Thank you all for your replies. We are a secondary school and no the adults supervising the central room are not subject specialists. We are rather reluctant to send our textbooks down there as they never come back. The idea is that they dont get any more attention because of the very poor behaviour ( other sanctions have happened before the removal). The staff have been told to send some form of work (educational or not!) so that the students dont just sit around as that is classed as a good time by them.

  14. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Find some boring worksheets that no one in their right mind would actually use and send those.

    Write some essay titles on the top of plain paper and get children to write those.

    Get them to create or complete a wordsearch/crossword/anything at all. If they like doing that more than being in science then something is seriously wrong with the science teaching.
  15. I'm starting to think that the exclusion rooms in many schools are doing more harm than good. Exclusion rooms ought to be a punishment and deterrant but I worry that their primary purpose is being switched from punishment to a poor form of rehablilitation.
    For example in this exclusion room badly behaved students need time to about what happened, why it happened, and how to take it from there. My experience of these meetings/chats is that the student gets ample time to express their view that their behaviour is, at least partly, someone elses fault. Yes they lost their temper and called Miss 'a fat ***' but the lessons are boring, Sir was rude to me, I didn't understand the work, Miss wouldn't help me, I don't know why I was sent out, I have a special educational need that Sir ignores. All of this is written down by an unjudging and sympathetic adult.
    Most of the badly behaved children I know crave this sort of attention because it reinforces their self righteous belief that they are victims rather than children with an attitude problem. It also generates fuss, if they can cause hassle for classroom teachers everytime they are sent out of lessons then there is a chance the teacher won't bother again. With these two things in mind an exclusion room where attention is lavished and 'issues' talked through ceases to be a deterrant or a punishment and starts to become a reward.

  16. I disagree,
    I've never met one badly behaved child who is motivated by good teaching and well planned lessons. If you were to order tasks starting with the ones that the badly behaved find most enjoyable it would look something like this.
    1. Talk to friends about what happened last night, why XYZ is a minger, getting drunk down the park at the weekend, doing make up, texting on phone, playing games on a computer.
    2. Any menial task that requires very little in the way of thought. Word searches fit the bill perfectly and perpetuate the illusion that the naughty child is actually working. What they are really doing of course is activity number 1.
    3. Any menial task where thinking relatively optional very but the work is done in silence. They can't do what they want but at least they don't have to think that hard.
    4. Any proper work that involves actual thought and effort.
    I would say there is something wrong with the science teaching if it does not involve a lot of activities like activity 4.
    I don't expect many children to actually like working hard - I do expect them to actually do it. If they can't be bothered to work hard or think then there is something wrong with the child not the teaching.

  17. Those "badly behaved students" were usually already on the SEN register for having behaviour issues (the school also had a "normal" exclusion room for kids who weren't). That meant, that the kids who turned up there were well known and dealt with by the SEN department. It may have been written down, but I wouldn't always bet on the "unjudging and sympathetic" adult. Our head of SEN was a very stern lady, and even the toughest boys wouldn't dare set a foot out of line with her. She knew them very well and they had an awful lot of respect for her.
    So perhaps, yes, pupils get the chance to express the view that their behaviour was partly someone else's fault. However, back then, (and with the pupils I teach now) the focus was always on the fact that they themselves are responsible for their behaviour...nobody else is. There may be things that affect their behaviour and lead to them acting up, but in the end, responsibility is always put back on the individual child. They make the choices, they live with the consequences.
    However, that wasn't the initial question and is generally beside the point.
  18. I was refering to my personal experience of exclusion rooms. The point I was trying to make was that exclusion rooms are an excellent idea carried out very badly by a lot of schools.

  19. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Our experiences are clearly very different and I would be the first to admit I haven't a clue about tough sink inner city schools. But I also don't know what sort of school the op works in, so expressed my view based on my experiences. I would definitely say lessons that are well planned and accessible to all (in many different ways) do motivate and inspire all children.
    Definitely! But that doesn't mean children don't want to do it.
  20. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Absolutely agreed. Absolute common sense.

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