Tuesday, November 25, 2008

For Better and For Worse

I happily admit that I don't know much about what goes on in Primary Schools, which is probably why I can't work out how it can be that children's behaviour there has improved so much , when it's become so much worse in Secondary Schools.


Anonymous said...

How do you compare behaviour in the 1970's primary classroom with now if no records were made then? This is not a valid study. As you so rightly imply, these conclusions do not tally with behaviour in many secondary schools. This seems like a lot of blue-sky talk to justify current teaching trends.

Anonymous said...

Probably the little darlings are now using up all their appropriate behaviour in the primary classroom so there's nothing left when they go to secondary.

Sackerson said...

Primaries are getting more skillful at containing the behaviour, despite the continuing plague of bad and selfish parenting - I work in a PRU and it's trending to looking after a heavy majority of Yr 6 exclusions - makes the schools' SATS results look better to get rid of the awkward ones.

The explosion in numbers of teaching assistants in mainstream has also helped with their policing. Watch out for when budget cuts reverse this growth.

Of course, it's not all good news. Teachers are switching from subject expertise to b-mod, and it's not helped by the National Curriculum's "hourly varied anodynes", so I no longer know what I know that's relevant. Will we turn out the engineers, mathematicians and scientists we need to avoid being sent back to pulling up swedes?

But I suspect that as the NC tightens its death-grip on the secondary curriculum there's less leeway for secondaries to address their behaviour issues. Maybe they're also paying for the disruption in primaries in preceding years, as waves of do-gooders (sorry, expensively-advise-you-to-do-good-ers) overran the forces of educational conservatism.

How about national kick-a-hippy day? Or, as a rival to the mysterious STOPP, form STAPP (Society of Teachers Advocating Physical Punishment)? Trouble is, it's not the kids' fault, and how do you cane a parent?

But in the current economic climate, aren't you lucky to do a job that no-one in his right mind wants to take away from you?

Caz said...

Well, it's not. I'm secondary qualified, but I taught at a primary last year. By no means a bad school, but there were several very young kids you could just see were going to be the yobbos of the future unless something was done. But I doubt it will be.
Maybe the schools surveyed had an effective disciplinary policy (and how weird it is to use that term in relation to a primary school!) - because the one I was at didn't and things were going rapidly downhill.

oldandrew said...

As far as I can tell this study only measured "amount of time students spent on task while the class was being observed".

It is hardly a shock that this should be much greater these days that it was in the 1970s when there was no OFSTED pressure to perform for observers, nor any teaching assistants or routine observations to get the kids used to having extra adults in the classroom.

What I don't get is how this measure has been interpreted as a measure of behaviour more generally.

Lilyofthefield said...

It's the same mysterious phenomenon that afflicts children's ability too. In the six weeks between leaving Y6 and starting Y7, kids who apparently achieved a Level 3 in English in their KS2 SATs lose the ability to write their own name the same way twice.

Anonymous said...

why not a national "kick a disruptive one"-day???????????

Wouldn't that go down a treat???

AMS said...

Well, as I future primary teacher, this article makes me very happy! However, I am unsure on the behavior of kids in the 70s. I was born in 1985, and from what I remember from school, the kids are the same. Did kids really change, or is it the fact that there are more classroom management techniques, and certainly more resources available to teachers than there were in the past?