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Are We Listening?
Making Sense of Classroom Behaviour With Pupils and Parents
All teachers come across children who prefer to play, chat, daydream, disturb others, or wander around the classroom rather than getting on with their work. Although this may seem fairly trivial and controllable, research indicates that persistent disengagement of this kind creates stress for teachers, and causes pupils to underachieve.
Are We Listening? offers practicing and student teachers valuable insight into the dynamics of disengagement in primary classrooms. It describes the results of a study into pupil, teacher and parent perceptions of disengagement that reveals the chasm between how teachers generally interpret and respond to pupil disengagement and the meanings and understandings the pupils and their parents have of the same behavior. Small wonder that teachers’ interventions so often fail to address the issues the pupils consider crucial, undermining their effectiveness and perpetuating cycles of disengagement.
But what if we conceptualize disengagement as the survival strategies that pupils and teachers use? This would provide a framework for exploring and understanding responses to learning and behavior in primary classrooms in a positive, constructive way that is grounded in subjective perceptions. It opens the way to the active involvement of pupils and their parents in a genuine partnership with teachers that can enhance their joint understanding of the children’s behavior and enable joint problem solving, planning and decision-making. The models of collaboration described here give pupils, teachers, and parents the chance of a fair hearing and establish patterns of learning and behaviour that will help pupils to succeed in their schooling.
"...offers an exciting practical model of teacher, pupil and parent partnership which could help reduce disengaged behavior and promote learning behaviors."- Early Years
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1) Setting the context: the inclusive classroom; 2) The view from nowhere; 3) Watch my lips! learning from pupil perceptions; 4) Are they listening? The teacher’s predicament; 5) ‘Parents welcome’: perceptions from the school gate; 6) Moving forward together: making it possible; 7) Are we listening?; References, Index.