Schools often find problem behaviour difficult to address due to an overabundance of research and methods in this area. For a variety of reasons, wavering on this matter is based on multiple reform initiatives that compete and intersect. A solution to this indecisiveness finds a high proportion of adolescents, who are considered to be deviant by their teachers, excluded from mainstream classes and placed in alternative learning environments. These placements promise academic intervention, but tend to only address issues of self‐esteem through behaviour modification. As a result, these students remain in a skills‐deficit position that threatens their self‐esteem and provokes their original deviance. The study reported in this thesis considers this issue and its relationship to student voice. In so doing, it challenges exclusion as a way of addressing negative behaviour by looking at school experiences from the perspectives of students considered to be deviant to discover and examine the common places where they have found success.Bearing this argument in mind, this one-year study set out to find areas in a school in the United States that students labeled with a behaviour difficulty might identify as positive learning environments. The specific focus was designing and implementing a methodology that used action research to more accurately identify literature to address the specific needs and concerns of the students under scrutiny. It used school tours to help participants identify areas of success, as a basis for interviews, and as a direction for teacher observations. The voices of these marginalized students produced common categories that identified possible paths to reform. They were able to identify several successful components of lesson planning and general concerns that challenged the school's culture. The implications of these findings are a significant step forward to what we know about the workings of inclusive classrooms, the teachers who find success in them, and how students come to be labeled with a behaviour difficulty.
|Date of Award
|31 Dec 2012
- The University of Manchester
|Melvyn West (Supervisor) & Melvin Ainscow (Supervisor)