LISTEN: 'We seem to be arguing for no excuses for students, so we can have excuses for teachers,' argues professor Linda Graham

20th September 2017 at 15:02
In the third episode of Tes Podagogy, professor Linda Graham explains what she believes an effective behaviour policy should look like

Schools are moving towards 'no excuses' policies to compensate for "poor teaching", a leading academic has claimed. 

Linda GrahamIn the Tes Podagogy podcast, Linda Graham, a professor in the faculty of education at Queensland University of Technology, describes what her research suggests effective behaviour management should look like and she states that the most troubling trend she has witnessed is the growth of "no excuses" behaviour policies being imported from the US. 

"I have heard this line that 'no excuses' is necessary so all teachers can teach," she says. "I'm thinking, so we need no excuses for students so we can have excuses for teachers? I am not going be popular for saying that, but I don't care. In the research we are doing the teacher is a variable in disruptive behaviour and I don't think that gets talked about enough."

She says the tendency to try and adopt policies from elsewhere without properly considering where that policy has come from and why it was adopted in thet context is highly damaging. 

“People don’t look at the DNA of the policy, at where it has come from and the different cultural context in which it may have arisen,” she says. “Also, what will be tolerated by parents in one school will not be tolerated in another.”

In the interview, she also touches on the need for “productive discipline”, having a policy where support not punishment is central and the fact ineffective behaviour strategies "hard bake"  students to be disruptive. 

You can listen for free by downloading the podcast from iTunes or listening below.





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