Making the classroom more pupil-friendly

6th October 1995 at 01:00
The research points to six principles that make a significant difference to pupils' learning

* Respect for pupils as individuals and as a body occupying a significant position in the institution of the school

* Fairness to all pupils irrespective of their class, gender, ethnicity, or academic status

* Autonomy as both a right and a responsibility in relation to physical and social maturity

* Intellectual challenge that helps pupils to experience learning as a dynamic, engaging and empowering activity

* Social support in relation to both academic and emotional concerns

* Security in relation to both the physical setting of the school and in interpersonal encounters (including anxiety about threats to pupils' self-esteem).

Schools can act on these by

* Teachers being available to talk with pupils about learning and schoolwork (and not just about behaviour) * Teachers recognising pupils' readiness to take more responsibility as they grow older and engaging with them in as adult a way as possible

* Teachers being sensitive to the tone and manner of their discourse with pupils, as individual and in groups, so that they do not humiliate them, criticise them in ways that make them feel small (especially in front of their peers) or shout at them

* Teachers being seen to be fair in all their dealings with all pupils and realising that one important aspect of fairness is not prejudging pupils on the basis of past incidents (pupils need to know that they are not constrained by teachers' expectations of their future behaviour based on past incidents).

* Teachers ensuring that they make all pupils feel confident that they can do well and achieve something worthwhile.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now