The development of beginning and early career teachers’ thinking and practice in relation to managing pupil behaviour

Ellis, S. (2015) The development of beginning and early career teachers’ thinking and practice in relation to managing pupil behaviour. Ph.D. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the development of the thinking and practice of beginning and early career teachers in relation to pupil behaviour through the examination of questionnaire data from two surveys conducted with a PGCE cohort and case study data gathered through a sequence of interviews with seven teachers from this group during their first three years as qualified teachers. It draws on literature to critically examine the established discourse of pupil behaviour as a problem in schools, the management of behaviour as a concern for beginning teachers and the preparation provided by Initial Teacher Training in this area as insufficient. Attention is also given to prevailing approaches to behaviour described in literature that might represent the knowledge base for improved training in relation to behaviour management.

The questionnaire data presented a picture of the cohort as prepared in relation to pupil behaviour and realistic in their views on the types of behaviour that they would encounter most frequently. There was a clear perception that the most valuable learning about behaviour took place in schools. The data collected from the case study participants suggested that learning about behaviour continued to be based on their own direct experience of teaching, formal and informal advice from colleagues and formal and informal opportunities to observe others’ practice. The implication is that development in relation to behaviour is very parochial, with few influences external to the school. This, coupled with a general antipathy towards anything construed as theoretical, suggests the development of beginning teachers’ thinking and practice in relation to behaviour is based upon very few reference points beyond that which is available in the school and the individual’s general dispositions, preconceptions, concerns and perceptions.

Attempts to address perceived issues regarding the preparation of beginning teachers has tended to focus on the content dimension, typically defined as knowledge, skills and understanding. This thesis puts forward the view that, whilst there is valuable work to be done in attempting to define what content represents a useful grounding for the beginning teacher, there needs to be greater attention paid to the influence of the individual and the context in which they are placed. This might be achieved by reconceptualising the development of the thinking and practice of beginning and early career teachers in relation to pupil behaviour as an interaction between the content dimension, the individual and the context.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1705 Education and training of teachers and administrators
Divisions: Faculty of Education > School of Teacher Education and Development
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Hudson
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2015 16:23
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 22:50
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14182

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00