An Exploration of Teachers’ Experiences of Managing Challenging Behaviour in the Classroom

Prof Doc Thesis

Skidmore, K. 2019. An Exploration of Teachers’ Experiences of Managing Challenging Behaviour in the Classroom. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsSkidmore, K.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This study explored the experiences of primary school teachers who sought support with managing challenging behaviour in the classroom. Its aim was to consider how best to support teachers who encounter difficulties occasioned by ‘behaviour that challenges’ in the classroom. The approach taken was to gain teachers’ perspectives on their needs in this situation, which is then considered in light of a cross-section of recent educational psychology research in this area.
In this study, the experiences of the teachers involved are considered from an eco-systemic perspective, following similar approaches advocated by Cooper and Upton (1990) and Miller (2003). Here this is achieved through considering the follow interacting levels of influence that could impact a teacher in this position: their internal thoughts and feelings when dealing with the behaviour, the systems in place at school to support them, and finally the effectiveness of the support provided by the educational psychologist from their perspective.
Adopting a mixed-methods design, a purposeful sample of 11 primary school teachers responded anonymously to an online survey about their experiences of supporting a child with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD), defined here as “challenging behaviour”. The survey also inquired the teachers’ experiences of seeking support at school with behaviour concerns, and ultimately working with an educational psychologist. A further 6 primary school teachers participated in semi-structured interviews about their experiences, providing more in-depth insights. Their views were then analysed using thematic analysis. The findings were considered in terms of their internal thoughts and feelings, the level of perceived support at school, and the impact of working with an educational psychologist in helping them to feel supported.
The purpose of this study is add to the discussion around best practice for educational psychologists in working with schools around behaviour concerns, taking into account the multiple possible levels at which assessment and intervention can meaningfully take place. It also considers what role, if any, educational psychologists can contribute to teachers’ wellbeing.

PublisherUniversity of East London
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OnlineApr 2019
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Deposited21 Nov 2019
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