Reducing disruption in the classroom

Thursday, 02 November, 2023

Reducing disruption in the classroom

A series of resources have been launched to empower educators to better handle disruptive student behaviour.

According to recent OECD data, Australian classrooms are among the most disruptive in the world and this disruption is leading to high rates of teacher turnover. Researchers from Monash University, together with the Victorian Department of Education, will develop a suite of units focused on professional behaviour support, Behaviour Assessment and Supports in Schools (BASIS), for Victorian government school teachers and education support staff.

BASIS will deliver a range of professional learning units to enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to create an inclusive education environment, as well as supporting the Department of Education’s Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO 2.0) and the Victorian Teaching and Learning Model.

The program will be designed with input from Victorian school leaders, teachers, education support staff, Certified Behaviour Analysts, Indigenous leaders, disability advisers and parents.

“Rather than a transfer of knowledge, our aim with this project is to change practices and beliefs of educators by using a heart, head and hand approach. What this means is that each unit will incorporate content and activities that focus on changing the heart (ie, beliefs), the head (ie, new knowledge) and the hands (ie, practice) of educators,” said Professor Umesh Sharma, Project Lead from the Faculty of Education at Monash University.

The Project Co-lead, Dr Erin Leif, also from the Faculty of Education, explained that the project is being developed from the outset to connect and integrate with other department initiatives that are designed to support student academic engagement and achievement.

“Our work on this project is underpinned by an integrated and educative approach to supporting improved student behaviour. The resources will help educators see the strong links between academic instructional practices and classroom behaviour support practices and will empower them to use a range of practical strategies to teach social, emotional and behavioural skills, in the context of everyday classroom interactions,” Leif said.

“To ensure the units are responsive to the needs of diverse students, BASIS will provide examples of how evidence-informed behaviour support strategies can be delivered in ways that are trauma-informed and culturally responsive.”

The units will provide educators with information about how to use a decision-making framework and adapt strategies to meet the unique needs of the students in their own classrooms.

“We believe that teachers and educators need an approach that allows for consistency across a number of settings and that builds on existing practices and department initiatives. We want educators to see these resources as supporting greater alignment, not creating a new burden,” said Dr Russell Fox, from the Faculty of Education.

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