Teen Schooling is reporting on how positive relationships with adults in schools enables all children to function effectively.
Interestingly, teacher-pupil relationships become more influential for pupils as they get older, and are particularly important for children deemed academically at risk
Current research suggests that 98% of children in care have some kind of attachment disorder. As many as 80% of children diagnosed with ADHD have attachment issues (Clarke et al, 2002) and according to recent Sutton Trust research ‘40% of children miss out on the parenting needed to succeed in life.’ In every classroom, therefore, a number of children will have attachment issues which will manifest as non-compliant, disruptive or withdrawn behaviour.
The conventional response to such behaviour, rewards and sanctions aimed at promoting compliance, is futile and perhaps even harmful. Harold and Corcoran’s (2013) study is one of several that demonstrate why control will not be relinquished by an insecurely attached child who holds onto precisely this for survival. One of the major problems with the doggedly behaviourist approach is that, when sanctions fail to improve behaviour, they are ratcheted up rather than abandoned. Exclusion, the very thing that a child who struggles to experience a sense of connection needs least, becomes almost inevitable.
In the news only this week was the headline that exclusions in some parts of England have increased by over 300% . As in previous years, pupils with SEND were seven times more likely to be excluded than their peers.
What are you thoughts about the teacher-pupil relationship? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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