Progressive teaching methods have fuelled rise in poor discipline, bad behaviour tsar says

Tom Bennett, who has been appointed by ministers to head up a taskforce into bad behaviour at schools, said that for several decades the issue has been “swept under the carpet”. The Telegraph reports.

In his first interview since his appointment, he said progressivism – the dominant ideology in education which became popular in the 1960s and 70s – has led to low level disruption going unchallenged.

“There was a massive assumption that children would behave if you simply planned lessons correctly, if you allowed them to do lots of independent work, project work, group work and so on, and that these teaching methods would create great behaviour” he told The Telegraph.

“I think that the failure of these methods to automatically create great behaviour has resulted in a lot of people in the education system pretending behaviour wasn’t an issue.”

“Progressivism rests on the idea that children want to behave and they want to learn, the teacher needs to step back and allow the child to explore their natural curiosity, which will motivate them and keep them engaged,” Mr Bennett said.

“Progressivism rests on the idea that children want to behave and they want to learn, the teacher needs to step back and allow the child to explore their natural curiosity, which will motivate them and keep them engaged,” Mr Bennett said.

But this relies on an  “overly optimistic view” of human nature that “fails to take into account the difficulties some children face”, he said.

While this approach may work well for middle class children, the same cannot be said for their peers from more disadvantaged households who may have not been taught how to behave by their parents, Mr Bennett explained.

Read the full article Progressive teaching methods have fuelled rise in poor discipline, bad behaviour tsar says

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Comments

  1. Nicola Jack

    I find it difficult to believe that this man, who seems to be only in his forties, has spoken any of this ‘stuff’ published in the Telegraph. He can’t possibly believe it if he has, since there are no comparative studies researching and evaluating behaviour in the context of teaching methods pre and post the mid-sixties. Anything he knows is anecdotal, relying only on the memories of those who must, by now, be in their 70s. Dangerous rubbish, designed to appease a drifting Tory vote, I think.

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