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Schools’ tough approach to bad behaviour isn’t working – and may escalate problems

Anna Sullivan writes in The Conversation (27.5.16) about evidence showing that current disciplinary approaches to student behaviour in some schools might be making matters worse.

‘It’s often thought a tough approach to behaviour is the way forward for schools. But research shows that punitive responses, such as writing names on the board, taking away a student’s lunch time, or handing out detention, are actually ineffective in the long term and can exacerbate student disengagement and alienation.

‘Harsh actions might initially bring about some student compliance, but over time they build resentfulness, and relationships then breakdown.

‘So why do schools in Australia continue with this approach? What does research say about how to improve behaviour in schools? And are other countries getting it right?’

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