Emotional Behavioural Difficulties (EBD)
How would you define disruptive behaviour in 50 words or less?
A child who deliberately makes a fuss in class and prevents learning
Disruptive behaviour is when a child is uncooperative and prevents themselves and other children in class from working. A disruptive child also manages to grab a teacher’s attention and prevent the teacher from giving the other children attention.
Behaviour that distracts a teacher and other pupils from learning.
Emotional Behavioural problem
Interferes with their personal, social and/or educational development.
Deviancy and delinquency
Acting out behaviour
ADHD (Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder)
Charlton and David (1993)
Verbally or physically
Variety of ways
The authority of the teacher or the school.
Garner and Hill (1995)
Prevents children’s participation in educational activities
Isolates them from their peers
Affects other pupils
Reduces opportunities for involvement in ordinary community activities
Excessive demands upon teachers, staff and resources
Places the child or others in physical danger
Makes future placement difficult
Daniels et al 1999
Pupil behavioural enquiry form
Scale of 1-4
1 No cause for concern
2 Mild cause for concern
3 Moderate cause for concern
4 Serious cause for concern
Elton committee (DES 1989) concluded that behavioural difficulties are not increasing.
But school exclusion statistics give a different story.
2,910 in 1990/1
12,000 in 1995/6 (Parsons 1996)
12,298 in 1997/8 – boys 84%
Black Caribbean’s had the highest rate and Chinese had the lowest.
Local authority children are excluded 10 times as much (ONS 2000).
Refer back to Special Ed Needs notes for diagnosis. Remember it is difficult to agree upon the criteria.
Pack report (SED 1977)
Reybekill (1998) – EBD pupils blamed individual teachers and their teaching styles.
Teachers blamed pupils and their upbringing. Their families and peers.
Social desirability – self-serving bias
Ogilvy suggests that we need to take into account many factors and the way they interact.
The cause would suggest the intervention.
Preventative measures and corrective measures.
When do teachers intervene?
Attachment theory (John Bowlby – Maternal deprivation)
Emotionally charged demands for attention
Screams, tantrums or severely withdrawn behaviour.
Appropriate childcare – not neglectful nor over-protective. Child needs to develop a sense of security and well-being.
Confidence to adopt socially acceptable behaviour.
Regression – child returns to an earlier form of behaviour.
Child as they grow up still show early forms of behaviour.
Contrasts with their peers.
Teacher must respond to the child at the level the child displays. Provide structures, level of control, accept emotional behaviour, encouragement to move on. (Bennathan 1997)
Similar to Vygotsky – Zone of Proximal development and scaffolding.
Nurture groups ILEA 1970’s Marjorie Boxall, educational psychologist.
Based on attachment theory (Bowlby 1965).
4 or 5 year olds
Registration with other children and then taken to nurture group room.
Nurture room – tables, chairs, sofas, cushions and eating area. Very homely.
10 to 12 children.
One year in nurture group.
Then rejoin mainstream education.
Advantage (Bennathan 1997) – these children would otherwise fail in a mainstream environment and would need otherwise to be offered a special placement (Separate school).
Rules are made clear and are rehearsed.
Personal relationship between teachers and pupils; improves communication.
It is hoped that through the discussions the child realises the meaning and consequences of their behaviour, realise they have choices and begin to develop inner controls (Cooper and Lovey, 1999)
Underlying physiological or biological condition.
Barkley (1988) ADHD – Key brain circuits that do not develop.
LaHoste et al (1996) dopamine receptor gene D4 is more prevalent in children with ADHD.
PET scans show specific areas that function differently.
Lack of attention – falling behind educationally – poor self-esteem – labelled
Ritalin – psycho stimulant
70%- 90% improve
Child less impulsive
Less easily distracted
Other effects – Improves memory – ability to store information.
More academically productive.
Better self-control (Barkley 1998)
Diagnosis of ADHD
Family difficulties and emotional problems – inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Difficult to diagnose and many children will be prescribed Ritalin when it is not needed.
Ritalin is short acting. Does not build up in the bloodstream.
Works after 20-40 minutes.
Maximum effectiveness after 90 minutes.
Children growing so dosage constantly needs to be assessed.
Over-dosage means highly sedated.
Some children – rebound hyperactivity
When dosage wears off they are worse.
Children become more hyperactive than if they had not taken the Ritalin.
Long-term effect – paranoia – everybody is out to get them
Occurs in 2% - occurs in adolescence.
Whalen and Henker (1991) individual interpret their medication as a reflection of a continuous need for chemical assistance in order to sustain personal competence and control. Negative effect on developing a sense of self.
Converse argument – the drug provides a window of opportunity.
But Ritalin is not enough on its own; a multidisciplinary approach is needed.
· Child presents difficult behaviour – hits another kid
· Adult punishes – tells the child he is a useless vicious thug, sent out.
· Child is rewarded with attention – any attention is better than no attention
· Child becomes the baddie
· This leads to more difficult behaviour
Break the cycle by giving lots of attention to the child when behaviour is good.
Behaviourist interventions and evaluation
Pay attention to good behaviour (Daniels et al. 1999)
Skinner’s idea – reinforced pigeons and rats in his skinner box.
Negotiate the rewards with the student so the rewards are seen as desirable.
Given for achieving clear targets. (Contingency contracting).
Fairness (Daniels et al 1999)
Problem is that other ‘good’ students perceive the treatment of ‘bad’ students as unfair, in that the ‘bad’ students seem to be getting rewarded for little effort.
Conflict of needs of the individual versus the need to be fair to all (Daniels et al 1999)
Inform others about the need to ignore minor misdemeanours of the problem children. Students can be understanding and tolerant. (Daniels et al 1999). But consider ethics of this.
Set of social sub-systems
Behaviour is a result of interactions within and between these sub-systems
‘Disruption is a school-generated problem’ (McGuiness and Craggs 1986).
Frozen perceptions of students according to past behaviour. (Molnar and Lindquist 1989).
We need to acknowledge the mismatch between subsystems and re-frame the behaviour.
Avoid blame and conflict.
Disruptive behaviour – ways forward
Daniels et al (1999) – Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties in Mainstream Schools.
Good practice – ten schools
a) Describe what psychologists have found out about children who cause problems in schools (10)