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Supporting children's development
Supporting children's development

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2.4 Minimising negative behaviour

To promote harmony in the classroom and create a suitable learning environment it is useful to think of ways to minimise opportunities for children to indulge in negative or disruptive behaviour. Activity 6 encourages you to think about ways of arranging the learning space to help children to concentrate on their learning rather than being disruptive.

Activity 6

Timing: Allow about 25 minutes

Watch the video clip, ‘Boys will be boys [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ’ [Transcript], straight through to start with. Then note how the classroom environment you work in is set out before watching the clip a second time. If you don’t currently work in a school, think about how the environment is set up in an education setting you do know.

Please note: the references to the left hemisphere should read ‘right hemisphere’ and references to the right hemisphere should read ‘left hemisphere’.

Take notes on the following before reading our comments:

  • How does the way the learning environment is set out in the clip minimise negative behaviour opportunities?
  • How does the learning environment you work in help with behaviour management?
  • Are there any improvements that could be made in your setting?
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You may or may not agree with everything that is stated as fact in the video clip, such as ‘girls typically hear 2–4 times better than boys’ or that ‘boys have a unique sense of humour’. While a child’s gender may affect how they engage with the learning environment, children are individuals and do not always behave in ‘typical’ or stereotypical ways. Maturity, life experience, personality and many other factors also affect how a child responds in a particular situation.

Nevertheless, it is important to consider how adults can use their knowledge and understanding of behaviour triggers to create an environment that supports all children to behave ‘appropriately’.

Some of the examples you may have picked up from the video clip to minimise negative behaviour opportunities could include:

  • providing a large enough space for play
  • taking activities outside
  • using headphones to lessen distractions
  • giving warnings of a change of activity.