Australians should read Tom Bennett’s behaviour report

Filling the pail

Australian schools are suffering a crisis of classroom behaviour. Survey evidence from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) places us well below the OECD average for in-class disruption. Roughly a third of students in advantaged schools, and half of those in disadvantaged schools, report that in most or every class there is noise and disorder, students don’t listen to what the teacher says, and students find it difficult to learn. Add to this evidence from a different survey that 20% of Year 4 students and 9% of Year 8 students are bullied almost weekly and we have a very worrying picture.

A lot of the research and discussion among academics is not well placed to address these issues. The focus is placed exclusively on those students who misbehave and the educational effects on them of being excluded from classrooms. This is an important question to address but poor behaviour impacts…

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