Disengaged and disruptive : behaviour intervention for boys from year four to year seven

Ayre, Kay Elizabeth (2012) Disengaged and disruptive : behaviour intervention for boys from year four to year seven. Professional Doctorate thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Disengaged and disruptive students have been an ongoing concern for teachers for many years. Teaching is complex—complex students with complex lives and complex behaviours. How best to help these students is an ever-present question without a simple answer. Solutions need to be found.

Under a positive behaviour support framework when serious, disruptive behaviour requires intervention, an individualised positive behaviour support plan (PBS plan) is developed and implemented. This multicase study (Stake, 2006) investigated how task engagement was changed for boys from year four to year seven who demonstrated serious, disruptive behaviour. The individualised PBS plan was the primary tool of behaviour intervention in each of the five cases. Using the Behaviour Support Plan Quality Evaluation Scoring Guide II (BSP-QE) (Browning- Wright, Saren & Mayer, 2003) the five PBS plans were evaluated prior to implementation and rated highly in terms of technical quality. Positive changes in student task engagement were forthcoming in all five cases.

Eleven advisory visiting teachers in behaviour and eleven classroom teachers, five of whom were case-study participants, took part in this study. The classroom teachers were employed in south-east Queensland primary schools located in suburbs of economic disadvantage. All 22 participants expressed very similar perceptions of serious, disruptive behaviour emphasising the collateral impact upon the teaching and learning. Data obtained through direct observations, surveys and semi-structured interviews confirmed previous research to reveal a strong link between integrity of PBS plan implementation and student behaviour change. While classroom teachers, in the main, effectively managed the implementation of the PBS plan, social validity of goals, procedures and effects; in-class technical assistance and performance feedback were identified as three enablers to effective teacher implementation of the PBS plan.

While the purpose of each PBS plan was to influence change in student behaviour, this study found that changing teacher behaviour was also instrumental in achieving positive student outcomes. Changing teacher behaviour and building capacity was facilitated by trusting, collaborative partnerships established between the Advisory Visiting Teacher-Behaviour and the classroom teacher responsible for the plan implementation. The Advisory Visiting Teacher-Behaviour provides assistance to teachers dealing with students who demonstrate ongoing, problematic behaviour. The inclusion of a teaching component as part of the implementation stage of the consultation process appeared to have considerable influence upon successful intervention. Results substantiated earlier understandings of the importance of teacher instruction highlighting the value of explicit teaching and performance feedback to the delivery of effective behaviour intervention.

Conclusions drawn from this study have had a major impact upon the work of a regional team of Advisory Visiting Teachers-Behaviour. The focus of behaviour intervention has moved from being primarily upon the individual student to include a greater emphasis upon the critical role of the teacher. Procedures and processes are being re-evaluated to align with evidence-based practice and to include a collaborative consultation approach to improve teacher assistance. The framework and content of staff development and training is being created directly from the findings of this study. This practical application of the results has informed better ways of providing behaviour intervention for students demonstrating serious, disruptive behaviour. What this study has clearly shown is that when it comes to behaviour intervention, the important role of the teacher cannot be underestimated.

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ID Code: 64449
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Supervisor: Beutel, Denise, Crosswell, Leanne, & Ritchie, Stephen
Keywords: adolescence, behaviour, boys, consultation, disengaged, disruptive, engagement,, individualised behaviour support plans, intervention, middle school, positive, behaviour support (PBS), school-wide positive behaviour support (SWPBS)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 13 Nov 2013 04:37
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2015 22:20

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