There is nothing like the illusion of free will...

Publicerat 29 mars 2018

Many years ago I was on a school excursion and I have often remembered an incident that occurred on the bus. A student who will remain anonymous was misbehaving and generally looking for attention from his peers. After being warned for some minor inappropriate behaviours he turned his attention to some of the passing cars. He made a rude gesture to some of the members of the public. I stopped the bus and asked him to sit next to me at the front of the bus, he said ‘I don’t care I wanted to sit at the front” I then replied ‘there is nothing like the illusion of free will’. What became obvious to me was that this student, as difficult as he was would be compliant in my presence but what concerned me was what he did when I or other staff weren’t around. I think the ultimate goal of behaviour management is for students to do the right things when they aren’t being watched so it becomes part of who they are. As a young and inexperienced teacher I thought compliance was the goal. But as I grow with age and experience I become more concerned with the bigger picture, not just my classroom but how students behave at home, online and in the community. Can the behaviour management strategies we use influence students to make good choices and decisions or help them to become good people? The positive education movement is about investing in students so to have a long lasting influence.

Free will - CJ Bradley

I recall some time ago discussing with a parent their concerns regarding the behaviour of another student who was in conflict with their child. The parent said it would be easier to just get rid of them rather than having to deal with the problem. From a parent’s point of view, you can be focused on what is best for your child but if we did that we would be creating a sanitised environment that would not be reflective of the real world. I think we have a responsibility to take on some of the difficult cases (students) not only as a social responsibility but to also know how to deal with and interact with students on the fringes like the student on the bus above. If we have some utopian schools where we only have well behaved students my concern is how will they cope when they enter a less sanitised environment, where some of the people may not be responsive to do what is fair, right or just. We need to not only create socially responsible students who know how to act and treat others but socially intelligent students who know how to respond to the complex people and environments that exist in the real world.

I am sure the day will come when I am sitting in traffic and receive a rude gesture from a student on a bus. I know that I will smile and reflect on my behaviour management journey.

Om skribenten:

Hello fellow Educators,

My name is CJ Bradley and I am a passionate educator who works in Queensland Australia. My background is that I have worked as a Teacher, Guidance Counsellor, School Principal. I am currently working as an Assistant Principal in a large Secondary College.

CJ Bradley