Thursday Sep 28, 2023

Teaching Behaviour: How Classroom Conduct Can Unlock Better Learning, by Doctor Tim McDonald


In Australia, and in education settings across the world, student behaviour and levels of student engagement are significant issues for teachers, school leaders, system administrators and the public. Student behaviour affects community perception, teacher efficacy and wellbeing, and the academic achievement of all students. When students are engaged, they learn more.

This paper uses the current attention on student disruptive behaviour in Australian classrooms to offer policy makers, and educational jurisdiction and school leaders an insight into how to shift the paradigm, policy and practice towards student behaviour in Australian schools.

The solution to disruptive behaviour in Australian classrooms will be achieved if three key ideas gain mainstream recognition. These will be discussed in full later in the paper, but they are:

  1. Managing student behaviour is about learning. Learning is the result of good management. To maximise learning in the classroom, it is necessary to teach the students how to behave.
  2. Behaviour needs to be taught explicitly to all students. Instruction in behaviour is central to effective classroom management. The teaching of behaviour needs to be planned, resourced and rehearsed just like any academic content.
  3. Behaviour as a curriculum needs to be the norm across Australian schools.  If behaviour is incorporated in the national curriculum, it would lift standards of behaviour and learning productivity in classrooms. The teaching of behaviour to students would also to help lessen the disadvantage gap in Australian schools.

Read the paper at 

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Version: 20240320