04 SES 02 A, Teacher Behaviour
The research question in this presentation is: How can a teacher work to include a withdrawn pupil in the classroom activities?
The national curriculum in Norway states that the school shall be inclusive and the ideology of inclusion is strong in Norway. Several researchers have focused on inclusive education, and according to these publications it seems like the most important and critical factor for inclusive education is the teacher (Flem & Keller, 2000; Haug, 2010; Moen, 2007; Pijl & Meijer, 1997; Stangvik, 1997). Further it seems like the regular classroom are the most important arena for inclusive education (Moen, 2007).
To be included in the class, (both social and academic), several factors needs to be “fulfilled”. Moen (2007) points out five general characteristics; “membership, mastery, togetherness, involvement and learning” (p. 17).
Withdrawn behavior describes social isolation, depression, anxiety and psychosomatic illness (Bruch & Belkin, 2001). Pupils with introvert behavior are in danger of being socially isolated and to develop psychosocial problems, which also can lead to educational problems (Befring, 2002). According to earlier studies it seems that pupils with withdrawn behavior tend to be more invisible in the classroom then their classmates, and therefore are easier for the teacher to neglect, because withdrawn children do not cause any trouble for the educational setting (Lund, 2004, 2008). Many children with introvert behavior seem to develop depression and psychosomatic illness (Befring, 2002).
Withdrawn children are often inactive, reserved and retired (Iversen, Lønberg, & Oskal, 2006). They tend not to show what they really feels and they hardly ever take the initiative. Withdrawn behavior is not a significant problem for the class, but it is a strain for the withdrawn child, who is often anxious, sad, inhibited in social relations and socially isolated. These children hardly ever seek social relations outside school, and therefore school is an important arena to practice social skills (ibid).
Management in social relations is important to build children’s self-image and self-confidence, and it is also an important element to feel pleasure (Feilberg & Mjaavatn, 2000). Managing social skills is also important to create resilience for children, which is cardinal in difficult situations, together with the premise to experience management (Iversen et al., 2006). School has the responsibility to help children with introvert behavior.
The focus in my study is on the teacher, and what she does in the classroom according to children with withdrawn behavior, and what the teacher does to include withdrawn pupils in the ordinary classroom activities, such as the class circle.
In my Phd project I have entered a classroom and studied how a particular teacher deals with withdrawn pupils in her ordinary classroom activities. In addition to the observations I have also had several interviews with my participant.
My participant teaches a class with 56 pupils, and the pupils are in the second grade in the elementary school (7 years old). One of these pupils, a girl, has withdrawn behavior. The teacher and the girl’s parents allowed me to enter the class.
Befring, E. (2002). Problematferd og forebygging. In E. Befring & R. Tangen (Eds.), Spesialpedagogikk (pp. 153-179). Oslo: Cappelen Akademisk Forlag AS. Bruch, M. A., & Belkin, D. K. (2001). Attributional Style in Shyness and Depression: Shared and Specific Maladaptive Patterns. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 25(3), 247-259. Feilberg, J., & Mjaavatn, P. E. (2000). De stille jentene med spesielle behov, får de den hjelpen de trenger? [Silent girls, do they get the help they need?]. Bedre skole(1), 17-31. Flem, A., & Keller, C. (2000). Inclusion in Norway: A Study of Ideology into Practice. European Journal of Specail Needs Education, 15(2), 188-205. Guðmundsdóttir, S. (1997/2011). Narrativ forskning på pedagogisk praksis. In T. Moen & R. Karlsdóttir (Eds.), Sentrale aspekter ved kvalitativ forskning (pp. 45-69). Trondheim: Tapir akademisk forlag. Haug, P. (2010). Approaches to empirical research on inclusive education. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 12(3), 199-209. Iversen, L. G., Lønberg, L. M., & Oskal, S. (2006). De usynlige elevene - teori og bakgrunn. Spesialpedagogikk(8), 22-30. Lund, I. (2004). Hun sitter jo bare der! Om innagerende atferd hos barn og unge. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget. Lund, I. (2008). 'I just sit there': shyness as an emotional and behavioural problem in school. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 8(2), 78-87. Moen, T. (2007). Inclusive educational practice: Result of an empirical study. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 55, 1-29. Pijl, S. J., & Meijer, C. J. W. (1997). Factors in inclusion: a framework. In S. J. Pijl, C. J. W. Meijer & S. Hegarty (Eds.), Inclusive Education. A Global Agenda (pp. 8-13). London: Routledge. Stangvik, G. (1997). Beyond Schooling: integration in a policy perspective. In S. J. Pijl, C. J. W. Meijer & S. Hegarty (Eds.), Inclusive Education. A Global Agenda (pp. 32-50). London: Routledge.
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