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Teacher refusing to help


Teacher refusing to help

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									ITE Session: Teaching styles - pupil perspectives

 The data below is taken from a research project funded by
 Multiverse called Addressing working class underachievement
 and carried out at Sussex University by Louise Gazeley and
 Màirèad Dunne with the help of a small number of volunteer
 student teachers/trainees who collected data from pupils in their
 placement schools. All of the pupils had been identified by their
 class teacher as underachieving and most were working class.

 Barriers to learning identified by year 9 pupils
 Teacher refusing to help                                1
 Been to seven schools                                   1
 Poor literacy                                           1
 Not receiving any rewards or merits                     1
 Teacher not checking progress                           1
 Teacher making threats                                  1
 Feeling unsupported                                     1
 Homework not being related to anything                  1
 Teacher using his work to show weaknesses               1
 Only having one activity                                1
 Teacher talking at the front                            1
 Work being too easy                                     2
 Not wanting to be at school                             2
 Knowing you can get away with misbehaviour              2
 Being asked to copy from a book or from the board       3
 Not being able to get enough help                       4
 Teacher who is not in control of the class              4
 Teacher setting work, including homework, which is      5
 too hard
 Teacher not explaining things clearly                   5
 Work which is not engaging                              9
 Distraction and disruption caused by peers              13
 Teacher shouting                                        14

Factors identified by the same group of year 9 pupils as being
supportive of their learning

    Varied work                                                 1
    Lessons outside school                                      1
    Pastoral support/counselling                                2
    Help from peers                                             2
    Help from parents                                           3
    Help from a Teaching Assistant or 1:1 support               3
    Working in groups                                           3
    Help from the teacher                                       6
    Teacher giving good explanations                            9
    Teacher who is happy, good, in control, approachable        12
    Interesting or practical tasks                              13

Activity 1:
Look at both tables carefully. What do these pupils seem to be saying
about the relationship between teaching style and barriers to learning?

Student teachers/trainees also asked underachieving pupils to draw
and discuss a picture of their ideal teacher. The extracts below are
taken from the interview transcripts of one of the student teachers/
trainees. All of these pupils were identified by the subject teacher as
working class.

                             Pupil 1: (boy)

He should be an animal lover and a lover of all creatures. He shouldn’t
be strict. He shouldn’t give you much homework and he should make
you do fun work whilst you still learn and he should wear smart
Why should he like animals?
I don’t know. If they are really strict you might get stuck but you are
scared to ask them in case they shout at you.

                            Pupil 2: (girl)

All the men wear suits but the women wear like casual clothes. I
wouldn’t wear them around school. A kind friendly person you could
talk to. Persuasive if you don’t want to do something like, go on you
are good at it or, you shouldn’t put yourself down. Not like, you have
to do it, but like giving you encouragement. A nice personality and a
calm voice and not a horrible voice or shouting and doesn’t get angry
and shouting and helps you with your work and interesting and does
fun activities once in a while and can control the class. They shouldn’t
take it out on you if a previous class has been rude to them. Some
teachers can’t teach you. They can’t even handle the class and are not
fair with detentions. Sometimes the regular naughty ones don’t get
detentions because they know they won’t turn up.

                            Pupil 3: (boy)

He won’t shout at you because when they do shout at you, you like go
on strike because they have annoyed you and you don’t want to do
any work. He won’t threaten you with detentions because it doesn’t
So how would he get you to work then?
Teach by using reverse psychology instead of shouting.
How would that work?
Well he might say, fine, don’t do the work, so we would think, what’s
he doing, we had better do the work.
If you think the teacher shouldn’t shout or give detentions, is it
important that he keeps order?
He should let them talk quietly so long as they do the work and don’t
leave the room.
So how do you get students to work?
Dunno. By saying things. Most teachers do not know how to teach but
with a few it sort of works.
So what works?
Can’t remember.

                            Pupil 4: (girl)

Do lots of practicals because I learn more in them and who pushes you
to do things you don’t want to do.
So you like to be pushed?
Yes, because otherwise I wouldn’t do things. Less homework.
Someone who is in control and sets a good example.
What do you mean by that?
Well some teachers tell you not to do things and then they do it. Some
teachers say don’t chew gum and then you can see them doing it or
drinking coke in science labs where we are not allowed to do it.
Someone who includes everyone. Some people don’t join in during
class discussions they just sit there. They put you in small groups to
learn in and you get more attention and learn more. If the teacher is
too strict or loses their temper you don’t want to go to the lessons.

Activity 2:
Which aspects of teacher behaviour are these pupils most critical of?

Activity 3:
Use the pupil perspectives provided by these tables and interview
extracts to summarise the characteristics associated by pupils with an
effective teaching style.


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