A Comparative Evaluation to Determine the Effectiveness of the Behaviour Support Classrooms and other Positive Behaviour Management Interventions in Designated Disadvantaged Schools
Wickham, Iain (2010) A Comparative Evaluation to Determine the Effectiveness of the Behaviour Support Classrooms and other Positive Behaviour Management Interventions in Designated Disadvantaged Schools. Doctor of Education thesis, Dublin City University.
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Twelve designated disadvantaged secondary schools were involved in the research, which looked
at the different approaches for dealing with inappropriate student behaviour. Six of the schools
are currently involved with the National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) in the piloting of the
Behaviour Support Classrooms (BSCs) for seriously disruptive students. For comparative
purposes six other schools who did not have this additional resource were studied, to determine
how they go about dealing with student misbehaviour. The aim of my study is to evaluate
whether the BSCs are the best way forward for schools experiencing high levels of disruptive
student behaviour, and to determine how the schools without this facility manage to deal with
serious behavioural incidents.
My research participants included principals, year heads and personnel working in the BSCs.
After considering the different research paradigms, I decided that pragmatism was the most
suitable for answering my research question. I opted for a mixed methods approach in the
expectation that it would expand on my understanding of the issues around student behaviour.
Initially I made use of questionnaires, and these were followed by semi-structured interviews.
Analysis of the qualitative data was by the constant comparative method. The quantitative data
was provided from analysis of the questionnaires and school data, looking at critical performance
indicators such as attendance, punctuality, detention and suspension rates. The theoretical lens
for my research was utilization-focused evaluation, rather than trying to reach out to all
stakeholders I only involved those that would best represent the interests and views of others. In
my conclusion, I give a number of recommendations on why I believe that the BSCs are the best
way forward for certain schools operating in challenging circumstances.
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