Children with EBSD and staff working together to create an environment supportive of dealing with anger

Cunnett, Glinys (2007). Children with EBSD and staff working together to create an environment supportive of dealing with anger. EdD thesis The Open University.



It is possible that some children’s Emotional, Behavioural and Social Difficulties (EBSD) were caused by their experiences in school. It is also possible that these children lacked the necessary verbal skills to communicate their feelings or viewpoints. Consequently, this could lead to them using aggression as an alternate means of communication. Therefore, these children may be facing two major difficulties in schools, i.e. an inappropriate school environment and a lack of skills to express their views. Thus, this research addresses these two areas of concern.

This work followed an action research model. Firstly, it was identified that our system to encourage children to avoid using aggression was not effective. This led to cycles of research designed to better support children during high arousal times. First, the views of the children were sought after they had a serious incident, (i.e. was physically aggressive) through a semi-structured interview. Staff who also witnessed or took part in the serious incident also gave their views, using an observation sheet and semi-structured questionnaire. In this way, data was collected on serious incidents, including viewpoints on what staff and children believed could be done in the fixture to avoid a similar incident occurring again.

After reflecting on the examination of the serious incidents it appeared that the children were possibly using aggression as a means of communication, since they probably lacked the necessary verbal skills to do so. This suggested that teaching children the necessary skills of communication would lead to them using less aggression. This research incorporated the teaching of such skills. Another benefit of teaching these lessons meant that staff would better understand why a child acted as they did. This knowledge would help the teacher to offer an environment more conducive to supporting children during high arousal times.

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