Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) Applying the Social Model of Behaviour
What does Society want from Education? Education is society’s way of instilling socially acceptable behaviour and preparing people for the labour market. Education leads to employment Employment leads to social inclusion
Education develops intellectual and social skills Easy to measure the development of intellectual skills. BUT Pressure to do this, works against the development of social skills. A school that works intensively with one child so he can bear to sit down for seven minutes receives very little credit, compared to a school that has students with top marks in their exams.
School Exclusions There were 9,290 permanent exclusions from primary, secondary and all special schools in 2002/3. 83% from secondary schools 14% from primary school 3% from special schools There were also many informal exclusions, e.g. internal exclusions, arrangements between parents and head-teachers who come to an accommodation about the child not coming in to school.
97/8 98/9 99/00 00/01 01/02 02/03
Who gets Excluded? Children who are poor or have other forms of disadvantage (e.g. family trauma) are massively over-represented. Children with Special Needs0.45% of all SEN pupils excluded, compared to 0.05% with no SEN Children with a diagnosis of, or perceived as having, Social, Emotional Behavioural Difficulties. Boys are excluded at a rate of 4x as many as girls – in 2002/3 82% were boys
What do we mean by Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties? • No agreed definitions. • What I consider to be Social Emotional Behavioural Difficulties might not be what you call Social Emotional Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD).
What do teachers mean when they say a child has SEBD? We think this child has more severe problems than most? This child’s behaviour is strange and disturbing? This child’s behaviour is extremely difficult to cope with? Someone more expert than us should solve this problem? Children with physical impairments rarely get labelled SEBD, even if their behaviour is appalling.
What happens when we label children with SEBD? • The more we label children as having Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties and therefore ‘different’, the more we believe that ‘ordinary’ teachers can’t cope with them. • We believe these children must have ‘specialist’ treatment, therapy, etc. The Medical model is applied.
Medical Model of Behaviour • Child is removed to ‘special’ environment who can deal with the ‘problems’. • Education is put on hold, • Attention is put on the behaviour and managing it. • Skills are under-developed • Employment opportunities diminish, • Social exclusion ensues (and often continues throughout life, e.g. criminalisation, imprisonment, etc.) • Cost to the child, his peers and family, and to society is inestimable
The Social Model of Behaviour A whole school, whole person approach recognises: • the capacities and strengths of every child • that everyone has issues – behavioural difficulties are part of a continuum • that social and organisational issues contribute to behaviour management • that developing a normalised approach towards behaviour management empowers everyone • that everyone in the school (including the staff) need to learn and practice social and emotional skills
The Social Model of Behaviour Recognises: • That all feelings are important. • This means difficult, challenging emotions, as well as happy, pleasant ones. • That everyone can develop emotional literacy - it is a continuum • That teachers need support to think well about every child – no one can do it alone. • That children are able to think well about each other (sometimes in places where adults are not)
Turning Lead into Gold Similar behaviours can be described positively or negatively • Learning disabled • Learning different • Hyperactive • Energetic • Dyslexic • A spatial learner. • Aggressive • Assertive • Plodding • Thorough • Lazy • Relaxed
Turning Lead into Gold Similar behaviour can be described positively or negatively • Phobic • Cautious • Immature • In touch with an inner child • Scatty • A plate spinner • Dreamy • Imaginative • Irritable • Sensitive • Obsessive • Persistent Adapted from “All My Life’s a Circle”, Thomas Armstrong, Inclusion Press (Toronto)
The World I Want to Live In – Amanda Baggs • I want to live in a world where it is okay, even admirable, to be autistic. I want to live in a world where autism is known to be the unique and beautiful thing that it is. I want to live in a world where I can be sure that autistics will be loved and respected as who we are, not drugged or forced to behave as something we are not. I want to live in a world where I can say, "I am autistic" and not be expected to be a bundle of abnormalities and deficits. I want the word "Autism" to an image of a wonderful and unique person with a wonderful and unique way of being and experiencing the world. I want to live in a world where autistics are celebrated, not degraded.