Special Schools for EBD Students - Post Eight of "Ten Reforms That Might Just Work"

With regards to mixed ability groups, it is often more convenient for the teachers than the students. With streaming or setting, students benefit from the lesson being pitched directly at them, but teachers lose out because someone will have to get stuck with the bottom set.

Bottom set are already notorious for their poor behaviour, and it becomes like a chicken and an egg scenario: does the lower ability cause the poor behaviour, or does the poor behaviour cause the lower ability?

Whatever the case, the two are definitely linked, and although there are quite a few exceptions to the rule, there is enough of a correlation for it to be a working hypothesis. Perhaps a study could be done on this. Perhaps there already is one that readers can point me to.

Anyway, I first came across the idea in the title through a post on TES Connect by Lily of the Field, a well informed and experienced contributor to that particular community.

Why not group students by behaviour rather than ability? This works on so many levels: students of differing abilities can still support each other, newer teachers can be given the better behaved classes (this is supposed to happen already) and can progress upwards to more challenging ones, it gives those in the lower sets incentives to behave as the higher sets will more than likely be doing more interesting work.

However, we’re still left with the same problem. Who gets the lowest set? What about if the worst behaving percentage of a student cohort were sent to some kind of boot camp, where teachers have extra powers, and extra specialist training, and it is made as unpleasant as possible for the students?

What about even tying it in with community service, or national service? I know there is talk of training ex-military personnel to become teachers in a hope to create an environment that would be a little bit like that. That’s a super idea, so why not embrace it fully, as I’ve described?

Similar Post: Soldiers to Teachers


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