The primary theory included so far has been a behaviourist theory from B. F. Skinner, other theories are available that can assist in behaviour management, such as a cognitivist approach from Jean Piaget and Philip Kendall in which students are encouraged to mentally process their behaviour, this can be extremely effective with a student that has become aggressive, for example, getting a student to describe their poor behaviour within the class. This will greatly reduce the levels of aggression and start to make them process their previous actions. Unfortunately if the student has become so aggressive they are not willing to listen this method will be ineffective until they have had an opportunity for their aggression to reduce. Another method of using cognitivist theory is getting students to create their own ground rules, this increases the likelihood students will buy into the ground rules and comply with them. This also has an interesting aspect in that the theory begins cognitive and once the ground rules have been created they make use of the behaviourist theory.

Another behaviour management theory is Humanist from Abraham Maslow in which “Unlike the behaviourists, humanistic psychologists believe that humans are not solely the product of their environment.” (Cortland, 2004) The goal when using the Humanist approach is to treat the student like an individual to thoroughly understand the poor behaviour through the students eyes, get to the cause of the poor behaviour and address the problem in a manner that is satisfactory for both student and teacher. For example, part of a student’s individual learning plan may include a bespoke behaviour plan that allows specific students mechanisms to handle situations such as listening to music to allow them to concentrate. This can be very effective for maintaining a challenging student’s behaviour and insuring inclusive practice. An approach I have used while teaching students was to get the student to evaluate if they really wanted to be on the course, this revealed they had applied for another course but was unable to enrol due to entry requirements, upon investigation the equivalent level was available on the course they had originally wanted but the student was unaware of this. The fact the student was on the wrong course for them was the cause of the bad behaviour, once they moved to the desired course their behaviour improved.

Cortland. (2004, Jan 14). What is Humanistic Psychology? Retrieved from SUNY Cortland:

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