Pupil misbehaviour is an international problem

Are you a secondary school teacher who has problems keeping control in the classroom?

If you feel you’re losing a battle with foul-mouthed, disruptive students, take some comfort in knowing you are not alone.

It’s not just a national problem. Apparently, it’s global.

Student misbehaviour disrupts lessons in three schools out of five around the world, according to a new international report.

Three-quarters of lower-secondary school teachers in, for instance, Mexico, Italy, Slovakia, Estonia and Spain, work in schools where classroom disturbances hinder the teaching process “to some extent” or “a lot”.

Teachers in 23 countries – excluding the UK – were surveyed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for a study, which it claims presents the first internationally comparable data on conditions affecting teachers in their schools.

Roughly a third of teachers polled said their lessons were disrupted by pupils turning up late for class, by profanity and swearing, and by their intimidation or verbal abuse of other students.

On average, teachers in these countries spend 13% of classroom time maintaining order. In Brazil and Malaysia, the proportion rises to more than 17%, while in Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, less than 10% of classroom time is reported lost in this way.

According to the report, the most significant drain on teacher morale was lack of recognition of their work. Three-quarters of the 90,000 teachers interviewed felt they were given no incentives to improve their teaching.

Many countries make no link between appraisal of teachers’ performance and the rewards and recognition that they receive, the report notes.

Those running education need to give teachers more effective incentives to improve their teaching, according to the OECD’s secretary-general Angel Gurría.

“High-quality teachers are key to the successful implementation of education policies,” he said. “The bottom line is that the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers and their work.”

The report, Creating effective teaching and learning environments, is part of the OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey (Talis).

It claims to be the first international survey to focus on the learning environment and the working conditions of teachers in schools.

How do you think the UK might compare?

by Peter Kingston.

Read more @ http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/mortarboard/2009/jun/16/pupil-misbehaviour-international-problem

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