Bad Behavior Doesn’t “Doom” Pupils

This article in today’s New York Times summed up studies that found no correlation between early classroom misbehavior and poorer achievement. Check out the comments, too. What do you think? Do you think changes need to be made? Where?
Personally, I do feel that the students meeting behavior expectations can suffer from classmates’ bad behavior, including being personally endangered. But I also think changes in school structure could help, as could good nutrition (I once substituted in a class with particularly mean/grouchy student and questions certainly came up for me when he pulled a large blue sugar wafer out of his snack bag), and so many environmental factors. If many of these students are simply developing on a different pace, doesn’t that call into question the whole idea of age-grading? One commenter didn’t want to worry about the other students because they need to learn to get along with everybody since we do live in communities. In what other aspect of my community am I forced to hang around in large groups of people born within a year of me? Don’t students with ADHD also live in a community and need to learn the expectations as well? The policeman or the judge isn’t going to care what kind of learning diagnosis someone has, so it is up to us to teach behavior regardless of what kind of brain anyone has. I also liked the comment of the teacher who tries to use the behavioral tendencies productively; I mean adults get to find jobs that they’ll be naturally better at, why do we expect all children to be able to do school with the same comfort?
I realize these questions may seem contradictory in some ways, but it’s just an initial set of reactions to a thorny issue. I’d love to hear yours in our comment section.


One thought on “Bad Behavior Doesn’t “Doom” Pupils

  1. I haven’t read the article, but I agree that “bad” behavior (which who’s to say that the teacher isn’t projecting some of his own issues/biases or just having a bad day himself?) does not mean the child has no future. So much of this is subjective, and depends on your own perspective. How often have young girls been called “aggressive” for behavior that is acceptable in young boys? How often does a teacher’s class/religious/race bias impact how they interact with a student?

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