Resilience-Enhancing Classrooms for Children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

Authored by: Carmel Cefai

The Routledge International Companion to Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415584630
eBook ISBN: 9780203117378
Adobe ISBN: 9781136303111


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Research suggests that educators prefer teaching pupils with physical or intellectual disabilities or difficulties, to working with children and young people with social, emotional and behaviour difficulties (SEBD) (Avramidis and Norwich 2002; Evans and Lunt 2002; Kalambouka et al. 2007). MacBeath et al. (2006) reported that when teachers in the UK expressed concerns about inclusion, these were mainly addressed at behaviour issues. Indeed, students with SEBD are usually the least liked and understood students (Baker 2005; Kalambouka et al. 2007), the least likely to receive effective and timely support (Baker 2005; Kalambouka et al. 2007; Ofsted 2007), and the most vulnerable to school failure and premature school leaving, social exclusion and mental health problems (Cole et al. 2005; Colman et al. 2009; O’Regan 2010). The high incidence of SEBD among excludees (Parsons et al. 2001; O’Regan 2010) indicates that in the case of SEBD, schools in general tend to be more willing to consider exclusion as a legitimate resolution, than for other forms of special educational needs (SEN). Cefai and Cooper (2010) provide a portrait of students with SEBD who feel unloved and unwanted by their teachers, victims of an unjust and oppressive system, unsupported in their needs and excluded from the academic and social aspects of everyday life. Unsurprisingly some of the students sought to disengage from such a system in an effort to protect themselves from a sense of failure, incompetence and ineptitude.

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