This section offers an overview of the aims and consequences (intended and unintended) of intervening with BESD. It then looks at how to decide which of the three approaches presented in Challenging Behaviour is most suitable for the difficulty you plan to address.
Thus far, the resource has mentioned some of the many problems experienced by those working with children who have BESD, and that there is a range of psychological perspectives on the causes of such difficulties. In addition, attention has been drawn to school organisation and how, in turn, this affects the definitions of, and responses to, BESD. It is assumed that by this stage, you have addressed some of these issues, so you can now look at how to improve personal and interpersonal coping strategies.
The following guidance includes a mixture of information and practical material and some examples relating to personal and professional issues. The guidance enables you to work through some of the potential difficulties and develop your understanding in a safe environment – perhaps with colleagues – before using the ideas with pupils. After all, it is not intended to make your working with problem-pupils any more stressful!
In the next sections (Behavioural, Attribution and Relationships), three different but related approaches are provided which have been used successfully to manage challenging behaviour. These approaches have their origins in behavioural psychology and cognitive–behavioural psychology. Where possible, practical examples are backed up by empirical evidence. Sources of further information have been provided should you wish to develop the approaches mentioned.
When you introduce ideas to your classroom, start with simple problems, using a reasonably well-behaved group (or individual) to build your confidence – don’t jump in at the deep end! Take time to raise your skill level in the techniques through success and overlearning (practising) the sequences.