Managing Barriers To Learning

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Managing Barriers To Learning. Staff Professional Development Training 2012-13 Wednesday 27 th February 2013. Managing Barriers To Learning. OBJECTIVES: To explore barriers to learning in the classroom (Teaching Standard 2: Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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To explore barriers to learning in the classroom(Teaching Standard 2: Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils)Develop strategies to meet the needs of pupils who struggle to meet expected progress (5: Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils)Reflect on the success of new strategies through peer observation and discussion (8.2 develop effective professional relationships with colleagues, knowing how and when to draw on advice and specialist support. 8.4: take responsibility for improving teaching through appropriate professional development, responding to advice and feedback from colleagues)

Managing Barriers To LearningRecap:Reflected on lessons where pupils displayed barriers to learning - Questionnaire

Barriers often come in two forms:

Learning Defences general ways we actively prevent ourselves from learning

Learning Obstacles beliefs, people or events that get in the way of specific learning goals

Learning Defences

Defending against learning because of sourcese.g. personality issues, stereotyping, status

Defending against learning because of contente.g. conflicting beliefs, extra effort messages, messages that cause embarrassment

Defending against learning because of message delivery e.g. past experiences, learning beliefs

Learning Obstacles

Lack of importance or uncertainty of importance.

Difficulty in reaching a learning goal.

Stress in reaching a learning goal.

Doubts about success.

Lack of control.

Learning Obstacles

Poor attitude regarding the goal.

Lack of support from others.


Lack of advantages.

Remember: Addressing just one obstacle will change the intensity of the rest.Managing Barriers To LearningFeedback Summary

Which barriers to learning did you choose to focus on?Which strategies did you use?Successful? What did you notice in the observations?

Managing Barriers To LearningResources, Ideas and Strategies

Managing Barriers To Learning

Managing Barriers To Learning

Managing Barriers To LearningEach member of the group select a scenario and discuss (or if youre feeling brave roleplay) how you would deal with the situation.


Scenario 1You arrive late to a lesson after a wet lunch break. The class are excitable and rowdy.How do you settle them and get the lesson underway?What Do You Do?Enter the room and say in a loud voice Shush. Shush. Shush. Settle down now.Stand at the front, glaring at the class with your arms folded and wait for silence.Turn to the whiteboard and start writing up the lesson objectives while waiting for the class to settle down.Raise your hand and wait for the class to respond by raising their hands. Apologise for being late.Pick on the most rowdy group and march up to them, telling them to sit down and be quiet.What may be the best choice?Raise your hand and wait for the class to respond by raising their hands. Apologise for being late This is one of a number of techniques for gaining the attention of a class. You need first to establish a rule with the class that, if you raise your hand, they do so too and that is a signal to stop and pay attention to you. By apologising, you are modelling the behaviour that all members of the group should expect from one another.Scenario 2The class are working on an exercise and becoming increasingly noisy. You want them to move on to the next task. How do you make the transition?What Do You Do?Gain attention using an established signal and ask, Who has completed the task?Write the next task up on the board.Pick on the noisiest individual to stand up and tell the class what he/she has done. Go round to each group in turn to give them the next task.Clap your hands and say firmly, Right, pens down, stop and look this way, please.Raise your voice over the noise and shout, Who is ready for the next task?What may be the best choice?Gain attention using an established signal and ask, Who has completed the task?In establishing standards with the class you should have agreed a ground rule about gaining attention (e.g. hands up). Reinforcing it with praise helps to speed up the process and establish it more firmly. However it is not enough to have quiet.You need to quickly and calmly seize the moment, and identify progress before rounding off the task and moving on. 5. Clap your hands and say firmly, Right, pens down, stop and look this way, please. Alternatively, a noise (other than shouting) can also be used to attract attention before you seize the moment to speak. Scenario 3You have a pupil in the class with Aspergers Syndrome. He has the support of a Teaching Assistant (TA). He is accepted by most of the class but you dont know how to respond when he becomes distressed by the behaviour of others. How can you include him more in lessons?

What do you do?What Do You Do?Check the pupils Individual Education Plan (IEP) before the lesson and raise any issues which occur to you with the Teaching Assistant as soon as the TA arrives.Have a word with his TA before the lesson to ensure that the TA knows your priorities for the pupil for this session and that you are up to date with any specific issues or problems. Have a regular planning meeting with the TA to discuss his learning, how best to support the pupil and any behaviour issues. Make sure that you check up on his progress in the lesson and do not leave it all to his TA.Establish and keep to consistent routines where possible, explaining changes.What may be the best choice?3. Meet with the TA regularly to plan togetherThis may be easier in a primary school where the teacher is likely to be working with one class and a smaller number of TAs. It is likely to be standard practice here. In a secondary school, especially one with many pupils with special needs, this might prove harder to achieve, but should be a priority

The other responses have their merits but without a regular meeting with the TA to review and plan for progress, inclusion will be less effective Scenario 4You tell a pupil who is disturbing the work of others to move from the back to the front of the class. The pupil refuses to move.

How do you respond?What Do You Do?Stand close to the pupil and repeat the instruction clearly until the pupil moves.Go over to the pupil and say very quietly, If you choose not to follow the class rule about where you sit, you will have chosen (insert sanction). I need you to move now please. Then walk away.If the pupil will not move, take the rest of the class out of the room and continue with the lesson elsewhere.Send for a senior member of staff.Put a Restorative sheet on the desk asking What happened? What part did you play? Who has been affected? and What do you need to do to put the situation right? Ask the pupil to fill it in then follow up.What may be the best choice?2. Go over to the pupil and say very quietly, If you choose not to follow the class rule about where you sit, you will have chosen (insert sanction). I need you to move now please. Then walk away.If you are able to achieve what you want in this way, try to ignore any secondary behaviour e.g. the pupil slamming a book down (unless this behaviour is dangerous).If the school uses restorative approaches you could use 5. Put a Restorative sheet on the desk. Scenario 5You have just started the introduction to a lesson and a pupil arrives late without a note or any explanation for the lateness. How do you respond so that there is minimum interruption to your lesson?

What do you do?What Do You Do?Check that the pupil has followed school procedures for late arrival to school, open the register and mark the pupil as late to the lesson.Demand to know why the pupil is late.If you are talking to the class, acknowledge the pupil, point to his/her place and continue with the lesson. See the pupil when there is time.Remind the pupil that this is the fifth time this has happened and ask why he/she is never on time.Ignore the pupils lateness and get on with the lesson.What may be the best choice?3. If you are talking to the class, acknowledge the pupil, point to his/her place and continue with the lesson. See the pupil when there is time.You will need to develop a procedure which does not interrupt the class.Confronting the situation head-on may make clear your annoyance at being interrupted but will further interrupt learning and distract you from teaching.Lateness should always be followed up, but it is best dealt with at a time that does not interfere with learning. For very young pupils, in particular, you may need to check with the school office or talk to parents before deciding on a course of action.Scenario 6A group of pupils misbehave continually and you want to find a way to motivate and encourage them.

How can you praise pupils who rarely shine?

What Do You Do?Use a wide range of non-verbal methods to give positive feedback to all the pupils. Make sure that members of this group are given this positive feedback as soon as they get anything right.Plan each lesson to find something positive to say to each of these pupils (by name). Keep a record to check you have done this.Differentiate your praise system to support individuals according to their behaviour for learning needs.Give misbehaving pupils a restorative sheet asking: What are you doing? Who is being affected? Are you making the right choice? What are you going to do now?Meet the pupils individually or in small groups to find out what motivates them and develop a behaviour contract. The form/class teacher or a senior colleague might be asked to sit in/help. Contact parents to express your concern and set up a joint system of praise so you can both catch them being good.What may be the best choice? The importance of creating a positive classroom climate cannot be over-estimated. All six suggested approaches could be helpful. Start with the first one, it may be enoughPupils often respond far better to quick, positive signals, such as nods, smiles, thumbs up (and/or cards saying Good listener etc. put next to them) than to long-term rewards.You might find the other approaches work well too. It could be useful to work your way through the list.It can also prove very helpful to include parents if the problems are not solved by the other methods.Scenario 7You want to improve the work ethic in a class and keep them on task. They are constantly distracting one another and ignore your threats of sanctions for misbehaviour.

How do you get them to do what you want? What Do You Do?Escalate and threaten the class with more severe sanctions.Redirect or give choice directions to pupils who misbehave and allow take-up time. Develop a hierarchy of sanctions to use progressively as behaviour gets worse.Ask a more experienced member of staff to sit in on your lesson and give you feedback on using sanctions effectively.Choose the worst behaving pupil and make a dramatic example of him or her.Explain your frustration to the class and tell them that the next person to misbehave will cause the whole class to be in detention.What may be the best choice?6. Use redirection, choice etc. and 3. Ask for feedback and advice It may be tempting to concentrate on punishments when everything is going wrong, but ever- escalating sanctions do not work. You need a range of sanctions, not an inevitable path for pupils to slide down. Creating a more positive climate in the classroom e.g. by catching pupils being good is far more effective, especially alongside clear warnings and choices that give pupils the chance to put things right and avoid being punished.Scenario 8When you tell a class what you want them to do, several pupils shout out at once asking for basic equipment or for help with the task. When you deal with one pupil, others get frustrated and say, Thats not fair, I asked first. How can you improve the way this class moves to be on-task more quickly?

What do you do?What Do You Do?Make sure that there is quiet so that everyone can hear the instructions. Stand still in a set place and check that everyone is listening.Keep instructions clear and brief. Dont add to them immediately afterwards if you have forgotten something.Give pupils a short time to discuss your instructions in pairs. Invite pairs of pupils to quickly explain the task again to the class. Have your learning objectives and brief instructions ready on the board or a handout. Have all resources to hand.Agree a ground rule for the class that no one shouts out even with their hand up. Dont respond immediately but do reprimand anyone who shouts out.Have a box of rulers, pens etc. for loan to enable pupils to get started. Put one pupil in charge of giving them out and collecting them in and noting for you anyone who is regularly without equipment.What may be the best choice?All of these could helpThere are many solutions to this common problem of giving instructions and getting a whole class on task quickly. You can try:checking if the way that you give instructions is contributing to the problem being consistent with a class so that everyone knows the routine for getting startedadjusting routines for classes with differing group dynamicsinvolving pupils in the solution asking an observer to give feedbackThank-you for your effort and participationAll resources and slides from these sessions will be made available on the Ferrers Teaching and Learning website: