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By Michael Farrell

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Additional info for The Effective Teachers' Guide to Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties: Practical Strategies (Farrell, Michael, New Directions in Special Educational Needs)

Sample text

THINKING POINTS Readers may wish to consider: ◆ the pupils in a particular school who are identified as having BESD and decide whether, for any, a cognitive perspective provides a credible explanation and possible response to the pupil; ◆ whether interventions would be likely to be more effective if they involved (following training) staff who know the pupils well or whether outside support, for example, from an educational or clinical psychologist might be more effective. 40 Cognitive approach KEY TEXTS Antidote (2003) The Emotional Literacy Handbook, London, David Fulton Publishers.

Cognitive approaches place particular emphasis on ‘internal’ phenomena, such as perception and memory, which one develops from experience and which influence one’s current behaviour. Personal awareness of the environment and the ability to respond flexibly to it are considered important as are intuition and insight. The child is seen as an active participant in her learning – spontaneously activated to explore and learn. 30 Cognitive approach In a cognitive approach to pupils with BESD, such processes are given careful consideration as a possible explanation for the difficulties, and as ways of dealing with them.

Given that the eventual aim is to modify the pupil’s behaviour, detailed observations of the behaviour that it is proposed to change are necessary. The observer has to specify clearly the conduct to be observed, for example making inappropriate noises in class, in purely behavioural terms. Sometimes the description of the behaviour will be refined as observations are made, so that further observations are necessary using the refined definitions. For example, it may be decided in observing a pupil making inappropriate noises in class that it is only those noises that are loud enough to disturb others that should be the focus of intervention.

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