Nagging teachers ‘prompt pupils to become more disruptive’

More pupils will attend their first choice schools this year, the council has said
More pupils will attend their first choice schools this year, the council has said
Have your say

Nagging teachers can lead to children becoming more disruptive and disengaged in the classroom, research suggests.

A study found that psychological pressure from teachers can contribute towards youngsters losing interest in lessons.

The work by researchers at Kent University found that while teachers may be putting pressure on pupils in an attempt to engage them, this can have the opposite effect.

These pressures include threatening a child with punishment such as detention if they fail to follow a request, or telling them to do something without explaining why.

This can lead to youngsters showing signs of disengagement, such as talking or fidgeting in class, or switching off and daydreaming, it suggests.

Author Dr Stephen Earl said that at times teachers have a very difficult job and if there are children in a lesson who are disengaged it is easy respond to this by putting pressure on them.

“It’s a kind of threat, a pressure to get them to do it. Although it’s intended to engage them more, the study shows it might actually disengage them more in an active or passive way.”

The small-scale study, which involved 647 11-14-year-olds at three schools, was based on asking pupils to complete questionnaires about their classes, and teachers rating how engaged they thought students were in lessons.

The purpose was to examine disengagement in classrooms.

Dr Earl said that he is planning a larger study on disengagement, involving more schools.