University of Sunderland              Secondary Professional Year                  EDPM01 Case Study                  The ...
AcknowledgementsI would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has helped me conduct this study. I cannotname y...
IntroductionThis case study is based on observations of educational interventions for students with Anger ManagementIssues...
Literature ReviewThe scope of this case study does not allow for a comprehensive review of the relevant literature.Accordi...
deficit reduction programme. It is not yet clear what impact this will have on education. Perhaps theremoval of ―Every Chi...
his theoretical approach and work. Further details of the application and development of Feuerstein‘stheories are beyond t...
MethodologyCohen et al. (2007, chap.11) examine the Case Study as a research method. A Case Study is describedas ―an insta...
ResultsI have deliberately changed voice to the first person in the remaining sections of the report. Thisemphasises the f...
Key ResultsThe key results taken from the Observations and Interviews are summarised below:-       Without exception Self...
DiscussionThis school has been judged outstanding on more than one occasion. I have found myself in completeagreement with...
It seems to me that this is a useful model to describe the dynamics of a school community where a balanceof interior and e...
ConclusionsThis study set out to conduct an exploratory case study into Educational Interventions for AngerManagement Issu...
ReferencesBBC (1979) 1979: Election victory for Margaret Thatcher. BBC. Available from:      <http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthis...
[Accessed 26 October 2010].Hurst, G. (2011) Technical Schools | Search | The Times [Internet]. Available from:       <http...
BibliographyAnon (1995) a school-based anger management program for developmentally and emotionally disabled       high sc...
DCSF (2001) Inclusive Schooling: Children with Special Educational Needs [Internet]. Available from:      <http://publicat...
The Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Program‖. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology,       7 (1), p.pp.123-127....
(2), p.pp.551-559.Kozulin, Alex & Presseisen, B.Z. (1995) Mediated learning experience and psychological tools: Vygotsky‘s...
Swinson, J. (2008) The self-esteem of pupils in schools for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural      difficultie...
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The Wrong Trousers Educational Interventions For Anger Management Issues At Ks3 And Their Impact On The Success Of Inclusion

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An exploratory case study considering the impact of education interventions on the success of inclusion

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The Wrong Trousers Educational Interventions For Anger Management Issues At Ks3 And Their Impact On The Success Of Inclusion

  1. 1. University of Sunderland Secondary Professional Year EDPM01 Case Study The Wrong Trousers?Educational Interventions for Anger Management Issues at KS3 and their Impact on the Success of Inclusion Alistair Hain th 7 January 2011
  2. 2. AcknowledgementsI would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has helped me conduct this study. I cannotname you individually for ethical reasons due to the nature of the study, but you know who you are. Thankyou.
  3. 3. IntroductionThis case study is based on observations of educational interventions for students with Anger ManagementIssues over a 3 month period between October and December 2010. It took place in a large comprehensiveschool in the North East of England which has consistently been rated as outstanding by Ofsted. The keyprofessional staff involved in the management and delivery of such interventions, were interviewed toprovide a qualitative understanding of the intervention delivery. The scope of this study is necessarilygeneral in its content. There is insufficient space or time allowed to conduct a deeper or morecomprehensive study.It would be worthwhile defining some of the terms adopted throughout this report to clarify their meaning asused here. The SEN Code of Practice defines Special Educational Needs (SEN) as a learning difficultywhich requires special educational provision. Mainstream schools are schools which cater for the vastmajority of children at both primary and secondary level. Inclusion relates to the education of children withSEN in mainstream schools contrary to earlier established practice of educating them exclusively in „specialschools‟ which focus solely on the education of SEN students (Dworman, 2001, p.6).An educational intervention is an additional resource or provision designed to overcome barriers to learningfor individual or small groups of students with SEN. Anger Management Issues are one such barrier tolearning whereby students are unable to manage their emotional response to circumstances which arise inthe teaching and social environments of the school. The literature more commonly discusses these issuesunder the general term BESD (Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties). Key stage 3 (KS3) coversyears 7 to 9 and involves a transition from primary to secondary education in all but a small number ofareas, where a 3 tier system is used. This is a major change in the way teaching and learning is deliveredand can bring substantial pressure to bear on students with BESD.
  4. 4. Literature ReviewThe scope of this case study does not allow for a comprehensive review of the relevant literature.Accordingly the review presented below takes a broad brush approach intending to pick out the key themesgermane to the study rather than a detailed analysis.Political and Policy ContextThe principle of inclusion with respect to education has emerged over the last 60 years. There is a statutoryrequirement to offer children with SEN, including BESD, a mainstream education deriving from internationallaw. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 (United Nations, 1948) defined the principles fromwhich the issue of inclusion in mainstream for SEN derives. Article 26 defines the right for everyone to haveaccess to education and gives parents the right to choose. The UK was one of 92 signatories to theSalamanca Statement in 1994 (UNESCO, 1994) promoting inclusive education, particularly for those withSEN, and the establishment of a framework for action.Successive governments have had varying political ideologies. In the last 30 years in Margaret Thatcher,Tony Blair and David Cameron, we have had Prime Ministers with strong ideological vision driving a reformagenda.Margaret Thatcher‘s economic vision for a free market economy also influenced education policy (MargaretThatcher Foundation, 2010). It led to the introduction of a National Curriculum in 1988 (HM Government,1988) and the creation of Ofsted in 1992 (HM Government, 1992). The irony of the feisty Mrs Thatcherquoting St Francis (BBC, 1979) on entry into Downing Street was perhaps not lost on the British publichowever, and despite her government introducing the basis for the current inclusion, inspection andstandards framework, it is possibly for cuts and confrontation her governments will be most remembered.The Education Act of 1996 (HM Government, 1996) introduced statutory responsibilities for schools toinclude necessary provision in mainstream for children with SEN and have regard for the SEN Code ofPractice (Dworman, 2001). A major revision of the code was published in 2001 along with an SEN Toolkit(DfE, 2001). The document ―Inclusive Schooling: Children with Special Educational Needs‖ (DCSF, 2001)provides statutory guidance on applying SEN legislation. The principle of inclusion may only be set aside byparental choice or where inclusion of the child is incompatible with the efficient education of other children.It defines mainstream education and reasonable steps to be taken for inclusion. It gives specific advice forchildren with BESD and examines what constitutes efficient education for the purposes of inclusion.Tony Blair placed education at the very heart of his political agenda. ―Education, Education, Education”,was his clarion call when he took office in 1997 (YouTube 2007). His governments instituted a major capitalinvestment programme in the school infrastructure, reform of the inspectorate and the creation of the EveryChild Matters (ECM) agenda. The issue of inclusion was at the heart of the education debate (Corbett,2001). There have since been questions raised about the value for money delivered by Blair‘s New Labourgovernments and their education programmes (Coughlan, 2007).The ‗Every Child Matters‘ green paper published in 2003 (HM Government, 2003) defined the fiveoutcomes for children within a framework of universal children‘s services, giving all children entitlement tofulfil their potential. The Children‘s Act, 2004, provided the legal force necessary for ECM requiring allprofessionals involved in providing services for children to co-operate and be accountable for theirprotection: applying equally to the support, protection and inclusion of children with BESD as to any otherchild (HM Government, 2004).The arrival of David Cameron in 2010 with his vision of ―The Big Society‖ leading the first coalitiongovernment for decades poses more questions than answers at this point. Cameron describes his vision as"… things that fire you up in the morning, that drive you, that you truly believe will make a real difference tothe country you love, and my great passion is building the big society …” in his speech launching The BigSociety (BBC, 2010). While there is a clear sense of purpose in this vision, at this point in time there isnecessarily more rhetoric than results. The theme dominating recent political debate has been the budget
  5. 5. deficit reduction programme. It is not yet clear what impact this will have on education. Perhaps theremoval of ―Every Child Matters‖ from the education agenda to be replaced by some bland alternative suchas ―The Five Outcomes‖ suggests a focus more on results than values.The significance of the education white paper on Teaching (DfE, 2010) for children with BESD issues isperhaps seen more from what it does not say rather than what it sets out. Teaching, accountability,standards and independence get high prominence. Special Educational Needs are barely mentioned in its81 pages and when SEN is mentioned it is used as a catch-all generic term. It is perhaps no coincidencethat just prior to the publication of this white paper that Ofsted stated that “the term „special needs‟ wasbeing used too widely” (Sharp, 2010).Educational Interventions, Anger Management & BESDThere is limited reference in the literature to anger management issues in the context of educationalinterventions although there is a considerable body of research relating to the therapeutic treatment of suchissues. More fertile ground is found when the search terms are expanded to include BESD.According to the SEN Code of Practice (Dworman, 2001) meeting the needs of SEN falls into four distinctstrands:  assessment, planning and review  grouping for teaching purposes  additional human resources  curriculum and teaching methodsA three stage approach is outlined in the code which applies at both primary and secondary levels:  School Action (normally handled entirely from school resources)  School Action Plus (handled by the school but utilising professional resources from out with the school)  Statement (a formal legal process which involves professionals from across the spectrum of Children‘s Services although there is a trend within Local Authorities to move away from the Statement process due primarily to cost)These stages are progressive with increasingly intensive intervention at each stage.Stressors, Risks and Resilience, (Haggerty et al., 1996), is explored as an approach to the design ofeducational interventions which is of particular value for students with BESD. It was observed that somestudents seem to cope better with stressors than others. Behaviours are seen as falling in one of twocategories: Risk and Resilience. Those who adopt a more consistent use of resilient behaviours are seen tocope better with multiple stressors. The approach of basing interventions around resilient behaviours ispromoted, unifying theory and practice in a positive contribution to the removal of learning barriers derivingfrom BESD.One aspect of Haggerty et al‘s approach, which is perhaps not addressed currently in the training ofsecondary school teachers, is that where a behaviour which forms a barrier to learning derives from anarrested development in early years, it requires an intervention appropriate to the age at which the problemoriginated and not at the age of the student when the behaviour manifests itself in Secondary school.Feuerstein‘s work on Instrumental Enrichment since the late 1970‘s (Segal et al., 1985, chap.1) has hadsignificant impact on the design of interventions. His work targets the enrichment of what Feuerstein termsinstrumental cognitive deficiencies. Based on the theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability his assertion isthat we can change meaningfully the way an individual thinks with a suitable intervention programme. Atthe core of this theory is Mediated Learning Experience through which an individual can modify the waythey think to adapt to changing social and cultural circumstances.Instrumental Enrichment is a programme suitable for both group and individual interventions, focusing onenriching instrumental deficiencies to modify permanently the way we think. A large body of research cites
  6. 6. his theoretical approach and work. Further details of the application and development of Feuerstein‘stheories are beyond the scope of this report but a representative selection from the Literature can be foundin the Bibliography. One such paper (Link, 1991) is a particularly relevant example because it providesquantitative justification of Feuerstein‘s work based on a 2 year study in schools.An issue that needs to be addressed with respect to the success of the inclusion agenda is the re-integration of BESD students into the normal learning and social environment of the school. Theachievement of re-integration is a critical success factor for inclusion of students with BESD whereinterventions are progressively reduced and withdrawn. A study, (Iwata et al., 2009), provides quantitativeevidence of the possibility for re-integration, showing that phased withdrawal of interventions wassuccessful in 91% of individual cases (N=34). In the remaining cases it was necessary to maintain theinterventions in order to provide some measure of re-integration.In its report, ‗Inclusion: does it matter where pupils are taught?‘ (Ofsted, 2006), Ofsted present evidencethat resourced mainstream education provides more outstanding or good provision for SEN than otherforms of education. In 2010, based on the reaction to the publication of Ofsted‘s SEN report (Ofsted, 2010)and the Teaching white paper (DfE, 2010), we have seen a growing polarisation between Government,Ofsted and the Teaching profession portrayed in the press (Maddern, 2010). It is not clear whether Ofstedare acting as independent observers or as instruments of government policy.―May you live in interesting times” is reputedly an ancient Chinese curse. The teacher-centric style ofeducation in modern China which is rated at the top end of the current world rankings (The Telegraph,2011) may become a modern day curse if as has been suggested it is taken per se as the role model forimproving education the UK.
  7. 7. MethodologyCohen et al. (2007, chap.11) examine the Case Study as a research method. A Case Study is describedas ―an instance in action” of a bounded system. It is descriptive and detailed with a narrow focus combiningboth subjective and objective data. They identify three distinct types of Case Study:-  Exploratory (a pilot or precursor to further research)  Descriptive (narrative accounts from participants)  Explanatory (testing theories)This study adopts an exploratory approach. It seeks to explore educational interventions for angermanagement Issues at KS3 and gain some insight into their impact on the success of inclusion. Due to theexploratory nature of the study and the limitations of scope outlined in the academic brief for this work, itadopts a relatively unstructured approach. Interviews were conducted with key staff members representingthe range of professional roles employed in the placement school. A thematic approach was taken basedon the following headings:-  Transition Arrangements to KS3  Assessing the extent of an individual student‘s issue  Design and resourcing of interventions  Differentiation and personalisation of students learning  Monitoring the impact of interventions  Decision making process for inclusion  Liaison with other professionals within and out with the schoolDue to the differing roles of the interviewees, the interviews themselves were free-flowing seeking aconversational style. Interviewees were given advance notice of the themes by email (Appendix 1).Observations of students with anger management issues were carried out both in the classroom and in thelearning support areas. Again a natural structure was adopted and the students were not aware that theywere being observed.In addition to the investigations above I interviewed informally the Senior Leadership Team at CastlegreenBESD School in Sunderland. I had previously worked there earlier in 2010 acting as a one to one LSA for astudent with complex Mental Health Issues including Anger Management. I have called him Harry below.Experience of working with Harry has reinforced the results obtained from this case study.Notes were recorded during the interview and shortly after the observation periods. BESD issues aredeeply personal, rooted in a child‘s biography (Swinson et al., 2003), and raise ethical considerationsrelating to privacy (British Educational Research Association., 2004). As a result of these considerations allpersonal references in this report are anonymous or use fictitious names.
  8. 8. ResultsI have deliberately changed voice to the first person in the remaining sections of the report. Thisemphasises the fact that it is my personal interpretation of results that is given and that professional staffinvolved in the data gathering have not had the opportunity to review what I have said. I have used thename Tom below to identify a particular student in the comprehensive school. Harry is used to describe aBESD student at Castlegreen School who I spent June 2010 with, working as a one to one LearningSupport Assistant.The primary mechanisms for data collection as described above were by observation of students andinterviews with key professionals. Whilst every attempt was made to obtain a comprehensive range ofobservations for interventions in action, and interviews, it was impossible to achieve. As a student teacher Iwas mindful of the fact that staff already had committed schedules. My case study was not at the top oftheir agenda for obvious reasons. Since I had set out to do an exploratory study my main concern wasadequately to cover the topic as opposed to a more comprehensive coverage which would be beyond theavailable time and space. I am satisfied that I have sufficient data to meet my objectives.ObservationsObservations were conducted without Tom knowing he was being observed but with the full knowledge ofthe professional staff delivering the interventions. In total about 40 hours of observations were carried out.Due to Tom‘s particular circumstances only about 10% of the observation time was in the classroom whereI had the full support of the teacher who was subsequently interviewed. The remaining observation timewas primarily undertaken in The Bridge learning support area with the full knowledge and cooperation ofthe Learning Support Manager and Tom‘s Learning Support Assistant, both of whom were interviewed aspart of the study.The Bridge is a learning support area run by the learning support team for year 7 & 8 students. It is used asa timeout space, a one to one work area, as well as a social space for SEN students and those who mayhave short term pastoral needs. During the observation periods I made no attempt to single out Tom, ratherI just merged into the background giving help to staff and students when the opportunity arose and for theremainder of the time carrying out my own work. The Bridge is a special place which has a warm andsupportive atmosphere but which nevertheless has clear boundaries and a sense of purpose as a learningzone.During the time I spent in The Bridge I witnessed a highly committed and professional team delivering theinterventions identified in appendix 2.In my classroom observation, an extended enquiry science lesson which was challenging for Tom due bothto his personal barriers to learning and because of he was experiencing a particularly black mood at schoolthat day; I witnessed highly professional intervention by the teacher and learning support assistant workingclosely in tandem. In particular Tom was not engaging and was acting in a disruptive manner. The teacherused the school Behaviour Policy (see Appendix 8) with great skill - going through the stages and involvingthe LSA and Tom in choices to be made.InterviewsThe intention of the interviews was to obtain as much coverage of the professional input in to theeducational outcomes as possible. A complete summary of the interview results is given in Appendix 2.Due to time constraints, interviews lasted from as little as 5 minutes to over 1 hour. They provided a richsource of information to inform the literature review although some academic areas such as Solution FocusTherapy could not be included due to the timing of the interview. Where possible these areas are includedin the Bibliography.
  9. 9. Key ResultsThe key results taken from the Observations and Interviews are summarised below:-  Without exception Self-Esteem, Relationship and Trust were seen as an essential pre-cursor to effective delivery of interventions  A commitment by the school to Continuing Professional Development for all staff ensured that the practice of delivering interventions was founded in relevant academic research  Effective use was made of external specialist resources  A very strong commitment was made by all staff to ensuring that Inclusion was successful by carefully designed and professionally delivered interventions  In Tom‘s case a decision has been made to refer him to the Pupil Referral Unit because it has been decided that this is in his best interests given his particular circumstances  This is not seen as a failure of the interventions for Tom rather it is seen as a natural consequence of the interventions, monitoring of their effectiveness and the careful consideration of Tom‘s needs  There are several examples in the school where the interventions have allowed students with BESD to be successfully re-integrated into the classroom  The whole school approach to Teaching, Learning and Behaviour Management is a major factor in the success of Educational Interventions for BESDAlthough not observed by me personally it was reported during the interviews that in some instances somestaff were not clear of the best way of handling students with BESD. This is an area which Castlegreenhave developed. The have transformed their Risk Assessments which are not particularly helpful as abriefing document for staff into a personalised Crisis Management Plan. The relevant documents for Harryare shown in Appendices 6 & 7. This was not available at the time when I was working with Harry but wouldhave been a valuable resource if it had.
  10. 10. DiscussionThis school has been judged outstanding on more than one occasion. I have found myself in completeagreement with that judgement during the course of my placement. All staff have been supportive,committed and willing to offer advice and constructive criticism. The school constantly strives to reflect andimprove on its practice at all levels. This level of commitment and professionalism is, in my opinion, theprincipal reason why interventions are successful here. The openness to new approaches from academicresearch is important but is secondary to the whole school values and ethos.The centrality of Self-Esteem to the successful delivery of Interventions is not restricted to BESD. Duringthe course of the observation time the theme for Year 8 tutorial work was Self-Esteem. My Year 8 tutorialgroup came up with a class agreement based on trust for the way we as a group would behave whentalking about Self-Esteem issues (Hain, 2010, p.7 to 12). High Self-Esteem is central to learning for allstudents including SEN. Low Self-Esteem is a barrier to learning. The class agreement we came up with(Appendix 9) was adopted by the staff in The Bridge for use with the Nurture Group which started inDecember 2010.At about this time I was conducting the first interviews for the study. It struck me that in singling out AngerManagement Issues, a convenient label, and considering Interventions for that then I was perhaps gettingthe wrong end of the stick. The school counsellor for Years 7 & 8 made the point strongly, that labels werenot helpful in dealing with BESD issues or any other pastoral issues for that matter. ECM unequivocallyexpects us to treat every child as a unique individual and labels are not helpful to them in practice eventhough they might be useful in an academic analysis.Earlier in 2010, while preparing to take up the LSA post at Castlegreen BESD School, I had read some ofKen Wilber‘s work (Wilber, 2007). Wilber was the founder of the Integral Psychology field which seeks tobalance the views of Eastern and Western philosophy in a radical holistic psychological model. Althoughcritics (Integralworld.net, 2010) are many and vociferous the Spirit in Action 4 Quadrant Model is a powerfulway of describing the holistic nature of individuals and communities. Upper Left Upper Right Individual Intentional Behavioural I It Lower Left Lower Right Collective Cultural Social We Its Interior Exterior Wilber‘s 4 Quadrant Model (Wilber, 2007)Wilber goes to considerable lengths to develop this framework throughout his work. His thesis is thathuman knowledge unfolds in all four quadrants. The left-hand quadrants are interior i.e. subjective andinter-subjective. These are a measure of depth. The right-hand quadrants are exterior i.e. objective andinter-objective. These are a measure of span. Over-emphasis on any sub-set of quadrants leads us into anintellectual ―flatland‖ giving rise to a fatal imbalance in our understanding and development. He argues thatin the western world, the modern period of the last three hundred years or so has given undue prominenceto objective knowledge at the expense of the other quadrants and that in our post-modern world we mustallow the interior side to reclaim its place in the pantheon of human experience and knowledge.
  11. 11. It seems to me that this is a useful model to describe the dynamics of a school community where a balanceof interior and exterior, cultural and social factors come together. A search of the literature surprisinglyfound no reference to Wilber‘s work relating to education.Given the evident centrality of Self-Esteem to academic and personal development I have modified Wilber‘smodel to what follows. Learning Teaching Self-Esteem Wonder Knowledge I Insight Discovery Community Understanding Tolerance We Engagement Balance Interior Exterior A Holistic Model for Inclusive EducationWhile it is beyond the scope of this report fully to explore this amended model we can see that the left handquadrants relate to internal subjective aspects while the right hand quadrants relate to externalenvironmental aspects. The upper quadrants relate to individuals while the lower quadrants comprise theinteraction of the education community. A further refinement would be to introduce another dimensioncoming out of the page denoting progress or transcendence. Self-esteem is a key dimension the collectiveaspect of which is Community.The impact of the recent political change on the meaning of inclusion and its success as a policy is in myopinion open to question. While it is probably too early in the coalition government‘s tenure to make firmjudgements it seems to me that by moving from ECM to the Five Outcomes we are at risk of trying to fly aflag without a flagpole. The scant coverage of SEN in the Teaching white paper (DfE, 2010) furtherreinforces those concerns. The polarisation of the Government, Ofsted and the Teaching Profession givesus either a problem or an opportunity to grow as a nation through our education system.If we apply the comments on labelling to the secondary education system as a whole then I come to asimilar conclusion to that which the school counsellor came to with respect to individuals. From aneducation practice point of view it can be problematic to use labels such as Mainstream, BESD and SENwithout a coherent philosophy of education and social values which forestall the barriers of division. Therecent announcement of a new type of Technical/Vocational School (Hurst, 2011) runs the risk of furtherdivision within education no matter how good an idea it may be. Many of us will remember attitudes to theSecondary Modern system of the 1960‘s and the negative connotations of failing the 11-plus.―To Include or not to Include?‖, - and the corollary: ―How best do we deliver the 5 outcomes to every citizenfor the benefit of our society?‖ would be good questions to ask of our politicians, inspectors and teachers ifwe want to progress as a nation to bring about ―The Big Society‖.
  12. 12. ConclusionsThis study set out to conduct an exploratory case study into Educational Interventions for AngerManagement Issues at KS3 and their Impact on the Success of Inclusion. It has considered Political,Academic and Practical aspects in a general sense. I hope that as an exploratory study it gives someinsight into the issues facing us as a nation when considering our Education System and bringing about―The Big Society‖. I hope also that it raises more questions that merit further study.If we as a nation remain stuck in polemical politics and swings of an ideological pendulum then I fear wewill end up like Wallace wearing the wrong trousers to the detriment of all.
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