sIntroduction the investigation being carried out, I will be

sIntroduction (400

For my research I will be investigating if implementing
increasing levels of praise can reduce low level disruption in a mixed ability year
9 group. This study relates to the whole school priority of overcoming barriers
to learning. According to a report carried out by Ofsted (2014), it was
reported that “pupils are potentially
losing up to an hour each day in English schools because of low level disruption
in classrooms.” (Ofsted, 2014).  Low level disruption is more insidious and can
be classified as “minor” behavioural issues in comparison to major behavioural
issues such as physical aggression within a classroom setting (Sue Cowley, 2006).  However the impact of low level disruption
should not be underestimated it can have a serious overall impact on the
learning and progress of students and can play a part in pushing away dedicated
teachers from the profession (ofsted, 2014).

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I have chosen to investigate low level disruption and what
strategy can be implemented, due to having a very difficult year 9 cohort.
During my first lesson with 9S, I noticed that incidences of low level
disruption were very high and much of vital learning time was being wasted in
reprimanding students. With a syllabus change and students now being taught
their science GCSEs from year 9, time wasted will have an adverse impact on student’s
ability to progress. As a trainee teacher, this project will allow me to
investigate if increasing levels of praise could potentially reduce incidences
of low level disruption and help within my practice, with effective behavioural

Low level disruption encompasses a wide variety of behaviours,
some outlined in the ofsted ( 2014), report include talking unnecessarily, calling out without permission, being slow to
start work or follow instructions, using mobile devices inappropriately(ofsted,
2014). In the investigation being carried out,  I will be focusing on 4 specific low level Behavioural
incidences(LLBI) which will be the dependent variable (being measured) these
will be calling out without permission, talking over the teacher, getting out
of chair without permission and talking over classmate. These behaviours will
be recorded as a tally by my mentor, through observations, each week. The variables
that will be controlled will be the amount of positive commendations
given out each lesson and seeing if the number of LLBI decreases. Positive commendations are points for positive behaviour
that are handed out to students. Both negative and positive behaviours will be
recorded on the schools system, Progresso and this will be included in the


Research plan (200

Research question – What strategy can be implemented to reduce
low level disruption in class 9S?

-Does providing more praise/commendations reduce low level
disruptive behaviours in the classroom?

My study aims to investigate implementing increasing levels
of praise, in the form of positive points (positive commendations); within my
year 9 classroom to see if this can reduce the level of LLBI. The four LLBI
that will be recorded will be calling out without permission, talking over the
teacher, getting out of chair without permission and talking over classmate. I
hypothesise that an increase in positive commendations will result in a
reduction in the level of LLBI.

On starting with my year 9 groups, through mentor sessions
and feedback provided. My mentor brought to my attention, that I was
consistently underlining the negative behaviours in a mixed ability class year
9 groups. The group did not have any major behavioural problems, however low
level disruptive behaviours such as talking over the teacher, calling out, etc
were occurring every lesson. We discussed it would be good to investigate if
increasing the levels of praise, within the students, could encourage a more
positive climate within the classroom thus reducing the number of  these low level behavioural incidences. 

One of my original question sub questions was “Does changing
the seating plan improves behaviour?” however on discussion with my mentor, we
found it would be difficult to collate data for this particular question and
decided to focus specifically on my first sub question, due to time constraints,
allowing the research question to be more focused and data collection would be
more straightforward to collect each week for my mentor (more practical –
collection of LLBI each week.


Research plan (800

I have chosen a mixed ability year 9 group, who across the
board have behavioural issues and are a very difficult class. There are two
children with SEN needs in the group. Observing prior attained data, students
are well below the expected levels in science. Low level disruption may be having
an impact on student’s progress.

Mine is an experimental research design. An experimental
design aims to test the impact one variable may have upon another (Miller,
2005). The independent variable, which is what is being manipulated across the
experiment are increasing praise (positive commendations). The dependent
variable, to be measured, is the number of low level disruptive behavioural
incidences (including calling out without permission, talking over the teacher,
getting out of chair without permission, talking over classmate). By
manipulating the independent variable the dependent variable can be measured to
see if increasing praise and will reduce the number of low level disruptive
behavioural incidences.  The first two
weeks of the research no positive commendations will be given out to students
and the number of low level disruptive behavioural incidences will be recorded.
During week’s three to seven, the levels of positive commendations given out
each week will increase, by 3 each week. My mentor will be the data gatherer
who will count the number of LLBI which will be noted as only, calling out
without permission, talking over the teacher, getting out of chair without
permission, talking over classmate on an observation sheet. 

I have chosen the experimental
research design for this study. Experimental enquiry seeks to learns facts and
find out relationships between variables. It can be the most effective way of
finding out cause and effect relationships (Miller, 2005). It helps test relationships
by manipulating independent variable and determining its effect on dependent
variable. Survey or questionnaires were not carried out due to time
constraints, using questionnaires as a means of testing can be difficult to
analyse if there is relationship between two variables and ethical issues could
come up because yet again you require informed consent from participants
(Wilson, 2017). Informed consent, right to privacy and data protection are key
principles of research ethics which are important for each researcher to follow
(Ali and Kelly, 2004). I will be collecting quantitative data, as my mentor
will be counting the number of LLBI  that
are observed during the class, this will provide data showing the influence of
independent variables, immediately available without much analysis.
Quantitative data gathered through observations helps measure the objective
reality (Creswell, 2009). However due to the nature of experimental design,
when carrying out my research design, I have found that external factors may
affect how students respond during the lessons (e.g. time of day, whether they
have eaten lunch), these factors may impact the study, these variable are
called confounding variables (Miller, 2005). Bailey et al. (2005) explains
confounding variables as, “an additional factor which influences the outcome of
the study of interest.”  I have taken
these in to account and to minimize their impact I have used the same year 9
group throughout the study and the experiment will be carried out in the same classroom.

The type of research method I will be implementing is
educational action research. Action research is conducted to solve a problem in
immediate setting of the researcher. The practitioner is the researcher and the
aim is to step-by-step monitor the research process and modifies it in order to
solve the problem in the context (Cohen et al, 2007). I have identified an area
that is  on priority list of the school
where I am conducting this study, i.e. barriers to learning. Further discussing
with my mentor and critically looking within my own practice, I identified
low-level disruption as a barrier to learning and have decided to investigate
the strategies to be implemented to reduce low level disruption (Wilson, 2017).
I applied two techniques, one by one, in order to check the difference they
make. Within action research I am able to actively improve my practice and
commit to change for betterment that will benefit the school and children
(Wilson, 2017).  Action research can be a
vital form of research because it allows the researcher to critically self
evaluates his or her practice this can bring about changes and the conditions
in which teachers practice (Kemmis, 2009). It can also help to bring about
educational reform (Somekh et al, 2009).


Research plan (ethical)

There are numerous ethical issues which can arise during
educational research. Thus, as a researcher the importance of awareness and
adherence to the 14 point ethical code must be applied (Cohen et al, 2011).
Within my research I have focused on the most important ethical issues that may
arise within the study and how they will be addressed showing my awareness of
these issues.

Informed consent – Participants will be asked
for their consent to participate in the study. They will also be made aware
that they may choose to withdraw from the study during any point.

Access and acceptance – permission will be taken
from mentor and head teacher, before beginning the study, so that both
researcher and institutions are aware of the study and have assessed any prior
issues which may affect the participants and how these can be resolved, before
the study begins.

Data storage and security – Students data will
be included in research from the school system, Progresso. The data will be
private and will be destroyed immediately, after the study. Participants will
be made aware of whom the data will be available to and that their privacy will
be respected.

Confidentiality – names during study will be
represented as initials to respect confidentiality.



Findings (950

Findings (1000 words)

Here I would discuss the findings of
the data collected for this study. I collected data over seven weeks in Year 9
class. The data shows how change in positive commendations changes low level
disruptive behaviours. With the help of two figures below, data is explained
and discussed.

Figure 1 shows the number of
positive commendations given and LLD behaviours recorded over seven weeks
across science lesson on a Friday period 2 and 3 (double lesson). During week 1
and week 2, no positive commendations were given out to students and it can be
seen that the levels of low level incidences noted was highest for week 1 and
week 2.During week 2,51 incidences of low level disruptive behaviours (calling
out without permission, talking over the teacher, getting out of chair without
permission, talking over classmate) were recorded, which is the highest during
the entire data gathering process. As the weeks progressed it can be noticed that
the level of LLD incidences decreases, with week 7 having 5 total incidences
recorded, which is the lowest of all the weeks. Positive commendations were
introduced from week 3 and its levels are increased every week. A simple
observation at the graph shows that as the levels of positive commendations are
increased the levels of LLD behaviours aredecreased, over weeks 3 to 7, showing
that low lever disruptive behaviour is inversely proportional to positive
commendation. The data shows that the level of praise has reduced the number of
LLB incidences. This could be due to creating a 
positive climate which is an effective to establishing a safe and caring
environment for pupils and by introducing more positive commendations has the
impact of positive reinforcement, which can reduce unwanted behaviours
bystudents.Cowley(2009) notes that teacher should try different ways to
increase learners self-confidence and the best way to do it is through praise.
She proposes to use positive commendation whenever there is something positive
done by a student. Praising them for whever they learn anything or progress in
any way increases their interest in learning. Cowleyalso suggests praising
students by their names and in writing for their written work. The influence of
praise on behavious can be seen in Figure 2.


2 shows as the number of positive commendations given to students increases,
the number of LLD decreases. We can say that there is a negative correlation
between the data. Correlation coefficient helps measure the strength of relationship
between two variables. The value of R is     
-0.889. This is a strong negative correlation, which means that high X
variable scores go with low Y variable scores. Coon and Mitterer (2010: 39)
explains this as, ‘in a negative correlation, higher score in the first measure
as associated with lower measure in the second’. Correlation coefficients
merely show if there is a relationship between the two variables.The cause and
effect relationship cannot be summarised through this. Therefore, this research
lacks specificity when it comes to the type of praise being investigated asa
more general approach was applied. However, the purpose of the research was
achieved as it was to find the relationship between praise and level disruptive
behaviours, if any.

Many factors may have influenced the
results of the study, especially during data collection process.  My mentor was recording the data; she used to
teach the same class in which I conducted this study.Her presence may have
affected student’s behaviour during the collection of data in the study. It is often observed in other researches that the presence of
an undisguised external observer collecting data leaves impact on participants
behaviours.However, having one of their own teachers as a data recorder
has its own advantages. The participants were acquainted with her and it did
not take them time to get used to with her presence. But then again, it is also
important to discuss the observer bias, along with researcher bias here which
is discussed below.

As my mentorwas observing and noting
the LLD behaviours at the same time, there arise a question to record every
incident.And this raises an issue with the accuracy and consistency of the
data.  Because it was a group I knew to
be typically involved in low level disruptive behaviour or we can call it a
difficult group, the observer also knew the same. Consequently, instead of
being biased, due to her knowledge of the temperaments of individual students,
she knew where to focus and how to record all incidences.The presence of two
teachers who knew the group of participants well makes the data more
trustworthy and reliable.

It was also found that a group of
particular students had persistent low level behavioural incidences during the
seven week period, praising these particular students did decrease levels of
unwanted behaviour. For example student K.W had six LLBI in week 6 and this
decreased to two recorded incidences in week 2.

the other hand,many confounding variables could’ve affected the reliability of the
results for example recording during a double lesson were students may become
restless and this may result in disruptive tendencies. I found during the third
week disruption was occurring in the same few students, in thatweek I handed
out positive commendations to well behaved students- who were modelling the
example behaviour I wanted all students to follow. The number of praise was
targeted at a particular group of students from week 5 to 7 to see if their
behaviour could be improved by praising them more, as during the first two
weeks I solely focused on negative behaviours, which could’ve reinforced these
behaviours. Out of the two types of observation data, this study mainly carries
direct data, that is, my external observer observes the class while I teach
them and record all incidences of LLD behaviour. However,
one source of data does not help triangulate and raises a question of validity.
To cope with the issues of validity, I discussed the data collection
process and the behaviours of students over the seven weeks with my mentor who
was gathering the data and was observing my classes. Her feedback helped me
understand my data better and confirmed my findings that student behaviour
changed over the period of data collection positively.


Conclusion (300 words)

From my research I can conclude that increasing levels of
praise reduce the number specific low level Behavioural incidences ; calling
out without permission, talking over the teacher, getting out of chair without
permission and talking over classmate. It must be noted that it may not be
possible to generalise the findings of the study to all students. Using praise
as a tool to reduce levels of unwanted behaviours has supported by research.
Partin (2010) found that using teacher praise can reinforce positive behaviours
in student thus decreasing unwanted behaviours. However creating a safe,
nurturing classroom environment where students feel safe and where they feel
teachers have high expectations of them is vital to establishing an environment
that promote positive behaviours(need to find a quote for this).


Ways forward (200

With more time to research I have outlined ways forward and
how the research could further be improved

The study finds that positive commendations
decrease instances of low level disruptive behavioural incidences in students,
to go further it could be investigated which types of positive recommendations
are the most effective and why. Various types of praise such as writing home,
phone call home, merits (cowley, 2006).

The findings found that it was a set particular
group of students who had the lowest level disruptions; a possible study could
focus on those particular students. Questionnaires and one to one surveys can
be implemented to find out what motivates these students and see if there are
other factors that can be affecting their ability to access the work (poor
behaviour usually has a reason and could be because of external factors such as
difficult home life or difficulty in understanding the work – quote for

Found during the study that as  a new teacher wasn’t making my expectations
clear and setting clear boundaries which is important. Mentor and me discussed
this after the study and made a behavioural contract with students which was
reinforced for 2 lessons after. This is something that could be further




























































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