Scoping out the literature, we found that the ‘voice of the child’ is lacking within traditional discourses framing classroom behaviour. Thus from the outset, it was decided that the views of both teachers and pupils were important and should be taken into account in the design of our final resource. It was also important that that any resources developed were grounded in the real life situations that the children and the teachers have to face on a daily basis. To achieve these aims, the project used a ‘co-design’ approach, which is commonly used in design research. Educational design research aims to provide a framework for inquiry that is rigorous and yet experimental in order to have an impact on real world problems. It has been described as: “… a genre of research in which the iterative development of solutions to practical and complex educational problems also provides the context for empirical investigation, which yields theoretical understanding that can inform the work of others … [although potentially powerful] the simultaneous pursuit of theory building and practical innovation is extremely ambitious” (McKenney & Reeves, 2012: 7).
‘Owl Class’, the engaging set of 10/11 year old children in our study, developed, planned, wrote and directed video clips on their own ideas of issues that affected their learning. The study, located in Maylandsea primary school in Essex, therefore approaches classroom behaviour from a child’s viewpoint, and draws upon narratives and materials developed as part of a co-design workshop with eight children; as a result, the children then invited us into their classroom to film short videos that the whole class contributed to around classroom behaviours. The presentation will feature some of the video clips from the classroom, and will be of interest to those interested in the co-design approach, involved in capturing the voice of the child, or developing original ways of training classroom or other professional practitioners. Our paper outlines the joys and challenges of working with children, and how their playful nature comes to life in our final resource.
DfE (2012). Trainee teachers to get a better grip on managing behaviour. [online] Available at: < https://www.gov.uk/government/news/trainee-teachers-to-get-a-better-grip-on-managing-behaviour–2> [Accessed 10 January 2016].
McKenney, S., and Reeves, T. (2012). Conducting Educational Design Research. Routledge: New York.