Misconduct and responsibility in class

A recent study has found that high school students who are sent out of their classrooms due to misconduct need more explanation in regards to punishment.

kidsProfessor Ramon Lewis from La Trobe University’s Faculty of Education and colleagues found that teachers should explain to students the reason for being sent out of class.

The top three reasons given for exclusion by students for the study were “I made the teacher angry”, “the teacher hates me” and “the teacher just picks on me”.

‘To avoid being blamed for the exclusion, teachers should explain why the student had to leave the room, talk with the student later, highlight why the student had done the wrong thing and why it was unacceptable, and have the student work out a better way to behave,’ says Professor Lewis.

Professor Lewis works with over 200 schools across Melbourne implementing a system of classroom management based on students accepting responsibility for their behaviour and the negative impact it has on the rest of the class.

‘It is now incumbent upon schools to encourage teachers to provide hints, warnings and a short series of consequences prior to excluding students from the classroom. 

‘They should also explain to the students that the reason for their exclusion is the impact their misbehavior is having on learning and/or safety of other students. 

‘This negative impact should also act as the focus for a mandatory follow-up conversation conducted by the classroom teacher,’ says Professor Lewis.

‘As a result of teachers’ implementation of such techniques, excluded students may be successfully reintegrated into their classes by accepting the impact their misbehavior has on their peers and through becoming more responsible.’

Professor Lewis says students' perceptions that teachers were angry or disliked them were not necessarily true; it was their perception and that became the focus, rather than students accepting responsibility for behaving badly.

The study— Excluding students from the classroom: Teacher techniques that promote student responsibility—is available on request.


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Meghan Lodwick

La Trobe University Communications Officer

T:  03 9479 5353 M:  0418 495 941 E: M.Lodwick@latrobe.edu.au