Posted on: 2018-10-31 09:00:00

Of course we all get frustrated with pupils and students who are not using their natural talent or native ability and who could do so much better at school, but simply won’t settle down to work.

However, such a lack of application is not just something that is observed in the classroom or with homework.  It gets reported in all walks of life.

Employers constantly see young staff who could really get on in the business but who have a certain resistance to being told what to do. The same is found in sport – athletes, footballers, swimmers, etc – all with a natural ability that could give them a career in the sport, who simply will not train properly or refuse to look after their bodies.

And then again it is there in the arts – the talented actor who won’t focus in rehearsals, the musician who won’t practise…

So it is probably not surprising when we find it in school, when attitude gets in the way of what could be achieved.

The problem is, with all these cases, that once the poor attitude sets in it is quite hard to shift, not least because attitude is a habit, and habits are incredibly easy to pick up and very difficult to remove.

Difficult – but not impossible.  For with a clarity of purpose it is possible to make a change in attitude and behaviour happen in virtually every individual – as long as we can encourage parents to play a central role in the issue of the changing attitudes and behaviour of pupils and students.

Our argument is that if ways can be found to bring parents who might not normally associate strongly with the school, into the school’s approach, then change can happen more quickly and become more solidly embedded within the school and within the pupil or student.

From these concepts emerged a series of formal school policies and everyday approaches which are set out in detail in our report “Improving attitudes, managing behaviour and reducing exclusions.”

Tony Attwood

Source: The Schools' News Service

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