How to make your students’ classrooms safe from scaffolding
What should a student do in a classroom if they’re worried their teacher is leaving them alone?
You might have guessed that a lot of people think the answer is to ask a parent or guardian, but a new study from researchers at the University of British Columbia suggests that this is not always the best idea.
The research, published in the journal Child Development, suggests that it is possible for parents and guardians to help a child in a “non-confrontational” manner.
“Parents can take the initiative to get involved in a non-conformist classroom,” said lead author Jennifer Boulton.
In this way, parents can help their children become more comfortable in their own classrooms.
Boulton and her colleagues asked parents in a sample of schools across the United Kingdom to share their personal experiences of how their children had been treated at home and at school.
The researchers found that parents were more likely to help their kids in a way that was not confrontational, and in some cases, even “coercive” in the sense of asking the parent or parent’s spouse to intervene.
They also found that teachers’ and parents’ attitudes towards parents were influenced by the way in which their children were treated at school, with some teachers expressing strong disapproval for their children in a direct manner, while others were supportive.
Boulson said the findings are “really encouraging” and are a first step towards improving safety in our classrooms.
“There is so much work to be done,” she said.
We need to ensure that parents and teachers are not only aware of the risks of scaffoldering and do not resort to coercive tactics, but also actively participate in the discussions to support their children.
This research shows that, while parents can make it more difficult for their kids to interact with each other in the classroom, they can still help them in a supportive and non-violent manner.
“This research suggests that, even if they are not supportive, parents are still able to play an important role in teaching their children to be non-threatening, non-controlling, and noncomplacent,” she added.
“Parents have a responsibility to teach their children the right way to behave.”
Read more about the study:More stories from British Columbia: Brisbane, British Columbia, Canada