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Empowering Educators: New tools to understand and support student behaviour

Monash University 2 mins read

Monash University together with the Victorian Department of Education will launch a series of resources to support teachers and education support staff with student behaviour. 

Victorian educators will soon have access to the first of a series of purpose-built resources to help them tackle disruptive student behaviour.

According to recent OECD data, Australian classrooms are among the most disruptive in the world and this disruption is leading to high rates of teacher turnover. Researchers from Monash University, together with the Victorian Department of Education, will develop a suite of units focused on professional behaviour support, Behaviour Assessment and Supports in Schools (BASIS), for Victorian government school teachers and education support staff. 

BASIS will deliver a range of professional learning units to enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to create an inclusive education environment, as well as supporting the Department of Education’s Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO 2.0) and the Victorian Teaching and Learning Model. 

The units are essential in ensuring that all Victorian teachers and education support staff have the appropriate skills to support the academic, behavioural, and wellbeing needs of all students. 

Project Lead, Professor Umesh Sharma, from the Faculty of Education at Monash University, highlighted the innovative approach of the project. 

“Rather than a transfer of knowledge, our aim with this project is to change practices and beliefs of educators by using a heart, head, and hand approach. What this means is that each unit will incorporate content and activities that focus on changing the heart (i.e., beliefs), the head (i.e., new knowledge) and the hands (i.e., practice) of educators,” said Professor Sharma. 

Project Co-lead, Dr Erin Leif, also from the Faculty of Education explained that the project is being developed from the outset to connect and integrate with other department initiatives that are designed to support student academic engagement and achievement. 

“Our work on this project is underpinned by an integrated and educative approach to supporting improved student behaviour. The resources will help educators see the strong links between academic instructional practices and classroom behaviour support practices and will empower them to use a range of practical strategies to teach social, emotional, and behavioural skills, in the context of everyday classroom interactions,” said Dr Leif. 

“To ensure the units are responsive to the needs of diverse students, BASIS will provide examples of how evidence-informed behaviour support strategies can be delivered in ways that are trauma-informed and culturally responsive.”

The units will provide educators with information about how to use a decision-making framework and adapt strategies to meet the unique needs of the students in their own classrooms. 

"We believe that teachers and educators need an approach that allows for consistency across a number of settings and that builds on existing practices and department initiatives. We want educators to see these resources as supporting greater alignment, not creating a new burden,” said Dr Russell Fox, from the Faculty of Education. 

The program will be designed with input from Victorian school leaders, teachers, education support staff, Certified Behaviour Analysts, indigenous leaders, disability advisers, and parents. 

“The department is pleased to be working with Monash University on the delivery of the BASIS units over the next two years. This project is engaging with Aboriginal, parent and disability representatives to create valuable resources for our teachers and education support staff” a department representative said.

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Hande Cater, Senior Media and Communications Advisor
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Monash Media
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