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Monash Expert: The issue of increasing disruption in Australian school classrooms

Monash University 2 mins read

A Monash University expert is available to discuss the Federal Senate inquiry into disruption in Australian school classrooms. The interim report titled, “the issue of increasing disruption in Australian school classrooms” was released on Friday 1 December 2023.

Dr Erin Leif, Senior Lecturer in the School of Educational Psychology & Counselling, Faculty of Education, Monash University 
Contact: +61 415 147 479 or

Read more of Erin Leif’s work at Monash Lens and Teachspace 

  • Rates of disruption and challenging student behaviour in Australian classrooms are increasing. As a result, students miss out on learning time and their academic achievement is negatively impacted.
  • Monash research indicates that teachers feel unprepared to support improved student behaviour and are overwhelmed by the demands of managing student behaviour.
  • This is contributing to teacher stress and burnout and may be one of the reasons why teachers are choosing to leave the profession.

The following can be attributable to Dr Leif:
“In the interim report, the committee recognised the strong correlation between student academic engagement and achievement and disruptive behaviour. In their recommendations, the committee highlighted the need for teachers to be well equipped to deliver high quality academic instruction to all students and to explicitly teach positive behaviours for learning as part of a ‘behaviour curriculum’. These recommendations are important and welcome, as such approaches may protect against the development of disruptive student behaviour.

“The committee’s recommendations largely focus on improving training and professional development for teachers and on national actions related to school reform. However, effective implementation of evidence-based teaching and behaviour management practices in schools requires a comprehensive and supportive school system. Recommendations about ways to establish and strengthen systems within schools were largely absent from the report and its recommendations. Moving forward, providing additional guidance to schools on ways to establish these systems will be important.”

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