Los Angeles, CA (MARCH 2011) Despite popular belief, a new study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions (published by SAGE) finds that students who have poor behavior in the classroom do not always have poor grades.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina - Charlotte (Bob Algozzine, Chuang Wang and Amy Violette) followed 350 students in seven at-risk schools over a 5-year period. They assessed both teacher perceptions of student behavior and academic achievement, as well as actual performance. They found that teachers were more likely to report that well-behaved students did better academically and expected more of them - even when some of these students were struggling with school-work. At the same time, students who acted out in school were seen as having more academic difficulties, even though this was not always the case.
"Children are not well served when teachers believe that teaching behavior requires different skills than teaching academics," said lead author Algozzine. "Or that teaching academics will magically improve behavior."
The researchers concluded that it is important not to focus solely on improving academic or behavior problems in at-risk students, but to emphasize teaching both behavior and academic skills for these children.
"The take-away message in our work is that children have to be carefully taught academics and behavior if we want to see evidence of these accomplishments in school," said Algozzine.
The article "Reexamining the Relationship Between Academic Achievement and Social Behavior" in Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions is available free for a limited time at: http://pbi.
The Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions is the premier journal publishing research-based strategies for improving the lives of persons with severe behavior challenges. These approaches are used in homes, communities and in schools throughout the world. Regular features include empirical research; discussion, literature reviews, and conceptual papers; and programs, practices, and innovations. It is available electronically on SAGE Journals Online at http://jpbi.
SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. www.sagepublications.com