Breaking the cycle of office referrals and suspensions: A strategy for Defensive Management

Year: 2003

Author: Fields, Barry

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper focuses on a strategy - Defensive Management - designed to assist teachers to better manage non-compliance and defiance in the classroom, with the ultimate goal of reducing disciplinary referrals and flow-on suspensions and exclusions from school. Non-compliance and defiance are behaviours that teachers find particularly challenging and, traditionally teachers have responded provocatively and often unsuccessfully when faced with instances of such behaviour. Drawing on an analogy with Defensive Driving, two groups of teachers (pre-service and primary) were introduced to a strategy developed to help them avoid unproductive conflict (collisions) with students and the harm that such encounters typically result in. The findings of an exploratory study on the use of Defensive Management are reported.