Engagement with school-based learning is prized in education as a key to learning, and the central role that teachers play in promoting this engagement is without question.
While most students maintain acceptable levels of attention, behaviour and productivity in school, those who are identified as having behaviour disorders struggle in these important areas. These students have significant social, emotional and academic needs which undermine their chances of success, first at school and then into their adult life.
Their high levels of need frequently exceed the resources of classroom teachers, initiating cycles of conflict marked by high rates of stress and burnout for teachers and school staff, and low levels of engagement, performance and belonging for students.
This review of current educational literature explores some of the dilemmas facing schools in the area of special education for students with behaviour disorders.
It highlights how challenges associated with a transition between mainstream and specialist school settings might actually offer educators opportunities for gains in student learning as well as their own professional development. It also considers the accountability that schools have to provide inclusive educational experiences for all students, particularly in light of recent legislative changes.
This review explores findings from educational research which suggests that, in the pursuit of increased learning outcomes and smooth educational transitions, strategic, deliberate efforts towards more effective collegial communications might reap positive rewards for teachers and students alike.