Several US studies have shown a gap between the practices deemed effective for preventing and managing the inappropriate behaviours of students with BD and those used by teachers in the classroom.
What is the situation in Québec? As recommended, Québec teachers report more frequent use of proactive/positive practices, such as the establishment of clear rules/instructions/routines, planning and resource management, than negative reactive practices.
Students with behavioural difficulties are the most difficult to integrate into regular classes.
Practices related to functional behaviour assessment and self-regulation are less commonly used, particularly at the secondary level. Special education teachers use the recommended practices more frequently. Although beginning teachers generally have more positive attitudes towards the educational inclusion of students with BD, they have a lower sense of self-efficacy and use effective practices less often.
The same is true for specialist teachers at the elementary level. The number of hours of initial or continuing training in teaching students with BD and the level of involvement in the development of intervention plans positively influence teachers’ sense of self-efficacy, their attitudes towards the inclusion of students with BD and the use of proactive practices.
Teachers at secondary schools in medium deprivation areas report that the inclusion of students with BD is more challenging for them due to a lack of resources compared to schools in disadvantaged areas. The number of hours of training in teaching students with BD should be increased, during both initial training and continuing professional development.
With regard to the influence of special education staff and school administrators on the choice of practices, the latter ought to show leadership in this area. Special education teachers could also play a role in coaching teachers. Special attention should be paid to beginning teachers and specialist teachers.
Line Massé, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
Deposit of the reasearch report: March 2018