Teacher behavior

Teacher behaviour is a key factor when it comes to ensuring quality education for all (Poisson, 2009). The way teachers behave has a direct impact on their interaction with students, parents, colleagues, and staff administration. Even more, students’ desire of attending school and learning outcomes can also be dependent on the way the teacher behaves and the class is conducted.

Some of the characteristics that could result in inappropriate teacher behaviour include teachers who conceive teaching solely as a job; with significant classroom discipline issues; with frequent attendance issues; who are not inclusive to students’ culture and diversity; who express bias and prejudice; who use gender-biased, discriminatory and/or incorrect language; who complete administrative duties during class instead of teaching; who ignore student and parents’ complaints; who present defensive, confrontational and controlling behaviour; and who do ‘not accept responsibility for what occurs in the classroom’ (Stronge, n.d.: 2).

The following strategies can be put in place to ensure adequate teachers’ behaviour.

References
Milner, R.M.; Tenore, F.B. 2010. ‘Classroom Management in Diverse Classrooms’. In: Urban Education. Vol.45(5), 560–603. Retrieved from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0042085910377290

Poisson, M. 2009. Guidelines for the design and effective use of teacher codes of conduct. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001850/185010e.pdf

Stronge, J. n.d. Qualities of Effective Teachers. Accessed 17 January 2022: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/shp/centers/nycnect/greenteam/docs/qualities_of_effective_teachers.pdf

Promising policy options

Establish and disseminate a code of conduct for teachers

In complement to relevant statutory regulations regarding public servants, codes of conduct regulate teachers’ daily behaviour and practice. Codes of conduct have proven to be the ‘cornerstone of quality teaching and work towards excellence in education’ (Poisson, 2009: 13). Indeed, they can support the creation of inclusive, gender-sensitive, appropriate learning environments which foster the quality of the teaching and learning experiences for all, while hampering misbehaviour (Poisson, 2009; McKelvie-Sebileau, 2011; IIEP-UNESCO, 2010).

Codes of conduct concern all teachers, regardless of their status (Poisson, 2009). They must provide teachers with ‘self-disciplinary’, practical, specific, and clear guidelines (Poisson, 2009). Standards of professional conduct included in the code -based on ethical norms or values, such as honesty, fairness, integrity, commitment, trust and equity (for more examples see Annex 1)- provide operative guidance for teachers’ interactions and relationships with students, colleagues, school staff and parents (Poisson, 2009; McKelvie-Sebileau, 2011).

Codes of conduct must be context-based, available in all relevant languages, and concise. They should be two pages long and the companion documents which ‘include the rationale for developing the code and the description of penalty mechanism’ may not exceed ten pages (Poisson, 2009: 32). The tone in which the code is written is very important and should be composed of a mix of inspirational, prescriptive, and prohibitive tones (Poisson, 2009). Yet, research has shown that a positive inspirational tone is much more effective than a prohibitive one (McKelvie-Sebileau, 2011).

Codes of conduct are developed at a national or local level, depending on the context. Usually, a ‘core team’ is established to create the new code or review an existing one (a code must be reviewed every three to five years) (Poisson, 2009). The development of the code must be done through a consultative, participatory process, involving key stakeholders (McKelvie-Sebileau, 2011). Thus, the core team should be an inclusive, representative group of stakeholders including educational authorities, teacher union members, school heads and staff, teachers, parent and teacher associations, students and academics (Poisson, 2009). Before launching the official code, the core team must ensure a wider consultation of stakeholders regarding the draft proposal (Poisson, 2009).

To ensure its implementation, the finalised code of conduct must be adopted formally by national education authorities as well as teacher unions. The official adoption must define the legal status of the code (Poisson, 2009). It should be ‘binding for teacher accreditation and/or certification’ and must be signed by all teachers before starting to work (Poisson, 2009: 30).

To guarantee all relevant stakeholders are aware of and understand the code, a dissemination campaign must be established (McKelvie-Sebileau, 2011). This can be done by various means, including:

  • ‘by direct communication (forums, workshops, seminars, etc.), mail, the Internet, newsletters, the print press, TV and/or radio,
  • by means of posters showing the major elements of the code. These should be sent to, and displayed in, each school in the country, including remote areas.
  • through the central, regional and/or local administration,
  • through the teaching-service commission (if it exists),
  • at teacher education institutes or teachers’ colleges,
  • through inspection services’ (Poisson, 2009: 33).

To explore further

If you wish to read examples of codes of conduct from around the world, access IIEP-UNESCO’s Etico website:

References
IIEP-UNESCO ETICO. n.d. Teacher codes of conduct. Accessed 24 January 2022: https://etico.iiep.unesco.org/en/teacher-codes-conduct

Annex 1

Core values to include in a code of conduct

Source: Poisson, M. 2009. Guidelines for the design and effective use of teacher codes of conduct. p. 21. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001850/185010e.pdf

References
IIEP-UNESCO. 2010. ‘Chapter 3.1: Identification, selection and recruitment of teachers and education workers’. In: Guidebook for planning education in emergencies and reconstruction (pp.1-24). Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://www.iiep.unesco.org/sites/default/files/Guidebook%20Chapters/GB_2009_3.1_final.pdf

McKelvie-Sebileau, P. 2011. Patterns of development and use of codes of conduct for teachers in 24 countries. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://www.iiep.unesco.org/en/publication/patterns-development-and-use-codes-conduct-teachers-24-countries

Poisson, M. 2009. Guidelines for the design and effective use of teacher codes of conduct. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001850/185010e.pdf

Monitor teacher behaviour

Monitoring the way teachers behave in the classroom is essential to ensure an adequate, inclusive and gender-responsive learning environment. Classroom observation systems can be implemented for this purpose (to learn more consult Policy page Classroom observation). Headteachers, students, parents and community members have a key role to play in such monitoring. To fulfil their roles, they must be provided with the necessary support. For instance, concerning parents and community members, this role can be institutionalised through school management committees while providing them capacity building opportunities to help them acquire the necessary skills (Karamperidou et al., 2020) (for more information consult Policy page Teacher absenteeism).

When a code of conduct exists, the monitoring mechanism in place must make sure that it is being effectively enforced in schools. In case there is no monitoring body or mechanism in place, a commission can be established to monitor the code’s implementation and, thus, teachers’ behaviour (Poisson, 2009). Such a commission must be representative and composed of education officials, union members, parent and teacher associations and students (Poisson, 2009).

References
Karamperidou, D.; Brossard, M.; Peirolo, S.; Richardson, D. 2020. Time to Teach: Teacher attendance and time on task in Eastern and Southern Africa. Florence: UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/Time-to-Teach-Report_Teacher-attendance-and-time-on-task-in-Eastern-and-Southern-Africa.pdf

Poisson, M. 2009. Guidelines for the design and effective use of teacher codes of conduct. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001850/185010e.pdf

Providing support to teachers

Providing the necessary support to teachers to ensure adequate, inclusive behaviour which conforms with the code of conduct is key. Support can be provided by school leaders and community members, as well as through peer collaboration.

School leaders must support teachers while supervising their behaviour and actions to ensure they comply with the code of conduct. Research highlights that providing ‘feedback to teachers through supportive supervision and coaching in schools is critical to improve teacher behaviour and enable classroom practices that are conducive to student learning’ (UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa, 2020: 15). Moreover, to ensure that school leaders are adequately prepared to support teachers to implement the code, they must be provided with all relevant information and training opportunities (Poisson, 2009).

Peer-to-peer collaborative mechanisms can also be promoted to boost adequate, inclusive, healthy teacher behaviours. Supporting teachers to build positive relationships with families and community members can also foster positive teacher behaviour and an overall meaningful learning environment (for more information consult Policy page School community relationship).

References
Poisson, M. 2009. Guidelines for the design and effective use of teacher codes of conduct. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001850/185010e.pdf

UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2020. Structured Pedagogy: For Real-Time Equitable Improvements in Learning Outcomes. Working Paper 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/esa/media/7511/file/ESA-Structured-Pedagogy-2020.pdf

Teacher training to boost positive, inclusive behaviour

Teachers need to be trained to ensure their comprehension of the code of conduct, and overall to improve their professional behaviour (Poisson, 2009). With the backing of teacher unions and teacher-training institutions, the code can become not only part of the pre- and in-service teacher training but also a ‘central element to enhance the qualifications and professionalism of teachers’ (Poisson, 2009; McKelvie-Sebileau, 2011).

More globally, training opportunities can boost positive teacher behaviour and address any negative aspects such as prejudices and stereotypes against certain populations, such as children with disabilities, minorities and displaced populations. Research highlights that ‘some of the harmful practices that teachers wage on the students are deeply entrenched and changes in behavior take time’ (Mendenhall, Gomez and Varni, 2018: 15). It is essential to help teachers to develop inclusive attitudes and values, in addition to robust theoretical and practical knowledge, so that they welcome, support and treat all students in an equitable, fair manner (UNESCO, 2009; Spratt and Florian, 2013; UNICEF, 2014).

Moreover, teachers must make sure their behaviour and practices are gender-responsive as well as be equipped to handle and eliminate any form of violence, including school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV)(For more information consult Gender section below as well as Policy pages School climate and School violence).

Training must also support teachers to guarantee that they use the right inclusive, gender-responsive language, as well as non-discriminatory classroom practices, to meet the needs of all students (for more information consult Policy page Language of instruction and Classroom practices).

References
McKelvie-Sebileau, P. 2011. Patterns of development and use of codes of conduct for teachers in 24 countries. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://www.iiep.unesco.org/en/publication/patterns-development-and-use-codes-conduct-teachers-24-countries

Mendenhall, M; Gomez, S.; Varni, E. 2018. Teaching amidst conflict and displacement: persistent challenges and promising practices for refugee, internally displaced and national teachers. Background paper prepared for the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report Migration, displacement and education: Building bridges, not walls. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000266080

Poisson, M. 2009. Guidelines for the design and effective use of teacher codes of conduct. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001850/185010e.pdf

Spratt, J.; Florian, L. 2013. ‘Applying the principles of inclusive pedagogy in initial teacher education: from university based course to classroom action’. In: Revista de Investigación en Educación, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 133-140.

UNESCO. 2009. Policy guidelines on inclusion in education. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000177849

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2014. Teachers, Inclusive, Child-Centred Teaching and Pedagogy: Webinar 12 – Companion Technical Booklet. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/eca/education

Villegas-Reimers, E. 2003. Teacher professional development: an international review of the literature. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000133010

Reporting mechanisms and applicable sanctions in case of teacher misbehaviour

Adequate reporting mechanisms and sanctions for teacher misbehaviour must be in place and specified in the code of conduct or companion documents (Poisson, 2009). To facilitate reporting, all relevant stakeholders must be aware of the procedure to do so (Poisson, 2009). A joint committee must be in place to collect, assess, and answer all complaints (Poisson, 2009).

Reporting serious misconduct, such as sexual harassment and examination malpractice, must be obligatory for educational authorities (Poisson, 2009). Students, parents, community members, school staff, school boards, and other administrative authorities must also be aware of how to file a violation of the code of conduct and encouraged to do so in case of teachers’ misbehaviour (Poisson, 2009). For this to be possible, the safety of the individual reporting misconduct must be ensured at all times and in all circumstances.

Enforcing adequate sanctions and implementing effective reporting mechanisms is key to holding teachers accountable for their behaviour (Integrity, 2019). Once a complaint is filed, an appropriate and timely analysis must be put in place. This could include the consultation of the parties, performing an examination on school grounds, and producing a report with findings and recommendations (Poisson, 2009). Sanctions vary depending on the situation, ranging from disciplinary action, to ‘removal from the teachers’ register’, to ‘reinstatement, in the event of a not-guilty ruling’ (Poisson, 2009: 41). In a study conducted in Syria, school heads stated that sanctions varied depending on whether the teacher changed the behaviour or not, they further specified that the ‘actions often started with alerting the violator via an oral warning, reducing the salary, suspension from work with a suspended salary, and if no progression was seen, termination of their contract’ (Integrity, 2019: 93).

In addition to reporting mechanisms and sanctions, it is key to ensure full reparation and support to victims of teachers’ misconduct (Poisson, 2009).

References
Integrity. 2019. Research to improve the quality of teaching and learning inside Syria. Compendium to the Final Report. London: Integrity. Retrieved from: https://www.eccnetwork.net/sites/default/files/media/file/Research-To-Improve-The-Quality-Of-Teaching-And-Learning-Inside-Syria-Report-Compendium_0.pdf

Poisson, M. 2009. Guidelines for the design and effective use of teacher codes of conduct. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001850/185010e.pdf

Policy options for improving Equity and Inclusion

Gender-responsive policies

The policy recommendations addressed in this section should be implemented in complement to those mentioned in the general section of the present Policy page.

Promising policy options

Establish and disseminate a code of conduct for teachers

The code of conduct must address gender issues (Poisson, 2009). For more information about how to establish and disseminate a code of conduct consult the general section of the present Policy page.

References
Poisson, M. 2009. Guidelines for the design and effective use of teacher codes of conduct. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001850/185010e.pdf

Mainstream gender issues throughout teacher training offer

Teachers’ comprehension of gender issues and their ability to implement gender-responsive behaviours and pedagogy is essential to address gender disparities in education (Bramwell et al., 2014). Through quality pre- and in-service teacher training, teachers can enhance their gender-responsive attitudes knowledge, and skills. The training should help teachers:

  • become aware of their own gender-related attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and expectations;
  • demystify their preconceived ideas (such as entrenched gender roles);
  • gain gender-related knowledge and learn practical ways to implement gender-responsive pedagogy; and
  • recognize gender issues in the current curricula (both formal and hidden) and provide the necessary skills and knowledge to rectify them within the classrooms (UNESCO, 2015).

It is key to implement effective and practical follow-up methods to ensure that the knowledge gained by teachers is being translated into gender-responsive classrooms. An observation system can support the monitoring of teachers’ gender-responsive attitudes within the classroom. Moreover, practice sessions can be established to enhance teachers’ gender-responsive skills (for more information consult the Policy page Classroom observation).

For more details consult Policy page Teacher content knowledge.

References
Bramwell, D.; Anderson, S.; Mundy, K. 2014. Teachers and teacher development: A rapid review of the literature. Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Retrieved from: https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/cidec/UserFiles/File/Website/Rapid_Review-teacher_development_June_30_final_2.pdf

UNESCO Bangkok. 2017a. Gender-Responsive Classrooms Need Gender-Sensitive Teachers. Accessed 1 May 2019: https://bangkok.unesco.org/content/gender-responsive-classrooms-need-gender-sensitive-teachers

UNESCO. 2015. A Guide for Gender Equality in Teacher Education Policy and Practices. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000231646/

UNESCO. 2017. Evaluation of UNESCO’s Programme Interventions on Girls’ and Womens’ Education. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000258978?posInSet=22&queryId=df97886c-2701-4a75-bfdb-46986e8ebf8e

Gender-responsive attitudes in the classrooms

Teachers must value equally the ability to learn of all students and facilitate their learning process and progress to the fullest extent possible (USAID, n.d.). They should treat all students fairly and ensure their active participation, making all assessments based on the pupil’s skills, not their gender (UNESCO, 2015). Teachers must pay attention and encourage an equal contribution of all students while employing learner-centred collaborative teaching methods to boost the learning experience for all children (UNESCO and UNGEI, 2015).

Class sessions should be free of gender bias, geared towards deconstructing gender roles and stereotypes, guide students to question gender-biased attitudes and consider different approaches that move away from binary gender norms (cultural sensitivity must be taken into account) (Girard, 2015). Likewise, teachers should pay attention to the language they employ (see below), and they should make sure their classroom is a safe environment for all students.

Teachers must learn to identify and respond to any type of school-related gender-based violence as well as any gender-biased, homophobic, transphobic or biphobic comment or discriminatory attitude (New Zealand, 2019). Teachers’ attitudes must support the development of a confidential classroom environment that encourages students to share information and seek help when needed.

For more information, consult Policy pages Policy pages School climate and School violence.

References
Girard, C. 2015. Four Ways To Make a Classroom Gender-Inclusive. Accessed 13 May 2019: https://www.hrc.org/blog/four-ways-to-make-a-classroom-gender-inclusive

New Zealand. 2019. Ministry of Education. Inclusive Education: Develop inclusive classroom routines. Wellington: Ministry of Education. Retrieved from: www.inclusive.tki.org.nz/guides/supporting-lgbtiqa-students/develop-inclusive-classroom-roles-routinesand-systems

UNESCO, UNGEI (United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative). 2015. Gender and EFA 2000-2015, Achievements and Challenges: Gender Summary. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://www.womenforwater.org/uploads/7/7/5/1/77516286/efa_global_montoring_report_gender_and_efa_2000-2015.pdf

UNESCO. 2015. A Guide for Gender Equality in Teacher Education Policy and Practices. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000231646/

USAID (United States Agency for International Development). n.d. Introduction to Gender-Responsive Teaching Methods. Retrieved from: https://www.mcsprogram.org/wp-content/uploads/dlm_uploads/2018/11/PowerPoint-Introduction-to-Gender-Responsive-Teaching-Methods.pdf

Develop a gender-responsive, non-violent and non-abusive language

Develop a gender-responsive, non-violent and non-abusive language
Teachers must use inclusive, gender-responsive language inside the classroom (FAWE, 2006). Training opportunities must be provided to teachers regarding the implementation of the gender-responsive language, as well as promoting support systems. Changing one’s beliefs and language is difficult and takes time, which means the process must be very supportive and non-judgemental. Teachers, school staff and students should help each other recognize when they are not employing a gender-responsive language.

For more details consult Policy page Language of instruction.

References
FAWE (Forum for African Women Educationalists). 2006. Gender Responsive Pedagogy. Working Document Draft for the Biennale on Education in Africa. Libreville: ADEA (Association for the Development of Education in Africa). Retrieved from: https://biennale.adeanet.org/2006/doc/document/B5_2_fawe_en.pdf

Provide support to teachers by building a gender-responsive school climate

To support teachers’ gender-responsive behaviour, schools’ management should be geared towards ensuring an inclusive, gender-responsive environment (FAWE, 2006). Gender must be mainstreamed in policies aimed at providing a safe and nurturing environment for all. Measures must be actively promoted to reduce the harmful effects of gender bias, stereotypes, and sexism within the school (GPE and UNGEI, 2017). School management must strive to ensure all school staff, teachers, students, and school community members accept and encourage gender diversity, which can be reflected through the school’s climate policy (UNESCO Bangkok, 2016). Moreover, all school staff must know how to prevent and respond to any school-related gender-based violence within schools (for more information and specific policy options consult the Gender section on Policy page School-related violence).

Enhance the active participation and cooperation among multiple stakeholders:

  • Peer-to-peer support: Help contextualize, sustain and embed gender-responsive attitudes and practices inside the school. Encourage teachers to work together and share the knowledge gained.
  • School’s Head leadership: Provide ongoing support to teachers building gender-responsive attitudes, knowledge, and skills as well as constructive feedback.  
  • Actively engage community members and families within schools to promote teachers’ inclusive behaviours.
References
FAWE (Forum for African Women Educationalists). 2006. Gender Responsive Pedagogy. Working Document Draft for the Biennale on Education in Africa. Libreville: ADEA (Association for the Development of Education in Africa). Retrieved from:  https://biennale.adeanet.org/2006/doc/document/B5_2_fawe_en.pdf

GPE (Global Partnership for Education), UNGEI (United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative). 2017. Guidance for Developing Gender-Responsive Education Sector Plans. Washington D.C.: The Global Partnership for Education. Retrieved from: https://www.globalpartnership.org/content/guidance-developing-gender-responsive-education-sector-plans

Greytak, E.A.; Kosciw, J.G.; Villenas, C.; Giga, N.M. 2016. From Teasing to Torment: School Climate Revisited, A Survey of U.S. Secondary School Students and Teachers. New York: GLSEN. Retrieved from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED574777.pdf

Meijer, C.J.W. 2001. Inclusive Education and Effective Classroom Practices. Odense: European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education. Retrieved from: https://www.european-agency.org/sites/default/files/inclusive-education-and-effective-classroom-practice_IECP-Literature-Review.pdf

UNESCO Bangkok. 2016. Happy Schools! A Framework for Learner Well-being in the Asia-Pacific. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002441/244140e.pdf

UNESCO. 2004. Teacher Education Resource Pack Student materials. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000137881?posInSet=4&queryId=8c276c0b-c4a9-450d-b9c9-96641e8bb69e

UNESCO. 2017a. A guide for ensuring inclusion and equity in education. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002482/248254e.pdf

Policies for children with disabilities

The policy recommendations addressed in this section should be implemented in complement to those mentioned in the general section of the present Policy page.

Promising policy options

Train teachers to ensure inclusive values, attitudes, and skills

Teacher training must be redesigned or adapted to develop inclusive values, attitudes, and skills. It is key to help teachers become aware of their biased perceptions towards children with multiple learning abilities and disabilities, as this is proven to inhibit pupils’ academic progress. Teachers should accept and welcome diversity within the classroom and believe in the capacity of all of the children to learn. Teachers should also be empowered to believe in their capacity to teach all children, as well as understand that it is their responsibility (for more information consult Classroom practices). This can be facilitated by encouraging teachers’ active, cooperative, and reflective learning throughout the training (UNESCO, 2009; Villegas-Reimers, 2003).

To ensure teachers are implementing the gained knowledge regarding inclusive education and inclusive pedagogy in the classroom, it is key to put in place practical follow-up methods and support mechanisms (for more information consult the Policy page Classroom observation).

References
Ainscow, M. 2005. ‘Developing inclusive education systems: what are the levers for change?’ In: Journal of Educational Change, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 109-124.

IBE-UNESCO (UNESCO International Bureau of Education). 2016.Training Tools for Curriculum Development – Reaching Out to All Learners: a Resource Pack for Supporting Inclusive Education. Geneva: IBE-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000243279?posInSet=26&queryId=583170d7-cb0d-430f-bc8e-c0ced5165649

IDDC (International Disability and Development Consortium). 2013. Every child needs a quality, inclusive teacher. Brussels: IDDC. Retrieved from: http://www.eenet.org.uk/resources/docs/IDDC_Every_Child_Needs_a_Teacher_leaflet.pdf

Spratt, J.; Florian, L. 2013. ‘Applying the principles of inclusive pedagogy in initial teacher education: from university based course to classroom action’. In: Revista de Investigación en Educación, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 133-140.

UNESCO. 2004. Teacher Education Resource Pack Student materials. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000137881?posInSet=4&queryId=8c276c0b-c4a9-450d-b9c9-96641e8bb69e

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2014. Teachers, Inclusive, Child-Centred Teaching and Pedagogy: Webinar 12 – Companion Technical Booklet. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/eca/education

Inclusive classrooms

Ensure teachers promote a classroom environment where all students feel welcomed, valued and supported. Encourage them to observe student’s emotional well-being and promote a culture of support within the classroom (foster constructive interactions among learners). All teachers must have a positive attitude towards students with disabilities and uphold the same kind of expectations for all students while providing additional support to students who need it. Teachers’ behaviour must aim to help all students meet their full potential.

Teachers and students should have the adequate knowledge and skills to respond to any attitude or commentary meaning to label, stereotype or bully children with disabilities. Overall, teachers’ attitudes must ensure a safe classroom environment.

*For more details about inclusive pedagogy consult Policy page Teacher Content knowledge.

References
Florian, L. 2015. ‘Inclusive Pedagogy: A transformative approach to individual differences but can it help reduce educational inequalities?’. In: Scottish Educational Review, Vol. 47, No.1, pp. 5-14.

IBE-UNESCO (UNESCO International Bureau of Education). 2016.Training Tools for Curriculum Development – Reaching Out to All Learners: a Resource Pack for Supporting Inclusive Education. Geneva: IBE-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000243279?posInSet=26&queryId=583170d7-cb0d-430f-bc8e-c0ced5165649

IIEP-UNESCO Learning Portal. 2018c. Brief 3: Effective and appropriate pedagogy. Accessed 1 April 2018: https://learningportal.iiep.unesco.org/en/issue-briefs/improve-learning/teachers-and-pedagogy/effective-and-appropriate-pedagogy

Loreman, T. 2017. Pedagogy for Inclusive Education. Oxford Research Enclyclopedias. Retrieved from: https://oxfordre.com/education/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.001.0001/acrefore-9780190264093-e-148

Save the Children. 2016. Inclusive Education: What, Why, and How – A Handbook for Program Implementers.  London: Save the Children. Retrieved from: https://www.savethechildren.it/sites/default/files/files/uploads/pubblicazioni/inclusive-education-what-why-and-how.pdf

Spratt, J.; Florian, L. 2013. ‘Applying the principles of inclusive pedagogy in initial teacher education: from university based course to classroom action’. In: Revista de Investigación en Educación, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 133-140.

UNESCO. 2017a. A guide for ensuring inclusion and equity in education. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002482/248254e.pdf

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2014. Teachers, Inclusive, Child-Centred Teaching and Pedagogy: Webinar 12 – Companion Technical Booklet. New York: UNICEF. Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/eca/education

Policies for displaced populations

The policy recommendations addressed in this section should be implemented in complement to those mentioned in the general section of the present Policy page.

Promising policy options

Establish, enforce, and disseminate a code of conduct for teachers teaching displaced populations

Establishing and enforcing a code of conduct for teachers working with displaced populations is also an essential action. In both host community schools and schools in camp settings, the national code of conduct should be enforced to ensure a positive learning environment, to ‘foster shared understanding of expectations of behaviours amongst school personnel’ as well as guarantee that teachers can be held accountable for their behaviour (Integrity, 2019: 92). In Jordan, for instance, the national framework, ‘Code of Conduct and Ethics for Teachers’, is used as a reference for teachers teaching in refugee settings as well (Bengtsson et al., 2021: 15). This code of conduct ‘defines community expectations of teachers in terms of their daily personal and professional behaviour, values, and attitudes towards students and colleagues in formal and informal environments’ (Bengtsson et al., 2021: 15).

When there is no national reference, host community schools and schools in camp settings can develop codes of conduct locally with the help of the Ministry of Education and local authorities, humanitarian and development partners, students, parents and the community, and any other pertinent stakeholder (UNHCR, 2007). UNHCR recommends those codes to be aligned with international frameworks and conventions, national legislation and policies, particularly those related to teacher management (Technical Support Section Division of Operational Services, 2007). They must include clear provisions regarding teachers’ behaviour, professional responsibilities, relationship with the students and the community, as well as compulsory reporting mechanisms for misbehaviour and penalties for violations of the code (Technical Support Section Division of Operational Services, 2007) (For more details of features to be included in a code of conduct consult the Annex 2). It is key to ensure teachers working with displaced populations sign the code of conduct before starting to work (an example of a teacher’s code of conduct for a refugee school can be found in Annex 3). It is also essential to ensure codes of conduct are being adequately enforced within the schools, this must be done with the support of the students, school committees, humanitarian and development partners, as well as national and local authorities.

To ensure teachers –and other educational staff– entirely comprehend the code of conduct and the consequences for its violation, targeted training opportunities should be organised. Moreover, codes of conduct must be fully disseminated to all relevant stakeholders. Within the school different dissemination methods can be employed to ensure all students are aware and comprehend the teachers’ code of conduct. This can be done through school assemblies, in the classroom, or through posters and drawings surrounding the school grounds (Technical Support Section Division of Operational Services, 2007). Regarding the dissemination to the larger community, meetings can be organised by the school head or dissemination activities can be done with the support of school committees in place, such as the School Management Committee or the Parent and Teachers Associations (PTA).

Annex 2

Example of issues to include in ‘Codes of Conduct for Refugee Schools’

Source: Technical Support Section Division of Operational Services UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 2007. Safe Schools and Learning Environment. How to Prevent and Respond to Violence in Refugee Schools. A Guide. p. 32. Geneva: UNHCR. Retrieved from: https://www.refworld.org/docid/469200e82.html

Annex 3

‘Example of a teacher’s code of conduct for a refugee school’

Source: Technical Support Section Division of Operational Services UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 2007. Safe Schools and Learning Environment. How to Prevent and Respond to Violence in Refugee Schools. A Guide. p. 33. Geneva: UNHCR. Retrieved from: https://www.refworld.org/docid/469200e82.html

References
Bengtsson, S.; Fitzpatrick, R.; Thibault, C.; West, H. 2021. Teacher management in refugee settings: Public schools in Jordan. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000379193?posInSet=7&queryId=76e4218e-0c4a-4802-958c-3e974285cd38

Integrity. 2019. Research to improve the quality of teaching and learning inside Syria. Compendium to the Final Report. London: Integrity. Retrieved from: https://www.eccnetwork.net/sites/default/files/media/file/Research-To-Improve-The-Quality-Of-Teaching-And-Learning-Inside-Syria-Report-Compendium_0.pdf

Technical Support Section Division of Operational Services UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 2007. Safe Schools and Learning Environment. How to Prevent and Respond to Violence in Refugee Schools. A Guide. Geneva: UNHCR. Retrieved from: https://www.refworld.org/docid/469200e82.html

Provide psychosocial support and training to teachers working with displaced populations

Evidence suggests that while providing psychosocial support to teachers is essential, particularly in challenging contexts, in reality, there is a lack of such support for teachers as ‘the primary focus is on children’s wellbeing’ (Ahmed, 2017: 3). Teachers, and other educational staff, working with displaced populations must be provided with appropriate psychosocial support and training, as they are frequently exposed, directly or indirectly, to stressful circumstances and trauma (UNESCO, 2019; IIEP-UNESCO, 2006).

Psychosocial support and training must help teachers learn coping mechanisms, self-care strategies, mindfulness, and stress management, among other strategies, to recognize and know how to deal with and behave in stressful situations (UNESCO, 2019; Falk, Frisoli and Varni, 2021). For instance, the International Rescue Committee implemented a mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programme, known as ‘Healing Classrooms’, in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, to meet ‘the psychosocial needs of teachers as well as their students’ (Sinclair, 2013, as cited in Ahmed, 2017). Training opportunities must help teachers cope with their own experiences and heal since only by knowing how to address their psychosocial needs, teachers will be able to help students address theirs (UNESCO, 2019; Ahmed, 2017). Participative approaches, with a focus on communication, emotional awareness, empathy, and inclusiveness are key during training programmes (Ahmed, 2017). All teachers, even those who have not experienced traumatic situations, must learn to recognise and respond adequately to students’ signs of distress in the classroom (UNESCO, 2019; IIEP-UNESCO, 2006).

Psychosocial support and training opportunities should be inscribed within the whole-school approach meant to create a positive and safe school environment (For more information consult Policy page School climate). Moreover, such support should be institutionalised into ‘permanent education policies, with collaboration on budgets and financing across Ministries of Education, Health and Finance’ (Falk, Frisoli and Varni, 2021: 20). It is key to ensure that any intervention implemented in the country benefiting national teachers is extended to internally displaced and refugee teachers or volunteers (Falk, Frisoli and Varni, 2021). Moreover, psychosocial support interventions should be monitored and evaluated to analyse their real impact on teachers’ behaviours and skills and thus inform future policies and strategies.

References
Ahmed, H. 2017. Approaches to providing psycho-social support for teachers and other school staff in protracted conflict situations. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. Retrieved from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5bacd290ed915d25a8b3b676/117___119_-Psychosocial_support_for_teachers_and_other_education_staff-_Final.pdf

Falk, D.; Frisoli, P.; Varni, E. 2021. ‘The importance of teacher well-being for student mental health and resilient education systems’. In: Mental Health and psychosocial support, FMR Review 66. Retrieved from: https://www.fmreview.org/sites/fmr/files/FMRdownloads/en/issue66/falk-frisoli-varni.pdf

IIEP-UNESCO. 2006. Guidebook for planning education in emergencies and reconstruction. Paris: IIEP-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://www.ungei.org/sites/default/files/Guidebook-Planning-EiE-and-Reconstruction-2010-eng.pdf

UNESCO. 2019. Education as healing: Addressing the trauma of displacement through social and emotional learning. Policy Paper 38. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000367812

UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). 2013. Mental Health and Psychosocial Support. Geneva: UNHCR. Retrieved from: http://www.unhcr.org/51f67bdc9.pdf

Policies for minority populations

The policy recommendations addressed in this section should be implemented in complement to those mentioned in the general section of the present Policy page.

Promising policy options

A wide multitude of research has shown that teachers’ implicit and explicit bias can format the way they behave with their students, which can ‘fundamentally shape the lives of students, perpetuating racial inequality’ (Blanchett, 2006; Lewis, 2003; Lewis & Diamond, 2017; Nicholson-Crotty et al., 2009; Tenenbaum & Ruck, 2007 as cited by Starck et al., 2020: 274).

Indeed, teachers’ bias influence the expectation they hold from students and the way they treat them can impact their academic achievement, evaluations, academic-level placement, and even the type and frequency of punishments inflicted on them, such as suspension and expulsion (Starck et al., 2020; Weir, 2016; Rosen, 2016).

For instance, research done in the Netherlands illustrated how teachers implicit bias affected students’ scores on standardized math and reading exams (van den Bergh et al., 2010 as cited by Starck et al., 2020). On the other hand, another study showed how teachers’ implicit bias towards their ‘preferred ethnic groups’ was ‘positively associated with achievement for students’ (Peterson et al., 2016 as cited by Starck et al., 2020: 275). Teachers’ bias can also affect whether they implement or not ‘culturally responsive pedagogical strategies’ and if they ‘promote respect and cooperation among diverse students’ (Kumar et al., 2015 as cited by Starck et al., 2020: 275).

This wide variety of studies stress the importance of implementing effective strategies and policies to support teachers in addressing their implicit and explicit bias so that all students are provided with equitable, quality educational opportunities.

References
Rosen, J. 2016. Teacher expectations reflect racial biases, John Hopkins study suggests. Accessed 19 January 2022: https://hub.jhu.edu/2016/03/30/racial-bias-teacher-expectations-black-white/

Starck, J.G.; Riddle, T.; Sinclair, S.; Warikoo N. 2020. ‘Teachers Are People Too: Examining the Racial Bias of Teachers Compared to Other American Adults’. In: Educational Researcher, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 273-284. Retrieved from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.3102/0013189X20912758

Weir, K. 2016. ‘Inequality at school. What’s behind the racial disparity in our education system’. In: Monitor on Psychology, vol. 47, no. 10. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/11/cover-inequality-school

Teacher training to address racial biases

Research findings highlight that one of the most effective strategies to address racial biases, particularly unconscious ones, is systematic teacher training (Starck et al., 2020). Teachers must be supported and given specific techniques to ‘shift or mitigate the effects of their own racial biases’ (Starck et al., 2020: 273). Training opportunities must help teachers become aware of their unconscious biases and provide them with specific strategies to address them. Various studies have highlighted some effective techniques such as the following (Devine et al., 2012):

  • ‘Perspective taking’: requires the individual to take ‘the perspective in the first person of a member of a stereotyped group’ (Galinsky and Moskowitz, 2000, as cited by Devine et al., 2012: 8).
  • ‘Increasing opportunities for contact’: fostering positive interactions with ‘out-group members’ can help reduce implicit bias (Pettigrew, 1998; Pettigrew and Tropp, 2006 as cited by Devine et al., 2012: 8).
  • ‘Stereotype replacement’: recognize stereotypical responses, labelling them as such and analysing the why behind them, as well as how to avoid them in the future. The idea is to help transform stereotypical responses into non-stereotypical ones (Monteith, 1993, as cited by Devine et al., 2012).
  • ‘Counter stereotypic imaging’: ‘involves imagining in detail counter stereotypic others (Blair et al., 2001). These others can be abstract (e.g., smart Black people), famous (e.g., Barack Obama), or non-famous (e.g., a personal friend). The strategy makes positive exemplars salient and accessible when challenging a stereotype’s validity’ (Devine et al., 2012: 7).
  • ‘Individuation’: ‘relies on preventing stereotypic inferences by obtaining specific information about group members (Brewer, 1988; Fiske & Neuberg, 1990). Using this strategy helps people evaluate members of the target group based on personal, rather than group-based, attributes’ (Devine et al., 2012: 7).
  • Self-regulation and self-awareness techniques: studies have shown that ‘implicit racial bias is more likely to shape perceptions and behaviour when attention is overloaded or when perceivers are unable to self-regulate, unwilling to self regulate, or do not recognize the benefit of self-regulation in a given situation’ (Cameron et al., 2012 as cited by Starck et al., 2020: 282). Self-regulation and self-awareness techniques have thus been found critical to counter implicit bias. For instance, in a study, Cook et al. (2018) found that teachers who learned those techniques were more ‘effective at reducing the odds of Black male students’ disciplinary referrals’ (as cited by Starck et al., 2020: 282).
  • Providing ‘equity rubrics’ to be used by teachers while assessing their students, determining disciplinary actions, among others, can also reduce bias (Starck et al., 2020: 282).

Even though each technique depends on each context and much more evidence-based research is needed to find the most efficient ones, studies do highlight the key importance of helping teachers become aware of their own unconscious bias through training and providing them with techniques that they can intentionally employ to reduce it (Devine et al., 2012). Yet, it is also key to provide the necessary support to ensure that techniques learnt are translated into teachers’ daily practice.

References
Devine, P. G.; Forsher, P. S.; Austin, A. J.; and Cox, W. 2012. ‘Longterm reduction in implicit race bias: A prejudice habit-breaking intervention’. In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 48, no. 6, pp. 1267–1278. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3603687/pdf/nihms396358.pdf

Starck, J.G.; Riddle, T.; Sinclair, S.; Warikoo N. 2020. ‘Teachers Are People Too: Examining the Racial Bias of Teachers Compared to Other American Adults’. In: Educational Researcher, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 273-284. Retrieved from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.3102/0013189X20912758

Providing support to teachers

As explained in the general section of the present Policy page providing the necessary support to teachers to ensure adequate, inclusive behaviour is key and this support is even more important to help them address their conscious and unconscious biases. Support can be provided by school leaders as well as through peer collaboration.

Various initiatives have been developed to promote peer-to-peer collaboration to address teachers’ biases. For instance, the programme My Teaching Partner-Secondary developed by Anne Gregory, PhD, and colleagues aimed to pair teachers with coaches. Teachers recorded their interactions in the classroom and showed them to coaches who provided constructive feedback to help them improve their engagement with students (Weir, 2016). ‘Wise feedback’, developed by David Yeager, PhD, is an initiative that aims to help teachers believe in their students equally and trust in their capacity to meet their expectations. It has had positive effects on students’ work as well as in reducing ‘feelings of mistrust between black students and their teachers’ (Weir, 2016: 1).

Moreover, school heads’ leadership and vision are key to support teachers in the process of dismantling unconscious biases. School heads must enable the conversation about implicit and explicit bias, racism and prejudice within the school (Will, 2020). Just as teachers, school leaders must benefit from training opportunities to learn the necessary techniques and ensure that they, as well as teachers, are putting them into practice.

References
Weir, K. 2016. ‘Inequality at school. What’s behind the racial disparity in our education system’. In: Monitor on Psychology, vol. 47, no. 10. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/11/cover-inequality-school

Will, M. 2020. Teachers Are as Racially Biased as Everybody Else, Study Shows. Accessed 19 January 2022: https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/teachers-are-as-racially-biased-as-everybody-else-study-shows/2020/06

Monitoring teacher behaviour

Analysing how implicit and explicit teacher biases are manifesting in school is key. For this, all student data must be evaluated through a ‘racial lens to pinpoint discrepancies’ (Will, 2020:1). Pertinent data includes ‘test scores, attendance rates, discipline records, advance course enrollment, and drop out rates’ (Will, 2020: 1). It is key to see whether racial aspects are associated with specific results. For instance, a Standford study highlighted that black students in the United States are more than three times as likely as their white peers to be suspended or expelled’ (Parker, 2015: 1).

Data can spot biased teacher behaviour, as well as policies that are contributing to systemic racism in schools (Tearada, 2020). By analysing the data through equity and racial lenses, school leaders and teachers will be able to see whether the behaviours, policies and measures are having the same impact on all students, or if, on the contrary, they are affecting a particular population (Tearada, 2020). Such an analysis is key to guarantee equitable learning opportunities for all.

References
Parker, C.B. 2015. Teachers more likely to label black students as troublemakers, Stanford research shows. Accessed 19 January 2022: https://news.stanford.edu/2015/04/15/discipline-black-students-041515

Terada, Y. 2020. 7 Classroom Management Mistakes –and the Research on How to Fix Them. Accessed 19 January 2022: https://www.edutopia.org/article/7-classroom-management-mistakes-and-research-how-fix-them

Will, M. 2020. Teachers Are as Racially Biased as Everybody Else, Study Shows. Accessed 19 January 2022: https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/teachers-are-as-racially-biased-as-everybody-else-study-shows/2020/06

Culturally Responsive Classroom

Teachers must ensure that their attitudes are culturally responsive. This can be done by implementing culturally-responsive classroom management techniques (see Annex 4).

*For more on this subject, consult Policy page Socio-cultural barriers to schooling.

Annex 4

Culturally responsive classroom management

Source: Milner, R.M.; Tenore, F.B. 2010. ‘Classroom Management in Diverse Classrooms’. In: Urban Education. Vol.45(5), p. 598. Retrieved from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0042085910377290

Updated on 2022-01-25

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