Proctor, S. & Solvason, C. (2019). Supporting parents to use schema theory to understand and manage challenging behaviour in the home. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 22(1), pp. 72 – 85.
Original Research Paper
Supporting parents to use schema theory to understand and manage challenging behaviour in the home
Samuel Proctor and Carla Solvason
University of Worcester, UK
Teachers of young children often find themselves discussing with parents ways to manage their children’s challenging behaviours in the home. The motivation for this research was to find an effective way to share schema theory, an approach that had proved helpful for managing the challenging behaviour of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities children, with parents. The aim was to provide support for parents, determine their views on the effectiveness of schema theory as the basis for a strategy for managing challenging behaviour at home, and ascertain whether using the approach could have a positive impact upon the quality of family life. A practitioner action research approach was taken, whereby an area of practice was identified, developed and reviewed. The findings suggest that the sessions put on for parents: reduced children’s anxiety; helped parents manage their behaviours; improved the children’s relationships with siblings and improved parents’ well-being. Although this particular research is based within a special needs setting catering for a range of ages, a better understanding of these approaches is useful to all parents and practitioners; and to those in the early years in particular.
Key words: Schema; challenging behaviour; special education; disabilities; double loop learning; reflective learning; coaching; mentoring.
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