March 11

The Effect of Regular Relaxation in Primary S

There is a growing concern in our society about the amount of reports of bad and violent behavior within schools. This is a huge problem since it has a detrimental affect on the miss-behaved pupil and their class mates. Past methods of controlling this inappropriate behavior included corporal punishment, detention, suspensions and pupils being expelled. These are all forms of negative punishment and do not seem to be having the desired effect in our modern day society at controlling behavior. Because of this new positive techniques aimed at helping and educating problem pupils are being introduced at an early age. These techniques include quite place, self discovery programs, reward schemes and relaxation techniques. This study will aim to look at how introducing relaxation sessions into primary schools can have a beneficial effect on classroom behavior making the classroom a more enjoyable place where pupils can achieve their full potential. The justification for studying this topic is the fact that relaxation has been shown to improve not only pupil’s behavior but also concentration leading to better on/off task behavior. Aims The aim of this study is to see if the introduction of short but regular relaxation sessions into a mainstream primary school can have a positive effect on classroom, as well as individual pupil behavior. Behaviors which are to be measured include pupils on/off task behavior, noise levels (concentration) and pupil’s general behavior (rated by teacher). The study will also look to see if the amount of sessions given has a difference on influencing behavior. As well as this the study will also aim to see if the relaxation sessions have the same effect on both boys and girls. Hypothesis “I predict that the introduction of short but regular relaxation sessions into a mainstream primary school will have a positive effect on overall pupil and classroom behavior.” Mini Review Traditional disciplinary techniques such as, detention suspension and exclusion, have been shown to be largely ineffective with in schools at controlling behavior (Malloy et al 1998). In response to this there has been a growth in the development of therapeutic interventions such as social skills training and relaxation techniques (Lopata 2003). The main mode of relaxation used with children up to now has been progressive muscle relaxation (Jacobson, 1942). This process has been found to relax muscles producing a feeling of deep relaxation in children helping their behavior as well as school work (Zipkin 1985). New techniques are now being tried and tested though which include circle time, quite place and short relaxation sessions in the form of an imagery CD. Quite place a programme which provides holistic therapeutic support as well as relaxation to primary school aged children has had many positive results when studied (Renwick & Spalding, 2002). Studies have also found that motivation; concentration and attention are negatively influenced due to a noisy classroom (Maxwell &evens, 1999) which in turn causes disruptive behavior. Relaxation programs have been proven to tackle this problem via reducing noise levels within the classroom and improve behavior as well as concentration (Torsten et al, 2004).The association between relaxation and physiological arousal reduction (Wolpe 1958) underpins the rationale for incorporating relaxation sessions into primary schools in the aid to improve pupil’s behavior. Much of the research on relaxation training in children though is laboratory based and conducted outside of the UK. There are many new positive based schemes popping up all over the UK and so studies are now needed to investigate this filed. Design A hybrid design with features of within participant and between participant designs. Participants The study will consist of pupils and teachers from a mainstream primary school of my choice. The study will consist of the three older age grouped classes with ages ranging between nine and eleven. Each class will contain approximately twenty-five pupils so seve

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