Supporting children with ‘Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulty (SEBD)’ in mainstream: teachers' perspectives

CHILDERHOUSE, Helen (2017). Supporting children with ‘Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulty (SEBD)’ in mainstream: teachers' perspectives. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

HChilderhouse2017.pdf - Accepted Version
All rights reserved.

Download (2MB) | Preview


In this small-scale, qualitative study, the experiences of nine teachers who support learners identified with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) in mainstream primary schools are considered. A narrative approach enabled teachers to share their complex portrayals of practices and feelings about their roles. Perspectives on models of disability and disability rights, performativity, professional identity for teachers, and SEBD, have informed analysis and understanding of the stories teachers told. The study explores how the relationship between teachers’ professional identity and well-being and the expectations imposed upon them in a neoliberal influenced education system brings about pressures and concerns. Attempts by the teachers to achieve a balance between what they feel they ought to do (to meet policy expectations) and what they feel they should do (to meet the entitlements of children) has led to excessive workloads and complex emotional responses. Reflections on the way these teachers constructed discourses about why some children exhibit disruptive and challenging behaviours provide an understanding of how their negotiation of this challenging context impacts on the relationships they form with the children. The findings suggest that teachers experience confusion due to the complexities and contradictions they are faced with when trying to support learners identified with SEBD in an education system which incorporates policies guided by different models of disability. The study concludes by suggesting that teachers’ critical reflection on the discourses they have constructed in relation to models of disability could bring about a new way of shaping their practice. It is argued that a rights-based approach to teaching children who exhibit challenging, disruptive and concerning behaviours would emancipate children from the restrictive views and beliefs teachers seem to have developed. Approaches which focus on children’s rights to inclusive learning opportunities, which reflect their entitlement to an education, would go some way to addressing the confusion, contradiction and pressures these teachers described.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Burnett, Cathy [0000-0001-6087-244X]
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2017 15:53
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2023 15:19

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics