What Did Disruptive Students Say They Wanted From Their Classes? A Survey of Student Voices


This paper draws on data from over 60 students in order to find out how disruptive students viewed disrupted classes. The purpose of this research was to prepare training for tutors who were finding disruptive classes difficult to teach. Classes were identified as ‘disruptive’ by their tutors and then the researcher was asked by managers to give some training to the relevant tutors. The scope of this small-scale research was to report on the findings of what students said about disruptive classes. The rationale behind the research was that if we could find out what disruptive students said they wanted, teachers might be in a better position to teach them. The problem then was how to frame questions so that they would be understandable by the students and yet produce meaningful, authentic data. The findings showed that several students from these classes said that they had been involved in physical and verbal violence in class and that learning was compromised. From this research it emerged that the sample of students from classes identified as disruptive by their teachers said that their preferred sessions would be supportive, respectful, one-to-one; they would learn more, be involved in discussions and enjoyed practical work. In other words all the features that would be associated with normative good practice in teaching and learning. The consequent challenge implicit in this research is how to help teachers communicate these strategies, attitudes and values in a disruptive and challenging environment.

How to Cite

Lebor, M., (2015) “What Did Disruptive Students Say They Wanted From Their Classes? A Survey of Student Voices”, Teaching in Lifelong Learning 6(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/till.2015.6216


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Merv Lebor





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