What Is Disruptive About Disruptive Behavior?

  • Thomas SzuleviczEmail author
Part of the Cultural Psychology of Education book series (CPED, volume 10)


Most educational systems have over the last 20 years increased their focus on definable and measurable student learning outcome. Concurrently, disruptive behavior and disciplinary problems have globally been identified as growing concerns. After describing the shift in educational philosophy and practice toward more outcome-based education, this chapter will follow two tracks. The first track describes how and why disruptive behavior is a major concern in most educational systems as both teachers and students report being plagued by noise and disruptive behavior in schools. In the second track of the chapter, it is discussed how the described changes toward measuring student learning outcome have changed our understanding and attitudes toward student’s disruptive behavior. The chapter by no means makes light of the problems related to disruptive behavior in schools, and it acknowledges that disruptive behavior is one of the biggest problems in most Western educational systems. The aim of the chapter is rather to stress how the notion of disruptive behavior—from a cultural–historical perspective—is changed with an increasingly outcome-based educational practice and how this practice potentially creates new problems related to disruptive behavior by changing the general approach to disruptions and disruptive students.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication and PsychologyAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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