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Behaviour, Inclusion and Mental Well-Being


This chapter looks at teaching approaches, assessment, inclusion and exclusion, and special educational needs in the light of neuroplasticity. These include concerns about general mental well-being, behaviour, trauma-informed teaching, teaching approaches that encourage inclusion and the social aims of learning communities. There is a consideration of positive behaviour-changing solutions. The latest psychological advice and evidence is discussed around how childhood experiences affect teenage and adult mental development. There is an explanation of current thinking about trauma-informed, adaptable approaches and therapies. There is a discussion around cultural diversity, valuable differences and similarities and the urgent need to encourage the establishment of friendly; culturally informed and respectful; accepting and supportive learning communities. Relevant and current backup data references are included in the references list for topics discussed in this chapter.

Special thanks to Dr Christine Challen ‘Happiness’ for A poem from ‘My Mind’s House’, 20 August 2019.

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  1. 1.

    Mary Myatt (2019) ‘Using stories in the curriculum’ Accessed 15/12/2019.

  2. 2.

    Corey Block (2017) ‘Why Compassion (and Great Stories) Trumps Current Events in the Classroom’ Accessed 11/03.2021.

  3. 3.

    Elizabeth Peyton (2019) ‘The Secret to Classroom Management—No Matter Where You Teach’ Accessed 19/01/2020.

  4. 4.

    Grainne Hallahan (2019) ‘Why attachment-aware teaching matters for every child Attachment is important for every child in your class – not just the vulnerable pupils, says Professor Peter Fonagy’ Accessed 14/10/2019.

  5. 5.

    Lori Desautels (2021), Professor in the College of Education, Butler University, Indiana ‘Bad Behavior or Nervous System Response: A New Lens for Discipline’. Accessed 15/03/2021.

  6. 6.

    Guy Stephens (2021) ‘Revolutionizing our understanding of autonomic physiology: An interview with Stephen W. Porges, PhD’ Accessed 15/03/2021.

  7. 7.

    Mary Meredith (2020) ‘Towards a pastoral pedagogy fit for the pandemic age – a final reflection on The Boy who was Raised as a Dog’ Accessed 17/03/2021.

  8. 8.

    National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health ‘Exercises for Grounding, Emotional Regulation & Relaxation for children and their parents’ Accessed 18/03/2021.

  9. 9.

    Karen Treisman Website Safe Hands Thinking Minds Accessed 18/03/2021.

  10. 10.

    Kim Golding (2015) ‘Connection Before Correction: Supporting Parents to Meet the Challenges of Parenting Children who have been Traumatised within their Early Parenting Environments’ 2015/05/04 Volume 40(2):1–8 Children Australia Journal DOI: Accessed 22/03/2021.

  11. 11.

    Jaz Ampaw-Farr (2017) ‘The power of everyday heroes’ TEDxNorwichED Accessed 18/03/2021.

  12. 12.

    Yousif Davis (2020) ‘Evaluating Evidence-Based Practise In Your Workplace – The Teaching’. Accessed 19/03/2021.

  13. 13.

    Challen, C. (2020). ‘The importance of art/poetry and philosophy in educational leadership, well-being and engagement of STEM subjects’. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Leadership Studies, 1(3), 41–54. DOI: Accessed 17/03/2021.

  14. 14.

    Special Data Contribution

    ‘Happiness’ A poem from ‘My Mind’s House’ by Dr Christine Challen 20 August 2019

    Dedicated to Chris Martin who introduced me to Rumi, to my children who are a constant source of amazement and love. To those at Harbour who help victims of domestic abuse and family and friends who have supported us on this journey. I hope that this helps those who suffer trauma to have the courage, strength and hope that you can rebuild and recover in time.


    Verse Happiness How do we define, A state of emotion, Dependent of mind But really it’s more Perception and Presence Positive reflections through Time, peace and solitude Healing wounded scars over, Mindfulness moments, a Long tangled journey To slowly go. Emotions like a kaleidoscope Both grief and sad Positive and gratitude Negative and bad All form to create colours Opportunities to be had In each we embrace Experiences to call on For happiness to hold Through perceptions and Feelings moods to unfold So key to happiness Collide emotions of grief Creating warmth and energy Uplifting your mood Remember struggles are temporary Not a permanent state But a useful reminder To be grateful for the good Happiness is evolving It spins without and within Depends on the present And a positive take On the past

  15. 15.

    Bruce Perry (2021) ‘The Neurosequential Model’ Website and Video Accessed 17/03/2021.

  16. 16.

    Armand King (2021) ‘Using pain to Pave a Way’ Accessed 22/03/2021.

  17. 17.

    Tamara Lanier ‘The World Is Watching: Woman Suing Harvard for Photos of Enslaved Ancestors Says History Is At Stake’ 29 March 2019 Democracy Now! Accessed 23/03/2021.

  18. 18.

    Toria Bono (2021) Tiny Voice Talks Podcasts ‘Becoming, with Paul Hume’: In this episode, Toria talks to Paul about ‘Becoming: a teacher, and a leader.’ @teacherpaul1978 @MenTeachPrimary. Accessed 19/03/2021.

  19. 19.

    Carmel O’Hagan (2020) Language and identity – who are we if not our name? Accessed 26/02/2020.

  20. 20.

    Carmel O’Hagan (2018) ‘New funding for MFL or a political stranglehold on teaching and learning? So is this good news?’ 6 August 2018 Accessed 28/03/2021.

  21. 21.

    Sarah McDermott (2020) Adopted Children-‘Our foster child asked us to adopt him – by drawing himself on to a family photo’ BBC News Accessed 06/10/2020.

  22. 22.

    Nicole Dempsey, Assistant Principal Dixons Trinity Academy, UK ‘Equality, Inclusion &, education, equality, equity, inclusion, schools, SEN, SENCo, SEND, teaching’ 5 September 2020 Accessed 24/02/2021.

  23. 23.

    Statutory guidance: SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years (2014) United Kingdom (England): Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care-updated 30 April 2020 5 Accessed 14/06/2021.

  24. 24.

    Mary Myatt (2021a) Culture-Essentialism ‘The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.’ Accessed 26/03/2021.

  25. 25.

    Mary Myatt (2021b) ‘Culture-Cynic or skeptic? In a democratic society scepticism is a virtue in history as well as in philosophy – Napoleon Bonaparte’ Accessed 26/03/2021.

  26. 26.

    Mary Myatt (2021c) ‘Culture-Walking the talk-“Writing floats on a sea of talk” – James Britton’. Accessed 26/03/2021.

  27. 27.

    The Education Endowment Foundation (2019, 2018, 2016) ‘Oral language interventions Moderate impact for very low cost, based on extensive evidence’ Accessed 29/03/2021.


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Hawkins, J.A. (2021). Behaviour, Inclusion and Mental Well-Being. In: Brain Plasticity and Learning. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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