Compared to middle school students around the world, American teens display particularly poor behavior, according to a survey of teachers.
A new brief from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development looks at where teachers and principals are more likely to report having misbehaving middle school students — and how that connects with school attendance. The brief gleaned its results from answers to a 2013 survey that sampled principals and teachers in over 200 schools in 30 countries or economies.
According to the brief, almost one in three surveyed teachers say that at least 10 percent of students in their classes disrupt learning by acting out, although this statistic varies by country. In Brazil, over 60 percent of teachers report having classes where at least 10 percent of students have behavioral issues. In countries like Japan and Norway, this number is vastly lower. In the United States, over 40 percent of teachers say they have classes where 10 percent of students act up — the fourth highest rate of surveyed countries.
The brief notes that teachers in places that report having high rates of misbehaving students also say they have to spend more classroom time keeping order, as opposed to teaching.
What’smackage coats sale more, about 16 percent of surveyed teachers report severe behavioral problems among their school’s students. According to these teachers, verbal abuse and intimidation among students happens on a weekly basis. Teachers in locations that report higher rates of verbal abuse and intimidation among students also report higher rates of students absenteeism, suggesting that the two issues are related, as shown in the graph below.
Finally, the brief suggests that including stakeholders like parents and community members in school decisions could help reduce these issues and improve schools’ climates.
“Teachers who report working in schools with higher levels of participation among stakeholders are less likely to report high proportions of students with behaviour problems in their classrooms,” said the brief. “These results indicate that promoting the participation of stakeholders in school decisions, combined with a culture of shared responsibility and mutual support, can bring about a more positive student behaviour and learning environment.”
A public elementary school girl buys a pancake for her lunch on the street in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. In Indonesia, not every student can bring a lunch box to school. Public school students buy their lunch at school cafeterias or food stalls on the nearby streets. The price for one pancake is about one U.S. cent.
French chef Xavier Lebeau poses with a plate of Quenelles de Brochet (pike fish) with Green Haricots and Champignons de Paris (Paris mushrooms) at the Saint Pierre de Chaillot school in Paris, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. In France, school lunch is an art form: hot, multi-course and involving vegetables.
Sri, a house maid, shows a lunch box she prepared for her employer’s child, at an elementary school in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. The lunch consists of rice, meatball soup, and tofu and vegetables. Most countries put a premium on feeding school children a healthy meal at lunchtime. The new American standards for school lunches are giving kids in the United States a taste of the good life already experienced by school children around the world.
Mamadou Diagana, shows his fried donuts as he makes his way to school in Bamako, Mali, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. In Mali?s capital, the majority of students go to neighborhood schools and return home from noon to 3 p.m. so they can eat lunch with their families. The they then return to class until 5 p.m.
Baani, a 5-year-old Indian schoolgirl, eats her lunch prepared by her mother, consisting of flatbread, a turnip dish and mangoes, at a school in Jammu, India, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Most countries seem to put a premium on feeding school children a healthy meal at lunchtime. U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is on a mission to make American school lunches healthier too, by replacing greasy pizza and french fries with whole grains, low fat protein, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Palestinian students hold up their sandwiches of pita bread stuffed with olive oil and zaatar, a mixture of herbs and spices, brought from home, during their half-hour mid-day break at about 11 a.m. in the West Bank city of Nablus, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Palestinian children in the West Bank usually eat during recess in the schoolyard, as there are no dining rooms in schools.
A plastic plate containing an empanada of meat, milanesa (meat covered with egg and bread), and potato is set on a table where children ages 2 to 5 years old have lunch at a school in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. In Argentina, most children have been able to count on some relative providing a hot homemade lunch before or after they attend public school, which is generally taught in four-hour shifts in the morning or afternoon.
A school lunch consisting of rice, salmon, ratatouille, a slice of bread, a salad with celery and carrots, and an orange and donut is laid out on a tray at the Anne Franck school in Lambersart, northern France, Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
A school lunch featuring a grilled cheese sandwich on whole grain bread is served with a southwestern-style corn salad, fresh carrots and either canned pears or apple sauce Monday, May 5, 2014, at Mirror Lake Elementary School in Federal Way, Wash., south of Seattle. On this day, students could choose between this lunch or a green salad entree option featuring low-sodium chicken, a whole-grain roll, fresh red peppers, and cilantro dressing.
A school lunch salad entree option featuring low-sodium chicken, a whole-grain roll, fresh red peppers, and cilantro dressing is assembled in a lunch basket at Mirror Lake Elementary School in Federal Way, Wash., south of Seattle, Monday, May 5, 2014. On this day, students could choose between this salad and a more traditional lunch of a grilled cheese sandwich on whole grain bread served with a southwestern-style corn salad, fresh carrots and either canned pears or apple sauce.
A school lunch at El Caminet del Besos kindergarten is pictured in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. The lunch is composed of cream of vegetable soup, pan-fried breast of veal with salad, a piece of bread, an orange or banana and water. Most countries seem to put a premium on feeding school children a healthy meal at lunchtime. U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is on a mission to make American school lunches healthier too.
The a school lunch of an omelette, vegetable soup, banana yogurt and water are served at the Chiquitin kindergarten in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Most countries seem to put a premium on feeding school children a healthy meal at lunchtime. U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is on a mission to make American school lunches healthier too.
Two lunch trays at a primary school in London are served during a lunch break on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. The meal choice at right consists of pasta with fresh broccoli and slices of bread, and seasonal fresh fruit. At left are vegetable chili with rice and fresh broccoli, sponge cake with custard, and a banana. The drink options are milk and water.
Milagro Ramos, a student at the Angela Landa elementary school, spoons up rice from her lunch tray, which also contains a chicken croquette, a piece of taro root and yellow pea soup in Old Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Milagro brought fried plantains, lower left corner of her tray, and an orange drink from home. The children provide their own drinks.
A student’s lunch box brought from home sits on display at an elementary school in Quito, Ecuador, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. The lunch consistsmoncler of a sandwich of ham, cheese, tomato and lettuce, a boxed oatmeal drink, and an apple.
Bowls of salad are ready to be served, Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at Delcare Edu Center, a local kindergarten and child care center in the business district of Singapore. Everyday, lunch is prepared by the school’s kitchen staff, who take great care to promote healthy eating in the selection of their ingredients and methods of food preparation. The children in this school are also taught to accept a wide variety of food and a weekly menu is prepared by the principal each school term. Healthy snacks consisting of fruits, home-made bread, natural beans, soup and barley are served between meals.
Children stand in a queue to receive a free mid-day meal made of sweetened rice at a government school on the outskirts of Jammu, India, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. The Mid-Day Meal is a massive school feeding program reaching out to millions of children in primary schools across India, mainly to enhance school enrollment and attendance and improve nutritional levels among children.
Students eat their lunch at the Bahria Foundation school in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Most of the children at the school have home cooked food for lunch, which contain eggs, chicken nuggets, bread, rice or noodles. Some have vegetables, minced mutton or beef prepared and cooked at home the night before. Principal Syeda Arifa Mohsin says the school tries to dissuade parents from fixing junk food for their children.
Assorted lunch plates are arranged at a table for students at the Bahria Foundation school in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Most of the kids seen there have home cooked food for lunch. Principal Syeda Arifa Mohsin says the school tries to dissuade parents from fixing junk food for their children. ?If we discover that a child has junk food, we ask his or her parents to please make a little effort for their child?s health,? Mohsin says.
A lunch box containing rice with chicken Milanesa (chicken covered with egg and bread) sits on a table where kids ages 2 to 5 have lunch at a school in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Argentine culture celebrates tight-knit families with multiple generations living together or just down the street, meaning most children have been able to count on some relative providing a hot homemade lunch before or after they attend public school, which is generally taught in four-hour shifts in the morning or afternoon.
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