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Working atmosphere in the classroom

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Working atmosphere in the classroom

The Haydn Scale The Haydn Scale

With increasing focus nationally around pupil behaviour, a tool developed at UEA’s School of Education & Lifelong Learning is transforming the school experience for students and teachers.

The Haydn Scale is the most widely used instrument for evaluating classroom climate from a teacher perspective, and is used for teacher development by schools and initial teacher education providers worldwide.

Developed by Prof Terry Haydn, the Haydn Scale promotes reflection on classroom climate and develops understanding of the factors that influence the working atmosphere in classrooms.

The Haydn Scale has been identified as a recommended resource for improving teacher-training relating to pupil behaviour by the Department for Education (DfE) and the National College for Teachers and Leadership (NCTL). It’s also used by Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers within and beyond the UK.

Prof Haydn’s research, funded by the Training and Development Agency for Schools, has had an impact on public and policy debates about the extent to which behaviour is a problem in UK schools, with extensive media coverage.

The purpose of the scale is to encourage student teachers, teachers and schools to reflect on the influence of classroom climate on teaching and learning, and the extent to which there is a ‘right to learn' for pupils, free from disruption.

Prof Haydn said: “The scale differs from other classroom climate instruments in its attempt to provide a more nuanced calibration of the extent to which the teacher is in control of the classroom, and able to create and sustain a working atmosphere that optimises pupil learning.

“The aim is to conceptualise the working atmosphere in the classroom as a continuum, between one ideally conducive to learning (Level 10), to one where pupil attainment and entitlement to learn are severely constrained by the poor behaviour of some pupils (Level 1).

“The level descriptors were designed to evince a chord of recognition in anyone who has had experience of working in classrooms, and also to be transparent to other ‘stakeholders' in education, such as parents, governors, policymakers, and pupils themselves.”

The scale, and a brief explanation of how it might be used can be accessed at ten point scale.

Read Professor Haydn’s most recent paper on this issue, ‘To what extent is behaviour a problem in English schools?’ (2014), published in Review of Education 2 (1).

Watch Professor Haydn talking about the use of the scale in classroom management on Teachers TV, for the Institute of Education.

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Professor Terry Haydn

Professor of Education, School of Education and Lifelong Learning

Research Interests

Professor Haydn’s research interests include: the history of education, the teaching of history and the history curriculum; the use of new technology in history teaching and the ways in which school history and new technology influence young people’s ideas about citizenship and identity.  Professor Haydn also has an interest in classroom climate and the management of pupil behaviour in school.


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