Exploring the influence of the behaviour-management approaches of a school on students' social behavioural issues : An institutional ethnography from a private higher secondary school in Chitral

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


There is growing anxiety amongst parents and teachers about social behavioural issues of higher secondary school children in Pakistan. This study focused on these issues and explored the influence the behaviour-management approaches of a school on students' social behavioural issues in a private higher secondary school setting in rural part of Pakistan. It followed qualitative research methodology and utilized institutional ethnographic design to explore the research question. Various data collection methods were employed including observations of school activities, interviews of principal and hostel warden, focused group discussions with parents, teachers and students and document analysis. The findings of the study showed that context plays a key role in defining the social behavioural issues (SBI). If the behaviour of students deviates from the set norms and values of the school and community, they are considered problematic. The common students' SBI identified in the research included disciplinary issues such as absenteeism, uniform violation, late arrival at school, roaming aimlessly and disregard to social manners such as not paying salam and less usage of polite words. The stakeholders consider school primarily responsible for building students' social behaviour, therefore, display of SBI by the students reflects negatively on the school. It was also found that students show more SBI with teachers who are professionally less developed. The research concluded that school uses three approaches to manage SBI, which are preventive, interventionist and reactive approaches. These approaches have either positive or negative influences towards students' SBI. It was found that actual influence depends more on the process through which these approaches are applied than the approach itself. The school dominantly uses reactive strategies, which have a negative influence on students' SBI. They also apply preventive and interventionist approaches but at a sub-optimal level and in a way that makes them less effective to attain desirable outcomes. It is recommended that the principal should attempt to reduce communication gap between stakeholders by involving teachers, parents and students in decision making and policy implementation. School should also engage teachers in continuous professional development. These attempts will strengthen the culture of whole school positive approaches.

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