Conceptualizing and Theorizing Behaviour
There are multiple theories which attempt to explain problem behaviour. These can be classified into those that either address individual (within child) differences such as developmental and biological theories or the individual's response to their environment such as affective, cognitive and behavioural theories or social constructivist theories that reflect
the dynamic interaction between the individual and his/her relationships and the
environment. It is also possible that individual perspectives on behaviour can be allied to a range of interacting perspectives (i.e. biological, psychological and social). I will now discuss three different perspectives of behaviour; the biological or medical perspective, psychological perspectives and cultural or social perspective. I will then discuss how each of these different perspectives affects my own professional practice.
Biological and medical perspective of behaviour
The biological perspective of behaviour attributes individual behavioural difficulties to internal factors, such as 'delay', 'difference' or 'disability'. The Open University states that ‘difficult behaviour from the medical perspective is the result of an underlying condition or disease that an individual has that requires treatment’ (Study Guide, pg.79). This perspective is often applied to individuals with special educational needs (SEN), such as learners with autism or ADHD. Those who attribute a child's behavioural difficulties to these internal 'fixed' factors may, on the one hand, adopt a more tolerant and understanding approach, but on the other hand there is a risk that educators may ignore other factors such as learning behaviour resulting from the interaction between the individual with his/her environment and feel as though medical attention is necessary for any improvements to take place. They may blame the medical diagnosis for the behaviours rather than looking at the...