This chapter critically evaluates the way ‘planned ignoring’ is used in the classroom setting by using observations and conversations from in-school placements as well as relevant literature. Planned ignoring is a strategy predominantly used with mild and low impact behavioural problems resulting from power struggles and attention seeking. It is characterised by lack of eye contact and no verbal or physical response, thus depriving the student of the desired attention without making them aware that their actions are not in accordance with classroom rules and routine. Initially I thought ignoring a child was fundamentally wrong and highly unacademic, but I came to realise its value through working with two highly experienced mentor teachers on my placements. I learned that providing attention to students who were misbehaving simply gave them a further platform for disruption. As my placement progressed I found that many academic works promoted planned ignoring in some way: If used appropriately it can maintain the balance of respect and teach a student to monitor their own behaviour. My investigation into planned ignoring has highlighted the fact that even after years of theoretical study, a concept can arise that can challenge my mode of thought: The strategy I originally believed to be contrary to current academic thinking was in fact a highly utilised and valuable tool.
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