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Like so many of the concepts in educational discourse, behaviour has a conversational and a technical meaning. In the conversation of staffrooms, behaviour is a synonym for the conduct of the pupils, and good and bad behaviours are no more than classifications of approval or disapproval by teachers of what their pupils did in the playground or on the school trip. The behaviour observed in school as a whole is one of the features to be judged during an inspection.

Round about the beginning of the twentieth century, however, psychology began to assert itself as another one of the human sciences with a claim to the crown of all the sciences. As a discipline (and a set of professional associations) it split into two, rivalrous ...

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