This chapter has at its core the account of two investigations together with discussions of the implications of their fi ndings.

As we saw in the previous chapter, there has been in recent times a realisation that there is a complex relationship between teachers’ verbal behaviour and the behaviour of their pupils. One of the early attempts to look at this whole area is seen in the work of White (1975), in the USA, who carried out an analysis of 16 separate classroom observation studies. She found those teachers of the youngest children, Grades 1 and 2, equivalent to infant children in the UK, gave more approval to their pupils than disapproval, while the opposite appeared to be the case for teachers of older pupils, i.e. teachers of junior and secondary pupils. When the teachers’ behaviour was analysed in terms of whether approval was given to what she called instructional and managerial behaviour, known by subsequent investigators as academic and social behaviours respectively, she found that teachers gave high rates of approval for instructional behaviour, while for managerial behaviour the rate of approval was so low that White described it as ‘almost non-existent’.