The Hawthorne Effect in Schools

Attachment and Resilience

The notion of the Hawthorne Effect is derived from a series of experiments conducted in the 1920s and 1930s at the Hawthorne works of the Western Electric Company. In these experiments, the experimenters manipulated aspects of the working conditions of some employees in order to study the effects of these changes on employee productivity and wellbeing. The most famous were the so-called “Illumination Experiments”. In these experiments, productivity improved with successive increases in illumination in a work area, then increased again when the illumination was subsequently reduced. This led to the conclusion that it was not the level of illumination that played a role in worker productivity, but the perception of the worker that management was interested in them and in their working conditions.

Several years ago I was asked to conduct assessments of fourteen children who were of the most concern to staff at a particular school, in terms of their engagement and behaviour. My assessments incorporated interviews of…

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About colbypearce

I am a Clinical Psychologist and author who assists children and familes overcome adversity and experience strong and secure attachment relationships.
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2 Responses to The Hawthorne Effect in Schools

  1. If only they would! I think the punitive system of dealing with behavioural issues is just abandoning their duty of care.

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