Rows versus tables: an example of the use of behavioural ecology in two classes of eleven-year old children

Kevin Wheldall, Marion Morris, Pamela Vaughan, Yin Yuk Ng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The effect of different classroom seating arrangements on children's on-task behaviour was examined by observations of two top junior classes of ten-to eleven-year-old children. In both classes mean on-task behaviour was lower for the first two weeks in which children sat around tables compared with the second two-week period spent in rows, and declined again when the children returned to tables for the final two weeks. An analysis of the data broken down into groups of children with low, average and high initial on-task behaviour showed that the rows condition had its most powerful effect on children with low initial on-task behaviour. There was little difference between conditions for the children with high initial on-task behaviour. The results for the average groups of children were similar to those for the classes as a whole. Rising baselines during the first tables condition confused the effect but there was clear evidence for declines in on-task behaviour in the final tables condition.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBehaviour analysis in educational psychology
EditorsKevin Wheldall, Frank Merrett, Ted Glynn
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCroom Helm
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781351755856, 9781351755849, 9781315192697
ISBN (Print)0709936893, 9781138723900, 9781138724068
Publication statusPublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge library editions: psychology of education

Bibliographical note

1st published 1986, eBook published 2017.
All articles were originally published in the journal 'Educational Psychology'
1981—1985, published by Carfax Publishing Company and are copyright Journals
Oxford Ltd


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