Class clowns' prospects not so funny

Class clowns' prospects not so funny

Class clowns made high school bearable for many of us, but their own memories of school might not be so rosy.

New research has found class clowns tend to have a frosty relationship with their teachers, and often don't do so well academically.

Researchers at the University of Zurich spoke to high school kids and teachers, eventually realising there are four distinct types of class clown: the comic talent, the disruptive rule-breaker, the subversive joker and the traditional class clown.

The research found class clowns of all types are more likely to be male, have worse relationships with their teachers than other students, and do worse at school.

Rule-breakers did the poorest when it came to academic achievement, and teachers also rated them the worst-behaved. Rule-breakers themselves also rated their satisfaction with school the lowest of all the clown types.

Comic talents and self-aware clowns on the other hand didn't rate their school experience too badly even if it upset their teachers, because they had so much fun.

"For someone with humour as a signature strength, engaging in class clowning is a zero-sum game," the study notes.

"The benefit of having more fun is counteracted by the class clowns' perceived lower positive relationship with the teacher."

The findings of the study were published in journal Learning and Individual Differences.