Urban elementary school teacher perceptions regarding the effectiveness of specified classroom management strategies



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The popular press and the professional literature suggest that both the lay public and the teaching profession regard student misconduct as the major problem confronting the schools. For example, thirteen of the last fourteen Gallup Polls of the public's attitudes toward education have indicated that the American public views discipline as the most serious problem facing the schools. Numerous studies have shown student misconduct to be the primary concern of classroom teachers and school administrators. Additionally, student misconduct, violence, and vandalism have been associated with teacher stress, burnout, failure, and exit from the profession. Although classroom management has been the paramount concern of teachers, preservice teacher education programs and inservice staff development programs - for the most part - have done little to help teachers develop managerial competence. If effective preservice and inservice training is to be developed in the area of classroom management, three sets of descriptions are needed: (1) descriptions of the types of student behaviors teachers view as misconduct; (2) descriptions of managerial strategies shown to be related to classroom management effectiveness; and (3) descriptions of managerial strategies teachers perceive to be effective. The professional literature does provide excellent descriptions of the types of student behaviors teachers find troublesome. Increasingly, the literature is also providing descriptions of effective managerial strategies. However, the literature does not provide clear descriptions of the managerial strategies teachers perceive to be effective. This study provided such descriptions. The purposes of this study were to describe: (1) how important urban elementary school teachers perceive selected classroom management strategies to be; (2) how knowledgeable those teachers perceived themselves to be with regard to those classroom management strategies; (3) the frequency with which those teachers perceive themselves to use those classroom management strategies; and (4) the perceptions various subgroups of urban elementary school teachers hold with regard to selected classroom management strategies. This study employed survey research methodology that was intended to yield valid descriptions of the perceptions of the teachers in the sample and, therefore, was a descriptive study. The sample consisted of 806 urban elementary school teachers. Each subject held a full-time teaching position in a public elementary school in a large city school district. In effect, each was a volunteer in this study inasmuch as he or she had the option to participate. [...]



Classroom management