Peer Pressure Towards Negative Behaviour and Classroom Quality Effects on Academic Achievement

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Children are often viewed as happy, carefree beings without having to care for most stressors in life. However, take a closer look and we would understand that children do have their growing pains as well. In this research, children are defined as young kids below the age of 12. As they grow older, they undergo many changes in their life, and it is of no surprise that they need to learn to cope from the situation based on those changes. This study is designed to understand the underlying theories and factors that could affect the children’s development through the environmental influences that may promote or affect the development of behavior and achievement through peer pressure and classroom quality (Adams, Ryan, Ketsetzis, and Keating, 2000). The main question the researcher is curious is about understanding the effects of environmental factors towards children. How could peer pressure affect the behavior of children; and to what extent does it influence children? What about the quality of classroom and how can it be applied to maximize and promote better conditions for children in academic achievement? It is believed that children’s behavior can be influenced by their peers due to the pressure they face in their lives, particularly in the school. Peer pressure is defined as the feeling obtained by an individual when a person of a similar age pushes or influences you to make a particular choice which may be positive or negative (Peer Pressure Bag of Tricks, n.d.; Fanti and Henrich, 2010). Meanwhile, behavior is defined as the action or reaction a person has under particular circumstances based on reactions or responses by other people (WordNet Search – 3.1 (n.d.)). On the other hand, classroom quality is defined as the interaction between the student and the teacher in a classroom which provides or fulfils the emotional, academic, and social aspects of the student in the classroom as well as the physical environment present in the classroom (Pianta, 2006). It is always important to take consideration of the classroom quality as children would be spending most of their time in the classroom. Teachers by their own already fulfill a huge criteria required in ensuring a conducive classroom quality by taking heed of the environment young children are exposed to. After all, teachers play a very important role in capturing the children’s attention and ensuring that the students do obtain the information presented. One of the most important reasons why classroom plays an important role in the children’s life is because the classroom quality affects the academic achievement of the children (Pintrich and Blumenfeld, 1985). In this case, academic achievement is defined as the level of true accomplishment or proficiency that a child has achieved in academic aspects (Abbreviations and Glossary – Durham Public Schools. (n.d.)). Children as young as 3 are able to behave and act accordingly where they are distinctly aware of the expectations and requirements of the society or their peers (Baron, Branscombe, and Byrne. 2009). It is evident that children can be capable as interpersonal influencers towards each other in conditions that does not involve high risk-taking as compared to conditions which involves major risks (Bradbury, 1998). One of the few social theories that could be used to explain this would be conformity and compliance. Conformity is the pressure to behave in a particular manner that may or may not be verbally expressed, but rather, because it is deemed acceptable or appropriate by a group (Baron, Branscombe and Byrne, 2009). According to Brown, Clasen, and Eicher (1986), members in a group tend to exert conformitory pressure towards each other where the group is eventually strengthened. Brown et al (1986) also discovered that a majority of the children felt they should conform to the group pressure due to strength or the association that they have towards a particular group. Most children feel that being in a group...
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