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Psychology and Behavior

By Nazishanif Apr 16, 2013 3287 Words
1.Abstract
The research area is classroom management, and specifically dealing with student’s behavior problems in a real classroom situation. It is universally recognized that the teacher is the key person in an education system and a well-managed classroom can provide an exciting and dynamic learning experience for everyone involved. The main objective of the research is to identify approaches for managing student behavior in order to apply valuable ways to achieve effective and positive classroom management. The present research was cross-sectional, and researcher used this type of research because it can be both qualitative and quantitative. Researcher hence endeavors to collect information from a smaller group or subset of the population in such a way that knowledge gained is representative of total population of the study.

2.Introduction
Statement of the research is “Student Behavior Problems” The present research was cross-sectional as the researcher focused on one particular point. The major advantage of cross-sectional research is that data can be collected from different type of people in a short time period. The researcher used this type of research because it can be both qualitative and quantitative. The Researcher used non-probability sampling for this study. The sampling framework which suited the research was convenience sampling. The researcher used the questionnaire survey and classroom observation as research tool.

2.1.Research Problem
How should a teacher deals with students’ behavior problems in a practical classroom situation?

2.2.Sampling Detail
When defining the population upon which the research is to be focused, the researcher must take sampling decisions in the overall planning of the research. Due to the factors of expense, time and accessibility it may not be possible or practical to obtain measures from a population. Researchers, hence endeavor to collect information from a smaller group or subset of the population in such a way that knowledge gained is representative of total population of the study. The Researcher used non-probability sampling for this study. The sampling framework which suited the research was convenience sampling. It involves the nearest convenient individuals to serve as respondents and continuing the process until the required sample size has been obtained. Non-probability sampling is best suited for a small scale survey. It’s far less complicated to set up, less expensive and adequate if researchers don’t intend to generalize the findings beyond the sample in question. The researcher visited 5 English medium schools for questionnaire survey and classroom observation, which were located in urban area of Lahore city. All the schools were private and all girls’ institutions. The researcher observed the students of Grade 7th in the real classroom situation and tried to assess the ways teachers can control/minimize misbehavior in their classrooms. The total number of sample population was 60 students. Age of the students was 12-13 years old. Next chapter talks about the literature review.

3.Literature Review
3.1. What Is Classroom Management?
Classroom management is a term used by teachers to describe the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run smoothly despite disruptive behavior by students. The term also implies the prevention of disruptive behavior. It is possibly the most difficult aspect of teaching for many teachers and indeed experiencing problems in this area causes some to leave teaching altogether. (Canter. 1997) Teachers feel overwhelmed and "powerless" in dealing with behavior problems in their classrooms. Canter (1997) pointed out that in the past, a simple stem look or warning was sufficient to shape up a classroom. "Misbehavior," as Doyle contends, "is any action by one or more students that threatens to disrupt the activity flow or pull the class toward a program of action that threatens the safety of the group or violates norm of appropriate classroom behavior held by the teacher, the students, or the school's staff” (Doyle, 1986; p. 396). 3.2. The Emphasis in Classroom Management

3.3. Influences on Classroom Management:
According to Emmer and Stough (2001), some studies have used student achievement or attitude as outcomes. But most classroom management research today has been concerned with identifying how teachers bring about student engagement with each other and limit the disruptions in the classroom. The following account will summarize the work of some important behavior theorists and in turn will identify the influences that each has made on classroom behavior and management.

3.3.1. Burrhus Frederick Skinner
Burrhus Frederick Skinner's philosophies can be related to the issue of classroom management. Skinner (Sprinthall, 1981) emphasized his research on how the organism learns, regardless of its inherited potential, regardless of its stage of physical or psychological development, and often regardless of its species. In regards to the classroom, Skinner (Conte, 1994) stated that by rewarding students for good behavior and ignoring or punishing wrong behavior, students would come to understand how to behave in a classroom environment.

3.3.2. William Glasser
Glasser's Reality Therapy (Emmer and Stough, 2001) stressed the use of choice as the cause of behavior, good or bad, and thus instructed teachers to direct students towards making value judgments about their behavior. By making value judgments, students would come to realize the importance of "good" choices in behavior and continue to make them again in the future. Therefore, students were taught the difference between a "good judgment", and a "bad judgment. In today's classrooms, rewards are given for "good choices" and consequences are given for "bad choices". This process t is used to promote good behavior and diminish bad behavior in the classroom.

3.3.3. Jacob Kounin
Jacob Kounin and his colleagues engaged in substantial classroom management research. His work focused on determining whether specific behavior settings and environmental conditions influenced behavior. He also identified a set of teacher behaviors and lesson characteristics, including, wittiness, smoothness, momentum, overlapping and group alerting. These characteristics would describe a teacher who knew what was going on at all times in the classroom and was able to deal with more than one issue or problem at a time. Kounin (Conte, 1994) thought teachers who could be that "aware" would be better managers of children in the classroom.

3.3.4. Abraham H. Maslow
Maslow's research on hierarchy of needs has also influenced effective classroom management. Helping students meet their own needs is of the utmost importance to enhance student learning opportunities and to maintain teacher longevity in the classroom. Maslow (as cited in Sprinthall, 1981, p. 327) an important psychologist in the area of motivation theory, has suggested that there is a definite order in which individuals attempt to satisfy their needs. Maslow had declared there is an "order-of-importance" that is universal among all humans. Herbert Grossman (Gordon, 2001) recaps students' basic needs and the order which those needs must be met to produce well balanced members of society.

3.4. Role of Teacher as Classroom Manager:
According to Honeyford (1982) a major limiting factor in any classroom is the teacher; not only do his character, personality and competence play a large part in determining the atmosphere of the lesson, the sort of relationships which exist, the styles of communication and the rules and regulations governing the formalities, but the teacher also performs a key role in influencing the pupils’ view of himself and the sort of progress he/she makes. Successful classroom management has been defined as producing a high rate of work involvement with a low rate of deviancy in academic settings (Laslett and Smith, 1984). Well-managed classrooms did not result from magic, but that carefully established and maintained procedures should be at work (Sadker and Sadker, 1997).

3.4.1. Time management skill
Academic learning time in the classroom has emerged as an important variable. Studies have shown that the amount of on-task behavior can vary as much as 40 percent from one classroom to the next. Even how quickly a teacher calls the class to order can vary all the way from one to ten minutes. Thus, how efficiently you have your lessons, how long you take to get started, how you handle digressions, off-task behavior, discipline and how you handle transitions will have an effect on student learning(Walberg,1988).

3.4.2. Seating arrangement
Arrangements of space and furniture in ways that bunch students together or obstruct the teacher’s view make it more difficult for a teacher to detect behavior task initiations early (Duke and Rehage, 1979). Seating arrangement must depend on the type of lesson to be taught, and the type of classroom furniture. Proper arrangement of furniture also contributes to the functionality of classrooms. Furniture is arranged so that students are oriented to the primary source or sources of information (e.g., the teacher, audio-visual materials), while at the same time having access to other sources of activities (e.g., work areas, computers) without disturbing in the classroom (Nitsaisook and Anderson, 1989). According to Anderson (1991) desks, chairs and tables can be arranged in a variety of ways; light and temperature can be increased or decreased.

3.4.3. Discipline in the classroom
Callahan (1996) asserts that the best classroom environment is one that results in efficient learning. Discipline involves employing guidance and teaching techniques to encourage students to become self directive and thus to create an atmosphere conducive to learning. A teacher establishes classroom rules either with his or her students or before the school year begins. Rules are best if they are few in number, simple and easy to understand, and fair. Also rules should be posted in the classroom for all to see, and the teacher should go over the rules on the first day of school.

3.4.4. Dealing with disruptive students
In order to handle misbehaving student, the following suggestions may prove helpful: •Deal with the present, current problem immediately, not with the past instances of the student misbehavior. •Talk to the student directly, instead of talking about him with others. •Don’t be harsh and provoked. Stay calm and address firmly. Anger, empty threats and physical handling must be avoided. •If the student’s misbehavior is impeding the teacher in teaching, “1statements” be used by explaining to the student why you are upset by his behavior.

3.4.5. Exhibit Assertive Behavior
Assertive behavior differs significantly from both passive behavior and aggressive behavior. This researcher Emmer elaborates that teacher’s display assertive behavior in the classroom when they: •Use assertive body language by maintaining an erect posture, facing the offending student but keeping enough distance so as not to appear threatening and matching the facial expression with the content of the message being presented to students. •Use an appropriate tone of voice, speaking clearly and deliberately in a pitch that is slightly but not greatly elevated from normal classroom speech, avoiding any display of emotions in the voice. •Persist until students respond with the appropriate behavior. Do not ignore an inappropriate behavior; do not be diverted by a student denying, arguing, or blaming, but listen to legitimate explanations. 3.5. Addressing Problematic Student Behavior

Reports of problematic behaviors are on the rise nationally in Pakistan, not only in the classroom but in society at large (Kowalski, 2003). Some of these immature, irritating, or thoughtless behaviors or “classroom incivilities” include: •Lateness or leaving early

Side conversations
Disregard for deadlines
Grade grubbing
Sniping remarks
Cheating
These behaviors are not just instructors’ pet peeves; they have real costs including: •Distracting other students and instructor in class
Reducing student participation
Lowering other students' and instructor’s motivation in or out of class •Affecting fairness in grading
Using instructor time unproductively
Feeling disrespected as a fellow learner or authority figure 3.6. Possible Causes:
In order to limit or deal effectively with these behaviors, it is important to understand the factors that cause or facilitate them. 3.6.1. Attention
Dreikurs believed that most students start misbehaving by seeking attention, and when this fails, they move on to more problematic goal-seeking behaviors, such as power. 3.6.2. Power
Some students don't hesitate to take a stand on matters important to them and are often disruptive and confrontational in reaching their goal. 3.6.3. Revenge
Some students compensate for real or imagined hurt feelings and they target teacher or students for revenge. Revenge may come in the form of a physical and/or psychological attack. 3.6.4. Avoidance of Failure

Wanting to avoid repeated failure, some students appear to be discouraged and helpless. This phenomenon, described as "learned helplessness" by psychologists, is characteristic of students who fail needlessly because they do not invest their best efforts. `3.7. Possible Strategies:

Sorcinelli (2002) suggests 4 principles to reduce incivilities. The principles are broad and so each one can be used to generate several concrete strategies. 3.7.1. Define expectations at the outset.

Make good use of the first day of class. Use the first day to create the right climate for productive interaction. •Allow student participation in setting ground rules. Having students participate in setting the rules for classroom behavior and interaction 3.7.2. Decrease anonymity

Engage students one-on-one. Use the time right before and after class to make small talk with students. Ask about the weekend, or the homework, or common interests. •Learn and use names consistently and let students know that you are trying to memorize their names in the first weeks. 3.7.3. Encourage active learning.

Meaningful engagement has obvious benefits for student learning and performance, but it can also bring some side benefits with respect to student behavior in the classroom. In fact, Sorcinelli (1991) points out that in classes that use active learning effectively, students •Feel more responsible for coming to class, and coming prepared •Pay more attention in class

Feel more responsible for their learning.
The next chapter deals with research methodology.
4.Research Methodology
In this chapter of research methodology, researcher has talked about the main research questions, research instruments and procedure.

4.1. Research Questions:
The present study focused on the following two questions:
4.1.1.How can the teacher maintain positive student behavior in the classrooms? 4.1.2.How far do the classroom rules have a significant effect on student’s behavior? 4.2. Participants
When defining the population upon which the research is to be focused, the researcher must take sampling decisions in the overall planning of the research. Due to the factors of expense, time and accessibility it may not be possible or practical to obtain measures from a population. Researchers, hence endeavor to collect information from a smaller group or subset of the population in such a way that knowledge gained is representative of total population of the study. The Researcher used non-probability sampling for this study. The sampling framework which suited the research was convenience sampling. It involves the nearest convenient individuals to serve as respondents and continuing the process until the required sample size has been obtained. Non-probability sampling is best suited for a small scale survey. It’s far less complicated to set up, less expensive and adequate if researchers don’t intend to generalize the findings beyond the sample in question. The researcher visited 5 English medium schools for questionnaire survey and classroom observation, which were located in urban area of Lahore city. All the schools were private and all girls’ institutions. The researcher observed the students of Grade 7th in the real classroom situation and tried to assess the ways teachers can control/minimize misbehavior in their classrooms. The total number of sample population was 60 students. Age of the students was 12-13 years old.

4.3. Research Instruments:
The researcher used two tools.

4.3.1.Questionnaire Survey
Questionnaires were used by the researcher to obtain the required data. It was an easier way to get relevant data from a large population. The researcher distributed questionnaires among 30 teachers and asked them to fill in their responses. The questionnaire was piloted before it was given to the participants. The questionnaires were administered to middle school teachers and the responds were examined. In this way data was collected from English medium schools of Lahore. Questionnaire contain 20 questions, among them 15 questions are close ended and 5 questions are open ended. Questionnaires can provide quantitative data using closed (or fixed-response) questions, where the respondent is presented with a number of alternative responses to a question and asked to mark the one that they feel is most appropriate. Researcher has used licked scale for this, which include five options such as strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree and strongly disagree. Closed questions have been criticised for forcing people to choose their answer from the alternatives provided rather than answering in their own words. Qualitative data can be gathered using open (or free-response) questions to which respondents are asked to write their own answer

4.3.2.Classroom Observation
Classroom Observation was undertaken in order to get a proper insight into the problem being explored. The researcher undertook four classroom observations that are widely used to measure changes in classroom behaviors. Classroom observation is confidential and it is an objective recording of what the instructor is doing and saying, what the students are doing and saying and interactions between the instructor and students. The researcher visited 5 different schools, and observed the students of Grade 7th in the real classroom situation.

Classroom observation as a research and evaluation method can provide reliable and valid data on how teachers and students behave in the classroom before and after an intervention. It will explain the criteria for selecting an appropriate classroom observation protocol and examine under what circumstances classroom observation protocols can be used effectively. In the context of the current study special emphasis was placed on the use of classroom observation to examine how the teacher dealt with problematic students in the real classroom situation.

4.4. Pilot Testing
Both the research instruments, questionnaire and classroom observation was piloted before it was given to the participants.

4.5. Ethical Considerations
The information provided by the participants should remain confidential. For this purpose of confidentiality, informed consent form was signed by all the participants before the study was started.

4.6. Procedure
The researcher distributed questionnaires among 30 teachers and asked them to fill in their responses. The questionnaires were administered to middle school teachers and the responds were examined. In this way data was collected from English medium schools of Lahore. Researcher distributed questionnaire among participants and collect the filled questionnaires from them next day. Researchers left the questionnaires with the participants and give them time of one day, so that they can have enough time to fill them.

5.Analysis
For the coding of data, researcher runs spss.

6.Conclusion
The effective use of behavioral and cognitive strategies in the classroom may appear daunting even to experienced teachers. The purpose of this research was to determine which management techniques and practices were most effective in the classroom in controlling student behavior, based upon critical analysis of the research literature. The aim of the research was to enable students to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes about classroom management and the objective was to identify approaches for managing student behavior. However, changing your behavior and strategies is often the most efficient and effective means of improving all types of classroom behaviors, both disruptive and non-disruptive. So is has been concluded after the research that teachers first need to understand these problems regarding students behavior and then try to find solutions by seeing the world through the eyes of their students. And then developing and using a set of intervention strategies on a regular basis, problems of emotions and behavior can be effectively managed and changed in the classroom.

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