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PPLE assessment 1

“Why do students misbehave in schools?”

Section 1
When looking for academic literature on why students misbehave I found that majority focus
on the relationship between the student and teacher, in a lot of the studies it was found that
the more positive the relationship or bound with the students the better academically the
students were but also the less misbehaviour that occurred within the classroom. This factor
of student teacher bounds effects student misbehaviour was backed up with an article by
Belvel (2009), which is their article had an real life example of differences in student
behaviour depending on student teacher relationships, the article goes on to describe how a
teacher who had a class of students that had minimal misbehaviour issues had to have a week
off and when the substitutes took over majority of the students misbehaved. So when the
teacher came back he asked the students why’d that happened and the common response was
that the students liked him and didn’t like the substitutes which did show did prove the point
of student teacher relationships factoring into if student misbehave.

Another common factor I found while researching was on course content and how it is given
to students, in an article by Boyd (2012), they describe 5 rules to help maintain student
misbehaviour and the first rule is “if their lessons are engaging, teachers won't have discipline
problems” which they go into detail describing how if class content is engaging to the
students and helps keep an active mind that student with tend to not misbehave compared to
classes that don’t have engaging lessons.

In several articles the classroom climate was discussed as a key factor in whether or not
students misbehaved, when discussing classroom climate that ranges from class size, to
classroom layout and even the teachers attitude towards students. So for this I would like to
focus on the teacher and how they themselves effect to level of student misbehaviour within
the classroom, some attributes of the teacher that effect it are how they teach the lesson, the
way they discipline, their experience and lastly how they interact with their students. In 2
different articles by Ratcliff, Jones, Costner, Savage-Davis, and Hunt (2010) they discuss and
study how the quality of teacher in the classroom not only effects the level of misbehaviour
but also in Ratcliff, Jones, Costner, Savage-David, and Hunt (2011), it connects the level of
misbehaviour to the classroom climate.

Section 2
When looking into what kind of demographic for the interviewees I wanted to get a wide
range to see what kind of perspectives I would be given for different ranges. For the 6
participants I got a male teacher who has been teaching for several years, his wife who is also
a pre-service teacher going into teaching, I got an older woman with grandchildren in their
teens, a young couple with children just going into primary school but older the husband was
the general manager of a food establishment which dealt with a lot of school kids and older
teens and a middle aged woman which children just finishing high school. I found that by
using couples I still got different perspectives but they had the same amount of experience
with children while the older woman had children and more years dealing with them going
through school.

Prior to interviewing each member I made sure that I described what the interview was about
and that they could choose to not answer any or stop the interview at any moment, all
interviewees agree that it was fine and read the info sheet prior to signing the consent form.
Also prior to the interview I made sure that the interviewee knew that I had to maintain an
unbiased opinion and that I all comments made by me would be more to understand their
point of view and not to influence their comments on the topic, also made sure that they knew
anything I wrote down was just notes on what they said to help with my assessment for
university which all participants were fine with me doing so. To make sure I kept the
conversation during the interview running and on topic I made up 5 questions that I would
ask to try and get the best possible response I could achieve and those questions were:
 Why do you think young people misbehave in school?
 Do you think that there are any reasons or factors that could lead to these issues?
 How do you believe we can solve these behavioural issues?
 What would you recommend as punishment or discipline for misbehaving students in
 Do you think teachers should leave the disciplining to the parents or allow teachers
more flexibility to deal with misbehaviour in schools?

After getting all 6 interviews over with I had a look at the notes and found some interesting
points which was the female participants all had ideas of food additives and diets were a key
factor into why children play up and misbehave, but the male participants believed the
environment both at school and home were more to blame but also the content matter of the
lessons could be a key factor in misbehaviour. Another common answer in all 6 participants
was that with dealing with misbehaviour every student must be disciplined differently and
that privileges like recess or sport time are the best ways to discipline students and lastly all
participates also agreed that teachers should have a little more flexibility in disciplining their
students as majority of the time students are awake they are with teachers and that when a
student misbehaves they should be punished at that point in time but also communication
with parents and working with parents is also essential.

Section 3
To compare the findings of the literature reviews and the interviews that were taken there
were some common factors within both. While the male participants in the interview process
did mention that class content and engagement could be key factors in the reason for student
misbehaviour, that was also made clear in many literature articles similar to the one by
Ratcliff et al. (2011). But in some studies done by Özben (2010), also showed that the level
of teaching experience also played key factor in student misbehaviour as teachers with under
5 years’ experience had more issues compared to teachers with 21+ years’ experience, and
this all came down to how they handled students instead of using verbal warning the teachers
with more experience would ask questions and get involvement, but also reward good
behaviour instead of punish bad and also how they taught their lessons was another key factor
in maintaining well behaved students.

Another common factor was that all the participants agreed that teachers should have more
flexibility when dealing with misbehaviour but that it should be a joint effort with the parents
also as if the punishment at school get unnoticed at home student will just keep playing up
and not worrying about school discipline. A great example was given by the male teacher
participant who stated that he had a student who would constantly misbehave not worried
about punishment as his parents were against it and wouldn’t allow their child to be kept after
school as it didn’t work with their lifestyle. As mentioned by all participants students that
misbehave should be punished but each student must be looked at individually as not all
students are the same, also that the punishment should be something they want like recess,
sport activities, participation in excursions etc.

What was surprising is that when interviewing the female participants they all agreed that
food and diet play a massive role on student behaviour within the classroom but trying to find
peer reviewed articles comparing the two couldn’t be found, maybe I just didn’t have enough
time to find relevant material or that there just isn’t many articles out there on the subject.

As discussed earlier parents and teachers themselves need to be on common ground when it
comes to not only the students’ education but how to discipline misbehaviour within the
classroom, in literature and all participants agreed that this was most probably one of the
most key factors in dealing and maintaining misbehaviour in school classrooms.

So while the sex of the participant did show a difference in the responses during the
interviews I was surprised to see how age didn’t really factor in, the woman with
grandchildren in their teens to the young pre service teacher with no children all seemed to
have common responses mainly focused on food and diet. This was also seen with the male
participants which agreed on classroom content and classroom engagement even though they
have different backgrounds, of different age and different educational levels.

Section 4
While researching and examining the interview points it was clear that to be a good teacher
and maintain a classroom of student good engagement and positive relationships with
students are a key factor, in an article by Wright (2006), it actually has a teachers’ guide in
how to cope with a classroom and improve teacher quality using positive reward based
programs within the classroom, it also goes into how to deal with misbehaviour and parents
of these students. In an article by Lewis (2001), it states that teachers with misbehaving
student using tend to be not using the best teaching techniques which leads to less student
engagement which goes to show that student engagement will be a key thought when creating
future class lessons. An article by Spilt, Koomen, and Thijs (2011), strongly agrees that
building positive relationships with students have a greatly positive effect on student
behaviour and academically within the classroom which show that as a future teacher I need
to not only create engaging lessons but also build positive relationships with my student in
order to a classroom with minimal issues and better grades.

Another article by BULLOUGH JR and RICHARDSON (2014) also mentions that teachers
need to not just look at the class itself but the broad picture, so the students homes life, extra
activities and personal issue that could contribute to misbehaviour within the classroom. This
adds to my belief that even the best of students can misbehave but as a good teacher it is how
we deal with that issue and look for factors not just in the classroom that matter, this is linked
to teacher experience and learning from the job over time.

Lastly the course content was another key factor mentioned by both peer reviewed articles
and the participants in my study, this has taught me that ensuring that the lesson plans need to
be full on engaging content but also to try and keep student mind active without going over
the top. But understanding the class level of education and how far I can push their minds it
will make me a better teacher and help minimise student misbehaviour.
Belvel, P. S. (2009). Rethinking classroom management: Strategies for prevention, intervention, and
problem solving: Corwin Press.
Boyd, L. (2012). Five Myths about Student Discipline. Educational Leadership, 70(2), 62.
BULLOUGH JR, R. V., & RICHARDSON, M. (2014). Teacher perspectives on classroom management.
Handbook of Classroom Management, 283-300.
Lewis, R. (2001). Classroom discipline and student responsibility:: The students’ view. Teaching and
teacher education, 17(3), 307-319.
Özben, Ş. (2010). Teachers’ strategies to cope with student misbehavior. Procedia-Social and
Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 587-594.
Ratcliff, N. J., Jones, C. R., Costner, R. H., Savage-David, E., & Hunt, G. H. (2011). The impact of
misbehavior on classroom climate. The Education Digest, 77(2), 16.
Ratcliff, N. J., Jones, C. R., Costner, R. H., Savage-Davis, E., & Hunt, G. H. (2010). The elephant in the
classroom: The impact of misbehavior on classroom climate. Education, 131(2), 306-314.
Spilt, J. L., Koomen, H. M., & Thijs, J. T. (2011). Teacher wellbeing: The importance of teacher–
student relationships. Educational Psychology Review, 23(4), 457-477.
Wright, J. Ideas for Motivating the Underperforming Student.