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A qualitative study on the perceptions of early childhood teachers towards physical design for classroom management

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2009
Şahin, İkbal Tuba
The aim of this study is to examine the perceptions of early childhood teachers in relation to the influence of the physical environment of the classroom on classroom management. More specifically, the present study examined teachers’ perceptions about the factors which influence their classroom management practices, how the physical environment of the classroom influences their instructional processes and teacher-student interactions. To collect the data for the study, a semi-structured interview schedule was developed by the researcher. The interview schedule contained 16 questions; six pertained to demographic items, while the remaining ten open-ended questions aimed to investigate the perceptions of teachers about the physical environment of the classroom and its influence on classroom management. The participants of this study consisted of 36 female early childhood education teachers who taught children from age 3 to 6. Twelve of them were employed in private schools and 24 worked in public schools. Qualitative analysis was performed at the end of the study and according to findings, 7 themes were categorized. These are were (1) factors influencing classroom management, (2) physical environment, (3) interest areas in the classroom, (4) strengths and weaknesses of the physical environment, (5) remedies for weaknesses of the environment, (6) the influence of the physical environment on instructional process and teacher-student interaction, and (7) suggestions for the improvement of the physical environment.