Study on teachers classroom management approaches and experiences

Akar, Hanife
Tor, Dürdane
Şahin Sak, İkbal Tuba
Classroom management is one of the crucial topics to be discussed in education. Classroom management refers to teaching and learning environments in which the physical setting is organized, procedures such as classroom rules and routines are set to monitor student behavior, and it provides students with optimum learning opportunities. This study is a qualitative study in which the researchers examined the classroom management behaviors of K-8 teachers with different credentials. Nineteen voluntary teachers teaching in various private and public schools in Ankara construct the sample of the study. Data reveal that teachers plan their classroom management behaviors according to five themes, namely, the physical setting, planning the first days and motivation, rules and routines, coping with misbehaviors, and establishing teacher-parent cooperation. SUMMARY Purpose and significance: Classroom management is considered as one of the most important skills for the teachers to be obtained as effective classroom management means optimizing learning time and providing opportunities for success through avoiding misbehaviors. Nevertheless, although teachers have built certain knowledge and have certain dispositions about what classroom management is, it has been rarely explored what approaches teachers adopt and what their needs are about classroom management during their teaching practices in Turkey. Based on this argument, the purpose of this study was to examine K-8 teachers' classroom management practices and their experiences through a qualitative study to explore teachers' classroom management needs. Methods: A qualitative research design was employed to conduct this study. Sample consisted of volunteer participants conveniently selected among 19 teachers teaching K-8 classrooms. Teachers were teaching in six public (n=9) and four private (n=10) schools. Among 19 teachers, all of them were female. Teacher experiences ranged from five to ten years. In order to collect data, a semi-structured interview schedule was used to explore the classroom management approaches the teachers used and the experiences they went through. The instrument was developed by the first two authors and pilot tested with eight teachers prior to data collection. A set of probing items were included in the schedule to ensure that all necessary information was explored. The dimensions included in the interview were about demographics, physical environment of the classroom, classroom management planning for first days and the learning environment, and teachers' experiences with unwanted behaviors. Results: Data were analyzed and reported based on five categories. Findings related to the physical environment indicated that the classrooms' physical structure was too small for almost all levels, and most teachers in our sample were unable to use materials that enabled student-centered activities. Especially, in public preschools, teachers found themselves more in the center of the classrooms as the authority. Moreover, to enhance effective learning, teachers established activities in which they got to know the children personally and made plans to build curiosity for the subject matter to motivate students. Second, teachers set up rules and routines to prevent any unwanted behaviors to maximize learning opportunities. Third, the teachers stated that unwanted behaviors were inevitable, fourth, they considered how they dealt with those misbehaviors, and fifth, teachers emphasized on the importance of teacher-parent collaboration and lack of parent support overall. Discussion and conclusions: Findings of this study highlight several needs for teachers to enhance effective classroom management. First, teachers are challenged with small physical classroom contexts which tend to disable teachers to build a constructivist student-centered learning. Teachers are found to be the main decision-makers in setting rules, and routines, and need the cooperation of all stakeholders, especially parents, to enforce those rules and receive help to enhance student learning. In terms of motivation, teachers are more interested in building curiosity and meaning to the subject matter and plan their classroom management plans based on developing cognitive skills rather than emotional and movement skills. Based on the findings we conclude that teachers included in this study are more likely to have traditional type of orientations towards classroom management.
Elementary Education Online


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Citation Formats
H. Akar, D. Tor, and İ. T. Şahin Sak, “Study on teachers classroom management approaches and experiences,” Elementary Education Online, pp. 792–806, 2010, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: