Essays on behaviour in the classroom

Teachers need to have realistic expectations of the appropriate behaviours that students can display in the classroom to ensure that effective.
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From the age of around three years, children spend majority of their time in school. Therefore, teachers are faced with a great deal of responsibility in becoming one of the primary influencers of good behaviour for school aged children.

Positive behavior established during a student's primary school years will have a greater influence on a child's behavior for their entire schooling experience. Therefore, primary school teachers have a crucial impact on their students' future educational aspirations. Subsequently, it is imperative teachers are confident in their abilities to establish clear rules and boundaries without placing restrictions on their students' creativity. Behavior management is an educational term used to 'cover the ways in which teachers organize and control pupil behavior, movement and interaction so that teaching and learning can occur most effectively' Griggs, R.

Behavior leadership endorses the principle of taking a proactive approach to gain control of situations to create a pre-planned ideal scenario, whereas, behavior management is a promoter of taking control of various situations by reacting to situations as they arise.

Dealing with Challenging Behaviors

Every child is an individual, with their own unique traits and behavior, which will represent varying challenges to each teacher. Thus, the teacher will need to have the flexibility to adapt their teaching methods, and their behavior management principles to suit each individual needs. Subsequently, it is important that teachers do not become too rigid in their approach to promoting good behavior.

The success of encouraging good behavior lies in finding a good balance of the two approaches of leadership and management. However, children are individuals and their behavior will vastly vary. Teachers must be able to demonstrate behavioral management to react to situations of negative behavior before they become big disturbances to learning.

Here, teachers must be able to instruct their students' right from wrong and award punishments fairly and appropriately. Additionally, it would be good practice for teachers to reward improvement in behavior as well as good behavior.

Behaviour Management in Classrooms

Furthermore, teachers should assume to face a wide variety of behavior from students, and prepare appropriately. Such children may be jocular; easy to teach; withdrawn; introverted; extroverted; hard to manage or a medium anywhere in between. One method of encouraging positive behavior may work on the majority of students, but may fail with others. Thus, it is crucial for a teacher to have the ability to shape positive behavior in all of their students.

Teachers being the facilitators of learning can manipulate and control factors within their classroom setting to enhance their students' ability to achieve. Children are extremely observant and watch people behave all around them. They see how individuals including the teacher treat other people and how they deal with difficult situations. It is the role of the teacher to provide positive examples for their children. Modeling such attributes will assist your students to become better equipped to manage their own behaviour.

Children do not automatically know how to behave, hence need to be taught what is right and wrong. A number of theories exhibit how and why behavior is learnt. Social Learning theory, developed by Albert Bandura, demonstrates the importance of learning through imitation. Through Bobo Doll Study, Bandura was able to demonstrate that aggressive behaviour can be learnt simply by observing adults. This theory presumes learning is not entirely behavioural, but more so, a cognitive process that must take place in a social context.

Bandura suggests behaviour acquired through observation is learnt through a number of stages; Attention, Retention, Reproduction and Motivation. In order to learn, the observer must pay attention to the behaviour modelled to them. The observers perceptual and cognitive abilities in addition to the relevance and functional value placed upon the observation determines the level of attention paid to the behaviour.

Theories Of Learning Behavior Theories

The cognitive capabilities also play an important role in the retention of the observation. The ability for the observer to remember the observation lies in the strength of their cognitive rehearsal and is also influenced by the complexity of the observation. The observer must organise and delve into their physical and cognitive abilities to remember the observation and then reproduce it.


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Motivation can affect the success of observation based learning. The decision to reproduce or even remember an observation is dependent on the motivation and expectation of the observer. The encouragement of positive behaviour and other anticipated consequences will give the observer a great chance of increasing their own expectations and subsequently improve their motivation to reproduce observation based learning. Banduras theory therefore greatly emphasises the importance of both classroom teachers and peers influencing each other's behaviour.

The concept of this theory can be justified through both behavioural leadership and management. Teachers who favour the former, will be able to positive reinforce good behavioural standards and have control of their student, which can keep negative influences to a minimum whilst promoting positive influences as much as possible.

For those teachers who favour the latter, they will be able to react accordingly and ensure any action, whether positive or negative, is highlighted to the rest of the group to encourage higher standards. An important learning method teachers may adopt in social learning theory is the concept of reciprocal determinism. This notion determines, whilst an individual will be influenced by the environment; the situation will find a natural balance as the environment will also be influenced by the individual's behaviour.

Behavior and Classroom Management

Therefore, an individual's behaviour, environment and personal qualities will reciprocally influence each other. Subsequently, if a child were to display negative behaviour within the classroom, and their peers observed the attention received by others within the class, they may be influenced by the different behaviour stemming from the original individual.

This may encourage the majority of the individuals to reciprocate similar disruptive behaviour, therefore disturbing the calm learning environment. However, if the same situation were to arise and the peers were to respond negatively to the disruptive behaviour from the original individual the balance would remain. The individual may then feel their bad behaviour is not conductive to keeping to a good social circle.

Classroom - Wikipedia

Subsequently, whilst the concept of reciprocal determinism is important, a teacher with a good application of behavioural leadership can negate the effects of negative reciprocal determinism by encouraging a strong group of individuals who display positive behaviour to outweigh those who display negative behaviour. Social learning theory proposes that rewards are not the sole force behind creating motivation.

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There are other factors such as thoughts, beliefs, morals and feedback which help to increase motivation in individuals. Subsequently the scenario where we see another individuals behavior and adopt them as our own aide the mental states and cognitive process in addition to the learning process. However, there are other ways in which individuals can learn, which include vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and physiological states.

The technique of guided participation has been adopted by many classroom and teaching strategies. This is where the principles of social learning is used to enhance students' knowledge, acquisition and retention. Guided participation draws on the experience of the teacher to encourage students to repeat a phrase after the teacher.

Subsequently, the students' both imitate and reproduce the teacher's actions, which will aid retention. An extension of guided participation is reciprocal learning. This involves the teacher developing a certain level of trust in their students, and having the confident to allow for both student and teacher to share in responsibility of leading the discussion. This level of trust is crucial in allowing the students to feel a level of empowerment, which will encourage increased motivation in acquisition and retention.

Additionally, teachers can shape the behavior of students within the classroom by modelling appropriate behavior. This is where the teacher will visibly reward students for good behavior, and encourage other students to take up positive behavioral traits. Here, the emphasis of the teacher's role as a model and encouragement of students to adopt the position of observer will make practices explicit to students, and enhance their learning experience.

Equally, teachers will also need to have the adaptability to understand there may be uncontrollable factors, which will influence behaviour, both positively and negatively. Influencers and role models such as family members can often unintentionally encourage negative and disruptive behaviour. Family dynamics can often exacerbate such situations, which may be brought into the classroom and affect the dynamics of the classroom. However, an effective teacher will be able to apply behavioral leadership and account for uncontrollable situations and therefore adapt their lesson accordingly.

Preparing a good structure and routine to every day learning is a necessary fundamental in preparing students for learning and encouraging positive behaviour.


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This is where a teacher will make use of their behavioral leadership principles and coax their students into demonstrating good behavior. Thus, the teacher will have taken control of the students from the beginning to create the ideal situation. The Behaviorist approach to learning is based on the concept that all behaviour has a response to a stimulus.

It is assumed that our actions are determined by our environment, which provides stimuli to which we respond, and the environments we have been in in the past, which caused us to learn to respond to stimuli in particular ways.