IntroductionThe objectives of our action research are to enhance teaching practices, increase teachers’ responsiveness of decision-making regarding their own practice, and improve the student behaviour in the classroom environmentOur team of student-teachers set out to accomplish this by encouraging the classroom teacher and assistant to improve the classroom environment and enhance their own teaching practices through reflection. According to James and Gipps (1998) “it is crucial for teachers to reflect, question and critique their practice and their classroom situation because it allows them to learn from experience and continuously improve their teaching practices throughout their profession” (as cited by Trauth-Nare, 2011, p. 379).
Armed with this knowledge, we first determined to implement a new strategy of behavioural management called the ‘Quiet game’ and observe the impact it had on reducing the time it took for the students to settle down after lunch break. Secondly, we implemented a plan to increase the teachers’ awareness of the reasons for the difficulty they were facing in controlling students’ undesired behaviours in the form of a teacher questionnaire. This paper not only details the impact our study had on the educational problem we addressed. We also hope that it equally reflects the growth of our team members as we engaged in the action research process for the first time. There is still a lot to learn as we continue our training to become primary educators, but the nature of this action research assignment opened our eyes to the complexity of issues that face a practitioner on a daily basis.
Keywords: behaviour, behavioural management, teacher efficacy, strategiesBackground of the studyOur team of researchers consists of five primary level student-teachers, all presently sitting our first year in the Bachelor of Education Degree program. Renée is the only member employed in a primary school setting, as an assistant teacher. For this reason, we opted to use her classroom in our study. She is the teacher action researcher who implemented the strategies we designed as a team because she had direct access to a primary school classroom. The other members of the team, who collaborated in this action research, are Joanne, Neela, Petal and Shirvon. Before beginning our study, we attempted to better understand the purpose of this assignment.
As stated by Kurt Lewin (1948), “The term action research refers to a study of the common phenomena of human behaviour namely: planning, acting, fact-finding, and analysis” (as cited by Trauth-Nare, 2011). We chose a model developed by Carr and Kemmis(1988) called The Action Research Cycle (as cited by Smith, 2007).This study was executed at a private preschool in Maraval, Trinidad, W.
I. There are approximately one hundred and twenty (120) students in this middle-class School in which the Cambridge (British) curriculum is used. The School is bilingual and Spanish is used alongside English, as the second language. The majority of the student population is local to Trinidad, however, there is a small percentage of foreign students who speak Spanish as their first language. We conducted our research in a Prep-Two (2) classroom.
There were thirteen (13) students in the class ranging from age six (6) to seven (7) years old. Renée, as stated earlier, was working at this School as an assistant teacher in the stated classroom at the time. We will refer to the head classroom teacher as S.C.
throughout this paper. In an online group meeting, both S.C. and Renée identified a particular ongoing challenge they dealt with in their classroom. Educational ProblemS.
C. and Renée agreed that after the lunch break, when the Prep two (2) students enter the classroom, there is a period of time when the students’ behaviour is more difficult to manage than other times of day. Generally, the children seem unsettled, louder than usual, physically more active and less attentive to their teachers’ instructions. This usually lasts up to twenty minutes, decreasing valuable teaching time and causing frustration for S.C. and Renée when the day’s agenda is not accomplished as planned. This has become an educational problem.
Brenda Scheuermann and Judy Hall (2008) explained that it is not necessarily the student’s behaviour itself that is “highly inappropriate but because the behaviour continues significantly longer than what is considered acceptable”CITATION Sch08 p 7 l 1033 (2008, p. 7). The students in S.C.’s class tend to carry on the disruptive behaviour for longer than she and her assistant can tolerate.
Renée informed us that she and S.C. have tried a few different strategies of calming the students. The most commonly used of which, is playing quiet background music with nature sounds. However, the problem is still pervasive. Our group focused on this educational problem to develop our action research question. What strategies can be implemented to increase the students’ cooperation and attention in the twenty (20) minutes of class time after lunch break? Aim of the StudyThe aim of our study was to increase the attentiveness of the students after lunch, in order to decrease the amount of time spent on behavioural management. As a secondary area of interest, we were also curious whether there was a link between classroom behaviour and teacher efficacy in managing the students.
To determine this, the current discipline strategies used in the classroom were determined and discussed. We decided to introduce a new strategy to calm the students after lunch for a two-week period, and then compare it to the previous strategy which was playing music. We chose the ‘Quiet Game’ with hopes that it would shorten the length of time spent on behavioural management.The following questions helped our group to shape the action research process and will be answered later in the study based on our findings:Do the majority of the class struggle with the same restlessness after lunch, or is the problem exacerbated by one or a few students?In what ways does the behavioural management approach of the classroom teacher and assistant contribute to the educational problem?Can the classroom teacher and assistant gain insight into the educational problem through self-reflection in the form of a questionnaire?Does the implementation of the ‘Quiet game’ after lunch decrease the time spent by the teacher and/or assistant trying to gain the students’ attention?Literature ReviewWe looked at different situations that the class could be facing based on what was reported by the classroom teacher, S.C. We reviewed literature based on behaviour management theories with some emphasis on student behaviour, and teacher efficacy. Teacher efficacy can be defined as “teachers’ beliefs in their abilities to organize and execute courses that are necessary to bring about desired results” (Channen-Moran, Woolfolk-Hoy, & Hoy, 1998). The book, Managing Challenging Behaviour, Guidelines for Teachers, gives possible reasons for students to demonstrate disruptive behaviour in the classroom.
They are listed below:”1. Children with problems communicating may engage in a misbehaved manner.2. Children with an attention-seeking behaviour can also be a cultured behaviour, which the child uses to get his/her own way.3. Children with limited social skills which can be related to poor parenting skills or poor teacher class behaviour management skills, which may lead to a child exhibiting misbehaviour in the classroom.4.
Finally, a child or children may have behavioural issues or compulsive behaviour due to an underlying medical cause or reason, such as pain, illness, ADHD, dyslexia, or sensory difficulties which must be assessed by a professional doctor or registered psychologist.” CITATION Nat14 p 4-5 l 1033 (National, Irish Teachers’ Organization, 2014, pp. 4-5)We decided based on Renee’s observations, that the most likely cause to explore in depth was number three (3), in particular the teacher’s skills as they relate to behaviour management.BehaviourismGordon, A. & Browne, K. (2014) specified, “What is known today as “behaviorism” begins with the notion that a child is born with a “clean slate,” a tabula rasa in Locke’s words, on which events are written throughout life.” CITATION Mie14 p 112 l 1033 (2014, p. 112).
According to Skinner (1940) and Thorndike(1905), “behaviour is also shaped through positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement. Both positive and negative reinforcement increases the probability that the antecedent behaviour will happen again” (as cited by McLeod, 2018) There is a contrasting view, however, that “punishment decreases the likelihood that the antecedent behaviour will happen again.” CITATION Dav07 l 1033 (David L, 2007)Types of LearningIn order for our action research group to determine the current discipline strategies used in the classroom, we looked at the different types of teaching and learning techniques theories.
We also wanted to justify, the types of strategies that can be used to modify behaviour in the classroom. In Gordon and Browne, (2014) text, they reported, “Learning occurs when an organism interacts with the environment. Through experience, behavior is modi?ed or changed. In the behaviorist’s eyes, three types of learning occur: (1) classical conditioning; (2) operant conditioning; and (3) observational learning or modeling. The ?rst two are based on the idea that learning is mostly the development of habit” CITATION Mie14 p 112-113 y l 1033 (pp.
112-113) We set out to try and modify the behaviour of our study class by introducing a new habit, the ‘Quiet Game’ Behaviour Reductive StrategiesOur group looked at different areas in managing behaviour. In Positive Behavioural Supports for the Classroom, Brenda Scheuermann and Judy Hall (2008) explained that,Punishment is often the most common response to challenging behaviour, but it is seldom the most effective for students who exhibit chronic challenging behaviours. Taking a positive behavioural supports approach to challenging behaviour means relying on preventative measures, teaching appropriate behaviours, reinforcing appropriate behaviours, using behaviour reductive strategies, and only using punishment under certain limited circumstances.
CITATION Sch08 p 389 l 1033 (2008, p. 389). Using the quiet game is a reductive strategy we implemented to try to reduce the length of time students exhibited challenging behaviours after lunch. It had become apparent to S.C.
and Renee’ that their preventative measure of playing calming music had become ineffective.The quiet game is initiated by the teacher or assistant, who instructs the students when they enter the classroom to head to their desks and sit down quietly. They are told that it is time to play the quiet game to prepare them for big School when they will not be allowed to be noisy.
The goal is to see how long they can sit quietly for that day. They must remain silent in their desks for a few minutes unless they need to use the washroom, at which time they can raise their hand and ask for permission.Kauffman, (2005) and Kazdin, (1998), suggested “some students may need behaviour reductive intervention that are specifically designed to reduce or eliminate those challenging behaviours” (as cited by Scheuermann, 2008, p. 391). This is especially true when students are “unresponsive to the antecedent and reinforcer techniques describes so far”CITATION Sch08 p 391 l 1033 (2008, p. 391)Teacher Efficacy In Classroom management, self-efficacy of pre-service teachers, Kazempour & Sadler (2005) highlighted, “teacher efficacy is viewed as a fundamental social cognitive theory that intentionally drives the teacher to select successful teaching strategies or to select incorrect strategies, thus creating a successful learning environment or an unsuccessful learning environment” (as cited by Patterson, 2018, 136-137) Furthermore, Guskey & Passaro, (1994) in Chambers (2005), emphasized “teachers with a high sense of efficacy have a strong conviction that they can influence student learning, even the learning of those students who may be more challenging” CITATION Cha p 4 l 1033 (2005, p. 4) In contrast, Ashton & Webb, (1986); Bandura, (1997) in Paneque, 2006 suggested that “teachers with low efficacy feel that they only have minimal influence on student achievement.
These teachers give up more easily when confronted with difficult situations, are less resourceful, and oftentimes feel that students cannot learn because of the extenuating circumstances” (as cited byCITATION Pan06 p 172 l 1033 (Paneque, 2006, p. 172))Khan, (2015) emphasized that, “Researchers have found few consistent relationships between characteristics of teachers and the behaviour or learning of students. Teachers’ sense of efficacy … is an exception to this “general rule” In other words, if we, as a group of action researchers, are to impact the behaviour of the students, a good place to start is creating opportunities for teachers to improve their own efficacy.CITATION Kha15 p 118 l 1033 (Khan, 2015, p. 118)”As collective teacher ef?cacy is strengthened, teachers continue to improve educational opportunities for students.
Collective teacher ef?cacy also seems important for teachers’ job satisfaction and retention in teaching. Retaining teachers in the profession-a critical priority given the teacher shortage in many areas-will be aided by creating an environment in which teachers’ sense of agency is fostered and their efforts lead to positive changes” CITATION Cap06 p 474-478 l 1033 (Caprara, 2006, pp. 474-478).The relationship between Classroom Behaviour and Teacher EfficacyWe reflected on an article; Slovak Pre-Service Teacher Self-Efficacy: Theoretical and Research Considerations by Gavora, P. (2010) he specified that, “the growing body of research on teacher self-efficacy suggests that it may account for individual differences in teacher effectiveness. Teacher self-efficacy has been found to be consistently related to positive teaching behaviour and strong pupil achievement, pupils learn more from teachers who have high self-efficacy, and highly self-efficacious teachers are more likely to use open-ended questions, inquiry methods, or small group learning activities for studentsCITATION Gav10 p 3 l 1033 (Gavora, 2010, p. 3). We, as a group, were impressed with how open the classroom teacher S.
C. was to our ideas and quick to respond to our questionnaire and implement change with her students. It is clear that she demonstrates a high self-efficacy because as Gavora (2010) sated, they are “also are more open to new ideas, more willing to adopt innovations, are less likely to experience burn-out, support pupils’ autonomy to a greater extent, and are more attentive to low ability students”CITATION Gav10 p 3 l 1033 (2010, p.
3). Our aim is confirmed in this because we are looking at decreasing issues of student behaviour with an amalgamation of elevating teacher efficacy through reflection and management strategies.MethodologyOur methodology included an in-depth literature review of our keywords. We developed a plan of action research around our chosen model and followed through each step of the cycle.
We then used several forms of data analysis, and finally reported our findings. These methods are outlined below in detail and were implemented in order to answer our specific research question; What strategies can be implemented to increase the students’ cooperation and attention in the twenty (20) minutes of class time after lunch break? The supporting research questions pointed us in a narrow focus since there was a risk of the subject matter becoming too broad for our limited time frame.We decided it was necessary to use both quantitative and qualitative forms of data collection and analysis. Our quantitative approach is justified because, the daily checklist and survey designs were used to investigate the teachers and students by “selecting samples to analyze and discover occurrences” (Oso & Owen, 2011 p.
44). We used the descriptive survey design in the form of a questionnaire for this study since its purpose is to collect information that describes explores and help our group to investigate teacher reflections and classroom observations based on sampling. “Furthermore, qualitative research allows the topics being studied to more accurately answer to the research questions put to them by the researchers and may give valuable understandings which might have been missed by other methods” CITATION Kin15 p 45 l 1033 (Kinyanjui, 2015, p. 45).The participants in this action research consisted of four (4) Teachers/Assistant Teachers and thirteen (13) children in the Prep Two (2) Class at primary School level. Action Research ModelWe selected the action research model developed by Carr and Kemmis (1988) which defines action research as “undertaken by participants in social situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of their own practices, their understanding of these practices, and the situations in which the practices are carried out” (as cited by Smith, 2007). This cycle of activities forms an action research spiral in which each cycle increases the researchers’ knowledge of the original question, puzzle, or problem and, it is hoped, leads to its solution CITATION Her15 p 5 l 1033 (Herr, 2015, p. 5)This simple, yet effective model of a cyclical nature (Figure 1) can be repeated as many times as necessary, based on the nature of the study.
Each cycle has four steps: plan, act, observe, reflect.Fig. 1 Source: Kemmis and McTaggart (1988) The Action Research Cycle (as cited by Smith, 2007).
Planning – The members of the action research group reflect on the reality of the issue and begin to research on ways to correct the issues.Acting – the researchers implement the plan they have developed, addressing all or a set of problems. Observing – the collection of data, (journals, surveys and questionnaires) during the time the issues are seen, and action is taking place.
Reflecting – the action researchers reflect upon issues in the project, re-creating action plans based upon what we were detecting and learning during the process of planning, acting, and observing. Our study was shaped around the above model. Below is a description of each stage of action research our group undertook.Timeline for plan of ActionPlan:During the course of our study, we met mostly online in a collaborative study circle, in which everyone contributed ideas. In the first meeting we established the key roles and responsibilities of the group members, and developed our research aim and questions with the help of Renee’s classroom teacher, S.
C. Throughout the next few meetings other major decisions were made such as our instruments of data collection, discussions about our literature choices and our plan of action. We also designed the time frame for our research and strategies to overcome the challenges that presented themselves along the way.Act:Once it was determined how we would collect the data, the group set out to design and implement the strategies. Renée was employed to do the majority of the collection of data. She personally implemented the Quiet Game along with Teacher S.C.
,We formed a Daily Checklist (see Appendix A) for Renée to use as she observed the class and recorded the results. This produced both quantitative and qualitative data. This was employed for a period of two weeks while she and the classroom teacher S.C. implemented the use of the Quiet Game after lunch. A difficulty arose in that the second week of observation was shortened due to the School term nearing an end.
For this reason, Renée was only able to complete eight (8) daily checklists, instead of the intended ten (10).For our second cycle of data collection, we created questionnaires (see Appendix B) to gather qualitative data from four (4) teachers or assistants. The questionnaires, inclusive of the use of open-ended questions and the observation log were structured based on the main research questions. Namely, to evaluate whether there is a link between classroom behaviour and teacher efficacy in managing the students; and to determine the current discipline practices in the classroom. Also, the questionnaire addressed the question – Can the classroom teacher and assistant gain insight into the educational problem through self-reflection in the form of a questionnaire?Observe: The instruments were also structured to probe additional information and to identify any reinforcement strategies used, learning behaviour being reinforced and understand the teacher’s efficacy during the data collections. Added to this, Renee used the daily observation log to observe and record whether instructions were provided by the teacher before the lunch period started, and on the students return from lunch, the length of time it took them to settle down on a daily basis. She also distributed and collected the completed questionnaires.
We did take into account the need for an Ethical Declaration of Trustworthiness of our data collection process. We informed the teachers in the study that their participation was voluntary and that they were free to omit answers to any questions if they so choose. We protected the teachers and children identities during the data collection by keeping the daily checklist and teacher questionnaire anonymous.
A written description of our steps to remain ethical was included on our questionnaire. (See Appendix B) We received assistance from one of the members of our group who is an assistant teacher and some head teachers of her School to fill out the questionnaires and the data was collected within one (1) day. The daily observation logs took eight (8) days for completion. (Group members)Reflect: Each member of our action research team took time to think and talk about the usefulness of the data collected as we embarked on our data analysis. Our thoughts are detailed in the findings.Our research from beginning to completion took approximately ten (10) weeks.
Our proposal was submitted for approval in week five (5), therefore, the in last five weeks of the study the majority of the work was completed. The study circle format of planning was useful to keep a record of when decisions were made and acted upon. We have included in our paper (Appendix C) the study circle report which details the dates and times when decisions were made and acted upon.
Instruments of Data CollectionThe research instruments were as follows:Daily Observation Logs of the Thirteen (13) students were completed for a period of two weeks which, due to unforeseen difficulties, amounted to 8 days. Teacher/Teacher Assistant Reflective questionnaires for four (4) employees at the School of our study. Renée and S.C. were included in those questionnaires, however the information gathered remains anonymous.As we reflected on Ethical issues in collaborative action research, we noted that Locke, Alcorn & O’Neill (2013)” stated the objectives of collaborative/participatory action research. We understand it is to create circumstances in which people can search together collaboratively for a more comprehensible, true, authentic, and morally right and appropriate ways of understanding and acting in society.CITATION Loc13 p 110 l 1033 (2013, p.
110)Data Analysis”Data analysis is the process of bringing order and meaning to raw data. The collected data was analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative data techniques.” CITATION Kin15 l 1033 (Kinyanjui, 2015) Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS version 23. Qualitative data from the interview guides were analyzed using thematic framework. The quantitative and qualitative results obtained were both integrated.The FindingsDiscoveries based on Students BehaviourRenee wrote a personal reflection upon her daily checklist discoveries which we have included to give an example of how reflection can bring about a growth in teacher-efficacy:In my findings I noticed that every day was different.
Each day the children sat quietly for a little bit, but however there were some days that the children were extremely loud. I noticed that there was not one day where all children come in and go straight to their desk to sit quietly. The most children that sat quietly were eight (8) out of thirteen (13). I noticed that in the beginning of my observations, the children came in more wild than they came in on the last few days of observations. With World Cup time, along with summer time coming up, the children were beyond over excited, which made them very hyper. On one of the last days of my observations, the children sat for 10 minutes straight playing the ‘quiet game’. This ‘quiet game’ strategy definitely helped my class, from how it was before with the twenty-minute settling time and I will encourage other teachers to try it as well. Shown hereunder are our data analysis from the Daily Journal Entry Logs which are reflection of Renee’s daily observations of thirteen (13) students over a period of 8 days.
Also data analysis from the Teacher/Assistant Reflective Questionnaire. In order to determine the current discipline strategies used in the classroom we looked at the following findings from the data collected. We observed that on a daily basis the teachers reinforced the classroom rules before they were dismissed for lunch. This was shown in Question 2 The table 1. and Table 1.1 reflects that a percentage of 100% of students were reminded before the lunch period to enter in to the classroom quietly. Ques. 2 Were the students reminded before they went out to lunch to come back in quietly?Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative PercentValid Yes 8 100.
0 100.0 100.0 Table 1Table 1.1Question 4c showed, during the eight (8) days of observation for three (3) days students took under five (5) minutes to be seated, for four (4) days students took five (5) to ten (10) minutes and for one (1) day students took over ten (10) minutes. The actual time recorded by our observer was twenty (20). Entered in the journal dated Wednesday 27th June 2018, we discovered the reason the children took such a long period to settle down was the fact that, during the lunch period the children were allowed to watch their favourite team play in the FIFA World Cup 2018 and their team won. At that time the children were in high spirits, excited and having discussions about the match.
Compared to the playing of calming music strategy, the quiet game seems to have yielded a positive result in that, on average, it reduced the settling time of the students by half.Ques.4c How long did it take altogether from the time they entered until the time they were seated?Length of time Days Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative PercentValid Under 5 mins. 3 37.5 37.5 37.55 – 10 mins. 4 50.
0 50.0 87.5Over 10 mins 1 12.5 12.
5 100.0Total 8 100.0 100.0 Table 2.1Question 5, 5b showed, over the period of eight (8) days of observation for one (1) to three (3) days, two (2) to four (4) students came into the classroom, quietly.
On various days over a five (5) day period, we discovered five (5) to ten (10) students came into the classroom quietly. Therefore, for five (5) days out of the eight (8) day period of observation, we saw an average of sixty-three (63%) percent of the class did follow classroom instructions by coming in quietly. Ques.5 Did the students come in quietly? (Yes) 5b If yes, how many?Amount of Children Days Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative PercentValid 2 1 12.5 12.5 12.53 1 12.
5 12.5 25.04 1 12.5 12.5 37.55 1 12.
5 12.5 50.07 2 25.0 25.
0 75.08 1 12.5 12.5 87.510 1 12.5 12.5 100.
0Total 8 100.0 100.0 Table 3.0 Table 3.
1We wanted to answer the question from the aim of our study which was to increase the attentiveness of the students after lunch, in order to decrease the amount of time spent on behavioural management. We also wanted to look that the question: Does the implementation of the ‘Quiet game’ after lunch decrease the time spent by the teacher and/or assistant trying to gain the students’ attention?In our data analysis we observed that fifty (50%) percent to eighty-eight (88%) percent of the times, the implementation of the quiet that our group suggested to be used in the classroom, showed improvements in children’s behaviour. For seven (7) days out of eight (8) days of observation, we discovered that the teachers and students gravitated to the quiet game in the classroomIn relation to B.F. Skinner (1948) as cited by McLeod, 2018 , “Motivated behaviour is increased, or continued responding is produced, by reinforcement. With the implementation of the quiet game we saw that children were motivated and showed interest in following the teacher’s instruction. It seems to have “increased the attentiveness of the students after lunch and decrease the amount of time spent on behavioural management issues.Ques.
3 What strategy was implemented upon the student’s return to the classroom after lunch?Behaviour Strategy applied daily Daily Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative PercentValid Sit quietly and play the quiet game 4 50.0 50.0 50.0Sit quietly in their seats 3 37.
5 37.5 87.5Other (Sit quietly and do another task) 1 12.5 12.5 100.0Total 8 100.0 100.0 Table 4.
0Table 4.1Discoveries based on Teacher EfficacyIn what ways does the behavioural management approach of the classroom teacher and assistant contribute to the educational problem?Based on the theories we have researched on, we are of the view that behavioural management approaches are dependent on showing students that the teacher is in charge and an authoritative figure that will enforce rules of the classroom. To align the literature with the findings shown in the tables below, we discovered from the ” Three Types of Learning that the Social Theory, according to Bandura (1963), is related to self-understanding and a belief in one’s own abilities, known as self-efficacy.
“We also deliberated that, according to Bandura, ((1977a, 1997) in Gordon and Browne, (2014) he defined teacher efficacy as a teacher’s “Judgment” of his or her capabilities to bring about desired outcomes of student engagement and learning, even among those students who may be difficult or unmotivated.Ques. 7. I am able to effectively curb the disruptive behaviour of my students.Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative PercentValid Somewhat disagree 1 25.0 25.0 25.
0Somewhat Agree 1 25.0 25.0 50.0Strongly Agree 2 50.0 50.0 100.
0Total 4 100.0 100.0 Table 5.1 Table 5.25. How often in a school day do I feel like I lack the tools to deal effectively with a behavioural issue or settle my students in general?Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative PercentValid A) Never 1 25.0 25.0 25.
0B) Less than 5 times 3 75.0 75.0 100.
0Total 4 100.0 100.0 Table 6.06.
As a teacher/assistant, how often do you reinforce the topic of discipline with your students?Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative PercentValid E) Daily 1 25.0 25.0 25.0F) Once a Week 3 75.0 75.0 100.0Total 4 100.
0 100.0 Table 7.0Table 7.1Discoveries based on linking Teacher Efficacy to Behaviour Management of childrenCan the classroom teacher and assistant gain insight into the educational problem through self-reflection in the form of a questionnaire?We have observed for part 2. Question 7., all teachers reflected on their behaviours and do think about the impact it can have on students after the lunch period. We have learnt that self-reflection can assist the teacher in gaining insight into educational problems experienced in the classroom.
We discovered one teacher in particular stated that she does not have that problem with her class and based on her reflective answer and we quote from one of the teacher’s reflections: “Yes as a teacher, I do reflect on my own behaviour and the impact it has on my students…
You are the leading role model in your classroom and the one that the students turn too for guidance….If they see you calm, organized and have a good grasp on things they will know in which they should behave or there will be consequences.” To justify what we have discovered in alignment to the literature that we researched, we are of the view, that, according to Skinner (1948) Operant Conditioning may be a key component used by the teacher. As shown above in the Literature review,”Operant Conditioning is behaviour that states that if the child has pleasant behaviour they will experience good consequences, and behaviour that is not tolerated will be followed by bad consequences. Students display motivated behavior because they were continuously reinforced for it and because effective reinforcers are present, they model good behaviour.”CITATION Mie14 p 114 l 1033 (Miles Gordon, 2014, p. 114)Another teacher stated on her reflective answer to part 2. question 7, and we quote :,”That after reflecting on my behaviour, whenever I am being too loud or laughing at something a child did, when they need to be quite, I think to myself that my actions may have contributed to why the children are not settling down.
“In deliberations we have found that this type of behaviour was possibly caused by the teacher. Also, we could not have justified that the children were searching for attention or had any medical issues. The literature that was in alignment to the discovery which was specified by (Bandura in Fong & Resnick, 1986), “through which, children attained most of their social principles from models or persons whom they observe during daily life, predominantly.”c. Grade Level of current class * 7. Do I as a teacher reflect on my own behaviour and the impact it can have on my students not settling after lunch time? Crosstabulation7. Do I as a teacher reflect on my own behaviour and the impact it can have on my students not settling after lunch time ? TotalYes c.
Grade Level of current class Year 1 Count 1 1Grade level of current class % of Total 25.0% 25.0%Year 2 Count 3 3Grade Level of current class % of Total 75.
0% 75.0%Total Count 4 4Grade Level of current class % of Total 100.0% 100.0%Table 8.0Table 8.1Reflections and EvaluationLimitationsAs first time action researchers, we encountered and overcame certain challenges. The first being our unfamiliarity with action research itself.
Our second biggest challenge was completing the research in the allotted time frame. Thankfully, we still managed to collect a sufficient amount of information to work with, even though the time to gather data was reduced. Below is a list of hurdles we overcame.
The approval letter to conduct the action research was not received in a timely manner from the administration of Roytec.The twelve-week time frame to do the research was shortened since the school term ended two weeks prior to the twelfth week.Students could not have been interviewed, photographed, video-taped or recorded since permission had to be granted from both parents and principal.We did not get the opportunity to interview the Spanish teacher as plannedBased on our action research we have listed the names of the group members who contributed in different parts of the document. Our names and contributions are as follow:Introduction: Joanne Crosby, Renee Bernard and Petal JamesEducational Problem: Renee Bernard Joanne CrosbyLiterature Review: Petal JamesMethodology/The Project: Petal James, Joanne Crosby and Renee BernardApplication & Analysis: Petal JamesReflection & Evaluation/Group Process: J, Crosby, P. James, R. Bernard, S. LincolnConclusion: Renee Bernard and Neela RamkissoonReferences & Appendices- Joanne Crosby and Petal JamesMinutes: Joanne CrosbyFinal Edit & Formatting: Joanne CrosbyInitial writing of the document: Joanne Crosby and Petal JamesConclusions/OutcomesIn our research we found out that the majority of the class struggled with restlessness after lunch except a handful of students.
The behavioral management approach of the classroom teacher and assistant contributed to the educational problem by allowing the children to play the ‘quiet game’. All teachers and assistants can gain insight into the educational problem through self-reflection and questionnaires. Doing this can help teachers get a better understanding of how they are managing the class and what they should try to improve. The implementation of the ‘quiet game’ after lunch does not decrease the time spent by the teacher and assistant trying to gain students attention. Implications for Practice, Professional development and PolicyThis helped us to realize as student-teachers the importance of setting objective guidelines for our students within the classroom.
Positive reinforcement-based strategies in the classroom are effective to enhance student engagement and involvement and decrease undesirable behaviour in students. As a teacher, it is important to model the type of behaviour that you want to see in the children and regularly remind them verbally of what is expected. It is also important to develop teacher efficacy and therefore, implement new strategies of behavioural management so as not to remain fixated on one form of discipline or reinforcement. As a teacher, continued professional development seems to be a key component to improved classroom strategies. Self-reflection from time to time has proven through this study to be important in order for the teacher to discover areas of weakness in one’s practice, address those areas and foster improvement.
The teachers’ and students’ interests were served because they will now have more cooperative, productive learning time. Teachers gained insight into better behavioural management strategies to implement in difficult times of day. If our findings are shared among other local teachers, then they too can benefit. All primary school classroom teachers and assistants could benefit if they implement these strategies, which did decrease the amount of instructional time wasted calming students and gaining their attention.
The report may be published at the ministry of education or the press.Administration in schools should develop policies which encourage teachers to take time for building efficacy on a regular basis within the parameters of their employment. They should not have to take time off for this or lose pay, because it is going to benefit them as professionals, making them more effective employees as well as benefit their students. This would yield similar effects such as improved behavioural management techniques and overall teacher efficacy that was observed through our action research.