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Student Teacher Interaction Handbook EDUC 4502/6502 1

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Behaviour Management
A Guide on Promoting a
Positive Learning Environment


Bethany Hamann - 1608384

Word Count: 2742

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Introduction ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Summary of Theorists ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Preventative Actions --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Supportive Actions ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Corrective Actions -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


References ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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The purpose of this handbook is to outline a number of essential aspects needed for promoting
and maintaining a positive learning environment.
A positive learning environment aims to:

Be safe and comfortable for students

Direct students towards important and meaningful short-term and long-term goals
Include interesting, challenging and realistic learning opportunities and experiences
Value and respect students efforts
Include students opinions and concerns
Incorporate independent and interdependent work
Require students to be responsible for their behaviour and learning
(Killen 2006, 23-24)

In order to promote a positive and safe learning environment, teachers must learn to implement
a number of behaviour management strategies that can deal with a diverse range of
behaviours. These strategies must aim to help prevent, minimise and manage common and
chronic misbehaviour problems, all while helping students to control their own behaviour (Levin
& Nolan 2003, 27). This handbook will address three levels of behavioural management
(preventative, supportive, and corrective) and offer a number of practical strategies that can be
implemented into the classroom.

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Summary of Theorists
Jacob Kounin:
Theorist Jacob Kounin suggests that good classroom behaviour depends on effective lesson
management, especially on pacing, transitions, alerting, and individual accountabilityBy keeping
students busily (and happily) engaged, behaviour problems are reduced to a minimum (Teaching
Matters, Kounin, 2008).
Kounins key ideas of this theory include:

Ripple Effect Occurs when the teacher corrects misbehaviour in one student and this
positively influences the behaviour of other nearby students.
Withitness A term created by Kounin to describe the teachers awareness of what is going
on in all parts of the classroom at all times
Overlapping Where teachers attend to two or more events at the same time. Students are
more likely to stay on task if they know that the teacher is aware of what they are doing and
can help them when needed.
Effective transitions Student behaviour is influenced by the smoothness and effectiveness
of transitions between tasks in a lesson. Well-established routines, a consistent signal for
gaining the class attention, clear directions, preparing students to shift their attention from one
task to another, and concise explanations that highlight the main points of the task help to
reduce student misbehaviour.
Group Alerting The ability to keep members of the class or group paying attention to the
task is essential in maintaining an efficient classroom and reducing student behaviour.
(Teaching Matters, Kounin, 2008)

William Glasser:
Psychiatrist William Glasser was well known for developing the Choice Theory. This theory states that
a persons behaviour is inspired by what that person wants or needs at the particular time, not an
outside stimulus. (Glasser 1969). Glasser believes that all living creatures control their behaviour to
fulfil their need for satisfaction in one or more of these five areas:

To belong
Be loved by other
Have power and importance, freedom and independence
To have fun

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Every individual has the power to change their lives for the better based on the choices they make. A
person can make the proper choices and take greater responsibility for their actions by asking
themselves the following questions:

What do you want?

What are you doing to achieve what you want?
Is it working?
What are your plans or options?
(Glasser 1969)

Carl Rogers
Educational theorist Carl Rogers believed that in an educational setting, teachers should seek to create
emotionally warm, supportive environments in which they worked collaboratively with their students to
achieve mutual goals. (Research for Teachers, 1998) In order to achieve this, teachers must create
successful interpersonal relationships with the students and create an environment where all
participants (i.e. teachers and students) are co-learners. He believed that effective relationships lie at
the heart of successful learning and that the way to create successful relationships is through being
genuine and showing students acceptance and empathy.
The essential attitudes for interpersonal relationships are:

Realness in the facilitator of learning teachers must be genuine

Prizing, acceptance, trust a teacher must care for the learner, accept they are an individual
with a right to an opinion, in which they trust to be authentic.
Empathic Understanding the ability to understand a student and their feelings, and not
judging or evaluating them.
(Smith 2004)

Fredrick Jones: Non Verbal Communication

Fredric Jones believes that teachers can effectively prevent misbehaviour or reduce it significantly
before it develops by the use of non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication includes a
variety of body postures and gestures, movement around the classroom, teacher presence in the form
of bodily carriage, facial expressions and eye contact (McInerny & McInerney 2002, 265). Jones
recommends that teachers must try to minimise intrusion into instruction meaning that instead of
stopping a lesson to discipline a student, they should position their body closer to the students, or
pause momentarily and look directly into the students eyes. Doing so communicates awareness and
authority (McInerny & McInerney 2002, 265).
Examples of using assertive body language to manage behaviour:

Enter and move around the classroom with confidence

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Maintain self-control and dignity before disciplining a student

Look directly but briefly into the eyes of the offending student
Use facial expression instead of words when possible
Move closer to the misbehaving student and stand there momentarily while continuing
Use gestures such as head nodding or shaking to show approval or disapproval
(McInerny & McInerney 2002, 265)

Burrhus Frederic Skinner

Skinners Theory of Operant Conditioning is based upon the idea that changes in behaviour are the
result of an individuals response to events that occur in the environment. When a particular stimulus
response is rewarded, the individual is conditioned to respond. (Culatta 2013)
The table below helps to further explain Skinners theory:
Receive reinforcer
(positive reinforcement)
Remove unpleasant stimulus
(negative reinforcement)
Receive unpleasant Stimulus
Withhold pleasant Stimulus

A behaviour is followed by the
presentation of a positive
stimulus, thus the behaviour
A behaviour is followed by the
removal of an unpleasant
stimulus, thus the behaviour
A behaviour is followed by the
presentation of an unpleasant
stimulus, thus the behaviour
decreases at least temporarily.
A behaviour is followed by the
withholding or removal of a
positive stimulus, thus the
behaviour decreases.

Giving students a gold star for
completing work on time.
Allowing students to quit working
problems that dont interest
them if they follow classroom
rules about arriving on time.
A student who is disruptive has
to pick up rubbish at lunch time.
A student who is talking get their
iPad taken away
(Hannum 2005)

Howard Gardiner: Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardners theory of multiple intelligences has challenged the historical view of intelligence as a
fixed quantity since he first published Frames of Mind in 1983. (Phillips 2010, 7). The connection
Gardner made between how the mind is organised and the education of students suggested that there
is a need for additional classroom and testing applications in order to cater for the different intelligences
and learning styles.

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As a teacher, it is important that students are not always sitting at the desk, but are given the
opportunity to move about and work collaboratively with others. Demonstrations, outdoor activities and
engaging the five senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting) are more likely to ensure
students learn and retain information. When learning becomes more physical and visible, students are
able to understand and apply different concepts and knowledge. If all students are able to excel through
activities that cater their type of intelligence they will hopefully feel successful in their learning, resulting
in a more positive learning environment.

[Figure 1: Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligences]


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Preventative Actions
You can prevent most misbehaviour if you treat students sensitively, provide and interesting
curriculum, and use a helpful teaching style (Charles 2002, 236).

Preventative discipline focuses on employing techniques and strategies that are designed to prevent
the occurrence of misbehaviour before it happens. It therefore lessens the need for use of more
intrusive management techniques and helps to promote a safe learning environment (Levin & Nolan,
2003, 25)
It should be strongly emphasized from the outset that no classroom strategies will prevent discipline
problems if effective teaching is not taking place. (McInerneu & McInerney 2002, 251)

Classroom Strategies

Structure lessons so that they cater for different learning styles/capabilities

Lessons should be structured and presented through a range of ways in order to cater for
different learning styles/intelligences (Howard Gardners theory of Multiple Intelligences).

Pre-plan lessons so that extraneous matters are realised ahead of time and taken care of
When the teacher is organised, knows exactly which direction the lesson is heading, and where
all materials are, students are less likely to misbehave. (Kounin Effective transitions)

Implement Overlapping
Students are more likely to stay on task if they know that the teacher is aware of what they are
doing at all times and can help them when needed (Kounins Overlapping strategy).

Fast paced learning

Dont allow students the time to get bored. This is when patterns of misbehaviour can occur.

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Case Study #1 Praise and Preparation

Preventative strategies present in the video:

Praise and positive re-enforcement

Students know that with good work, they
will be rewarded verbally in front of their
peers and with gold stars which may lead
to an end of year field trip. (Skinner
Positive Reinforcement).

Clear routines are established.

Students know exactly what they have to do when they enter the classroom which eliminates
disruptive behaviour. Clear colour coded instructions are written on the board which students
can easily follow.

Build respectful and positive relationships

Students responded well to Amy as she genuinely cared and respected them.
Students with chronic behaviour generally do not have positive relationships with their
teachers (Levin and Nolan 2004, 197); thus it is important to praise these students for the
simplest things if thats all they can manage to do. If you struggle to find something to like in a
student force yourself to find at least one positive quality, no matter how small or how hidden
(Levin and Nolan 2004, 197). (Linked to Rogers theory for interpersonal relationships).

Case Study #2 Manage that Class

Preventative Strategies present in the video:

Uses clear instructions such as You

Students know exactly what to do and whats
expected of them.

Clear establishment of classroom rules

and consequences
Students know the rules and what the consequences are if they misbehave

Counts down time before moving on to the next activity (e.g 10 seconds left).
Students know what is happening next and wont be surprised or unprepared to move on to the
next activity.

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Case Study #3 A Lesson from the Best

Preventative Strategies present in the video:

Structuring lessons for success

In this video students begin the argumentive
tennis activity by arguing one on one, then
swapping partners, then working in groups.
Students are constantly learning from each
other (teacher acting as facilitator) and
gradually building their confidence and
strength of their arguments. By setting up students for success, they will feel valued, uplifted,
and motivated to learn. (Rodgers - seek to create emotionally warm, supportive environments,
and teacher acts as facilitator).

Allow Students to choose

If students can have some choice in what they are learning, they will become more engaged
and learn with greater motivation.

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Supportive Actions
Despite your best efforts, students will at times become restive and can easily slip into misbehaviour.
This is the time for you to make use of supportive techniques, which are pleasant yet effective in
keeping students engaged in their work. (Charles 2002, 236)

The supportive component of classroom management refers to minimising behavioural issues through
pre-emptive and effective classroom management. These strategies require reading and responding to
students when they become restive, agitated, or deviate from the learning task (Rogers, B. 1998, 10).
Levin and Nolan describe a series of behaviour management strategies that range from Studentcentred nonverbal interventions, to teacher-centred verbal interventions and use of logical
consequences (See Fig. 2). Teachers are encouraged to begin using the less confrontational and
disruptive student-centred strategies before moving up the hierarchy.
[Figure 2. Levin and Nolan Hierarchy for Management Intervention]

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Classroom Strategies
Nonverbal Strategies (Links with Jones Theory of nonverbal communication)

Tactical Ignoring
Levin and Nolan (2003) state that planned ignoring is based on the reinforcement theory that if
you ignore a behaviour, it will lesson and eventually disappear (pg 29).

Signal Interference
E.g. Hold up an open hand to stop a student calling out, and shaking your head and pointing to
a seat when a student is wondering around.

Proximity Interference
If a student is off task, you can walk towards the student while conducting the lesson to help
get them back on task.

Verbal Strategies

Name dropping
The teacher redirects student to appropriate behaviour by calling on the student to answer a
question or by inserting the students name in an example or in the middle of a lecture (Levin
and Nolan 2003, 36).

Praise and Acknowledging good behaviour

Making positive comments about other students behaviour can remind off-task students of the
behaviour thats expected of them (links to Kounins Ripple-effect).

Non-punitive time out

Teacher quietly asks student if they would like to run an errand or do a chore

Case Study #4 Girl Talk

Supportive Strategies present in video:

Makes eye contact

A stern glance can encourage misbehaving
students to get back on task. (Jones
Nonverbal communication)

Diversion or distraction
The teacher redirects student behaviour by asking the student to answer and explain a maths

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Case Study #5 Manage that Class

Supportive Strategies present in video:

Wait Time
The teacher walks over to the side of the room
and waits for the classroom to fall silent. It
reinforces classroom expectations about noise
level and behaviour. (Jones Nonverbal

Case Study #6 Attention Seekers

Supportive Strategies present in video:

Ripple Effect
The French teacher uses Kounins ripple effect
where she ignores off task behaviour and
praises on-task behaviour which effectively
ripples out onto the off-task students.

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Corrective Actions
We have to accept that while good discipline systems can prevent most misbehaviour, you students
will nevertheless break rules at times and you must deal with the transgressions. If you approach
misbehaving students in a sensitive manner, you can help them return to their proper behaviour with no
ill feelings (Charles 2002, 237)

The last of the three major categories is Corrective Action. This form of action may be implemented
where mild interventions did not help in resolving behavioural issues, and the issues then escalated.
Levin and Nolans Hierarchy Table of Behaviour management suggests a number of corrective
strategies that include verbal intervention and the use of logical consequences. (See Fig. 2)

Classroom Strategies

I Messages
Thomas Gordan developed the I message as a three-part message that is intended to help
the disruptive student recognise the negative impact of their behaviour on the teacher. The
teacher quietly pulls the disruptive student aside and explains:
A simple description of the disruptive behaviour (which does not judge or blame the
A description of its tangible effect on the teacher and/or other students
A description of the teachers feelings about the effects of the misbehaviour
(Rogers 1998, 287)
William Glassers Triplets
A series of small questions can help students to understand how their behaviour is affecting
their work and others around them.
1. What are you doing?
2. Why are you doing it?
3. What should you be doing?

Canters Broken Record

The teacher gives a student an explicit redirection statement which they then repeat if the
student doesnt comply, or tries to defend their behaviour. The teacher sounds just like a

Using time-out in class and out of class if necessary

Directing students away from the group

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Case Study #7 Unteachables

Corrective Strategies present in video

You Have a Choice

A disruptive student was given a choice. He
could cooperate and respect the rules or be
sent home from the camp. The student was
sent home which caused a ripple effect
(Kounin) among the other students.

Case Study #8 Attention Seekers

Corrective Strategies present in Video

Reminder of rules

Explicit Redirection
The teacher ordered a stop to the
misbehaviour and return to acceptable
behaviour (Get off the floor, return to your
seat, and put your bag down). The firm and
clear instruction left no room for student retaliation.

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