Preservice teacher preparation for managing problem behaviors : an interpretive qualitative analysis of the classroom management course

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Dunn, Sandra Hall

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This dissertation examines the content of a required classroom management course to determine how preservice teachers are prepared for managing problem behaviors. Qualitative content analysis of interviews with four adjunct classroom management course instructors, their course syllabi, textbooks, assignments and projects, ancillary course materials, fieldwork, and formative assessment revealed how the topic of problem behaviors is incorporated and implemented in the design of the course and how the topic is addressed in the textbooks and other course materials selected for the course. The complexities of scholarly research, individual course instructors’ personal beliefs about classroom and behavior management and problem behaviors, and the implications of those personal beliefs upon text selection and course content that guide the preservice teacher’s developing philosophies to meet the challenges of today’s diverse educational settings provide the foundation for this interpretive analysis. Findings suggest that, regardless of the documented need for additional preservice teacher preparation in managing student behavior in general and problem behavior specifically, course content on problem behaviors in the classroom management course depends upon the course instructors’ personal beliefs about classroom and behavior management that developed through their personal knowledge, experience, and preferences. Academic freedom serves as a centerpiece of university professor and student rights. Academic freedom must support academic responsibility in the design, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum, preparation of course materials, complementary course offerings, and a competent and judicious treatment of the subject. Findings of this study reveal that the university’s academic responsibility for providing a “competent and judicious treatment of the subject” relies upon the personal beliefs of the individual course instructor.



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