Title

A Case Study Describing Practices and Beliefs of Teachers Who are Effective in Their Classroom Behavior Management in a Diverse Rural School System in Georgia

Date

5-2017

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Verlyn Evans

Keywords

Behavioral Disorders, Classroom Management, Diversity, Effective Practices, Positive Behavior Support, Sociocultural Theory

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Educational Psychology | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | Humane Education | Other Education

Abstract

The purpose of this nested case study was to describe the practices and beliefs of teachers who are effective in their behavior management with minority students (African American) in three rural schools. This study was shaped by Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural behavior theory that states that learning is a social process and the origination of human intelligence in society or culture. It also emphasizes that the development of thinking is a shared process, not an individual one, and that children learn by participating and sharing other people’s frame of reference. Social interactions play an important role in the development of cognition. Participants included two principals, six teachers, and 30 students from three Big Creek schools (Pseudonym): the elementary school, middle school and high school. Data was collected through interviews, classroom observations, documents and focus groups of the sample population. Reductive qualitative analysis was used and that included use of coding and extraction of themes. A rich description of the phenomenon of practices and beliefs of teachers who are effective in their behavior management with minority students was generated by answering the central question: “What are the practices and beliefs of teachers who are effective in their behavior management with African American students?” Within-case analysis and cross-case analysis was utilized to analyze the data. After data analysis, themes that emerged were: respect, teacher’s attitude, transmitting positive attitude about students, divergence, warm-and welcoming learning environment, and optimistic forward progress. Recommendations are provided for the teachers and administrators that struggle with behavior management in diverse schools.

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