Discipline Orientations of Pre-service Teachers Before and After Student Teaching

Jun. 20, 2010

Source: Teaching Education, Volume 21, Issue 2 (June 2010), pages 157 – 169.

This study examined the classroom discipline orientations of pre-service elementary teachers both before and after the student teaching experience.

220 pre-service teachers from three southeastern universities in the USA participated in the study. Prior to beginning and immediately after completing their full-time student teaching experience, the pre-service teachers completed a discipline belief instrument which identified their preferred model of classroom discipline.

The results showed that the student teaching experience significantly increased beginning teachers' preferences toward a more assertive discipline model (Rules and Consequences) and decreased their preferences toward the humanistic discipline model (Relationship-Listening). These results demonstrate that the student teaching experience may be creating a dissonance in prior knowledge and beliefs, and experiences of pre-service teachers in classrooms.

The results of the study suggest that teacher education programs can help pre-service teachers transition more smoothly into classroom teaching by providing a school-university partnership as well as more lessons and advice on handling specific classroom management situations.

Updated: Oct. 17, 2010