Grappling with Classroom Management: The Orientations of Preservice Teachers and Impact of Student Teaching

Oct. 10, 2009

Source: The Teacher Educator, 44(4): 232–247, 2009.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study examined the beliefs about classroom management that preservice teachers developed during their university coursework. It also examined whether those beliefs changed as a result of their student teaching experiences.

The author examined the following research:
1. What theoretical orientations and beliefs are preservice teachers adopting as a result of their participation in a required course on classroom management?
2. Are preservice teachers’ attitudes regarding classroom management influenced more by coursework or student teaching experiences?


Participants for this research were 71 preservice teachers attending a medium size university located in the Midwest. All were Caucasian with 64 females and 7 males involved.
Each participant had a declared major of elementary education and had completed a required
12–16-week student teaching internship.


Results indicated preservice teachers demonstrated inconsistent beliefs with regard to philosophies of classroom management developed as part of university coursework.
Upon completion of student teaching in environments characterized by teacher-centered practices, analyses revealed a shift toward more teacher-centered beliefs and behavior. Conclusions indicate the effects of vicarious and mastery experiences as influential in determining preferred orientations and management techniques cited as relevant within the classroom.

Updated: Oct. 21, 2009