Source: Educational Researcher, Vol. 46, No. 7, p. 355-365, 2017
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study examines teachers’ behavioral, academic, and relational beliefs and how these beliefs shape the actions used in managing their classrooms.
The participants were 87 first-year elementary and secondary teachers.
The participants enrolled to a 2-year teacher certification program within a large public university in the Midwest.
Data were collected through program-wide surveys and qualitative data from five case participants, which included multiple interviews and field visits as well as video self-recordings and journals throughout participants’ first year of teaching.
The author found that the participants focused primarily on behavior and academics when managing classrooms. They were cognizant of the integration between behavior and academics and did not singularly consider enforcing behavioral systems for obtaining teacher authority. The findings also indicate that teachers who emphasized behavioral and academic beliefs tended to frequently use behavioral and academic actions.
Furthermore, the findings reveal that some teachers emphasized the importance of building relationships with their students. These teachers still relied on behavioral systems and managed classrooms in ways that emphasized academic content, but, more than other teachers, they prioritized relational aspects of classroom management.
Finally, these findings indicate that teachers who reported relational classroom management beliefs received better evaluation scores of teaching performance compared to teachers who did not report relational beliefs.
The author concludes that these results suggest that a more relational orientation to classroom management is related to instructional quality. The author found that teachers also tended to implement actions that were consistent with their beliefs of classroom management, although they differed from one another in the extent that they focused on relational aspects.