The classroom is a social environment, and teacher-student and peer interactions within any academic context largely impact the course of children’s development (Ratcliff et al., 2011). Students’ misbehavior in this micro-social environment represents a great problem because it may create barriers to the establishment of trustful relations between students and teachers and may deteriorate the overall climate in classrooms. In this way, the learning process may be affected negatively.
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To resolve the issues of misbehavior, teachers should implement strategies aimed to control students’ behavior and efficiently direct them. One of the strategies is the implementation of a Daily Report Card System. The strategy consists of three major steps:
- identification of positive and negative criteria of behavior, and selection of behaviors that should be registered in the cards;
- informing parents about the purposes of the behavior management program,
- reduction of reporting as soon as behavior in the classroom improves (Slavin, 2015).
Communication with parents is an important aspect of this strategic approach. While conveying information to parents, teachers should inform them about the stimulation of good behavior through rewards and praise which can be effectively used to encourage children to improve their behavior.
The participation of parents is also recommended for dealing with serious behavioral problems. In this case, a home-based reinforcement program is suggested (Slavin, 2015). Patterns of behavior often depend on situations and misbehavior “can best be resolved in the situation where it occurs” (Charlton & David, 2013). Therefore, the coordination between caregivers and teachers’ responses to misbehavior through home-based interventions can be more efficient in serious cases.
Another efficient strategy is the implementation of peer mediation. As it was mentioned above, the classroom is a social environment in which individuals cooperate and influence each other. To implement peer mediation, teachers need to train students for the resolving of conflict situations peacefully and productively (Salvin, 2015). The students demonstrating behavioral problems and who are reluctant to discuss personal problems with adults may refer to peer mediators to resolve some of their issues. Nevertheless, peer mediators should be supervised and trained by a competent specialist to increase the efficiency and reliability of intervention.
According to Public Law 94-142 and IDEA, children with disabilities have rights for access to education equally to all other students (Salvin, 2015). The Acts require teachers to develop their competence and skills to meet the needs of diverse students. Teachers should be able to provide equal access to subject content for all students, and, therefore, they need to know children’s personalities and extent of their abilities to prevent exclusion and the consequent developmental delays.
It means that class activities and student groupings should be flexible enough to include everyone. It is also important to create positive and friendly environments, so the students with special needs will feel accepted.
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Diversification of instructional practices is applicable for both students with special needs and gifted students. It is possible to say that diversification starts from the assessment of students’ achievements in class considering their abilities and level of development. Different types of assessment should be applied to all students in a similar way, yet the difficulty of the evaluated tasks should vary according to the individual characteristics. In this way, different students will spend a similar amount of time for problem-solving and will have equal opportunities for engagement in group activities.
According to the principle of differentiation, curricula should include “respectful activities” relevant to all students and should be characterized by the equal level of accessibility to content (Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, 2008).
Instructional practices should be interesting for all students in the class, and they must be relevant to their lives as well. Therefore, to differentiate instructional practices, teachers may address during lessons such as complex social problems as cultural diversity, inequality, racism, disability perceptions, etc. In this way, it will be possible to contribute to the deconstruction of negative images and stereotypes and promote the values of equality and acceptance of diversity among students.
Charlton, T., & David, K. (2013). Managing Misbehaviour in Schools. London, UK: Routledge.
Ratcliff, N. J., Jones, C. R., Costner, R. H., Savage-David, E., & Hunt, G. H. (2011). The impact of misbehavior on classroom climate. The Education Digest, 77(2), 16-20. Web.
Slavin, R. E. (2015). Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice (11thed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. (2008). Culturally differentiated responsive instructional strategies. Web.