Identifying the Factors of Student Misbehavior in the Classroom and Presenting its Management Strategies in Schools

Document Type : Qualitative Research Paper


1 دانشجوی دکتری مدیریت آموزشی، دانشکده ادبیات و علوم انسانی، دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی، واحد سنندج، سنندج، ایران

2 استادیار گروه مدیریت آموزشی، دانشکده ادبیات و علوم انسانی، دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی، واحد سنندج، سنندج، ایران


The purpose of this study was to investigate the causes of misbehavior between high school students in Sanandaj and to present its management strategies. Students’ misbehavior usually has a disruptive impact on learning and teaching activities in the classroom. It can take various forms, for example, talking to others without permission or even bullying. Yet, in each case, educators have to find ways of resolving these problems. Very often the origins of misbehavior are very difficult to trace back because it can be explained by a variety of factors such as family problems, school environment, peer pressure, or psychological problems of a student. Researchers point out that there are several internal motivators for the misbehavior; one of them is the need for attention. These students want teachers to look more attentively at their needs and goals. These students want to feel that they are valued by the teacher. Another factor that contributes to misbehavior is the desire to assert ones authority over others. Some students believe that the necessity to follow rules limits their freedom and ability to act independently. Such students often tend to bully others if they feel that their freedom is restricted by teachers or school administrators. Additionally, one should speak about assumed inadequacy. Some learners can assume that they do not belong to the class or that they cannot meet certain performance standards. Some teachers can often accuse children of being deviant or lazy. In some cases, such an accusation can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, a student can come to the belief that his/her actions cannot change a teacher’s opinion about him or her. This is why teachers should avoid using such labels as “deviant” or “lazy” when talking to a child. The discussion of these internal factors can also be linked to the Choice Theory developed by William Glasser. In the opinion of this scholar, a student’s behavior is driven by the need for belonging, willingness to acquire power or freedom, and the desire to have fun.  Provided that these needs are not satisfied, a student is more likely to violate the rules that are set by the teachers. This theory can have profound implications for those people who design instruction models. Their task is to create such an environment in which a student can meet various psychological needs. Apart from that, scholars argue that there are some causes of misbehavior that can be attributed to school environment. In particular, they point to such factors as lack of meaningful interaction with teachers, unequal power relations, or inability to fulfill ones talents or skills.Therefore, educators should take into account that sometimes they can cause the misbehavior in the classroom. For instance, a student can act defiantly in those cases when teacher adopts a very authoritative attitude toward learners. Additionally, one can refer to the study carried out by Salee Supaporn . This scholar shows that misbehavior can be linked to the activities in which students are engaged. In particular, a student, who perceives a learning activity as interesting, is less likely to misbehave in the classroom. Overall, boredom is one of the main factors that contribute to misbehavior in the classroom. Moreover, many students can misbehave when a teacher does not accommodate the lesson to their learning style. For instance, auditory learners, who need to discuss ideas or topics with a teacher, may talk out of turn when a teacher does not encourage them to show their understanding of the material.This is why misbehavior should not be always explained by lack of self-control or discipline. There is another aspect of this problem, namely the way in which educators perceive misbehavior and its causes. For instance, some of them think that its causes are fully controllable by a stude. For instance, some teachers believe that poor performance or misbehavior during lessons can be attributed to chronic laziness or unwillingness to learn. Usually these people believe that punishment is the best response to such a behavior. They do not consider the possibility that such conduct could have been caused by lack of social skills or attention-deficit disorder. More importantly, they do not change their strategies in any way when dealing with such a child. As a result, such students continue to underperform. Overall, this discussion indicates that the misbehavior in the classroom cannot always be blamed only on students. Very often, this conduct can be attributed to poor methods of instruction or failure to involve students into learning. The task of educators is to create an environment in which students feel themselves a part of the class. They must see themselves as active participants of educational process. Finally, teachers should remember there are ways of influencing the behavior of students without the use of coercive power.
Research on student misbehaviors in classroom have focused on the identification of most frequent misbehaviors and individual practices used by the teachers. However there is still a significant gap about the demographic and other factors that affect teachers’ perceptions of misbehaviors in classrooms.
The research method of this study was qualitative and grounded theory was applied. The population of this study was the first-grade high school teachers who were selected through purposeful sampling and  to reach the theoretical saturation level in order to summarize the experiences of 15 high school teachers. Qualitative data analysis was performed theoretical coding and Maxqda software version 10. By interviewing the participants through in-depth interview and content analyses, and comparing and matching the data, 144 indicators were obtained. By eliminating duplicates and integrating homogeneous and similar indicators, finally, categories related to causes of misbehavior were 43 Subcategories (open coding) and 22 axial categories and 5 inclusive categories (selective coding) were drawn. In addition to using research results, previous research results were used to provide management solutions. Cause and effects of misconduct included extracurricular factors such as environmental factors (family, community and media) and school factors (physical and psychological space, managers' communication weakness, inappropriate modeling). In-class factors such as teacher-related factors (teaching style, teacher approach, classroom management, teacher professional competence) and student-related factors (academic weakness, lack of motivation, behavioral disorders) were appropriate to each of the management strategies.


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