Contextualisation And Problem Setting Education Essay

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The challenges faced by teachers in their efforts to educate children appropriately are increasing. Students who demonstrate inappropriate, anti-social or disruptive behaviours are becoming more prevalent in Mauritius. Teachers are dealing with disruptive behaviours that occur more frequently. R. D. Ward (2007 citing Cotton, 2001; Elam, Rose, & Gallop, 1998; Fitzsimmons, 1998; Killion, 1998) argues that "the lack of discipline or management of disruptive behaviours has been identified by the public as the most persistent and possibly the most troublesome issue facing schools".

Chapter 1: Contextualisation and problem setting

1.1 Introduction:

Behavioural problems of secondary problems has been a concern in many schools for the last 20 years (Sugai & Horner, 2002).This has been especially true in the Mauritian context, where there has been a visible change in the way students behave towards and respond to the education context (Varma, 2006). Teachers are nowadays facing increasing problems when concerning class management and discipline in classes in many secondary schools. R. D. Ward (2007 citing Daniels, 1998; Farmer, 1999, p2) puts forward that "sustaining a proper classroom environment with appropriate behaviours can be a complicated ordeal". Discipline in class and class management is even becoming the most challenging issue of education nowadays according to Cotton (2001). As children become adolescents, they experience a variety of physical, emotional and interpersonal changes which influence the way they react in groups, especially in schools (Ward, 2007; Skuse et al., 2011). If the climate of the school seems unwelcoming, low self-esteem and inappropriate behaviour problems may follow (Ward 2007 citing Kupermine, Leadbeater, Emmons & Blatt, 1997).

According to Ward (2007) teachers and the school administration believe falsely believe that punishment will change behaviour and therefore teachers' response to discipline and behaviour problems in class ranges from loss of privileges to verbal reprimands to exclusion from to school in most serious cases. In Mauritius, when classroom management became challenging, many teachers started to increase the levels and frequency of punishment (Varma, 2006). However, Skiba and Peterson (2000) support that severe and penalizing disciplinary policies frequently produce a negative school environment rather than improving student behaviour. Varma (2006) sustains this idea by saying that the problem of indiscipline, far from being solved, became worse and that teachers feel disempowered due to the fact that there exists no legal or administrative guidelines in Mauritius to deal with the problem. Strategies have to be devised to produce a more positive school environment and which will help to bring permanent improvement in the student behaviour.

Classroom management and discipline are important aspects of the teaching and learning processes as they provide an environment which is conducive for the learning to take place (Kramer, 1986). It is crucial therefore for teachers to be able to maintain a sane classroom atmosphere to allow the school organisation to play its role.

The case study wants to investigate the classroom management strategies that are used by Mauritian teachers in a selected school and to determine which ones are the more effective ones. The case study focuses on classes of form 3 students, where marked classroom management problems have been noted. Academically speaking, these classes have very low-achievers, average students and high achievers. The study of this specific concern will allow determining the classroom management strategies which are effective in that Mauritian setting and which can be applied in schools having the similar settings.

1.2 Problem statement

"The intent of a problem statement in qualitative research is to provide a rationale or need for studying a particular issue or problem" (Creswell, 2007 p 102)

"Indiscipline has nowadays become a matter of great concern in the field of education" and students of all settings have demonstrated problems of misbehaviour and indiscipline in Mauritian classes, caused by an erosion of the teacher's status, changing students' expectations about schools, insufficient parents involvement and students perceiving the curriculum as obsolete (Varma 2006 p1). Orlich et al. (2007) also point out that, with the Unfortunately, many teachers still rely heavily on teacher-focused discipline strategies for addressing classroom misbehaviour, such as imposed-discipline systems and the desist strategy. Learners, being adolescents, become aware of their rights, namely to privacy, to freedom of religion, belief, opinion and expression, among others, often have a negative response to teacher-focused strategies, especially when they are used intensively. Some teachers have adopted standard strategies for addressing classroom misbehaviour, such as solid teaching practices, clear rules and expectations, being physically close to their students, and praising. Nevertheless, for some students, both with and without difficulties, these tactics fail to produce the desired outcome and may actually worsen an already uncomfortable situation, if not applied correct and according to the proper situation.

Teachers and the management have to face new conditions in schools and have to adopt new strategies to cope with students. This is becoming a major issue as the class management, knowing that discipline has a direct impact on the academic performance. Therefore it is useful to understand the strategies used by teachers with students and which can help to improve class management and discipline.

1.3 Aims of the study

The aim of the study is to:

Understand the reasons underlying problematic discipline situation in the given Mauritian setting

Understand the expectations of teacher and students in the given setting

Identify and understand the most effective strategies which can be used by teachers to improve their class management and discipline in the given setting.

1.4 Research objectives

Investigate the nature of classroom disruption and indiscipline in schools in the selected Mauritian school.

Investigate the nature of class management strategies.

Identify the strategies used by teachers to improve class management and discipline in the selected setting.

Investigate the effectiveness strategies used to improve class management and discipline in that given setting.

Chapter 2

2. Literature Review

"To advance our collective understanding, a researcher or scholar needs to understand what has been done before, the strengths and weaknesses of existing studies, and what they might mean. A researcher cannot perform significant research without first understanding the literature in the field. Not understanding the prior research clearly puts a researcher at a disadvantage." [1] (Boote, D. N., & Beile, P., 2005).

A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. It is often part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis. In writing the literature review, the purpose is to convey to the reader the knowledge and ideas that have been established on a topic, while explaining their strengths and weaknesses. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., the research objective, the problem or issue that is being discussed, or the argumentative thesis). A literature review is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries.

Besides enlarging the knowledge of the writer about the topic, writing a literature review helps to gain and demonstrate skills in two areas:

Information seeking: the ability to scan the literature efficiently, using manual or computerised methods, to identify a set of useful articles and books

Critical appraisal: the ability to apply principles of analysis to identify unbiased and valid studies.


The nature of indiscipline and classroom misbehaviour

Causes of Indiscipline

In his article entitled: "School social bonds, School climate and School Misbehaviour: A Multilevel Analysis" [2] , scholar Eric A. Stewart defines school delinquency or school misbehaviour as including such behaviours as:

"…cutting/skipping class, being late to class (tardiness), being suspended, cheating on tests, writing on school walls, fighting, bullying classmates, harassing classmates, and cursing at teachers." [3] (Stewart, 2003)

He used data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS) which comprised of a nationally representative sample of 10,578 students from 528 high schools in order to conduct a multilevel analysis of this issue with the aim of identifying key causes of school misbehaviour. His review of the literature indicated that little research had been conducted on how school misbehaviour varies across schools. However, it demonstrated that the school context may be a defining influence on school delinquency. His research provided partial support for this hypothesis but clearly demonstrated that school social bonds play a crucial role in the reduction or increase of school deviancy. In effect, such factors as participation in school activities, a sense of belonging to the school community, belief in school values, rules, regulations and traditions as well as membership in deviant peer associations impact on the student's possible involvement in school misbehaviour.

According to Andrius (2012 citing Canter 1971), the assertive model state that the major causes of indiscipline in class results from the fact that educators falsely believe that good teachers can discipline problems on their own without any help, that Firm discipline causes psychological trauma to students, that discipline problems disappear when students are given activities that meet their needs and that misbehaviour results from deep-seated causes that are beyond the influence of the teacher. As a result, students are not given correct guidance by the teacher and therefore have the opportunity to misbehave. Furthermore, this stressful situation can create two harmful behaviours from the teacher's part that further deteriorates the situation in the classroom. Under the effect of stress, teachers may have non-assertive passive response or a hostile response to disciplinary problems. Non-assertive responses do not encourage students to correct their misbehaviour while hostile responses may provoke disrespect, hostility towards the teacher and the need for vengeance or a desire to get even.

According to desist models of classroom management, the indiscipline arises when the teacher fails to witness and interpret correctly the verbal and non-verbal information sent by students. Indiscipline also arises because the teacher is unable to communicate clearly his desire for a change in the students' behaviour (Orlich et al., 2007). Indiscipline problems may also arise if students do not perceive that teachers are immediately able to choose the right culprit and correct misbehaviour when it happens (Andrius, 2012).

In "better discipline for middle school students" scholar Johnson (1979) identify the lack of effective leadership as one cause of disciplinary problems. If principals are ineffective organisers, this can increase the frustrations of teachers and add up to the problem of classroom management. Johnson (1979) also identifies poor teacher organisation as another source of discipline problems. Lack of effective organisational procedures create situations which favour indiscipline in class, as gaps and problems of pacing are created in the learning process, it can make the teacher to panic, objectives become unclear with a poor recording system and ineffective use of resources. Yet another cause of disciplinary problems reside in the fact that many teachers lack basic operational principles. The lack of a set of basic, clear set of classroom principles can create disruption. Johnson (1979) believes that children of this age are often inconsistent, with changing behaviour and reasoning abilities and therefore need a set of guiding principles. Another cause of indiscipline is failure to recognise characteristics of potentially disruptive students since the failure to identify potentially disruptive students prevent the teacher from planning appropriate activities to prevent these students from causing classroom misbehaviour.

Jones (1984) claims that a student misbehaves because they either seek attention, power, they are looking for revenge or they display their inadequacy.

Stimpson and Farquharson

2.2 The nature of class management strategies in secondary schools.

Nature of classroom management

McCreary (2012) defines classroom management as "the methods and strategies an educator uses to maintain a classroom environment that is conducive to student success and learning". Asiaeuniversity (2012 citing Tan, Parsons, Hinson, & Sardo-Brown, 2003) say that "it refers to all those activities necessary to create and maintain an orderly learning environment such as planning and preparation of materials, organization, decoration of the classroom and certainly the establishment and enforcement of routines and rules".

Proctor, K. (2004 citing Cooper J. M. et al., 1977) says that many definitions of classroom management can be given. He gives that the general non-philosophical definition of classroom management as "the set of teaching behaviours by which the teacher establishes and maintains conditions that enable students to learn efficiently", the authoritarian disciplinary definition as the "set of teaching behaviours by which the teacher establishes and maintains order in the classroom", the Socioemotional-climate definition as "the set of teaching behaviours by which the teacher develops good interpersonal relationships and a positive socioemotional classroom climate", the group-process definition as "the set of teaching behaviours by which the teacher develops good interpersonal relationships and a positive socioemotional classroom climate", the pluralistic definition as "the set of teaching behaviours by which the teacher promotes appropriate student behaviour and eliminates inappropriate behaviour, develops good interpersonal relationships and a positive socioemotional climate, and establishes and maintains an effective and productive classroom organization and the Bag-of-Tricks Approach as the "list of Do's and Don'ts".

Although there are many pedagogical strategies involved in managing a classroom, a common denominator is making sure that students feel they are in an environment that allows them to achieve. The definition of class management is closely linked to that of discipline as the outcomes of classroom management will depend on how discipline is defined. Classroom order and learning depend on three factors: the teacher, the student and the situation (Orlich et al., 2007 p 172).

In the book "Teaching Strategies: A Guide to Effective Instruction", scholars Orlich et al. (2007) make a clear distinction between discipline and classroom management. Although the two concepts were linked in traditional view [4] , there is a clear distinction to be made between the two concepts because of the various changes in the society. These concepts became even more distant with the increase of single-parent families, family-mobility which induced increased student turnover and the promotion of failing students based on social grounds/mixed ability which made students believe that they were entitled to advancement. These changes in society makes Orlich et al. (2007) attribute the following to common strategies of teachers of discipline and classroom management:

Table 1: Discipline versus class management [5] 


Classroom management

Giving in-school suspensions

Emphasising rules at the start of the school year

Sending misbehaving students to the office

Planning for smooth transitions/minimal time between activities

Contacting parents

Paying attention to the entire class

Using a check or demerit system

Pacing activities effectively

Taking away privileges

Giving clear and concise instructions

Confiscating student items to discipline

Carefully designing the classroom environment

Organising activities in advance

Classroom management is teachers' strategies that create and maintain an orderly learning environment and discipline means teachers' responses to student's misbehaviour (Asiaeuniversity, 2012), which implies that discipline highlights the individual rather than the classroom and that it focuses on the negative behaviour.

Orlich et al. (2007) argue that the responsibility of establishing a classroom climate and managing individual students is the responsibility of the teacher and this, with the combined recent social and behavioural research, has set the path for democratic discipline. Therefore the teacher must adopt a "humanistic approach of classroom management, which views students as diverse individuals seeking acceptance and fulfilment" (Orlich et al 2007 p174).

Teachers' overt and covert behaviours will therefore influence students' behaviour.

Norms, power and awareness will be determinant factors in classroom management.

Norms will set the ideal standard in the class and "how each member ought to behave under specific conditions". Norms will therefore determine the how social relationships and cooperation is organised within the class. Norms will also determine the level of teacher intervention in behavioural correction and can provide a measure of individual and collective behaviour auto-regulation if well used.

Power represents the level of influence the teacher has due to his role and position in the classroom. Scholars (Orlich et al., 2007) sustain that when teachers overuse the power they possess; this creates resistance and insecurity among students and can have a negative impact on the learning process. This may generate cliques and create disturbance in class. Effective classroom managers use minimal power to reach desired results. Ward, R. D. (2007) sustains this by saying that students are already over-exposed to power demonstrations in society through violent and aggressive behaviours and that the school must be an area where they feel safe and secure.

Awareness represents the ability of the teacher to spot and interpret correctly the verbal and non verbal signals that the class sends. Interpreting these signals reveals the state of interactions between students and students-teacher interactions. "Children's behaviours offer insights regarding student-to-student interactions" (Orlich et al. 2007 citing Power 1992).

Orlich et al. (2007) also argue that the society impacts on classrooms and that the teacher should not reinforce society biases about race, sex and culture. Cooperation should be privileged and that putting a label on the child will determine his behaviour in class. Including all students in the formulation of classroom rules and activities (Orlich et al. 2007 define it as democratic discipline) will help prevent classroom management problems by:

promoting equity through respect and understanding;

creating greater interest in the maintenance of the rules because students have participated in their creation

creating greater understanding of the meaning of the rules because students have participated in their creation

"Disinviting behaviours" should be avoided and the use of inclusive language should be favoured by teachers, who can chart their use of positive and negative feedback and non-verbal cues to determine their behavioural patterns. Inclusive behaviour strategies include validating correct responses, praising participation, providing feedback, listening to all, accepting feelings, and acting in such a way to promote proximity of the teacher to the student and courtesy, to show personal interest and to have positive gestures. This helps to reach the goals of classroom management which are to create a positive, productive learning environment and to support and foster a safe classroom community (Ward, R. D. 2007, Asiaeuniversity, 2012). Inclusive behaviour also means that parents should be involved in the doings of their children in the classroom. The promotion of parent involvement in classroom matters should also be made by "encouraging parents to follow the development of their children, by reinforcing the expectations of the school and by monitoring school behaviour" (Orlich et al., 2007). However, scholars (Orlich et al, 2007, Jones F., 1984, Ward, R. D. 2007) recognise that this process is difficult today as working parents and mono-parental families have little time to deal with their children's school matters.

Classroom management models

Many models of classroom management exist and vary according to the degree of students' self discipline and teacher-focused imposed discipline.

Imposed discipline Self discipline

Reality Therapy

(W. Glasser)

Assertive discipline

(Canter L & Canter M.)

Desist strategies

(J. S. Kounin and C. J. Wallen)

Behaviour modification

(B. F. Skinner)

Moral Reasoning

(L. Kohlberg)

Hierarchy of needs

(A. H. Maslow)

Figure 1: Continuum of classroom management models [6] 

In imposed disciplined systems the teacher's recognised authority, derived from law and social expectations, gives the latter power to set standards in the classroom, dictate appropriate classroom behaviour and appropriate consequences of misbehaviour. Therefore the teacher is considered to have the authority to take the necessary measures to maintain order in the classroom and achieve educational goals. Desist strategies, behaviour modification and assertive discipline are models of teacher-focused discipline as they use different strategies to exercise the teacher's authority in the classroom.

Desist strategies (Kounin)

Desist strategies consists of expressing through verbal commanding and non-verbal means the teacher's desire for a change in the student's behaviour. Desist strategies are articulated around two concepts: the level of force and the types of communication. There are three levels of force - low level, with mainly non-verbal communication, moderate level, with verbal communication but no coercion and high level with verbal and non verbal communication with coercion. Communications can be private or public. Scholars Ward (2007), Orlich et al. (2007) Jones (1984) sustain that the teacher should use the minimal level of force and use private communication as far as possible to handle disruption and avoid burn-out. Scholar Jones (1984), in "Discipline in classroom and school: Workshop Manual" advocate the use of low to moderate levels of force and private communication to end disruptive behaviour of students. However, in exceptional cases, public communication and high levels of force may be used according to Orlich et al. (2007) and Jones (1984). Desist strategies make provision for some forms of punishment for unresponsive students. Scholars Orlich et al. (2007 citing Kounin, 1970) note that desist strategies often lead teachers to use excessive levels of force and use public communications which have an adverse effect on the whole class (Ward, 2007), what Kounin denoted as a ripple effect (Andrius 2012). However this same ripple effect can also have a beneficial result on the class if a positive comment is passed. Desist strategies are also affected by pacing and transitions within and between lessons.

According to Andrius (2012), Kounin used the term "withitness" to describe teachers' knowing what was going on in all areas of the classroom at all times. Kounin determined that this trait is communicated more effectively by teachers' behaviours than by their words, and further, that it is effective only if students are convinced that the teacher really knows what is going on. Desist strategies rest upon the supposition that if students perceive that teachers immediately choose the right culprit and correct misbehaviour, they are less likely to misbehave, especially in teacher-directed lessons. Handling the correct deviant on time is more important to classroom control than is firmness or clarity. Andrius (2012) also states that Kounin believes that managing groups and sub-groups has a greater impact than the teacher's trait on classroom management.

Assertive model of Canter & Canter

Assertive discipline is a structured, systematic approach designed to assist educators in running an organized, teacher-in-charge classroom environment (Orlich et al., 2007). Assertive discipline bases itself on the fact that teachers are supposed to be in charge of the classroom environment. Assertiveness and insistence, combined with a well structured set of procedures are at the root of this model. According to Canter, schools and teachers deserve part of the blame because of mistaken ideas about discipline, believing that firm control is stifling and inhumane, have led educators to be hesitant in controlling behaviour. The Assertive model supports that discipline is necessary for psychological security and to prevent us from carrying out actions which would leave us with subsequent feelings of shame. Discipline is also necessary allows us to build up and expand our best traits and abilities and is necessary to maintain an effective and efficient learning environment (Andrius, 2012).

The Assertive model of classroom management claims that the assertive teacher is able to clearly and firmly communicate needs and requirements to students, while following the expression of these needs and requirements with appropriate actions and responding to students in ways that maximize compliance. However this firm communication of needs is done without jeopardising the best interests of the students (Andrius, 2012 & Orlich et al., 2007).

The Assertive model of classroom management can be implemented in 5 major steps.

Firstly, it is important to recognise and remove "roadblocks" to Assertive Discipline. These roadblocks are in majority the teachers' negative expectations of student behaviour and are to be replaced by more positive expectations. Andrius (2012) believes that "such factors as their health, home, personality, or environment, mitigate against students from behaving well at school". Teachers must recognize that they can influence the behaviour of all students under their direction in favourable ways whatever the initial problems may be. Recognition of this fact helps remove the roadblocks associated with negative expectations.

Secondly, non-assertive and hostile responses are to be abandoned to the profit of assertive responses. Andrius (2012) puts forward that non-assertive teachers have either low expectations from students, or are passive or fail to back up their standards with appropriate actions. Andrius (2012, citing Canter & Canter) also says that hostile teachers feel that they can barely manage the class and that "they must rule with an iron fist or else they will be overwhelmed with chaos". Hostile responses produce a variety of ill-effects as they hurt students' feelings; they provoke disrespect and the desire for vengeance (Jones, F. 1984, Orlich et al., 2007, Ward, 2007, Andrius, 2012). On the contrary, an assertive response style protects the rights of both the student and teacher. With this style, teachers make their expectations clearly known to students and professionally reinforce their expectations, with words and actions, by continually insisting that students comply with these expectations [7] .

Thirdly, teachers must learn to set limits. Andrius (2012, citing Canter 1971) states that "no matter what the activity, in order to be assertive, teachers need to be aware of what behaviours they want and need from the students". Having identified the inappropriate behaviours, teachers should then make them clear to the students. Once inappropriate behaviour has been made explicit, the next step in setting limits is to decide consequences for both compliance and noncompliance. For compliance, verbal acknowledgment is usually found sufficient. When dealing with inappropriate behaviour, teachers should be ready with firm reminders of what students should be doing. According to Orlich et al. (2007), this is best achieved through a discipline plan, which contain the classroom rules, includes positive recognition and which incorporate the consequences of disruptive behaviour.

Fourthly, teachers must learn to take appropriate actions following the positive demands they have made. Andrius (2012) states that since students have been informed of the consequences of their actions, they should bear the consequences of their act, which can be both positive and negative and vary in degree according to the level of compliance or type of misbehaviour (Orlich et al., 2007. Andrius, 2012). The consequences of positive and negative behaviours of students must be planned in advance.

Fifthly, the implementation of a system of positive or favourable consequences by the teacher is advocated. Teachers easily see the negative aspect of students behaviour but fail to notice its positive aspects. According to Andrius (2012), for Canter the recognition of students' positive behaviour is considered as being particularly important as it builds influence with them, leading to a decrease in problematic behaviour in class and creates a more conducive environment for the teaching-learning process. Positive recognition can be in the form of personal attention from the teacher, positive notes to parents and special awards.

Behaviour modification (Skinner)

This model is based on the belief that behaviour is shaped by its consequences, by what happens to the individual immediately afterward. Therefore systematic use of reinforcement (rewards) can shape students' behaviour in desired directions. However, behaviour becomes weaker if not followed by reinforcement or by punishment. In the early stages of learning, constant reinforcement produces the best result and once learning has reached the desired level, it is best maintained through intermittent reinforcement, provided only occasionally according to Andrius (2012). Orlich et al. (2007, citing Salvia, Ysseldyke & Bolt, 2007) pose the basic steps for applying behaviour modification. Firstly baseline behaviours are charted and observations and records are made on the behaviour to be changed. This allows determining the extent of the problem. Secondly the chart serves as reference in choosing appropriate strategies and determining their effectiveness through intervention and experimentation. The strategies will be set up to reinforce appropriate behaviour while ignoring or not responding to inappropriate ones. Reinforcers used can be classified in 4 categories according to Andrius (2012). These are social reinforcers which consist of words, gestures, and facial expressions, graphic reinforcers which include marks of various kinds such as numerals, checks and special symbols, activity reinforcers which include those activities that students prefer in school and tangible reinforcers which are real objects that students can earn as rewards for desired behaviour. Thirdly, during a short period, a return to the original conditions is made and students' behaviour is noted. A reversal of behaviour should be noted, showing that it was the teacher's strategy which caused the positive change. Fourthly, the intervention conditions are re-implemented and the change in behaviour is noted.

Andrius (2012) mention that "teachers who begin using behaviour modification in a systematic way tend to stick with it, appreciating its powerful effects". They do not perceive it as manipulating students, but as freeing them to behave in ways that bring success and positive recognition. However research has cast doubt on whether rewards, the keystone of behaviour modification, actually serve to strengthen desired learning and behaviour. Some argue that rewards serve to reduce intrinsic motivation, supplanting it with a control-system of compliance and external modification (Andrius, 2012 citing Hill, 1990).

The Redl & Wattenberg Classroom Management Model

The Redl & Wattenberg Model for discipline and group dynamics and behaviours can be broken down into three main components. These components include the fundamental key points, the roles of the individual in the classroom and the psychological role of the teacher. It is important to note the basis behind the model is to correct the situation and that punishment is the last resort in dealing with misbehaviour (Lubbers & Martin, 2012 citing Charles, 1994).

This model tries to understand and deal with a group. Teachers can learn how to use influence techniques to deal with undesirable aspects of group behaviour. This model considers that people in groups behave differently than they do individually. Group expectations influence individual behaviour and individual behaviour affects the group. Teachers need to be aware of the characteristic traits of group behaviour since groups create their own psychological forces that influence individual behaviour and group dynamics is important to effective classroom management.

Group behaviour in the classroom is influenced by how students perceive the teacher. Students see teachers as filling many psychological roles, which may be endorsed fully, partly or not at all by teachers. Teachers are perceived as representatives of society, reflecting and developing values, moral attitudes, and thinking patterns typical of the community; judges, since they judge students' behaviour, character, work, and progress; source of knowledge; facilitators in learning; referees since they arbitrate and make decisions when disputes arise; detectives as they maintain security in the classroom, discover wrongdoing and handout consequences; role; caretakers as they reduce anxiety by maintaining standards of behaviour, consistent environments, regular schedules, and freedom from danger or threat; ego supporters since they help building student self-confidence and bettering self images; group leaders as they facilitate harmonious and efficient group functioning; surrogate parents as they are a source of protection, approval, affection, and advice; targets for hostility as when student hostility cannot be appropriately expressed to other adults, it may be displaced onto teachers; friends and confidants and objects of affection and esteem (Andrius, 2012, Lubbers & Martin, 2012).

In this model, teachers address classroom conflict through a process of diagnostic thinking which consists of forming a first idea, gathering facts, applying hidden factors, taking action and being flexible. They maintain control through various methods including supporting self-control as preventive measure against indiscipline, offering situational assistance when the student cannot regain control without the teacher's assistance, appraising reality techniques which involve helping students understand underlying causes for misbehaviour and foresee probable consequences and invoking pleasure and pain which involve rewarding good behaviour and punishing bad behaviour.

According to Andrius (2012), Redl and Wattenberg view the group as an organism. "A group creates conditions such as its members will behave in certain ways because they belong to it; at the same time the manner in which the parts function affects the whole". In other words, group expectations strongly influence individual behaviour, and individual behaviour in turn affects the group.

The different roles played by members of classroom must also be understood. All of the roles are played by individuals in groups either because the role fills a strong personal need or because the group expects or enjoys it. An individual student finds a place within the group and is accepted by it by playing a role. The role make the student become a functioning part of the organism. Andrius (2012) describes 4 major roles played by students: "the informal leader, the clown, the fall guy and the instigators".

A student can be an informal leader of a group. The role may vary according to the group's purpose, makeup, and activities. Different students may act as leaders in different activities within the same group. Group leaders tend to share be above average in most respects, have a highly developed understanding of others and they represent group ideals. Leaders appointed by teachers are not necessarily the group's natural leader. Such mismatches can lead to conflict within the group.

"Clowns" are described as the students who entertain the group often taking this role in order to mask feelings of inferiority, thinking it best to make fun of themselves before others have a chance. Clowns can have both a positive and a negative influence on the group. Clowning can be useful to both teacher and the group, especially when students are anxious, frustrated, or in need of relief from tension. However, clowning can be also highly disruptive as this can be a way of expressing hostility to the teacher.

A "fall guy" is an individual who takes blame and punishment in order to gain favour with the group. Members of the group feel free to misbehave knowing that they can set up the fall guy to suffer the penalties. Teachers need to be aware of this kind of manipulation and be sure to focus their corrective actions on the instigator of misbehaviour.

"Instigators" are those individuals who are at the origin of trouble but who do not appear to be involved. They seek to solve their inner conflicts by getting others to act them out as they often feel that they are the victims. Andrius (2012) suggests that teachers need to identify instigators through thorough analysis of recurring and that it is the teacher's role to help the group to recognise and discourage this role.

The Glasser Model of Rational Choices

Glasser's work in the field of school discipline has two main focuses. The first is to provide a classroom environment and curriculum which motivate students and reduce inappropriate behaviour by meeting students' basic needs for belonging, power, fun, and freedom. The second focus is on helping students make appropriate behavioural choices that lead ultimately to personal success (Jones 1984, Orlich et al., 2007, Andrius, 2012). This can be achieved through genuine teacher involvement, empathy towards the student, acceptance and trust of the student (Orlich et al., 2007).

Glasser's ideas are based on the assumption that Students are rational beings, that they can control their own behaviour and that they choose how they act. Therefore teachers should seek to help students to make good choices to bring positive behaviour. (Jones, 1984, Andrius, 2012) Reasonable consequences should always follow student behaviour, whether it is good or bad. Class rules are perceived as important in this model but to be effective they must be discussed with students and approved by all. This brings understanding of the rules and commitment to them. (Orlich et al., 2007).

Students are capable of understanding what is generally regarded as acceptable school behaviour and can choose to behave in acceptable ways. However, in order to make good choices, students must see the results of these choices as desirable. If bad behaviour gets them what they want then they will make bad choices. This is where the teacher can be influential in helping students become aware that they choose their own actions. The teacher forces them to acknowledge their behaviour and to make value judgments about it. The teacher refuses to accept excuses for bad behaviour. Instead the teacher always directs the student's attention to alternative, more acceptable, behaviour. The essence of discipline then, lies in helping students make good choices. This is done by stressing student responsibility [8] , establishing rules that lead to success [9] , accepting no excuses [10] , calling for value judgement [11] , suggesting suitable alternatives, invoking reasonable consequences [12] , being persistent [13] and carrying out continual review [14] .

After 1985, the Glasser model was modified to engulf an additional perspective. Students are seen in this modified version as wanting to satisfy their needs. Glasser comes forward with the idea that "it is essential to control ourselves to be able to meet our needs" (Andrius 2012 citing Glasser 1990). Students will therefore choose to do what is most satisfying for them in the moment. Glasser suggest that that the needs to belong, to gain power to be free and to have fun are all inborn and fundamental and students will try to satisfy these needs in priority (Andrius 2012). This means that students must feel they belong, have some power, have a sense of freedom, and have fun in learning. Glasser's new views on discipline have occurred as direct extensions of his conclusions concerning the condition of schooling at the secondary level (Orlich et al., 2007, Andrius, 2012). He believes that small learning groups can increase students' satisfaction at once as the answer partly for those fundamental needs. The advantages of satisfying these needs are in terms of improved sense of belonging, improved motivation to work, satisfaction of the needs for power of stronger students when they help weaker students and students are freed from over-dependence on the teacher. Orlich et al. (2007) suggest that the needs are related to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, by suggesting that a "well-managed classroom allows students to focus on personal growth which are higher order needs in Maslow's hierarchy, not on safety and belonging which are lower order needs.

Physiological needs: basic human needs (food, water, shelter, clothing etc.)

Safety/security needs (safeguarding one's existence)

Belongingness/social needs

(affiliating with others and being accepted)

Esteem needs

(achieving, gaining approval and recognition)

Cognitive needs (knowing understanding exploring)

Aesthetic needs (Symmetry, beauty, order)

Self actualisation (self fulfilment)


(helping other to

reach self fulfilment)

Figure 2: Maslow's hierarchy of needs [15] 

According to Orlich et al. (2007), Maslow's Hierarchy of needs has had a substantial impact on educational theory as it assumes that the student's behaviour at any time is determined by the willingness to satisfy the latter's needs. Maslow has given a hierarchy following the idea that needs at a higher level cannot be satisfied unless those below are already satisfied (Stimpson & Farquharson, 2010).

The Jones Model of Discipline

F. Jones model of discipline focuses on helping students support their own self control through the effective use of body language, incentives that motivate desired behaviour and efficient help to students during independent work time (Jones, 1984, Kramer, 1986, Andrius, 2012). Jones sustain that teachers in typical classrooms lose approximately 50% of their instructional time because students are off task or otherwise disturbing the teacher or other class members and the majority of this time loss time results from two kinds of student misbehaviour - talking without permission (80%) and general goofing off, including making noises, daydreaming, or getting out of one's seat without permission. (Kramer, 1986, Andrius, 2012). Jones sustain that most of this teaching time lost can be saved by using effective body language, incentive systems and effective individual help [16] .

A prominent place to incentive systems is given in his classroom management by Jones, according to whom, some of the most effective teachers used incentives systematically. However, scholar Jones notes that most teachers use the incentive system ineffectively as the incentives used are either appealing to top achievers only or they do not appeal to students at all or they do not promote long-term changes. Jones (1984 & 1987) claims that a good incentive system should be able to be appealing to all students, should be desirable enough for all students and has an educational value. Film-viewing and having free time to pursue personal interests or to talk with friends are cited as examples of these true incentives by Andrius (2012). Jones (1984) say that class period should be devoted to activities that have educational value to prevent boredom and disruptive behaviour in class. There are many educationally valuable activities that students enjoy greatly, both individually and in groups. One of the best activities for individuals is "free time", in which students may read, work on assignments, do art work, plan with other students, or pursue personal interests. Despite the word "free", students are not left unattended or without rules of guidance. The freedom is that of choosing from a variety of approved activities. Total group activities can be chosen by vote, and all students engage in the same activity during the time allotted.

Andrius (2012) claims that "Jones's system is effective for all students because all are brought into the picture; second, it is easy to implement". Teachers need do only four things: establish and explain the system, allow the class to vote from time to time on which teacher-approved activities they wish to enjoy during incentive time, make effective use of time for example by using a stopwatch and be prepared when necessary to conduct the class in low -preference activities for the amount of time that students might have lost from their preferred activity time attribution.

Jones's researches showed Providing Efficient Help is time consuming and it is impossible for the teacher to attend to more than a few students during working time, even if the amount of time spent was only one minute per contact, some students would waste several minutes while waiting. This was due to the individual seat work which generated insufficient time for teachers to answer all requests for help, wasted student time, high potential for misbehaviour due to idleness and perpetual dependency (Andrius 2012). To solve the four problems simultaneously, Jones proposed to reorganise classroom seating disposition such that students are in a concentric circle, to use graphic reminders which give clear examples and instructions, and learning to answer students' quests in the minimum time through the use of the first two tools mentionned

To check disruptive behaviour, Jones suggests to catch misbehaviour early and deal with it immediately, use body language instead of words (to show you mean business through your posture, eye contact, facial expression, and gestures), to use physical proximity in dealing with misbehaving or defiant students, to provide individual help efficiently; aiming for 10 second interactions and not to use threats; establish rules and attend to misbehaviour

Mixed-Ability students

In an article entitled: "Inclusion and Problem-Based Learning: Roles of Students in a Mixed-Ability Group" [17] , scholars Belland et al focus on the application of Problem-Based Learning in mixed-ability classes. They advocate the use of group work in implementing it. Their article demonstrates that each member of a mixed-ability classroom has a distinctive profile and a specific role to play in the learning process.

Investigate the nature of leadership strategies in school context

Leadership strategies

In "Leadership Strategies" [18] , scholar Larry Lashway defines a strategy as "a consciously chosen pattern of behaviour designed to gain the cooperation of followers in accomplishing organisational goals." [19] In this article, he argues that the leadership strategies used by the school principal will be determined by the nature of the power the latter chooses to exercise over his followers. In effect, according to Lashway, the principal can choose between coercive or moral power. This entails that he will either exercise his authority over his followers through his ability to punish or reward or by seeking to inspire respect. Depending on his positioning of himself on the power continuum, the principal will be led to implement three types of strategies: hierarchical, transformational or facilitative.

When implementing hierarchical strategies, the principal makes use of a top-down approach whereby he and his followers should stay in their respective locations in the power structure. He imposes his decisions on his followers and ensures that they are efficiently implemented. A principal who chooses to implement transformational strategies on the other hand, will try to inspire his followers by appealing to their beliefs, values and aspirations. This principal sees organisational culture as important because it promotes the development of a sense of belonging within the school community. He gives much importance to how he is perceived by others as he seeks to inspire their respect. The principal of a school can also choose to implement facilitative strategies. This entails that the principal chooses to empower other members of the school community, especially teachers. He actively encourages them to take part in the decision-making process and ensures that they feel they can communicate with him on an equal footing. He also makes sure that good decisions are taken.

After reviewing a sample of the most recent literature, Lashway advocates striking a balance between the three approaches. According to him, different situations call for different approaches or strategies. He argues principals should adapt to the given situation, select an appropriate strategy and implement it as effectively as possible.

Educational Leadership Culture and Diversity

In Educational Leadership Culture and Diversity, scholars Clive Dimmock and Allan Walker emphasise on the importance of culture and diversity in the educational leadership process. According to them, blindly applying educational leadership theories without taking into account that these theories originate mainly from the Anglo-American cultures can lead to inappropriate Educational Leadership strategies in schools. Dimmock and Walker come with the idea that with globalisation, the extent of the Anglo-American influence in Educational Leadership has increased through the use of technology and the fact that all major Educational theories originate mainly from Anglo-American influence. However, Educational leadership strategies need to be very specific, according to the interrelationships between the societal cultures in each particular school. These interrelationships refer to two major aspects: "the mix and juxtaposition of different societal cultures forming the school and its community" and "schooling and educational leadership." (Dimmock C., & Walker A. 2005). Dimmock and Walker investigate the link between leadership and societal cultures and secondly leadership of multi-ethnic schools by investigating:

How particular societal cultures influence schooling and school leadership in their indigenous settings

The effect of multi-ethnic communities on schools

The complexity and varied relationships of multi-ethnic school, depending on the composition of, and relative influence among, the different ethnic groups, between them and what is seen as the indigenous group.

Teacher Leadership: Ideology and Practice

In "Teacher Leadership: Ideology and Practice", scholars Lieberman, Saxl and Miles stress on the fact that Teacher-Leaders are required in our changing school setting and that teacher-leadership must be accompanied by a set of new skills and capabilities. They distinguish between skills that the teachers learn before coming to their profession and those acquired on the job. They argue that teachers-leaders are "master-teachers", with a "broad range of skills, abilities, and experience, which includes teaching children at several grades as well as adults" (Lieberman et al. 2007 p.403). However Lieberman et al. maintain that teacher-leaders also have continuously to go through on-the-job learning to acquire important skills to be able to provide new activities and environments conducive for communication, facilitation and individual learning and involvement. The biggest challenge to be dealt with by teacher-leaders is to bring fellow colleagues to work collectively to solve problems and bring improvement instead of struggling alone.

Teacher-leaders must also realise that they need to undergo self-learning, to know about their strengths and weaknesses to deal with the latter. Teacher-leaders often realise that to build colleagueship, they must overcome the barriers that are set by their own subjectivity. Therefore, a teacher-leader must be able to stretch his skills and capacities. Lieberman et al. mention six types of skills which are required by teacher leaders to improve collective working and colleagueship among teachers:

Building trust and rapport. This is considered by Lieberman and al. as being the most important element to build colleagueship and collective working amongst teachers. Teacher-leaders have to overcome suspicion and resistance from their fellow colleagues and from the administration. Scholars Lieberman and al. mention that there are various methods which vary form giving workshop to providing useful resources. However, a key element remains "engaging in open supportive communication" in building trust. This means that teacher-leaders must find ways of working with teachers by being open while not betraying trust and that they must find ways of helping in a non-evaluative way. This enables the formation of a support-group with shared influence and leadership, which will allow sharing of experiences and good practices to build a productive working relationship.

Organisational diagnosis. This set of skills imply the knowledge of the school culture and the ability to diagnose it, whether by intuitive awareness or by working out strategies to collect data to understand the formal and informal relationships in school and its social system. This allows the creation of a "conceptual scheme" to identify the potential and weaknesses of the school organisation in terms of human resources and interactions. Key people can be identified and the diagnosis can be shared and compared with the latter. This will help to develop a strategy.

Dealing with process. Managing the change process through the promotion of collaborative relationships, the use of conflict mediation and confrontation skills is essential to teacher-leaders, while dealing with the specific environmental conditions of the school and existing personal compatibilities and interests. Collaboration "must be taught, learned, nurtured and supported until it replaces working privately" (Lieberman et al. 2007 p.411).The process has to be seen at the school level, and the key skill is to determine "who will do what, how will we do it, when will we make it happen, and how will we come to agree?" (Lieberman et al. 2007 p.411). Dealing with process implies to be always alert to discontent, to practice and work on being open, to promote communication and to bring people to think of themselves as part of a group.

Using resources. The teacher leader must be able to find the proper equipments, intellectual resources and human resources and utilise them in a coherent way to pursue a collective goal. This implies building a resource network and developing linkages between members of the school community and its environment and "choosing the right person or the right thing at the right time" (Lieberman et al. 2007 p.412) both inside and outside the school.

Managing the work. Teacher-leaders have to maintain an equilibrium between getting people to work on collective problems and providing the content around which they work. This requires time management skills, setting priorities, delegating work and authority, taking initiative, monitoring progress and coordinating the various simultaneous processes in the school. In this setting time is a major constraint. Teacher-leaders often find that organisational skills required are far more complex in their roles and that the managing and controlling skills required them to be more focused on action.

Building skill and confidence in others. Lieberman et al. (2007 p.413) define this set of skills as the "continuous monitoring and individual diagnosis of teachers' communication needs and concerns, while attending to the general health of the school". Members of the school are made to see it as a necessity to have problem solving structures and legitimate to have technical assistance. Supportive structures are therefore seen as the norm, while improvement goals become institutionalised processes. The whole school community becomes therefore concerned, committed and involved. Constant vigilance is required, supportive networks are continuously built and improved, recognition and rewarding of individual effort for school improvement is maintained.

Investigate the effectiveness of leadership strategies used to improve class management

Effectiveness of leadership strategies

The importance of strengthening communal ties and teacher empowerment and training is also discussed in a research paper written by Harris and Chapman entitled: "Effective Leadership in Schools Facing Challenging Circumstances" [20] published by the National College for School Leadership (NCSL). The aim of this paper was to investigate leadership practices in schools in difficult contexts. The results of the research indicated that effective inspire respect. The nature of their power is moral rather than coercive in that they make the

welfare of their students and teachers their priority. In effect, they promote symbolic activities and convey their vision of the school to their followers. They also provide teachers with opportunities to improve their skills as well as developing new ones. Teachers are

encouraged to work in groups so as to come up with solutions to common problems. Effective leaders involve all stakeholders of the system in the decision making process but do not do away with their own responsibilities. Instead, they demonstrate what scholars Stoll and

Fink (1996) call "invitational leadership" [21] ; they delegate their power and encourage the creation of teams whose aims are to evaluate current practices and come up with innovative solutions to problems identified. This establishes a relationship of trust between all

parties concerned and provides them with a sense of belonging to the school community.

Possible Strategies/Solutions

In an article entitled: "School Leadership and the Bottom Line in Chicago" [22] , scholars Bender Sebring and Bryk examine the leadership strategies that have brought about an improvement in the quality of education provided by schools in Chicago. These strategies include an inclusive and facilitative approach to leadership whereby teachers and parents are encouraged to participate in decision making, setting high standards for students, encouraging innovation, efficient management and provision of school resources. In effect, Bender Sebring and Bryk underline that an effective leader should strike a balance between pressuring and supporting his followers. This entails that he should provide them with opportunities for dialogue, pressure them into giving the best of themselves by making regular visits to classrooms, for example. He should also identify and solve the most visible problems and be careful to take appropriate decisions concerning all day to day issues. He should also set up a strategic action plan meant to channel the efforts of the school community towards the attainment of specific goals. To achieve this, the principal should do everything in his power to strengthen the ties between the community and the school. He should also ensure that teachers are given the opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills.


Methodology in research refers to a systematic way of gathering data from a given population so as to understand a phenomenon and to generalise facts from a larger population (Cohen, Manion and Morrison 2000)

Data from the selected school is to be collected to get reported cases of indiscipline and classroom management problems during the last five years. This will help the researcher to identify the patterns of age where disruptive behaviour and indiscipline are more common in the given setting. At the same time, records of disciplinary problems and cla