Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
In a midwest, rural, and high-poverty elementary school, teachers expressed concerns about difficult student behaviors in their classrooms. It was important to address the problem because student misbehavior disrupts the learning of all students in the classroom. To provide information to the school that could inform possible interventions, a survey was conducted that measured the perceptions of 24 classroom teachers about concerning student behaviors, their methods of dealing with such behaviors, their needs for further support, and their confidence in dealing with difficult student behaviors. The conceptual frameworks that guided this study were the behaviorist theories of Watson and Skinner. The survey responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics. A Mann-Whitney U test was conducted for each of the survey questions to determine whether any statistically significant differences between the survey responses of independent variable groups of grade level (Kindergarten-3 and 4-6) and teacher experience (novice and veteran teachers). Findings showed only 1 statistically significant difference between the Grades K-3 and 4-6 teachers' use of books and published materials to deal with concerning student behavior. A professional development initiative was created that will use professional learning community groupings already present in the school for teachers to research and implement changes to their professional practices in dealing with concerning student behaviors. This study may lead to an improved learning environment for teachers and students, an enhanced school reputation, and further parental and community support.