Elementary teachers' priorities in relation to disciplinary practices, teaching practices, and beliefs about children on the South Texas border
Myers, Linda Diane
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The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers' priorities in relation to their discipline practices, beliefs about children and classroom management practices. A secondary purpose was to explore family backgrounds and disciplinary practices in teachers' families of origin. A descriptive study was conducted with a volunteer sample of preschool through fifth grade teachers employed in elementary classrooms from four South Texas counties. The study was conducted using a researcher-designed demographic survey and the Teacher Belief Q-Sort (Rimm-Kaufmann, Storm, Sawyer, Pianta, & LaParo, 2006). Survey results from Elementary Teachers in South Texas: Part I and the Teacher Belief Q-Sort informed the study. Teachers reported home environments that were Fair(78%), Kind(67%), and Consistent(85%). Two teachers revealed that their families of origin were "Never Fair", "Never Kind", and "Never Consistent". Teachers priorities included: treating students with respect, kindness, and concern. Other priorities related to classroom discipline, behavior management, teaching practices, and beliefs about children. Implications from this study can be applied to classroom practices, professional development and teacher preparation programs. An important recommendation for future research is to consider teachers' perspectives based on their culture and family of origin when designing teacher preparation and professional education curriculum. The State Board for Teacher Certification may also write new requirements that develop classroom management and behavioral practices as a best practices specialization in teacher training.