Psychology and Classroom Management

Rochel Jack

There are several fields of psychology each assuming a survey of different aspect of human behaviour since it relates to social, mental, emotional and developmental issues. Whilst clinical psychology talks about diagnosing and treating disorders in the brain, emotional disturbances and behavior problems, child psychology looks at the mental and emotional development of the child and is also a part of developmental psychology that can into consideration the study of alteration of behaviour that occurs throughout the lifespan of the child.

Cognitive psychology talks about how the human mind receives and interprets impressions and concepts while social psychology examines how a actions of others influences the behaviour associated with an individual (Webster’s New World Medical Dictionary).

Consequently there are lots of schools of thought on the subject and countless tests, assessments and research are already carried out in these different branches of psychology, each addressing issues to cause as they relate to human behaviour. The branch of psychology relating to the child however has seen a great deal of interest in the past. Understanding the mystery which is the child has been the main topics endless studies and debate. Using this has emerged a great spotlight on the family hence greater recognition is put on the impact of assorted family related factors about the overall development and social interaction with the child. Some of these factors are the roles of parents or guardians, spousal separation. Children are seen as vulnerable beings who are therefore easily afflicted with changes to their ‘familiar’. As these impacts so greatly for the child, quite a lot of children go into the school system each year plagued with varying behavioural issues. These issues as we will come to find out later on can have dire consequences for your child as well as those having responsibility for that child.

Jack Rochel

The idea that youngsters are extremely complex individuals is got out in the emphasis that psychologists position on childhood studies.On the one hand are those children who will be anxious and afraid while on the other are the ones with aggression and deceit. However additionally, there are those who do not fall under either of these groupings. From a few of the highlighted studies completed in different parts of Britain, it had been found that the percentages of school age children that are considered as having behaviour problems is very high with some studies showing all the way to 33% in combined levels of behaviour difficulties. These problems are as varying in types and levels since they are in root causes among that are gender and class. Many of these problems are seen from quite an earlier age and while some children will outgrow it others will continue to display difficult traits for a long time. This may to a great extent depend on the cause of the challenge. It becomes obvious the role of the teacher will offer a situation that alone can be quite a complex and daunting task particularly for an individual who has no idea of psychology as it relates to the child.

Having the understanding of how and why children react where did they do to certain situations,and finding out how and why they are influenced by the people and situation manufactured by their environment, will undoubtedly assist the classroom practitioner in assessment of and planning to meet the needs of these children. A knowledge of how the classroom situation may offer challenges particularly to younger children is crucial to helping children adapt to and consequently enjoy their school life.

It is however in understanding the behaviour and above all the root cause of it that anybody can begin to address it within the appropriate context. Barnes proposes two contrasting perspective on behaviour as it relates to children with difficulty.The first from a medical point of view where the child’s behavior is inherent throughout the other hand the issues are borne out of the social situation ones the child is a part. Whether or not either of these models is certainly correct is not very relevant but is the idea that difficulty in youngsters can be borne out of various contributing factors. Also, he highlights the idea that a “difficult” child is something of a perception on the difficulty is. For starters individual a child could be problematic while for the next who is able to identify certain traits and characteristics, the child is perfectly normal and manageable.

The phrase difficult is quite relative. Difficulty in kids will therefore manifest itself in another way /forms and to different individuals. This is because one might question whether this is indeed a difficult child or is it rather how the child is in relation to different situations and people in a different way, testing the boundaries perhaps? An individual who is firm and hang certain boundaries for the child may find it in an easier way to deal with that child than one who is more relaxed and will not set clear boundaries. On the other hand there are those children who as a result of some of the factors discussed earlier, will display difficult behaviour.This behaviour will manifest itself differently. While some troubled kids are withdrawn and shy others will act on their insecurities in the totally different way often being boisterous and angry, refusing to evolve to requirements. Some of the common factors that usually manifest itself in college age children are tantrums, withdrawal, and refusal to evolve among others.

It is in understanding the groupings children’s behavior is mostly classified into how the teacher will be able to cope from the classroom.

One of the key roles with the teacher apart from the capability to teach is the capability to maintain class control that involves managing behaviour inside the classroom. As mentioned before, classroom behaviour will manifest itself diversely. This involves children who won’t do as asked, including completing tasks, children who are constantly out of their seats disturbing others, consistent talking and in many cases bullying. Ultimately the teacher should be able to deal with and understand difficult children. This can prove quite challenging. Pupils arrive at school from all varieties of backgrounds and situations and therefore with all types of issues.

Together with the focus of the Education system today so result driven, teachers they fit under extreme pressure to ensure that students achieve often unrealistic targets. Schools in many cases are also guilty of placing expectations on pupils based on school type, region and age instead of focus on the individual child and his/her circumstances. Therefore they are seen as problematic when their behaviour falls beyond your acceptable range of tolerance and age appropriateness.

In order for all students to achieve their maximum potential the classroom atmosphere has to be free of any and all situations which may be stressful to the two pupils and the teacher, in order for there to be a consistent method of learning and teaching inside the classroom it is important that the teacher be armed with a lot more than an excellently drafted lesson plan. This awareness starts with the process of the entire school understanding key issues in child development and child psychology. Many schools today have a very behaviour policy and usually they do try to enforce this, it really is more important for schools to concentrate on child development issues to be able to understand and deal effectively with behavior in kids. What teachers need most therefore are certainly not so much insets on enforcing the behaviour policy but looking more closely at learning the causes of the behaviour.

Some schools of thought believe that schools should create a ‘consistent’ Behaviour Management Plan that comes with different techniques. These methods together should encourage the schools to deal with the most popular classroom behaviours. This implies the teacher’s power to develop and apply different strategies that may address behaviour from the classroom. This encourages conditions fixed set of rules.The situation with this however is as we have discussed earlier no two kids are alike and similarly no child’s issues are the same. Assuming however the teacher has got grounding in psychology mainly because it relates to children, this model can in effect be quite instrumental and efficient. It is however crucial that key issues are addressed. Some of these will include consideration provided to the stage and continuing development of the children in question, making certain the child is given respect and fairness, considering whether or not it will enable the child to fulfill targets and achieve goals and whether or not it allow for continuity outside of the classroom. However to conform to this school of thought without taking into consideration the above issues connected with that child could possibly lead to further problems for the teacher and ultimately the child.

A teacher that is armed with the psychological facts is certainly in a good position to be able to understand and therefore cope effectively with children displaying difficult behaviour. Learning the fact that a child with temper tantrums may only be craving attention, other children behaving out of sort or causing problems in class may simply be rebelling contrary to the inability to express themselves in the home. Expressions of fears and mistrust in others may stem from deeper more disturbing causes either imminent or suffered with an earlier stage in their development. Problems in your own home, in their society, of their peer groups, childhood development and socialization, parental bonding or not enough it, sibling rivalry, peer pressure, molestation are only a few of the conditions that children come to school with. The teacher is not only a facilitator but a confidant and often has to deal with issues that students will speak in confidence to them. It is also important therefore that this teacher be aware of certain protocols governing student’s confidentiality issues and how to proceed in identifying the best channel through which to direct the child. Since the child spends a much greater part of the day in the care of the teacher, the teacher is a good position to identify inconsistencies and modifications in a child’s behaviour patterns. This is how being able to identify and put a name to symptoms might prove imperative to helping a child going through a difficult situation.

To be able to differentiate between behaviour that is relevant to a child’s developmental stage as against behaviour that is distinctly a result of psychological disturbance, will likely be crucial to the early years teacher. But a knowledge of when this behaviour is often a normal attribute for a child of that age then when it is not, is key to pinpointing the emergence of your problem. Clinginess, bed wetting and tantrums are named as key traits of these young children. While these is going to be acceptable in babies and toddlers it becomes a concern if these traits continue into later stages of development. Certainly, a comprehending of how children relate to environmental changes and routines will sometimes impact negatively on their behaviour.Some children may display different patterns of behaviour in your house than at school. On the other hand acceptable behaviour is going to be relative to the expectations of people making the judgment and also to each individual child.