Psychology and Classroom Management

Jack Rochel Teacher

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

Cognitive psychology looks at how the human mind receives and interprets impressions and concepts while social psychology examines how a actions of others influences the behaviour of the individual (Webster's New World Medical Dictionary).

Consequently there are numerous schools of thought on the subject and countless tests, assessments and research happen to be carried out in these different branches of psychology, each addressing issues to result in as they relate to human behaviour. The branch of psychology relating to the child however has witnessed a great deal of interest through the years. Understanding the mystery this is the child has been the main topics endless studies and debate. Out of this has emerged an excellent 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 add the roles of parents or guardians, spousal separation. Students are seen as vulnerable beings that are therefore easily suffering from changes to their 'familiar'. Because these impacts so greatly about the child, quite a lot of children type in the school system every year plagued with varying behavioural issues. These complaints as we will come to find out later on can have dire consequences for the child as well as those having responsibility to the child.

Jack Rochel Teacher

The idea that kids are extremely complex individuals is introduced in the emphasis that psychologists put on childhood studies.On the one hand are those children who will be anxious and afraid while you're on the other are the ones with aggression and deceit. However additionally, there are those who do not fall into either of these groupings. From a few of the highlighted studies completed in different parts of Britain, it turned out found that the percentages of college age children that are considered as having behaviour problems is quite high with some studies showing of up to 33% in combined amounts of behaviour difficulties. These complaints are as varying in types and levels as is also in root causes among which can be gender and class. Many of these problems are seen from quite a young age and while some children will grow out of it others continually display difficult traits for many years. This may to a degree depend on the cause of the issue. It becomes obvious the role of the teacher may offer a situation that alone can be quite a complex and daunting task specifically for an individual who has no knowledge of psychology as it pertains to the child.

Having the knowledge of how and why children react the way they do to certain situations,and discovering how and why they are influenced by the people and situation created by their environment, will undoubtedly assist the classroom practitioner in assessment of and likely to meet the needs of these children. An understanding of how the classroom situation may offer challenges particularly to younger kids is crucial to helping children adjust to and consequently enjoy their school life.

It is however in understanding the behaviour and more importantly the root cause of it that any person can begin to address it in the appropriate context. Barnes proposes two contrasting perspective on behaviour since it relates to children with difficulty.The 1st from a medical perspective where the child's behavior is inherent while on the other hand the problems are borne out of your social situation which the child is a part. Whether or not either of these models is actually correct is not very relevant but is definitely the idea that difficulty in kids can be borne from various contributing factors. Also, he highlights the concept that a "difficult" child can be something of a perception about what difficulty is. For just one individual a child may be problematic while for another who is able to identify certain characteristics and traits, the child is perfectly normal and manageable.

The definition of difficult is quite relative. Difficulty in youngsters will therefore manifest itself in different ways /forms and to different individuals. This is because one might question whether this is indeed a difficult child or is it rather the child is concerning different situations and people in a different way, testing the boundaries perhaps? An individual who is firm and set certain boundaries for your child may find it easier to deal with that child than a who is more relaxed and doesn't set clear boundaries. Nonetheless there are those children who as a consequence of some of the factors discussed earlier, will display difficult behaviour.This behaviour will manifest itself in different ways. While some troubled youngsters are withdrawn and shy others will act up their insecurities within a totally different way often being boisterous and angry, refusing to evolve to requirements. A number of the common factors that usually manifest itself in class 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 in the classroom.

One of the key roles of the teacher apart from the ability to teach is the capability to maintain class control , involving 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 even bullying. Ultimately the teacher should be able to deal with and understand difficult children. This can prove quite challenging. Pupils visit school from all types of backgrounds and situations and consequently with all types of issues.

Together with the focus of the Education system today so result driven, teachers are positioned under extreme pressure to make sure that students achieve often unrealistic targets. Schools are often also guilty of placing expectations on pupils depending on school type, region and age as an alternative to focus on the individual child and his/her circumstances. Therefore they are seen as problematic when their behaviour falls outside the acceptable range of tolerance and age appropriateness.

To ensure all students to achieve their maximum potential the classroom atmosphere must be free of any and all situations which may be stressful to the pupils and the teacher, because there to be a consistent approach to learning and teaching from the classroom it is important that the teacher be equipped with a lot more than an excellently drafted lesson plan. This awareness begins with the process of the entire school understanding key issues in child development and child psychology. While many schools today have a very behaviour policy and often they do try to enforce this, it is more important for schools to concentrate on child development issues to be able to understand and deal effectively with behavior in children. What teachers need most therefore usually are not so much insets on enforcing the behaviour policy but looking more closely at comprehending the causes of the behaviour.

Some ways of thinking believe that schools should develop a 'consistent' Behaviour Management Plan that incorporates different techniques. They together should enable the schools to deal with the most popular classroom behaviours. This calls for the teacher's capability to develop and apply different strategies that may address behaviour inside the classroom. This encourages using a fixed set of rules.The problem with this however is the fact that as we have mentioned earlier on no two children are alike and similarly no child's problems are the same. Assuming however the teacher has got grounding in psychology because it relates to children, this model can in place be quite instrumental and effective. It is however critical that key issues are addressed. Some of these will include consideration provided to the stage and progression of the children in question, making sure the child is addressed with respect and fairness, considering whether it will enable the child to satisfy targets and achieve goals and whether it allow for continuity outside the classroom. However to adapt to this school of thought if you don't take into consideration the above issues related to that child could possibly lead to further problems for the teacher and ultimately the child.

A teacher that's 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 beyond sort or acting up in class may simply be rebelling up against the inability to express themselves at home. Expressions of fears and mistrust in others may stem from deeper more disturbing causes either imminent or suffered at an earlier stage within their development. Problems in your house, in their society, in their peer groups, childhood development and socialization, parental bonding or lack of it, sibling rivalry, peer pressure, molestation are only a few of the conditions children come to school with. The teacher is not just a facilitator however a confidant and often has got to deal with issues that students will open up to them. It is also important therefore that this teacher be aware of certain protocols governing student's confidentiality issues and ways to proceed in identifying the correct channel through which to direct the little one. Since the child spends an extremely greater part of the day within the care of the teacher, the teacher is within a good position to spot inconsistencies and changes in a child's behaviour patterns. This is where being able to identify and place a name to symptoms might prove crucial to helping a child experiencing a difficult situation.

The ability to differentiate between behaviour that is relevant to a child's developmental stage as against behaviour that is distinctly due to psychological disturbance, will probably be crucial to the early years teacher. But an understanding of when this behaviour is a normal attribute for a child of that age and when it is not, is key to pinpointing the emergence of the problem. Clinginess, bed wetting and tantrums are named as key traits of these young children. While these will be acceptable in very young children it becomes a concern if these traits continue into later stages of development. Certainly, a knowledge of how children relate to environmental changes and routines will sometimes impact negatively on his or her behaviour.Some children may display different patterns of behaviour in your own home than at school. Then again acceptable behaviour will likely be relative to the expectations of these making the judgment and to each individual child.