Exploring a teacher's ways of dealing with children with disruptive behavior in a primary school

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


One of the major issues of concerns to both schools and teachers is behavioral problems in the class. Among all the behavioral problems that the teachers and the schools face, the most common is children's disruptive behavior. However, in Pakistan, this issue appears to be merged with classroom discipline. Teachers tend to control children's behavior rather than finding causes of inappropriate behavior and helping them to behave appropriately. Teachers appreciate those children who behave well and disregard those who do not. Thus, children's disruptive behavior persistently acts as a hindrance during the process of teaching and learning. Therefore, it is very important to explore this issue more deeply in order to understand the nature of the problem by examining its causes, effects, and finding possible remedies for this problem. In view of the above, an exploratory qualitative study was conducted to examine how a teacher deals with the disruptive behavior of children in a primary classroom. In order to collect data, different methods such as interviews and classroom observations, and tools such as research journal and reflective journals were used. The findings of the study reveal that the teacher had some negative impressions about children with disruptive behavior. She described them as problematic, troublesome and difficult to handle. In the teacher's opinion these children do not change their behavior, and if they do, then the change is for only a short period. The findings further highlight that most of the time the children with disruptive behavior are unwanted and unacceptable for the teacher. An attempt was also made to articulate some of the strategies that the teacher uses to deal with such children. The study's findings showed that the teacher uses positive as well as negative reinforcement while dealing with children with disruptive behavior. However, the teacher faces some challenges, which affect her enthusiasm to deal with children's disruptive behavior. The findings further indicated that the teacher has a limited understanding of children's disruptive behavior. This is probably responsible for her unawareness of proper strategies to deal with them. The study also indicated the factors, which influence children's disruptive behavior. These are family background and upbringing of the child, teachers and their practices, the school and the class fellows attitudes towards children with disruptive behavior. The study concludes that in order to handle children with disruptive behavior effectively, the teacher needs to further expand her knowledge and understanding of them. In order to make the teachers' and the school's efforts in curbing disruptive behavior effective, collaboration among the stakeholders is extremely necessary. This can probably eliminate the practice whereby teachers having children with disruptive behavior are supposed to deal with such children themselves. The problem must be tackled at the levels of the schools, the classrooms, and the home.

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