The Factors That Contribute To Effective BehaviourManagementIn many studies one’s motivation in learning science has been noted as s keyimpediment in efficiently managing student behaviourin secondary school. Lack of motivationof students results in a failingto succeed academically, primarily in two important ways. Firstly, a student can be disengaged from the outsetbecause they fail to see the importance of the subject matter; where students might be motivated atfirst they can become demotivated in course due to disinterest. This demotivation thereafter resultsin absenteeism; a lack of cognitivefocus in class; unconstructiveattitude to learning and a lackof student engagement (Hampden-Thompson & Bennett 2013). Consequently, to betterunderstand the factors which contribute to reductions of motivation forlearning science in Secondary schools need to be better considered so thateffective interventions and changes in instructional practices can be put inplace to shift the attitudes and beliefs of students towards more positive learningattitudes. Behaviourists define motivationas a set of biological and psychological processes that facilitate thetriggering of action in its orientation, intensity and persistence. One’s own perception of one’s self and hisenvironment is intrinsically tied into the construal of motivation.
It is thiswhich presses on him achoice of activity, to engage in and persevere in accomplishing a task and thusarrive at intended goals (Brophy, 2013). Unfortunately,this aspect of motivation as per behavioural management is oftentimesoverlooked. As a trainee teacher, the factor I amchallenged to consider is whether motivated teaching in science improves student’s behaviour and thus lead toa more enhanced understanding of learning,and whether it increases the desire to learn.At the core of this study is the examination of factors which might play animportant role in effective behaviourmanagement in science classroom. In light of this,observations were made about learning how authoritative literature onmotivation in secondary science education ties in with the actualclassroom practices. These observations were essential to deliberating on howmotivational practices and academia overlap. MotivationalOrientation Framework for Science StudentsMany scholars such as Niemi etal (2014) and Reeve (2004) havediscussed the dynamic of student motivation and its connection to interest inscience. An obvious impediment to disinterest is that while students do find science-related issuesimportant in general, many do not have a liking for science courses at secondary school and do not envisionfor themselves a science-based career in their future (Hampden-Thompson & Bennett, 2013; Long etal, 2010; Gravey, 2014; Han et al, 2015).
Students can also hold to negativestereotypical ideas about science-based occupations or do not associate thestudy and profession with any appealing role models (Mujtaba and Reiss, 2014; Potvin & Hasni, 2014). Perhaps the five mostwell-known principles of student motivation are those espoused by Seifert (2004): • Higher levels of achievement values• Higher levelsof interest and intrinsic motivation• Adaptive attributions and control beliefs• Achievement goals which seek to motivate and direct• Adaptive self-efficacy and competence beliefsThere is some overlapping between Seifert’sprinciples and some discussion of the motivational framework which some researchers havedeveloped. This is quite expectedbecause Seifert’s work is based on the InformationProcessing School in which a top-down modelstructure of psychological constructs in cognitive and educationalpsychology theories is drawn upon. Another approach,adopted by other researchers, considers the Student Approaches Learning (SAL) tradition which is conversely based on a bottom-up approach, stemming from interviews with students forexample, about their personal motivations and other learning processes.
Nowadays there is a growing idea and belief that if teachingis done on the premise that students can be high achievers both academically andsocially, this sense of student empowerment will result in better behaviour andperformance in school. Thisapproach, however, based on teacher expectation of students, might be read asan oversimplification of a more complex process.It also, conversely, states what is otherwise an obvious teacher-studentconsideration – that teachers will quite naturally expect good standards fromstudents. The Factors That Contribute ToEffective Behaviour Management Thekey factors that have been identified as having a considerable bearing on effectivebehaviour management involve the provision of incentives – rewards, extrinsicrewards, autonomy support and enhancing engagement. These determinants offsetthe kinds of challenges that demotivate students and consequently result innegative behaviours in science classrooms at KS3 and KS4 levels. Rewards and Sanctions:In light of the aforementioned incentive building methods,it has been evidenced (Maguire, Braun & Ball, 2015) that the use of areward-based system does have a positive effect on student behavior whilstpunishments were shown to be far less affective. The pupils assessed in one study (Payne,2015) however revealed cases of three times as many occasions of meting out ofpunishments as opposed to rewards.
A similar trend was reflected in the casesof verbal disapproval as opposed to verbal approvals. Maguire, Braun & Ball (2015) draw on the rewarding of behaviorswhich have a direct relationship on their environment. In a school settingthese include four categories which Payne (2015) identifies:1. Material rewards (e.g., prizes, trophies, badges).2.
Symbolic rewards (e.g., title, status, houseplants).3. ‘Assessment’ (e.g.
, marks, grades, stars).4. Teacher reactions (e.g.
, praise encouragement, approval and recognition).The intrinsic value of a reward based system is that italso allows a coalescing of the aims of a teacher and the expected targetsetting of a student. Students not only draw on the incentive of rewards butalso feel challenged to compete with others who become recipients of rewards.The studies of Maguire, Braun & Ball (2015) reveala consistent appreciation among second day school students of the effectivenature of rewards instead of punishments. This is shown to often stand incontrast with the perceptions of teachers. Extrinsic reward: There are a host of motivational factors that willhave a bearing on a student’s attitude and performance.
Some of these areexternal pressures and they vary depending on their short-term or long-termfunctions. A student will be driven to do well academically as a short termgoal and some will consider more lasting aspirations such as contributing to abody of science-based academic literature. As Potvin and Hasni (2004) revealtherefore, student progress outcomes stem from extrinsic incentives which are essentialin that a high performing student will be more likely to be accepted forfurther studies in a graduate school or similar. These outcomes result fromextrinsic reward since it of course follows that such academic performancebecomes a necessary stage of progress into more grounded academic research. What lies at the core of extrinsic rewards is the need forapproval, the fulfilment of introjected needs. It is quite common that studentswill aim to achieve high to please their parents or guardians, an introjectedneed for approval. This could culminate in the seeking to achieve high gradesin secondary school (Niemi et al.
, 2014) and the specifics of grades might begeneralised later in their careers to impress work colleagues. This positiveincentive can exist together with avoidance-based fears of rejection if theydid not acquire the approval of others (Niemi et al., 2014). An example of a conceptualisation which seeks to reveal thecollective influence of self-determination categories (SDT) is that ofextrinsic reward proposed by Han et al. (2015). Though substantial researchsupports the aforementioned intrinsic motivation model (Hampden-Thompson & Bennett 2013), there aredeficiencies in empirical evidence concerning moderately controlled formsconceived by self-determination theories. These for example concernidentification and interrogation models (Long et al.
2010; Mujtaba , 2014).In the study of Han et al. 2015 of a group of secondary students it wasdiscovered that an identified control produced a more suggestive negativeconnection with motivation than a fundamental and intrinsic motivation. Autonomy Support and EnhancingEngagement What is quite foremost in supporting and enhancing students’ engagementin class is the provision of an instructional environment which seeks toinculcate a sense of care from teachers and peers (Han et al. 2015). Theenvironment would be required to incorporate practices such as both group learningand independent reasoning (Hampden-Thompson & Bennett 2013). These practices, with instructional support,can be instrumental in facilitating students’ thinking though their work (Hanet al.
2015) and this in turn canaid in bettering student outlook towards their science education andconsequently behaviours can improve. With the rise of computer technology inthe last decades, the place of science education in the frame of computertechnology has provided students with a range of new learning opportunities (Brophy 2013).Computers have now become an integral and essential part of learning and thisextends too to science education. The new spheres of teacher-student engagementin computer technology and the new opportunities for student curiosity haveserved to reinforce correct and approvable behaviours. Such curiosity andaugmented interest in science education stems from the opportunities providedto deal with what may be deemed more realistic science approaches such as indata collection and simulations (Han et al. 2015). ConclusionTeachers recognize that motivation is essential forlearning and therefore want to have motivated students while managing behavior. Over the years, science educators have used a variety of approaches to encourage students with problems similar to a range of students learning science.
Factors such as rewards and sanctions; autonomy support and enhancingengagement as well as extrinsic rewards aid teachers in behavior managementthrough motivation. Teachersshould indeed use such approaches regarding regularscience classroom settings. Althoughbehaviorism by no means provides a complete framework for motivation, its management through motivation is useful in promoting sciencestudies. Critical Reflection:Rewards and Sanctions: The laboratory section of the student experience on the date of the observationwas met with less resistance by students. When prompted to move to their labtables and work in their lab groups, the students were slow to comply,requiring a significant amount of verbal prompt from the teacher (Appendix A). These prompts were delivered in asupportive fashion using positive language, even when it was clear that theteacher was becoming impatient with student progress.
This positivity is in direct conflictwith Payne’s (2015) findings that students encounter threetimes as many instances of punishment in the classroom than rewards. Indeed, during the observation,punitive measures were never undertaken by the instructor. Instead, she spoke to students with agreat deal of support and enthusiasm, garnering their compliance throughtreating them with respect and understanding.
Thiswas clear even when students engaged in banter with the teacher; respect was always shown and eventhough the students clearly had lowmotivation to comply, they did so without threat of punishment. This positive framing of requestsseemed to be familiar with the students and the teacher, suggesting it wasregular practice and not simply something she engaged in for the benefit of myobservation. While my findingsconflicted with Payne’s, the results may have been different if I had observed a multitude of teachers across the spectrum of secondaryschool classrooms. Differentteachers are apt to demonstrate significantly different teaching styles, and itmay be that Payne’s work, conducted with a larger population than my own,produced the statistics on negative interactions because he had more teachersto observe, more instructional minutes for the conduct of his researcher, and awider demographic included in his population.The reward system in the classroom did, however,support research showing that students will increase compliance andmotivation levels when clear rewards are available (Maguire, Braun & Ball, 2015). As the teacher moved students into thelab portion of the class period, she rewarded those who complied and engagedwith more interesting samples (slides) to examine under their microscopes. Some of these were fun in nature,containing microscopic messages to students that could only be viewed whenplaced under the magnifying lens (Appendix A). This surprise engaged students andmotivated them to move through the actual portionsof the lab to complete the necessary work and engage in more interesting andfun experiments.
While this wasno material reward for students, it seemed to motivate them as a means ofmaking science fun and engaging.Extrinsic reward: Students were grouped in quartets at lab tablesfor a second observation of work done on cell structure using models. In this observation, students were given pictures and models of plant and animal cells to work with (Appendix B) .
They were to then draw pictures ofeach type of cell in their lab manuals, labeling the individual parts of thecells. The teacher also provideda microscope for students to look at cell structures to compare the actualstructures with pictures and models, and students were to discuss what theysaw. This group discussion often veered off-topic, and a great deal of socialbanter was seen. It appeared,however, that in every quartet there was at least one student who was heavilyengaged in the process and attempting to arrive at the correct answers for eachof the cell structures. Thesestudents sometimes worked independently with their peers and were frequentlyused to provide answers to their lesser engaged classmates.
Comments were made by some of thesestudents about the importance of “getting a good mark”, indicating that theywere extrinsically motivated to achieve high marks for purposes beyond theclassroom such as admission to college. This supports Potvin and Hasni (2014), who found that secondary school students were often extrinsically motivated toengage in their work. Many of the students who appeared to be engaged in their work were malesof specific ethnic groups (predominantly Asian) who appeared to be concerned with thesustainability of their marks and successes in school. This observation is made because it appears to be in line with Niemi et al. (2014), who foundthat external motivation to please parents and others outside of the school community was often a significantmotivator for students from specific groups. However, the observations could beconsistent due to the age groups of the populations studied, and results mayhave been different if the work had been done with students slightly older thanthe population observed.Despite the observation being in support of literature, thecorrelation does not mean causation.
It is worth noting that the pupils had been taught bythree different supply teachers last year. This has lead to thegap in knowledge and understanding of the topic which has prompted them intodiscussion with the other pupils. Thisprompted a minimum level of disturbance which was ignored by the teacher. Overall, the behaviour was managedeffectively by keeping them engaged within the lesson. It is hard toargue that most of the pupils were not extrinsically motivated based on one lesson observation. Some pupils may not enjoy biology but may be extrinsically motivated to excel in chemistry or physics.
It could also be argued that pupils were not extrinsically motivated but due to exciting or distractioncaused by snow. Potvin and Hasni (2014) research paper is based on meta-analysis of 228 research articles and the review paper conclusion is based on more than 100 observations and wide ranges of data. In contrast, I have concluded based onone lesson observation at one school. Itis paramount to conduct an extensive research and observe several lessons atdifferent school to understand the correlation between extrinsic motivation andhow it can help manage behaviour effectively.Autonomy Support and Enhancing Engagement In the third observationof a workbook session, the teacher was continually circulating the room,providing support for students and asking guiding questions thatallowed them to overcome learning obstacles and lack of engagement, redirectingthem to the pictures they had drawn in their manuals andexperiences they recounted from experiments (Appendix C). Shewas always kind and seemed to express a genuinecare for the students and their ability to succeed inscience education. The students responded positively to such interactions and often showed an increased level of engagement forat least three to five minutes after a direct interaction with the teacher (Appendix C).
This supportiveenvironment garnered a significantly higher number of minutes of instruction inwhich students were engaged than would be observed ina classroom where a teacher was less warm and engaging with her students. This portion of the observation directly supports Han et al. (2015) who found that supportive and engaginginstruction made significant differences for students across subject matter areas and in alllevels of schooling. These students appeared to benefit significantly froma teacher who understood her role as mentor, supporter, and leader in theclassroom where students were likely to struggle. Again, when comparing my findings with that of the researchers, it is possible that our findings are consistent because they relate tothe same age group of students.
Results would differ if a differentage of students was observed. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that Han et al. (2015) research showed low ability student showed significantly higher improvement inmaths with supportive and engaging instructions. There is need of a detailedinvestigation in only science subject to support the claim made by Han and hisassociates (2015). I would like to have myobservation compared to a lesson where there is less support for pupils and fewerstrategies used to keep the pupils engaged in a lesson. Finally, my finding is based on one lesson observation at one school whereas Han et al.
(2015) carried out an investigation at threedifferent schools. Han and his associates have datafrom three different schools enhancing the reliability and accuracyof their claim. PointsForward The work done in observing this class and incomparing what I saw to theories and research affected my understanding greatly.Observations solidified my understandingof the points made by the theorists and how those points may have informed research done to date.
While my observationsprovided a window into this work,I believe there is still more work to do to collect sufficient data on which to buildconclusions. Furtherinvestigation would show me whether or not these actions are true in classroomsof other teachers and demographics, particularly if the makeup of the studentpopulation differed significantly from that observed in this classroom. In addition, my conclusionswere based on only one observation in Cox Green School which is aco-educational comprehensive school. After reflecting on the theory practice, I broaden my understanding of the dynamics that increase studentmotivation with behavior management and focus their attention to understanding science lessons and gain theirimplication in the proceedings of the sitting.
I intend to consider the factors discussed in this paperwhen devising my lesson plan. I intend to make students aware of the importance ofworking independently and guide them to discover the implicit rule which increases theirchance of success. They must bekept motivated and have a real interest in their studies; their skills acquired posteriorly must be adapted to theirchoice. Hence, devising andimplementing new strategies that minimize the behaviour, enhance the motivationand keeping the pupils engaged will be a paramount of myteaching science lessons. If the pupils are kept engaged and motivated, thenthe behaviour management issues will directly be reduced.
Therefore, it is essential to keeppupils motivated throughout the lesson and create a positive environment wherethe pupils can seek guidance and support whenever there is a dip in motivation. The observation of one classroom, even on multiple occasions,does present a limitation to the study and the usefulness of the data. While this will change my practice, itwould be of greater interest to the educational community to widen the studyand observe in more classrooms so as to round the data with differentpopulations brining a varied amount of life experiences into the classroom.ConclusionAs a result of this assignment, I am now more aware of how support, positivity, and a rewardingenvironment can make a significant difference between students who areengaged in learning science at the secondary level and those who viewthe course work as a simple necessity to support graduation. When reading the literature onmotivation and engagement, it seemed apparent to me that instructors wouldnecessarily understand the need to be positive and reward students for behaviorthat supported the educational environment. Iknew, however, that many instructors still practiced from a deficit mindset; that is, they viewedpunishment as the only motivator when students were not acting as they wished.Through seeing a teacher who used her authorityin a positive and supportive manner, I understand how I too can employ such practices in aclassroom setting where students may struggle with understanding the importance of the subject matter. I have now seen that, no matter how difficultthe material may be, students will engage and persevere if they have a teacherwho is willing to allow them to make mistakes and work at their own speeds tocome to a position of learning and synthesis of new knowledge as part of agroup learning and growing together toward a common goal.