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16566066 Joshua Alvarado PPLE

Section One : Literature synthesis which is succinct, relevant, and contemporary.

Student misbehaviour can be defined as any distractibility, lack of engagement or disobedience,

which can in multiple ways affect teaching and learning (Pasch, K. 2010).

The following articles believe student misbehaviour can be attributed to three overarching

themes, including teacher responsibility, parent responsibility, and student’s personal issues.

Later in this paper, after looking at all the data, those themes will be made more succinct.

McGrath, K. F. and P. Van Bergen (2015) discuss many reasons for student misbehaviour,

including age, parent relationships and disabilities to name a few, but it is negative student-

teacher relationships which can create misbehaviour or exacerbate the misbehaviour caused by

the other issues. They define a negative student-teacher relationship (STR) as a relationship

which is “harmful to the needs of either or both members” (2015, p 3). Wu, J., Hughes, J. and

Kwok, O. (2010) seem to agree, they conducted their research in the USA and although they

do not specifically say negative student-teacher relationship quality (STRQ) causes

misbehaviour, their data shows an increase in student engagement and academic outcomes

when STRQ is perceived to be good by teachers and students compared to “children whose

TSRQ was rated low” (Wu, J., Hughes, J N. & Kwok, O. 2010, p 380.). Another study on

American schools by Farrell, A., Henry, D., Mays, S. and Schoeny, M. (2011) found that peer

pressure led to misbehaviour, but the biggest factor which could either increase misbehaviour

or decrease it was parental support and involvement, believing that if parents impart positive

information which discourages misbehaviour, and parents spend more time with them, it can

negate behaviours and other influences, but they found the opposite to be true also (p 157).

Mckee and several other authors (McKee et al., 2007) agree with Farrell (Farrell et al., 2011),

but they also found verbal and physical abuse to be specific indicators of increased internalising

and externalising behaviours, saying their “findings suggest that both types of harsh discipline

16566066 Joshua Alvarado PPLE

are associated with problem behaviour of children” (p 195). Lin, W. and Yi, C. (2014) did a

study on sleep, and although they similarly agree that parents and teachers influence behaviour,

it is more indirect as students are not being taught the importance of sleep, finding that poor

sleep practices of less than 6 hours a night lead to immediate “negative functioning” (p 443)

and “later conduct problems” (p 443). Pasch, K. (2010) also found that young people who on

school days sleep less, are more likely to engage in misbehaviour (p 244) which also comes

back to teachers not teaching the importance of sleep, and parents not enforcing better sleeping


Section Two : Clear and coherent synthesis of main interview findings .

The interview process for all six individuals was conducted in a similar matter in a one on one

scenario, which included four females and two males. First off, the purpose of the interview

was explained, secondly the ethics protocol was followed by providing and reading through

the information sheet with the interviewee, then lastly if they agreed to be interviewed they

were asked to sign the consent form. Interviews ranged from between nine and eleven minutes,

and were performed in a conversational manner to ensure they all felt comfortable to share their

ideas. Each interview started with the question “Why do young people misbehave in school?”

and some required supplementary questions and prompts based on their answers. After

speaking to each person and collating the data from their responses, three overarching themes

similar to the literature emerged, these included, parental responsibility, teacher responsibility

and students personal issues. Person A was a 57 year old female, single mum from a refugee

background who never had the opportunity to finish a primary school equivalent in her country.

Her main reasons had to do with parenting, saying “parents haven’t taught kids how to respect

16566066 Joshua Alvarado PPLE

those in authority,” adding that parents are sometimes neglectful or abusive, and some are not

willing to help or work with teachers. Person B who was a 42 year old male secondary teacher

with children of his own, had a similar view. He spoke on parents, but added that students face

personal issues such as bullying, peer pressure and said they are “influenced by pop culture.”

Person C was a single, female, registered nurse of 24 years old, who agreed with Person A and

B in regards to student’s personal issues and parenting, but added that teachers had a big

responsibility too. She believed that teachers are not engaging students and lack good student-

teacher relationships, saying, “students are bored, not stimulated enough and teachers are not

building rapport.” Person D was a 47 year old secondary male teacher with his own children in

high school, a similar bio to person B, but he believed much of the responsibility fell on

teachers. He agreed with person C, citing a lack of student-teacher relationship, and students

not being engaged enough, which led to boredom, also adding that classroom management and

varied pedagogy was lacking. He believed that a lack of differentiation, lack of group work,

lack of varied activities and a lack of rapport led to students misbehaving in schools. Person E

was a 34 year old pre-service teacher who is a single mother with children in primary school,

and Person F was a 28 year old pre-service teacher who was also a mother with children in

primary school. Both agreed with Person C and D, that teachers were not engaging and building

rapport with students, but also added that students were facing personal health issues. Both

believed students lack of sleep was a major reason for students misbehaving in school, but

Person E added that diets including sugary drinks and unhealthy foods were also causing

students to misbehave. Person F added that teachers stereotype and disrespect students, leading

them to act out in classrooms.

16566066 Joshua Alvarado PPLE

Section Three : Synthesise findings by comparing and contrasting findings from

interviews and literature review .

The literature data and interviewee shared their overarching themes, but the difference was

found in the fact that the literature tackled very specific issues while the interviewees were

broad in their answers. Both the McGrath (Mcgrath et al., 2014) and the Wu (Wu et al., 2010)

articles attribute misbehaviour to poor student-teacher relationships, which agrees with some

of the data given by the interviewees. Person C and D who are quite the opposite in biography,

from gender, age, family and work, both said that a lack of rapport or student-teacher

relationships were leading to student misbehaviour, a notion that person E and F who were

similar in background also agreed with. Farrell (Farrell at al., 2011) suggested that peer-

pressure was an issue, but a lack of parent engagement was the main reason students would

misbehave and why some students were more susceptible to peer-pressure. This notion was

alluded to by person A and B, who were also very different candidates, but both agreed parent

engagement and neglect was an issue students were facing, leading to misbehaviour. Both A

and B also spoke on abuse in the home, which Mckee (Mckee et al., 2007) broke up into both

verbal and physical abuse, showing that it led to student misbehaviour. The findings of Lin, W.

and Yi, C. (2014) and Pasch, K. (2010) showing that lack of sleep leading to student

misbehaviour was one of the reasons both Person E and F shared. Lin and Pasch also suggest

that teachers and parents are responsible for students not getting enough sleep, linking back to

several of the other interviewees suggesting parent neglect and poor student-teacher

relationships as an issue. Person E and F, both pre-service teachers, brought up lack of sleep,

which none of the other interviewees mentioned, which is perhaps because they are engaging

in a wider array of current research. Though this may be the case, some interviewees thought

of more reasons well after the interviews were finished, which was not included in the data,

16566066 Joshua Alvarado PPLE

but often aligned with what other interviewees had said. It may be, that with more time and

thought, each interviewee would have brought up more reasons for student misbehaviour.

Looking at all the data, one thing which seems to be clear, is there are multiple reasons for

student misbehaviour, but perhaps more research needs to be made into the different reasons

which the interviewees gave, such as what students are taught at home by parents in regards to

respect and valuing education, and the influence of pop culture. Even so, if the reasons for

student misbehaviour are beginning at home, on the playground, or for any other number of

reasons, the data suggests that ultimately, teachers and schools have the ability to increase,

decrease or give birth to student misbehaviour through student-teacher relationships.

Section Four : Provide implications for praxis including your personal awareness and

teaching practice .

According to the data, the three most common reasons students misbehave are poor student-

teacher relationships, parent neglect and abuse, and lack of sleep. Although no doubt there are

more reasons outside of the research in this paper, using these three common reasons we will

first show how it can influence our understanding of student behaviour and secondly, how

teacher practice can be improved. Very often as a teacher, if we are faced with student

misbehaviour, it can be very easy to dismiss a student as a trouble maker, annoying or a

problem to everybody, as a result the last thing we would naturally want to do is build a better

professional relationship. As seen through this research, though there are many reasons

students misbehave, a poor student-teacher relationship will increase behaviours, or cause

behaviours where there never were before. Some practical steps to build a better student-teacher

relationship would begin with being genuinely interested in students, which would cause us to

16566066 Joshua Alvarado PPLE

greet students, speak respectfully to them, finding their interests and finding how they learn

best. By doing this, we can begin to differentiate through good pedagogy which will help us

build rapport and engage students in a way where coming to the classroom is a fun and

unmissable atmosphere despite the multiple issues students are facing outside or at home.

When we know as a teacher we have truly done all we can, and a student still misbehaves, this

makes it easier to identify that they may need further help through a whole school process,

which includes all teachers being in agreement in there pedagogy, counselors being involved

and parents being involved to help the student. Of course, another issue is parent neglect, which

means that we must try to engage parents in their children’s education more attentively.

Students who are not having parent engagement may act out in attention seeking ways, be more

susceptible to peer pressure, or may turn up to class without the necessary tools to learn.

Though this may be the case, stronger student-teacher relationships can help combat those

issues and help the teacher realise what the issue is. Knowing this, teachers need to engage

parents, call them, use a diary system, meet up with them and see if perhaps the parents need

support due to a number of family issues. When parents are not engaged, it may not mean they

are not interested, but perhaps there are marital issues, single parent homes, financial issues or

even abuse. If abuse is the issue we need to know the policies in place to help students and be

ready to involve counsellors and professionals who can help. Lack of sleep can be manifested

in a number of ways, and as a teacher we may assume the student has learning difficulties and

if after exploring other issues and good student-teacher relations we still see no change, we

may feel as though we have tried everything and have no hope. If we notice this may be an

issue, we should touch on the importance of sleep to the whole class and if we have built a

good student-teacher relationship, it would be easier to ask a student about their sleep and speak

to them accordingly. Another option is to speak to their parents, share the concerns with them,

and ask them if they are aware whether their child is having sleeping difficulties or is choosing

16566066 Joshua Alvarado PPLE

to stay up late playing games, watching tv or any other reason. Being aware of these three

issues which include student-teacher relationships, parent neglect or abuse, and lack of sleep,

we as teachers can be ready to implement plans which will address student misbehaviour, and

in some cases address it before misbehaviours even begin.

16566066 Joshua Alvarado PPLE


Farrell, A., Henry, D., Mays, S. and Schoeny, M. (2011). Parents as Moderators of

the Impact of School Norms and Peer Influences on Aggression in Middle

School Students. Child Development, 82(1), pp.146-161.

Mcgrath, K F. and Bergen, P V. (2014). Who, when, why and to what end? Students

at risk of negative student-teacher relationships and their outcomes.

Educational Research Review, 14(1), pp.1-17.

McKee, L., Roland, E., Coffelt, N., Olson, A., Forehand, R., Massari, C., Jones, D.,

Gaffney, C. and Zens, M. (2007). Harsh Discipline and Child Problem

Behaviors: The Roles of Positive Parenting and Gender. Journal of Family

Violence, 22(4), pp.187-196.

Lin, W. and Yi, C. (2014). Unhealthy Sleep Practices, Conduct Problems, and

Daytime Functioning During Adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence,

44(2), pp.431-446.

Tsouloupas, C., Carson, R. and Matthews, R. (2013). PERSONAL AND SCHOOL



Psychology in the Schools, 51(2), pp.164-180.

Pasch, K. (2010). Adolescent Sleep, Risk Behaviors, and Depressive Symptoms:

16566066 Joshua Alvarado PPLE

Are They Linked?. American Journal of Health Behavior, 34(2).

Wu, J., Hughes, J. and Kwok, O. (2010). Teacher–student relationship quality type in

elementary grades: Effects on trajectories for achievement and engagement.

Journal of School Psychology, 48(5), pp.357-387.