Misbehavior in the classroom can differ from school to school. In most cases, it is really bad to experience such behavior. It is normally learners who do not look like they can do anything but they are the learners who can turn the class upside down in no time. I had the first-hand experience of this statement. While I did my observation by the school I was appointed for I saw everything with my own eyes. Although it was just for a week in that week I saw multiple misbehaving learners from grade 8 until grade 12.
There are plenty of reasons why learners do not behave in the classroom.
Some of the reasons are because human rights learners have nowadays that prevent educators to do anything. Many people played a role during apartheid that is why learners feel they are free from everything of the past. This is one of the reasons why learners do not have any discipline in the classroom. It is not a problem that was starting today it is something that was in our school system since 1994. It is really a big concern these days because it looks as if there is no discipline in schools anymore. The cause of this misbehavior in the classrooms leads to poor performing and learners who are innocent cannot focus properly. According to D.F. Reed (1998), the factors that lead to misbehaving in the classroom are because parents who do not give learners enough attention, parents who are divorced, families and society.
Gangster-ism is one of the main factors in today’s society and the smoke of drugs. Thus, feel learners that the educators can do nothing to them. In schools where these things happen even the principal can do nothing. Charles (1998) uses the term ‘misbehavior’ which he defines as behavior that is considered inappropriate for the setting or situation in which it occurs. Generally speaking, classroom misbehavior is intentional, not inadvertent; students know they should not do it. The misbehavior of learners can cause educators not to conduct the lessons. However, learners must not be all misbehaved but it does affect the whole classroom. These factors can put educators under enormous pressure. In the news, we see many incidents where learners beat educators. We read almost every week of a learner who beats an educator because of telling them to behave in a proper manner. This is not only a big problem nationally but as well as internationally. So, this is really a big problem in schools that affects a lot of things. Most of these factors can cause many problems for the near future. This problem was there before 1994 and still, it exists today. However, there are some changes to it because of families, human rights and society but it is more dangerous than the years before 1994. So, all of these factors leave me with the question; What will the factors be 20years from now?
I will discuss further in the article, a lack of discipline in a classroom can surely affect the teaching and learning process, and few problems can occur if disruptive behavior prevails. The importance of positive discipline and the maintenance of positive discipline cannot be ignored. Research by Nxumalo (2001:77) indicates the need for both learners and teachers to be disciplined for the effective functioning of schools. According to Nxumalo (2001:77), discipline is vitally important for teaching and learning in class to be effective. Discipline problems can be defined as ‘disruptive behavior that significantly affects fundamental rights to feel safe, to be treated with respect and to learn’ (Mabeba & Prinsloo, 2000:34). However, discipline in South African schools is a serious problem and cannot be limit. Van Wyk (2001:196) points out that the causes of bad discipline are the lack of good strategies in schools to prevent disruptive behavior. According to Maree (2000:1), some schools in South Africa are busy to resemble war zones. It is clear that not all learners are free to learn and not all educators are free to teach. In an attempt to determine the causes of misbehaving in the classroom, Moloi (2002:2) states that the involvement of the youth in the liberation struggle which ended in 1994 caused them to develop ‘arrogance towards adults, that is, both the educators and the parents’. According to Maree (2000:4), violence in schools is caused by gang activities, the lack of transformation, learners carrying guns and smoking dagga, the lack of counseling services, the intolerance of school management towards some groups. A serious problem like misbehaving in the classroom can only be caused by several things and the number one reason for it is the emphasis on rights. According to Reddy (1996:50), the employment of under-qualified teachers are also the causes of misbehavior in a school or classroom.
The main focus of this research is to understand the factors that drive misbehavior in the classroom. I also want to know how the school deals with learners misbehavior. The learners, in particular, who do not participate in this misbehavior are also influenced. In this case, I will also want to know their perspective and how it influenced them. Therefore, parents and teachers must be included in this research. This is my aims and objectives to find out the above mentioned. It is to my concern to clearly understand the factors why learners behave in such a manner. It is our society in the near future who will deal with all kind of people if we do not find the root of the matter. In South African schools it is our biggest problem and that can be the end of something beautiful. So, that is why I am concern about the factors of the misbehavior and how we as a nation will stop this from happening in how schools.
The reason for choosing this topic is because many learners are behaving like this nowadays. A matter of fact it is one of the headlines in today’s news. So, it is impossible to not think about the factors of this matter. Thus, is this topic a very serious matter for me. In fact, there are numerous of people who wrote about this misbehavior in schools. So, to conclude from that it must be a big concern for many other people. Most of them mentioned the same factors that could possibly be contributed to the behavior of the learners. I like what Nxumalo (2001:77) said about discipline. He said that discipline is vitally important for teaching and learning in class to be effective. I agree fully with this point he made about discipline. It is people like Nxumalo (2001:77) who gave me the passion to do my research on the misbehavior of the learner. The topic and all the research answered so much of the questions I had before doing research on the topic. Discipline for myself is the core factor for positive and good performance. It is the factor that can cause learning and teaching to be successful or unsuccessful. That is what drives me to this point where I choose this topic. It finally made sense to me why schools focus so much on discipline. Yes, one can say that it is obvious that disruptive behavior can cause that teaching and learning cannot be successful, but at least now I know what causes schools to underperform most of the times. However, teachers can also be blamed for poor performances of learners. if they are under qualified or do not have the right strategies in place. These can also affect learners to behave in a disruptive manner. That is what Reddy (1996:50) said about teachers. I personally never thought that teachers could also be a factor for learners behavior. , in particular, is a serious matter that needs to be resolved. In conclusion, I really like this topic. Firstly, I can say now that I understood the reasons for the misbehavior because I have now an idea why learners can behave in such a manner. Secondly, it was an amazing journey to find all the answers to every question. Lastly, it was fun and very entertaining, I have learned a lot about this one question. I did not realize it has such a big influence on teaching and learning.
According to Nxumalo (2001:77), discipline is vitally important for teaching and learning in class to be effective. I agree with Nxumalo, discipline is vitally important. I stated in the introduction that misbehavior is a big problem that can cause teaching not to be conducted. Therefore I strongly agree that discipline contributes to teaching and learning. If there are good discipline learners will perform better but if there is bad discipline it will affect the performance of learners and teachers. It is important to have a class where learners respect one another.
Discipline problems can be defined as ‘disruptive behavior that significantly affects fundamental rights to feel safe, to be treated with respect and to learn’ (Mabeba & Prinsloo, 2000:34). That is indeed true. I believe that if you respect a person you will automatically behave in a good manner. That is a form of positive discipline. Although misbehavior in the classroom can cause a lot of things to happen. Learners and teachers can feel that they are not safe. There are different kinds of misbehavior or disruptive behavior. Many learners can be aggressive and fight in class. The other learner would do everything to be the clown in the class. So, there are plenty of factors to be disruptive. I think that learners behave in such a manner to be liked by the learners or the popular for their doings at the school. If learners continue to behave in a disruptive manner then teaching, learning, learners safety, and teachers will never be respect.
Van Wyk (2001:196) points out that the causes of bad discipline are the lack of good strategies in schools to prevent disruptive behavior. This is a common problem in most
schools. I observed at a high school and the point of Van Wyk (2001:196) can clearly be seen. The learners do not listen to or respect people in higher authorities. They are making fun of everything that happens in or outside the class. It is because they are used to the fact that the school can only call their parents or put them into detention. So, the school is limited to the strategies to prevent misbehavior in the school. However, some learners do listen to the rules. Therefore, the point of Van Wyk (2001:196), is something schools needs to focus.
According to Maree (2000:4), violence in schools is caused by gang activities, the lack of transformation, learners carrying guns and smoking dagga, the lack of counseling services, the intolerance of school management towards some groups. Misbehavior and violence can somehow be related. That is why I want to take this point of Maree (2000:4) in consideration. The factors that drive misbehavior can be gang activities and smoking dagga. These are the two factors that mainly influenced the learners. The learners participate in these activities because of society and friends. I strongly agree with Maree (2000:4). it is some of the worse scenarios in schools lately. We can see these factors in our communities and schools. In school, I observed learners were highly influenced by the use of dagga. The real term for dagga is marijuana but we are familiar with the name dagga. Learners are aware of the negative effects of the use of drugs but still, they are using it. Some of the learners came to school already high on dagga. The drug makes them lazy and for some it makes them misbehave in class.
This research combined a quantitative research approach. I made use of a questionnaire to gather the information. I used this research approach because there was not enough time to arrange interviews with the participants. Some of the participants did not want to be involved in an interview. Therefore, I changed my approach to questionnaires. The questions are based on the main research question. The process was consistent with every participant. The data were collected from learners and teachers. The teachers are the people who are affected by the misbehavior that is why they are questioned with their permission. The learners are the main reasons why the research was done in the first place so their input is very important. Some of the learners were identified by the teachers who are most disruptive in the class. So, I focused on two learners, one disruptive and one disciplined learner. The reason for that was because learners are not always fair with their answers. In those cases, I had to ask both learners. I gave out the questionnaires to all the grades but one teacher per grade.
I asked the principal to use the staff room so that the participants could fill in the questionnaires. Although the principal was fine with the idea, I asked the teachers and the learners to use the staff room during the break. So, during the first break, I asked the teachers of each grade and second break I asked the learners to complete the questionnaire in the staff room. When they were done, I quickly analyst their answers. I have done it to see if everyone completed the questionnaires. In fact, everyone completed the questionnaire so everything was done perfectly.
The data collected were really an eye-opener. Everyone wrote mostly the same answers to certain questions. The factors of the problem were listed nicely and I could easily relate to their responses. It was quite surprising to see that everyone could see the factors that cause learners to misbehave in class. Even the learners who misbehave in class mentioned the factors all of the other participants mentioned. So, by that, I can conclude that every factor has an influence on the behavior of the learner. I can clearly say that the factors are really the reasons why learners behave this way? I check on addendum A for the questions. I did not provide the answers only the questions because it is confidential information.
Firstly, I asked the principal for his permission to ask the participants to participate in my research. So, before everything, I explained why I wanted to do the research. I got his approval so I was ready to start my research. Although I got permission I still had to ask the participants for their permission. I explained to them why I needed them to complete my research. So, after that, the learners were fine with the idea as well as the teachers. I told them that no names or identification will be needed. I will not mention their names in my research. However, the agreement was done verbally but I also let them sign an agreement that everything will be confidential.
In conclusion, misbehavior in the class is a serious matter. This behavior influenced schools nationally and internationally. Research has shown that misbehavior caused a lot of damage to the education system. Teachers ran out of strategies to prevent this behavior to occur at school and in the classroom. The findings have proofed that outside activities like gangs and drugs have a huge impact on the behavior of learners. Some of the teachers investigated the problem but could not find any solutions. Therefore, the problem still remains in the school. However, I must say that in fact of all of this misbehavior in the classroom the teachers still found a way to transfer information to the rest of the class. It is still influencing teaching and learning but to do nothing will also hamper learners learning. Misbehavior has serious consequences that affect the school, teacher, learner, and societies. With this in mind, I hope theirs find a solution to this problem.
What do you think are the factors that cause someone to misbehave?
What are the strategies that the school implemented to prevent this behavior?
What are the negative effects of misbehavior in the classroom?
Did a learner ever misbehave during your class period, and what did you do?
What can we do to help these learners and those who are affected by the misbehavior learner?
What do you think are the factors that cause someone to misbehave?
Do learners misbehavior affect you, and how?
What is the reaction of the teacher while this incident is taking place in class?
Did you misbehave once in class?
What do you think can the school do to prevent this from happening?
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