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Classroom Management Practices: Do One-On-One Teacher-Child Interactions Help Reduce Disruptive Behaviors?

Update Date: Jan 26, 2017 06:29 PM EST

Researchers from the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education wanted to determine what classroom management practices are effective in reducing disruptive behaviors in young children. They conducted a controlled trial to examine the impact of a one-on-one time teacher-child interactions in reducing disruptive behaviors.

The study tested two methods of classroom management practices. The participants of the study included 183 teachers and 470 preschool children between the ages of 3 and 5-years old. The classrooms were randomly assigned to either Banking Time, Child Time, or Business As Usual (BAU).

In Banking Time, teachers are encouraged to let the child lead the play. Teachers are asked to refrain from praising the child whether in it be in regards to a good behavior, or ask questions, or try to teach skills to the child. In other words, the child is in charge of the time allotted with the teacher and the teacher is there just to observe and comment on the child's behaviors or feelings.

In Child Time, the one-on-one time interaction between the teacher and the child is dependent on what the teacher wants to these. Time spent with the child has the teacher teaching a skill, reviewing the lessons for the day, and dictating what should be done during that time.

The study, published in Child Development, found that both Banking Time and Child Time classroom management practices help reduce disruptive behaviors in problematic children compared to the usual classroom management practices. Furthermore, teachers who were seen to have high-quality, classroom-level, teacher-child interactions at the beginning of the school year experienced fewer preschoolers with disruptive behaviors.

The researchers, the children's parents, and teachers all agree that spending quality time with children helps improve their behavior whether it be inside or outside the classroom. In addition, a strong and supportive connection between the child and teacher contributes to the early success of children in school.

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