A survey of classroom discipline problems faced by teachers in selected primary schools in Kangundo division of Machakos district
Maundu, Benjamin Kimatu
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The primary purpose of this study was to investigate classroom related discipline problems faced by primary school teachers, their causes, and the methods, used by teachers in dealing with these problems in their classrooms. It focuses on the Headteacher as the overall administrator in the school whose role is that of supporting and encouraging good school and classroom discipline conducive to effective teaching and learning. The study was limited by two major factors; firstly, it was carried only in one area, Kangundo Division. This would therefore not allow for generalization of findings to all schools in Machakos District, let alone schools in Kenya; secondly, the time and financial constraint, did not allow the researcher to use a larger sample. The project was therefore limited to 6 primary schools, from which 24 teachers and 6 Headteachers were randomly selected to be subjects/respondents for this research study. The tool used in this study was the questionnaire, one for the Headteachers and the other for the teachers, which were personally administered by the researcher. The major findings of the study were:- 1. Primary school teachers face numerous pupil problem behaviours in the classroom. However, teachers perceive problem behaviours which directly affect academic learning and performance to be of more concern than those which affect pupils moral and character building like theft, dishonesty and disrespect. 2. Teachers and Headteachers perceive family background of pupils, parent interference in school matters and shortage of teaching material to be the major causes of classroom and general school indiscipline. 3. Teachers prefer to use preventive and behaviour modification methods of dealing with classroom problem behaviour than punitive ones. However, teachers mostly use the punishments which engage the pupils in a tiring activity, dention, repeating poorly done work and loss of privileges. 4. Headteachers discourage the teachers from using serious caning and suspending pupils from classroom. 5. Teachers have a negative attitude towards use of punishment and positive attitude towards use of rewards as methods of dealing with classroom indiscipline. 6. Primary school Headteachers are aware of, and understand their role in improving classroom discipline particularly in area related to improving the teachers' professional competence, the school curriculum and classroom instruction and fostering a conducive school working climate amongst the teachers.