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Using Classroom Observations to Describe and Model the Impact of Positive and Negative Teaching Behaviors on Classroom Disruptive Behavior

Coy, Justin (2020) Using Classroom Observations to Describe and Model the Impact of Positive and Negative Teaching Behaviors on Classroom Disruptive Behavior. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Positive, proactive classroom management strategies support academic and behavioral student outcomes while fostering positive teacher-student relationships. However, teachers often cite struggles with classroom management and challenging student behavior as key reasons they ultimately leave the field. Additionally, pre-service teachers often fail to receive substantive training in effective classroom management. Experiments within the present study sought to better understand the foundational role of teachers’ positive and negative verbal interactions with students. Experiment 1 utilized descriptive and inferential statistics to better understand the current rate of teachers’ positive and negative verbal interactions regarding student behavior, as well as the influence of specific teacher behaviors on classroom disruptive behavior. Experiment 2 evaluated the effectiveness of a low-intensity treatment package (training, performance feedback, and reflective goal-setting) to adjust teachers’ verbal interactions with students. Results from Experiment 1 show teachers used nearly five times as many negative interactions as positive, with significant differences across teachers and specific behaviors. Teachers’ negative statements were also two times longer than their positives, on average. Teachers appeared to rely on unique negative ‘crutches’ – individual collections of specific negative behaviors. Both criticisms and attention to junk statements significantly influenced the rate of classroom disruptive behaviors. Experiment 2 findings indicate the treatment package helped one participant make significant changes over baseline (increased positive interactions and reduced negative interactions). Results from this study support the need for additional large-scale descriptive studies of teacher interactions and coercives, as well as an exploration of the wide variability of teachers’ positive and negative interaction rates across available research.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Coy, JustinJNC42@pitt.eduJNC42
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKostewicz, Douglas
Committee MemberDvorchak, Jesse
Committee MemberLyon, Steven
Committee MemberRobertson, Rachel
Date: 17 December 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 30 October 2020
Approval Date: 17 December 2020
Submission Date: 18 November 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 119
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: teacher interactions, praise, coercives
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 19:14
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2020 19:14


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