Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


In this study, student teachers who had completed 8 weeks of student teaching experience used a 5-point Likert scale to rate the importance of 30 specific classroom management skills. The student teachers' descriptions of their preparedness to utilize each of these skills in their classrooms were also measured using a similar Likert format. The student teachers also completed a demographic information page which gathered information such as age, gender, major, and number of semesters at the University of Northern Iowa. A correlational analysis revealed modest similarity between the student teachers' ratings of importance and their feelings of preparedness, indicting that they considered themselves to be only somewhat prepared to implement those classroom management strategies and behaviors that they considered important. For all subsequent analyses, Major was used as the sole independent variable, and the subjects were divided into four Major groups: elementary majors, secondary majors, special education majors, and special area K-12 majors. One-way ANOVAs of importance and preparedness scores, and post-hoc Scheffe S tests of pairwise means were used to identify any significant differences in the mean scores of the four Major groups. Statistically significant differences were found for both scales between the secondary majors and the elementary majors, and between the secondary majors and the special education majors, with the elementary and special education majors rating both preparedness and importance higher than did the secondary majors. The differences that were found may have been due to the differences that existed among the course requirements for each of the majors. Special education majors received the most coursework in and experience with classroom management. Elementary majors were required to take one course, while no classroom management course requirements existed for secondary majors. The differences may also have been due to philosophical differences between the four major groups. Elementary and special education teachers may generally tend to consider teaching methods more important than content area knowledge, while secondary educators may tend to consider content more important. The secondary majors may have had a certain naivete regarding classroom management. These students viewed management as less important than did elementary and special education majors, but they also considered themselves less prepared which may indicate that they found themselves having difficulty managing classrooms once they entered full time student teaching. Another explanation for the differences found here may be that the skills listed on the scale were not appropriate classroom management techniques at the secondary level. All of these explanations have implications for the teacher education curriculum. University personnel need to evaluate course offerings in the area of classroom management in order to determine if a greater emphasis needs to be placed on classroom management in some programs in order to help students see the importance of classroom management and to provide them with the skills they need to manage classrooms effectively. Considering the strong relationship between effective classroom management and effective classroom teaching, it seems reasonable to deliberately and overtly teach effective management skills to all future teachers.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Melissa L. Heston

Second Advisor

Charles V. L. Dedrick

Third Advisor

Radhi Al-Mabuk


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Date Original


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