Behavioral dissonance and contested classroom spaces: teachers' and students' negotiations of classroom disciplinary moments

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The purpose of this study was to answer the following question, How does one's conceptualizations of misbehavior account for the way classroom misbehavior is constructed, interpreted, and negotiated between teachers

The purpose of this study was to answer the following question, How does one's conceptualizations of misbehavior account for the way classroom misbehavior is constructed, interpreted, and negotiated between teachers and students? The literature on school disciplinary inequities from 2000 to 2010 was systematically reviewed. Utilizing qualitative research methods, this study drew insights from sociocultural theory and symbolic interactionism to investigate discipline inequities in moment-to-moment interactions between students and teachers during classroom conflicts. Fieldwork lasted approximately one school year and involved five male students and their two respective teachers. Data collection procedures included surveys, face to face and stimulated recall interviews, and direct and video observations. Findings revealed misbehavior is a ubiquitous notion in classroom everyday life; it is also malleable and dependent on contextual factors. In addition, classroom disciplinary moments between teachers and students are greatly influenced by intra and interpersonal factors. The situated intricacies and sophistication of teachers' and students' interpretations of negotiated classroom disciplinary moments are also reported. This study also sheds new insights into the situated nature of misbehavior as it arises from teachers' and students' sense making of classroom disciplinary moments and the findings have implications for teachers, school administrators, policy makers, students, and parents/guardians.