Exploration of William Glasser's choice theory in classroom management / by Robert P.J. Paularinne.
Paularinne, Robert Pertti
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The purpose of the study was to investigate whether secondary school teachers used Glasser's choice theory in classroom management and how it was operationalized and/or to describe the alternative approaches they may be taking to classroom management. The study was a qualitative case study of five highschool teachers. Methods included semi-structured interviews and fieldnotes. The study explored the perceptions of five highschool teachers regarding the efficacy of Glasser's (1998a) choice theory in terms of their classroom management strategies and personal responsibility. According to Glasser, individuals achieve responsible behaviour when they attempt to satisfy their own needs without depriving other people of the same opportunity. As a result of data analysis four themes (goals of classroom management, strategies for classroom management, teachers’ perceptions of the reasons or misbehaviour and teachers’ perceptions of the characteristics of effective teachers) emerged. The participants’ perspectives illuminated several of Glasser’s (1988,1998a, 2002,2004) beliefs including the quality world, student needs, the importance of a positive teacher/student relationship, the importance of meaningful work, student responsibility, positive feelings, and the positive effects of encouraging, supporting, listening and caring. In addition, participants noted that although student choice is important for a number of reasons, teacher control is also necessary to ensure structure and safety. It was determined that, although choice theory was not specifically adhered to, the use of elements of choice theory illustrated the power of choice theory in that as teachers negotiated the tensions of classroom management they indeed did use a lot of ideas consistent with Glasser (1998a).