Bad boys and mean girls: Behavior management concerns in the music classroom

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Iseminger, Scott K.
Bernstorf, Elaine

The purpose of this study and related survey is to examine the common disruptive and aggressive behaviors exhibited by students with severe behavior and emotional disorders in the music education setting. Specific diagnoses considered in this study were Attention Deficit-Hyperactive Disorder, Conduct Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Dunlap, Strain, and Wilson (2006), Scott, Nelson, and Liaupsin (2001), Stormont, Reinke, and Herman (2011), and Westling (2010) revealed a lack of correlation between identified best practices in serving children with behavior problems and what is in fact implemented in the classroom. The present study surveyed music educators to identify best practices in instructional strategies and behavior management techniques in the music environment. Music educators from six Midwestern states participated in the descriptive study. The survey included questions on teacher demographic information, frequency of student behavior challenges, teachers' level of confidence in managing a classroom, teacher strategies, consequences for student behaviors, challenges presented by the presence of students with emotional and behavioral disorders in the music setting, and types of support available to music teachers. Results indicated that disruptive behaviors occurred on a daily basis for music teachers, especially student behaviors such as talking without permission, not following directions, and hyperactivity. Elementary teachers described a higher frequency rate of misbehavior and more students with Attention Deficit-Hyperactive Disorder, Conduct Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder compared to music teachers in middle schools and high schools. Many music teachers used what are considered evidence-based best practices in classroom management. In addition, music teachers reported a fairly high rate of support and collaboration with other staff in their schools.

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Thesis (M.M.Ed.)--Wichita State University, College of Fine Arts, Dept. of Music Education