Teachers' self-configuration experiences with learners with challenging behaviour
Challenging behaviour poses problems for teachers globally and yet very little research has been done with regard to the teacher-learner relationship and what challenging behaviour does to the teacher. The goal of this study was to explore teachers’ experiences of challenging behaviour within their relationships with learners that display challenging behaviour regarding teacher’s self-configuration. A qualitative approach was pursued in the form of an interpretive descriptive design in order to gain a better understanding of the teachers’ self-configuration experiences. For the purpose of this study the field theory was used as the theoretical framework, viewing teachers in their environment, specifically focusing on the teacher-learner relationship. A total of 12 teachers were purposefully selected from a school in Observatory, Johannesburg. The data were collected through in-depth interviews. Additionally, incomplete sentences were used to enrich data and to enhance trustworthiness. Triangulation was ensured by using two data collection methods to increase the credibility and validity of the results. The interviews and incomplete sentences were recorded via audio recording equipment. The recordings were then transcribed in order to identify emerging themes and subthemes. Thematic analysis was used once the data had been transcribed in order to gain meaningful information. This study revealed teachers’ self-configuration experiences in their relationships with learners with challenging behaviour and experienced their relationships with these children as a foundation for self-configuration. Teachers’ self-configuration is embedded in their different selves at school and their love and passion for teaching are reduced due to negative emotions. Experiences within the relationship escalate to the home environment and challenging behaviour causes stress for teachers. Teachers viewed challenging behaviour as behaviour that is an internal challenge for the learner, but also behaviour that is directed externally towards the teacher and other learners. Trust and respect, class size, individual attention and communication were identified elements contributing to self-configuration within the teacher-learner relationship. This study showed the importance of relationships in the school context and specifically focused on teachers’ self-configuration.
- Humanities