Degree Name

Master of Education (Hons.)


Faculty of Education


This study sought to identify and investigate the skills that teachers perceive they ought to have to be effective in classroom management and discipline, and as well, to investigate the perceived levels of difficulty associated with development of these skills. Behaviourally-Anchored Rating Scale procedures were used to design a survey instrument that consisted of 56 individual skills categorised into eight broad competency areas. Two 5-point rating scales were used on the instrument, one to measure the perceived level of importance of each of the individual skills, and the other the perceived level of difficulty associated with development of the skill. From an original stratified random sample of 237 teachers in a CathoUc school system teaching in either primary or secondary schools, there were 101 respondents. Whilst respondents were not equally representative of primary and secondary teachers, nor male and female teachers, sufficient responses were received to identify a number of significant differences between groups as well as identify those specific skills that respondents in general considered to be the most important, and the most difficult to acquire. The results showed that effective skills in classroom management and discipline were perceived by teachers to be multi-dimensional, and to fall into a number of broad areas. Generally, skills relating to developing a personal philosophy, using effective conmiunication, and having positive interpersonal relations, were perceived to be relatively high in importance, and relatively low in difficulty for teachers to acquire. Skills involved in teaching the curriculum and individualising it, and in dealing with and resolving behavioural problems were also perceived to be amongst the most important, and were perceived to be the most difficult for teachers to develop. Skills associated with professional development in the area of classroom management and disciphne were also considered relatively difficult to acquire, but were not considered as important to develop as skills in other areas. Further comparisons of the rankings of primary and high school teachers, and male and female teachers, were undertaken to identify possible differences in skills perceived to be the most important and difficult to acquire. A number of significant differences in rankings of importance, and difficulty, were identified.