Does training matter? Comparing the behaviour management strategies of pre-service teachers in a four-year program and those in a one-year program
Survey-based research was conducted with Australian pre-service teachers to identify the classroom management strategies that they would employ, their confidence in employing them, and the effectiveness of the strategies. Furthermore, the study aimed to identify significant differences in these variables between pre-service teachers in the final year of a four-year teacher training course and pre-service teachers undertaking a one-year, stand-alone teaching program. The results of this study indicate that the most frequently reported strategies by all the Australian pre-service primary teachers surveyed were rewards and initial corrections. The pre-service teachers were selective in the type of corrective strategies they would employ, with a preference for relatively less intrusive reactive strategies. All of the pre-service teachers here found rewards and preventative strategies to be the most effective. The only significant differences found between the four-year trained and one-year trained pre-service teachers were around preventative strategies. Specifically, four-year trained pre-service teachers employ preventative strategies significantly more often than pre-service teachers in the one-year teaching course. Similarly, four-year trained pre-service teachers are significantly more confident in using preventative strategies than those in the one-year course. The implications of the results for teacher education programs are considered.