Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Nancy Latham

Second Advisor

Amanda Quesenberry


For both beginning and veteran teachers, classroom management consistently ranks as one of their primary areas of concern (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1990; Martin, Yin, & Mayall, 2006; Oakes, Lipton, Anderson, & Stillman, 2013; Veenman, 1983), and this concern is magnified in the early childhood years because these teachers are often the first service providers to interact with children exhibiting challenging behaviors (Powell, Fixsen, Dunlap, Smith, & Fox, 2007; Tillery, Varjas, Meyers, & Collins, 2010). Mixed messages in early childhood teacher preparation regarding the role of democracy and community in the classroom and the more behavioristic settings of field placements and first-year settings, such as in schools using the framework of Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (Sugai & Horner, 2002), can contribute to this concern. Therefore, this qualitative study focused on exploring the perceptions and actions of early childhood teachers regarding their classroom management while teaching in schools using the PBIS frameworks, and as they graduated and became first-year teachers.

Using a collective case study (Stake, 1995; 2010) with ethnomethodological techniques (Garfinkel, 1967) design, 11 early childhood teachers were interviewed upon their graduation, and three were followed over their first year of teaching. Findings from this year-long study revealed a lack of classroom management preparation, feelings of unpreparedness, concerns of challenging student behavior, an overall mismatch in beliefs and experiences, and a persistent tension between classroom management practices, including PBIS, and feelings of community in early childhood classrooms. Findings also include yearlong impacts of school-wide attitudes and practices contextual factors, including administrative support, mentorship, and teacher self-efficacy on new teachers’ ability to build classroom communities and establish strong classroom management practices.


Imported from ProQuest Hamann_ilstu_0092E_10911.pdf


Page Count


Included in

Education Commons