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This ethnographic study examined conditions affecting how six elementary teachers who were involved in an ongoing inservice program embraced, comprehended, and applied elements of classroom management via cooperative learning. The paper described factors that helped and hindered their attempts. Data collection included site visits with observations, questionnaires, individual interviews, and focus group discussions. The study lasted for 1 year, with data collected before, during, and after staff development sessions that helped them implement cooperative learning. Data analysis indicated that teacher beliefs and practices changed, but relatively little. The participants believed in cooperative learning before the study began. As the year progressed, they used it more often, were more confident in their practices, and were clearer about which teaching method and relevant classroom management techniques to use at any given time. For all six, teaching proper behavior was a high priority. Classroom management was not always distinct from their lessons but instead often integrated within. Behavior problems often became teaching opportunities. Teachers took more responsibility for solving student problems at the beginning of the year, but they delegated more as the year progressed. All used certain extrinsic motivators for behavior. Teachers' theories and beliefs affected their choices regarding grouping of students, pedagogy, and classroom management. (Contains approximately 123 references.) (SM)

Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, Cooperative Learning, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Elementary School Teachers, Faculty Development, Inservice Teacher Education, Self Control, Student Behavior, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Behavior, Teaching Methods

Autor: Geary, William T.


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