Expectations and perceptions of parents and teachers of children from low-income homes who are at-risk of having behavior problems
The teacher's perceptions of children's behaviors may not be consistent to the parents' views. Children living in low-income homes may usually act in ways that may not be considered appropriate for the classroom environment because the expectations of parents may be different from what teachers and schools expect in children. In this investigation, the expectations and perceptions of parents and teachers were analyzed and compared. Moreover, the factors that may bring behavior problems in school and instructional methods used by the teacher to address children's challenging behaviors were investigated. Qualitative research methods were used. Interviews were used to determine perceptions of behavior problems as seen by the teachers and parents, the type of discipline patterns parents used at home, behavior management plans teachers use and communication patterns used by teachers and parents to enhance positive behavior in children. Moreover, the interview questions inquired consisted of how do the teachers and parents define a behavior problem in the classroom and what type of behavior management plan do they have for the children. The interview questions were designed by the researcher and were included approximately fifteen to twenty questions. In total, there were four interviews including one Caucasian and one Mexican-American early childhood teacher and one Caucasian and one Mexican-American parent of children living in low-income homes. Findings did not only demonstrated differences but also similarities in the way parents and teachers perceive and view students' appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, in the factors that bring about behavior problems, the roles each of the parents and teachers have as adults to children, and the support systems that help not only the children but the families as well.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rosa Milagros Santos
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