Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Jodi Bergland Holen


Effective classroom management is critical in the creation of learning environments that foster academic success for all students. Preservice teachers must develop an awareness and understanding of all aspects of classroom management and their relation to the two main classroom management approaches: the discipline based approach and the relationship based approach. Furthermore, preservice teachers must have opportunities for authentic practice through structured field experience. This study examines a course restructuring process that was intended to improve classroom management course content. The conceptual framework for this study is based on Martin and Baldwin’s (1994) construct of three broad dimensions of classroom management: person, instruction, and discipline. The methodology for this action research study utilized the Inquiry Cycle (Dana & Yendol-Hoppey, 2014). Data collection included student responses from reflective writing assignments, student assessment of teaching forms, and a survey. Data analysis was conducted in order to (a) gain understanding of how preservice teachers were viewing classroom management and creating learning environments after a course restructuring process, (b) identify which course components promote student learning, and (c) identify the level of importance that students assign to elements central to managing classrooms and creating learning environments. Findings from this inquiry show that students recognize that aspects of both classroom management approaches are valuable, and elements central to all three dimensions of

classroom management must be present in a learning environment. Field experience hours and course discussions related to the field experience were identified as being the most valuable aspects of the course in promoting understanding of classroom management.