The Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Training: The Methods and Principles That Support Fidelity of Training Delivery

Article excerpt

Considerable research has demonstrated that effective teacher classroom management strategies promote student interest in learning (Kunter, Baumert, & Koller, 2007), enhance academic achievement and school readiness (Webster-Stratton & Reid, 2004), and prevent and reduce classroom- disruptive behavior (Hawkins, Catalano, Kosterman, Abbott, & Hill, 1999; Kellam, Ling, Merisca, Brown, & Ialongo, 1998; Walker, Colvin, & Ramsey, 1995). On the other hand, ineffective classroom management practices interfere with students' motivation and on-task learning and contribute to escalating risk for developing disruptive behavior problems (Jones & Jones, 2004; Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Hammond, 2004). For example, if elementary school teachers of children presenting with early signs of aggressive/disruptive behavior fail to consistently provide responsive and nurturing teaching, reinforcement for prosocial behavior, or effective proactive discipline, a coercive cycle may be established whereby children's oppositional and negative behavior is reinforced either by the teacher's harsh or critical responses or by giving in to their demands (see Reinke & Herman, 2002). As Patterson, Reid, and Dishion (1992) have described, these patterns of negative or coercive interactions at school contribute to a cascade of negative outcomes for children with antisocial behaviors including peer rejection, negative school reputations, academic failure, and further escalation of their antisocial problems.

Well-trained teachers can help children who are aggressive, disruptive, and uncooperative to develop the appropriate social behavior and emotional self-regulation that is a prerequisite for their academic success in school (Walker et al., 1995; Webster-Stratton & Reid, 2004; Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Hammond, 2004; Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Stoolmiller, 2008). However, many teachers simply are not adequately prepared to manage the escalating number of students with behavior problems in their classrooms; some even enter the workforce without having taken a single course on behavior management (Barrett & Davis, 1995; Evertson & Weinstein, 2006; Houston & Williamson, 1992). In a recent survey of elementary teachers, teachers reported managing behavior in the classroom to be their greatest challenge (Reinke, Stormont, Herman, Puri, & Goel, 2011). When asked about areas in which they felt they needed additional training, teachers in this survey stated that the number one area for which they needed training and support was in managing challenging classroom behaviors.

Teachers today are presented with more complex classrooms. Increasing numbers of students with English as a second language (National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition, 2009) and with emotional and behavioral problems are entering school (Brophy, 1996; Conroy, Sutherland, Haydon, Stormont, & Harmon, 2009). Increased classroom sizes and the inclusion of students receiving special education services in general education classrooms present challenges for teachers working to provide instruction and manage classroom behaviors among diverse learners. In fact, nearly half of new teachers leave the profession within five years, many citing student misbehavior as a primary reason (Ingersoll, 2002). Thus, to fully support teachers' efforts to use effective classroom management practices that nurture, encourage, and motivate students with varying developmental abilities and cultural backgrounds, evidence-based teacher classroom management training programs are needed that are flexible and adaptive to the unique challenges faced by teachers. Further, these training programs need to be attentive to the varying backgrounds and experiences of teachers, and provide teachers with additional consultation and support according to individual classroom needs.

The Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management (IY TCM) Program

The IY TCM program (Webster-Stratton, 1994) is part of a series of three interlocking and complementary IY training programs for parents, children, and teachers designed to reduce the multiple risk factors associated with early-onset conduct problems and emotional and social difficulties in children ages 3-8 years. …