Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Developing Classroom Management Skills in Non-Native Culture: A Single Case Study

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Developing Classroom Management Skills in Non-Native Culture: A Single Case Study

Article excerpt


Classroom Management has been identified as one of the most challenging issues for native Chinese teachers in public schools during their process of integration into American educational system (Hustad, 2015; Xu, 2012; Zhou & Li, 2015) due to various reasons including language barriers, cultural differences, different perception of teaching and learning, major differences between their learning experience and the working environment. (Ding, Li, Li, & Kulm, 2008; Ho, 2004; Lu, 1997; Xu, 2012; Zhou & Li, 2015). Conversely, classroom management is much less important and less frequently addressed in the Chinese educational literature. Though Chinese teachers' struggles with classroom management in the U.S. has been the subject of several contemporary studies (Liao, Yuan, & Zhang, 2017; Xiang, 2017; Zhou & Li, 2015), most of this research has been conducted either from a cultural integration perspective or a cultural comparison perspective. Little research has been conducted from a teacher preparation perspective; therefore, the purpose of this case study is to explore a native Chinese pre-service teacher's field experience in terms of acquiring classroom management skill in order to understand the difficulties and challenges in the process. The findings provided valuable implications for teacher preparation programs in terms of preparing Chinese teachers for secondary public schools in the U.S.

Students enrolled in Chinese program increased from 609 in 1960 to 61,055 in 2013 (Goldberg, Looney, & Lusin, 2015). The enrollment almost tripled from 20,292 in 2004 to 59, 860 in 2007 (Goldberg, Looney, & Lusin, 2015). With an increasing demand of Chinese language instructors for more and more newly established Chinese programs, native Chinese teachers have historically been preferred due to their language proficiency; however, the language proficiency is not a panacea for Chinese language education. Native Chinese teachers are faced with many challenges in their acculturation into American public schools due to profound differences between the two cultures and the educational systems (Hanson, 2013; Hustad, 2015; Xu, 2012). Classroom management has been identified as one of the most challenging issues in native Chinese teachers' integration into U.S. public schools (Xu, 2012; Yue, 2017).

With China's increasingly active involvement in global economic and political stages, increasingly more people are interested in learning Chinese. Many Chinese language programs have been established in the past decades, with an increasing need for native Chinese teachers. However, the native language proficiency is not enough to provide effective Chinese language instruction to elicit productive learning. As mentioned, it is of great importance that native Chinese teachers be prepared in terms of classroom management skills based on their specific cultural background. Educators need to understand better what challenges native Chinese teachers have and how they can be dealt with in teacher preparation programs in order to make adequate adjustment for future native Chinese pre-service teachers.

Literature Review

Classroom management. Novodvorsky and Weinstein (2014) defined classroom management as "the actions teachers take to establish and sustain a caring, orderly environment that fosters students' academic learning as well as their social and emotional growth" (p. 7). It is related to the complicated and dynamic interaction and relationship between students and teachers in the process of promoting academic, social and emotional development in the bounded context of classroom setting. The process of classroom management was further complicated by six features of classroom settings, including multidimensionality (accommodating all teaching learning activities), simultaneity (multiple occurrences at the same time), immediacy (rapid pace), unpredictability (impossible to prepare ahead of time), lack of privacy (shared space), and a joint history (class memories; Doyle, 2006, cited in Novodvorsky & Weinstein, 2014). …

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