Teacher Retreating: The Little Known Behavior That Impacts Teaching and Learning

By Ratcliff, Nancy J.; Carroll, Kimberly L. et al. | Education, Winter 2014 | Go to article overview

Teacher Retreating: The Little Known Behavior That Impacts Teaching and Learning


Ratcliff, Nancy J., Carroll, Kimberly L., Hunt, Gilbert H., Education


A classroom is a complex social organization that can be examined using constructs associated with small group sociology (Bracey, 2009; Etzione, 1968; McFarland, 2001; Schlechty, 1976; Waller, 1961). Students and their teachers interact with one another to achieve group goals, and, as a result, each member of the group has various roles to play. The teacher has the critical role of leader while students assume various roles needed to achieve instructional goals and help the class function as a cohesive unit. How the teacher functions in this critical role of leader determines, to a great extent, how well the group will reach its goals. The teacher has specific instructional behaviors and specific management behaviors that are used to elicit the desired student interactions needed to be successful.

The article provides an overview of findings and conclusions based on data taken from four independent studies completed during a four year collaboration with a school district in the southeastern region of the United States. These sociologically based studies were designed to provide a better understanding of the impact that the classroom environment has on both teaching and learning. Although these studies were designed to investigate several variables that impact the learning environment, it became evident to the researchers that one rarely discussed variable, teacher retreating, had a powerful impact on the ability of teachers to teach and students to learn. The information reported here will assist teacher educators in the instruction of both teacher candidates and experienced teachers regarding best practice in providing quality learning environments (Savage-Davis, E, Costner, R.H., Ratcliff, N.J, Jones, C. R., Sheehan, H., Scott, M., & Hunt, G.H., 2011; Ratcliff, N., Jones, C., Costner, R., Savage-Davis, E., & Hunt, G., 2010; Ratcliff, N., Jones, C., Costner, R., Savage-Davis, E., Sheehan, H., & Hunt. G., 2010).

What is Teacher Retreating?

Before one can understand the concept of teacher retreating, one must have an operational definition of student non-compliance which was referred to as student rebellion by Schlechty (1976) and student defiance by other researchers (Smith and Bondy, 2007). For the current research, non-compliance (i.e., rebellion or defiance) is operationally defined as that behavior which occurs when students knowingly disregard a verbal or written behavior control directive made by their teachers. To further clarify, Kapalka (2006) suggested that students exhibit non-compliance when they do not respond to their teacher's request within 20 seconds. As Jones and Jones (2013) indicated, student non-compliance is a serious problem that can disrupt a teacher's ability to function as the leader in the classroom. Smith and Bondy (2007) noted that student defiance is quite common in school settings; in fact, Gregory (2005) reported that student defiance of a teacher's request is one of the most common causes for discipline referrals in school settings. Therefore, it becomes critical that teachers understand how to react to student non-compliance in order to prevent an escalation of unwanted behaviors.

Teacher retreating, a term defined in the educational literature by Schlechty (1976), is a behavior that occurs in the classroom when a teacher backs down after one or more students undermine the teacher's authority by failing to comply. For example, if the teacher were to ask a student to take his or her seat and the student does not comply, that teacher will be retreating if no action is taken in response to the student's non-compliance or rebellion. Thus, retreating occurs when teachers are aware that students are not doing what they have been asked to do, but yet, fail to respond to this lack of compliance.

Sometimes, retreating occurs after the teacher makes repeated attempts to gain compliance but finally gives up when the student still refuses to comply. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Teacher Retreating: The Little Known Behavior That Impacts Teaching and Learning
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.