How Educators Response to Students Diagnosed With Emotional Disturbance Influence the Behavior Research Paper

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ED Students and Teacher Behavior

How Educators' Response to Students Diagnosed with Emotional Disturbance Influence the Behavior of These Students

This research focused on the impact of the emotionally disturbed in the classroom. The key objective of the study was to examine how the educator's response to the student influenced the behavior of the student. It was designed to determine whether their responses help or hinder the progress of the students. Several types of emotional disturbances were addressed in this study. They included student's self-awareness, disciplinary history, and student involvement in school. Students with emotional disturbances often experience lower grades or have frequent appearances in the administrator's office (Sutherland, Lewis-Palmer, Strichter & Morgan, 2008). Helping students to gain control of themselves will not only help the student, but will help the teacher to maintain a more orderly classroom. This study explores the impact of teacher responses to children with disciplinary problems and its impact on their behaviors.


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One of the key factors that affected the design of the study is that every child with an emotional disturbance is unique. Their specific needs are addressed by an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), which lays out specific outcomes, performance goals and the course of action that will be taken to achieve them. Only students with more serious emotional disturbances have an IEP, but that does not mean that less severely emotionally disturbed children are any less difficult to handle in the classroom (Sutherland, Lewis-Palmer, Strichter & Morgan, 2008). Accommodations in the classroom allow students with severe emotional disturbances to participate in the regular classroom and to complete the same assignments as other children.

Research Paper on How Educators Response to Students Diagnosed With Emotional Disturbance Influence the Behavior of These Students Assignment

The individuality of the student's emotional disturbance and the uniqueness of their IEP create confounding variables that can affect the outcome of the study (Sutherland, Lewis-Palmer, Strichter & Morgan, 2008). The rationale for this study will take into account these factors and their ability to influence study results. These confounding variables cannot be eliminated from the study altogether, but the affects of them can be minimized. The rationale for this study was developed with these factors in mind.

Responses and behaviors can be more easily measured than thoughts and feelings. They provide a solid reference point that can be used for assessment purposes. Measurement of behaviors and responses provides a practical means to develop a quantitative study of how teacher responses affect student behavior in emotionally disturbed children. However, due to the variability in the emotional disturbances of the children, a direct measurement of behavior would not provide a clear assessment of the research questions.

Children with severe behavior problems would be more likely to have a higher level of undesirable behavior than those with milder problems. This variability in baseline behavior makes group assessment of behavioral changes difficult, if not impossible. Direct measurement of improvements in behavior is difficult in this sample population. Children with an IEP for a behavioral problem are unique individuals, with differing behavioral goals and expected outcomes. A sample population such as this makes it difficult to measure directly behavioral changes using quantitative measures.

Quantitative measurement of behavioral changes in the students would provide the most accurate assessment of the impact of teacher treatment on those students. However, for practical purposes, this method was not deemed appropriate for the current research study. Another factor that makes this type of assessment difficult is that human behavior is difficult to predict. There are many factors that influence an individual's decision to behave in a certain way. Many of which may not be related to the study at all. External factors, such as changes in the home situation may contribute to behavioral changes at school. These factors cannot be controlled, nor predicted, but they can affect the outcome of the study. This factor contributes to the difficulties of assessing the sample population using direct measurement of behavioral changes.

These problems make a direct measurement of behavioral issues impractical for this study. Direct measurement of behavioral issues is likely to be tainted by biases and external factors. In a population that is as individual as the one for this study, another popular method is often used. The case study is a qualitative method where the researcher simply observes the behaviors of the participant. The researcher has very little influence on the outcome of the study. They cannot administer test procedures and/or compare them to another group. Every individual in the group is unique in many ways. In this type of population group, subjective observations are often used in this situation.

However, subjective observations are not suitable to this study for several reasons. Observational studies where the researcher observes the interactions of the teacher and the behavior of the student. However, researcher bias would be problematic, particularly given the potential biases towards the more unruly student. The researcher may tend to over exaggerate or under estimate the observed behaviors among the student population. This type of study method is not appropriate for this study.

Case study technique is another method that can be used when the sample population has unique characteristics and variables that affect it and make it unique. However, case study technique often does not give the researcher information that can be generalized to other situations and settings. Therefore, this method was not chosen for this study.

Although, opinions and feelings are more difficult to assess accurately, this was the chosen method for this research study. This study used the thoughts and feelings of the teachers as the primary means to measure the dependent variables. The survey technique used as hybrid quantitative and qualitative research method. Some of the questions were worded in such a manner as to require an answer that could easily be turned into a data point. Other questions were worded in such a manner as to require a longer, narrative answer. This allowed the researcher to produce results that could be applied to the general population and to provide more in-depth answers as well.

Study Design

This study used a survey technique to examine teacher responses and feelings regarding emotionally disturbed students in their classroom. The independent variable in this study will consist of the presence of an emotionally disturbed child in the classroom. The type and severity of the emotional disturbance could be expected to influence the opinions and reactions of the teachers to the students. However, due to the difficulties associated with measuring these factors discussed earlier, the severity of the emotional illness will not be addressed in this study. Instead, the study will focus on the presence or absence of an emotional disturbance in the student as the independent variable in this study. This method limits the severity of the disturbance as a confounding variable in the study.

The dependent variable of the study is the teacher's response to the student with an emotional disturbance. Their thoughts and feelings are the dependent variable in the study, as measured by their survey responses. The dependent variable can be broken into its components; each one answers a separate research question. When taken in aggregate, the sum of these individual variables helps to support the research hypothesis.

The dependent variables in the study can be broken down into the following components, as addressed in the survey.

1. The types of emotional disturbances present in the classroom.

2. The percentages of students responding well to their IEP.

3. Students that need assistance managing their feelings and behavior.

4. Students that use their diagnosis as an excuse for avoiding responsibilities.

5. Number of students involved in extracurricular activities.

6. Students that need to be inspired to participate in extracurricular activities.

7. How often the teacher must redirect a student's behavior.

8. Their response to the student's behaviors in their classroom.

These factors represent different dependent variables within the study criteria.

The factors associated with measuring the dependent variables were discussed in the development of the rationale for the study. It is difficult to directly measure these dependent variables in a manner that would be meaningful in the study setting. Although, the study used response types that are similar to quantitative research, in actuality, the responses are highly subjective, in absence of a means to directly measure them. Therefore, the responses to the questions are subject to many of the limitations and biases that are present in a qualitative study.

The survey requires teachers to take their best guess at the percentages required in the responses. They were not provided criteria for their responses. For example, in question number 2, the teachers were asked what percentages of their students were responding to their IEP. The teachers must devise their own method for making this estimation. Does this mean that the student is meeting all of their IEP goals, half of their IEP goals, or one-fourth of their IEP goals? Even though the question asks for a percentage, the response and measurement of this dependent variable are still highly subjective (Lane, Wehby, Robertson, & Rogers, 2007).

These factors do not limit the ability of the study to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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