Cultural Differences In Classroom Management: A Comparison of Turkish and American Cases

Turkey, ID LLCE2016-308;         In this study classroom management practices of teachers who were raised and educated in two distinct national cultures, Turkish and North American, are compared in a Turkish school setting. The purposes of the study were threefold. The first is to understand the general characteristics that differentiate Turkish teachers from American teachers in terms of classroom management practices. The second is to understand whether and how classroom management practices interact with teachers’ and students’ cultural backgrounds. The last is to understand students’ preferences related to Turkish and American teachers’ classroom management practices. The study is designed as a qualitative (comparative) case study. Data were gathered through classroom observations, student focus groups, and in-depth interviews with teachers. Participants were 9 teachers and 30 students from a language preparatory school of a university situated in Turkey. The results of this study showed that classroom management practices of Turkish teachers were found to be relatively different from their American counterparts. Turkish teachers have a tendency of developing and maintaining more personal (closer) relationships with students, guiding them both in their academic and personal lives, while American teachers tend to have a more impersonal style. With regard to classroom discipline, results revealed that Turkish and American teachers use different coping mechanisms for dealing with misbehavior. Other results on the role of teacher in the classroom and differences in teaching styles are also discussed. 




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