Research Topic: Strategies to minimise noise making in Grade One, at Laugh and Learn Primary School in the Zambezi Region.
Introduction and background
The role of school is to educate, transmit information about different curriculum areas. Education aims to convey the principles and values of society, prepare children for their adult roles and responsibilities and support each individual’s psychological development CITATION Hat09 l 7177 (Hattie, 2009). Teachers thus play a fundamental role in the cognitive development of children by facilitating learning.
Noise making in the schools has become a problem. Teachers have complaints against noise making relating to learners in classrooms. The classrooms where noise making occurs frequently gets less academic engaged time, and learners in these classrooms stand in low category in their academic achievements. Furthermore, attempts to control noise in classrooms cost teachers their time at the expense of academic instructions in the class. Noise making increases the stress levels for both the teachers and learners, disrupt the flow of lessons and the process of learning. It also changes the classroom dynamics as the focus of attention shifts from learner academic tasks to the distractions.
There are many techniques that a teacher can use to manage learners who make noise in class. According to Churchward (2009), one of the techniques teachers may use are the visual and verbal cues. The technique suggest that teachers can make a brief look into the learner’s eyes when they make noise to strongly send a message to the learner. Furthermore, verbal cues can be very simple such as saying the child’s name.
While a classroom is an environment with its own ecology including the teacher, pupils and their interrelationships, both teacher and learners can bring into class the experiences, issues from a wider ecological system in which they live.
Since classroom are complex social and cultural settings with multiple events taking place continuously, CITATION Poo13 l 7177 (Poole, 2013), teachers should be skilful in performing their duties in order to maintain the classroom (Brunette, 2014). One of the important elements to be embraced by teachers is that they should be knowledgeable about what triggers learners to make noise in class for example, they like to talk constantly with their peers and do not listen to their teachers. Thompson (2011) found that learners do not follow instructions from teachers. Other than talking with peers, learners also like putting their hands or body parts on their friends to distract them (Martinez, 2014).
Statement of the problem
In the learning context, noise affects the behaviour, understanding and concertation of learners.CITATION Gul11 l 7177 (Gulec, 2011). This is generally accepted that we are neither free to act as we choose for ourselves. Therefore some usual rules and guidelines are vital for smooth performance and peaceful life. There have been some traditional conducts in schools of keeping learners from making noise in class, and are now non-operational and unsuitable to be used.
Since the burning of corporal punishment in schools, many teachers claim that noise making has increased and take place more regularly in classrooms, the use of corporal punishment was part of a strict approach to managing classroom environment. A well-known sentence was used “spare the rod spoil the child”. This his was very known among teachers for dealing with learners who make noise in class. The need is felt to give importance to learners who make noise in class so that some important areas related to its effects on the teaching and learning process is highlighted though it. So the purpose of this study is to explore strategies to minimise noise making among learners in grade one.
Significance of the Study
The information from this study will serve as the basis for sensitizing teachers about the strategies to use in order to minimize noise making in a Grade 1. The beneficiaries of this study are the teachers and learners. The results will assist teachers to develop the capacity to control noise in their class; teachers will conduct teaching without any disturbances, it will help teachers to achieve the goals of their lessons without any hindrances. It will also help them to have time to assist learners who may face learning difficulties in different curriculum areas and topics. For learners: the results will help them to have time to concentrate on learning and this will improve their academic achievement, this will also help them because young learners are still developing speech discrimination.it also helps learners to build self-esteem and cut down on bad behaviours.
Limitation of the study
Limitations are influences that the researcher cannot control. They are the short comings, conditions or influences that place restrictions on the study. One of the limiting factors that might affect this study is that it is a small scale study and may not necessarily cover the study in more depth. The study is qualitative and doesn’t thus keep the researcher within the framework of qualitative study. The scope of discussion is also a limitation to this study because I don’t have experience of conducting research. The scope and depth of discussions of this research will be compromised in many levels compared to the works of experienced researchers. Literature review is an important part of any research, because it helps to identify the scope of works that have been done so far. Another limitation will be lack of previous studies in my research area.
Delimitations of the study
According to Simon (2011) delimitations are characteristics that limit the scope and define the boundaries of your study, meaning they are controlled by the researcher. The study is focused on one lower primary teacher and a few learners.
What are the causes of noise making among learners in class?
What are the effects of noise on the teaching and learning process?
What strategies can teachers use to minimize noise making in class?
Definition of terms
This study explores literature on noise making in the Grade 0ne class and strategies Grade One teachers can use to ensure that noise making is minimised for effective teaching and learning to take place. The review of literature is significant and this section covers the following areas, for example, causes of noise making in the classroom, the effects of noise on teaching and learning and strategies that can be used to minimize noise making in a Grade One classroom.
Causes of noise making
Possible reasons for making noise in class include the following:
Lack of rules and limits.
In many classrooms, the rules are always negative. Often the rule itself is stated negative “No eating in class”. However, even when the rule is stated positively, however, even when the rule is stated positively “raise your hand to speak” the result of an instruction is normally negative.
Talking out of turn
This is another problem which mainly refer to learners talking among themselves on irrelevant topics that disrupts the lesson, calling out and making remarks on somebody without teacher’s permission.
Some learners get bored and look for ways to distract themselves from concentrating and thus make noise.
Being the centre of attention
This is a common desire for learners CITATION Sap14 l 7177 (Sapna, 2014). Learners make noise to express a desire for more control in the classroom and acting inappropriately makes them feel powerful.
Effects of noise on learning and teaching
Noise making cases disturbances in the classroom and makes it difficult for learners to enjoy the educational process. Learning in an environment with a high level of noise is challenging as the objectives intended for will be difficulty to achieve. Sometimes, the noise is louder than the teacher’s voice making teaching and learning difficult.
Children’s brains are not fully developed for listening until they are in their early teenage years, and primary school age learners find it much harder to hear and understand their teachers.CITATION Shi l 7177 (Shield and Dockrell, 2008). Today’s teaching methods such as group work contribute the increasing noise levels in the classroom.
Shield ; Dockrell, (2008) say noise can interfere with concentration and speech recognition and can impair educational outcomes. To recognise speech, young children need a quieter setting than adults.
Basic literacy and numeracy skills
These will not develop properly in a classroom where they miss hearing key words, phrases and concepts due to learners who make noise while the teacher is talking. Therefore, interference interrupts the process of acquiring those essential abilities in learners.
Reading and writing
Noise making undermines reading, writing and comprehension skills, as well as overall academic performance, as noise makes it hard to focus on the task being performed.
Strategies to minimise noise making in class
A well-managed classroom is a productive learning environment and one in which there is order and teaching and learning CITATION Jon00 l 7177 (Jones, 2000). It is good to allow certain noise levels that work depending on the task at hand.
A good seating arrangement is the cheapest form of managing learners. It is discipline for free. Many experienced teachers recommend assigned seating arrangement for learners to facilitate discipline and instruction. CITATION Jon00 l 7177 (Jones, 2000). They argue that learners left on their own will always choose a seat that places the teacher at the greatest disadvantage. Learners should be seated where their attention is directed toward the teacher.
Learners should actively follow the guidelines governing classroom behaviour CITATION Jon00 l 7177 (Jones, 2000). Best practices recommend minimizing the number of rules. Teachers however should provide limited structural input so that rules are direct, clear and consistent and encourage positive behaviour.in addition, teachers must make sure that rules are designed to support a concept of consequences for inappropriate behaviour rather than punishment.
This study is a case study and will adopt a qualitative research approach. Qualitative research is defined as a systematic method used to describe life experiences and giving them meaning. The disadvantages of qualitative design are that it creates findings that are valuable, but difficult to present. Data created through qualitative research is not always accepted due to the subjective nature of the data that is collected.
The targeted population in this study will be two classes for grade one learners and all Grade One teachers at the school.
Creswell (2012) states that “a sample is a subgroup of the target population that the researcher plans to study for generalizing about the target population” (p.142). In this research, the sample will be: one grade one teacher including some individual learners.
Instrument and data collection
In this study I will collect data by interviewing the teacher and observing her lessons, as follows:
I will gather field notes by: Conducting an observation as a nonparticipant observer by visiting the site and record notes without becoming involved in the activities. As a form of data collection, observations has both advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include the opportunity to record information as it occurs in a setting, to study actual behaviour, and to study individuals who have dif?culty verbalizing their ideas. Observing in a setting requires good listening skills and careful attention to visual detail. It also requires management of issues such as the potential deception by people being observed. A qualitative interview occurs when researchers ask one or more participants general, open-ended questions and record their answers. The researcher then transcribes and types the data into a computer ?le for analysis.
In this study I will use open-ended questions so that the participants can best share their experiences unconstrained by any perspective of the researcher. Interviews have both advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages are that they provide useful information when you cannot directly observe participants, and they provide participants the opportunity to share information with the interviewer. Compared to the observer, the interviewer also has better control over the types of information received, because the interviewer can ask speci?c questions to elicit this information. Some disadvantages are that interviews provide only information ?ltered through the views of the interviewers. Interview data may be deceptive and provide the perspective the interviewee wants the researcher to hear. Another disadvantage is that the presence of the researcher may affect how the interviewee responds. Interviewee responses may also not be articulate. . In addition, equipment issues may be a problem, and you need to organize recording and transcribing equipment (if used) in advance of the interview. Furthermore, during the interview, the researcher needs to give some attention to the conversation with the participants. This attention may require saying little, handling emotional outbursts, and using icebreakers to encourage individuals to talk.
Alternatively, I will listen to the tapes and read my ?eld notes to begin the process of analysis. I will transcribe data that I will collect, trough words through interviewing participants and by writing ?eld notes during observations. This necessitates a need to convert these words to a computer document for analysis. As a researcher, I will analyse the data by hand. I will read data, mark it by hand, and divide it into themes.
Ethical issues are at the forefront of the research agenda. In order to adhere to ethical consideration, I will respect the research site seek permission from the school before entering the research site. This will be done by taking an introductory letter from University of Namibia UNAM research committee to the school where I will conduct the research. A consent form will be presented to teachers to seek their consent, and in case of children under the age of 18 years, consent forms will be given to their parents in order for me to be granted permission to involve them in the study. I will explain to my participants the purpose of the study, and how obtained results will be used. I will assure them that there will be no negative consequences for them taking part in the study and that their anonymity will be protected, and that they have the right to refuse to take part or to withdraw from the study at any time they want.