Adaptation of General System Theory and Structural Family Therapy Approach to Classroom Management in Early Childhood Education


CUKUROVA UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF EDUCATION JOURNAL, vol.46, no.2, pp.665-696, 2017 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.14812/cuefd.300993
  • Page Numbers: pp.665-696


The applications and interventions related to classroom management are often based on behaviorist learning theories. While focusing on the individual and the behavior, behaviorist learning theories often neglect the context and the patterns of communication through which the behavior arises. This study aims to examine the structure of a classroom by exploring the similarities between classroom and family life. General Systems Theory and Structural Family Therapy were used to explore and interpret preschool teachers' classroom management experiences. In this study, eight teachers working in an independent preschool in Yuregir, Adana, were chosen to be interviewed twice during different time in a year. These interviews were done to identify their classroom management approaches and explore the management problems that they were experiencing. The data were analyzed through qualitative content analysis. The findings fell into three main categories: behavioral patterns, belief systems and context. It was found that when teachers established a sense of authority in the classroom, when the rules and the expectations were clear and consistent, and when students formed a sense of belongingness in the classroom without sacrificing their sense of autonomy, then behavioral problems seemed to decrease. These findings correspond with those of family studies.