Abstract: Teacher education programs are often accused of failing to prepare preservice teachers for real life classroom situations.
In the case of research on classroom management, the focal point is often classroom teachers and their educational and behavioral
goals rather than students’ experiences. This study aims to explore the perspectives of preservice teachers on their attitudes and
behaviors in the university classrooms. For this purpose, 40 preservice teachers, who studied in the Early Childhood Education
department at a state university in Turkey, were selected. The interview was chosen as the data collection method. The interview
questions were based on the questions that Cothran, Kulinna and Garrahy (2003) used in their study with the secondary physical
education students. The collected data were analyzed by the constant comparison method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) and common
themes were constructed through the analytic induction method (LeCompte & Preissle, 1993). In this study, the findings indicated
that incompatible behaviors served different functions in teacher education classrooms. The preservice teachers perceived punitive
teacher responses to students’ negative behaviors as compelling, ineffective and mostly humiliating practices. The preservice
teachers provided three main elements that affect their attitudes, behaviors and experiences in a teacher education classroom.
These elements were related to students, teachers, and the context of the classroom. The preservice teachers perceived their
positive or negative behaviors mostly as reactions to the behavior of the teacher and the classroom environment.