Preservice teachers’ perceptions of challenging behavior

Anne Butler, Lisa Monda-Amaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Challenging behavior can have adverse effects on both students and teachers, and preservice teachers often report feeling ill prepared to manage this behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine (a) preservice teacher perceptions of student and teacher behavior during scenarios of challenging behavior, (b) alternative solutions or strategies in examining the teacher’s role in the scenarios, (c) perceptions of challenging behaviors that may present the greatest difficulty in their future positions, and (d) their attitudes and opinions regarding challenging behavior in the classroom. Results indicated that preservice teachers are able to identify the teacher’s role in scenarios both positively and negatively. The preservice teachers perceived certain behaviors as easy or difficult to manage. Overall, preservice teachers feel moderately confident with classroom management and challenging behavior. Future research on preservice teacher implementation of strategies and behavior management in real-life contexts is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-292
Number of pages17
JournalTeacher Education and Special Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2016


  • At-risk students
  • Behavior management
  • High-incidence disabilities
  • Teacher preparation practices and outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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