Abstract

Since challenging behaviors are present in classrooms, it is imperative to understand how teachers acknowledge and respond to these unwanted actions within their schools. The overarching purpose of this study is to understand schoolteachers' perspectives on the causes of students' unwanted behaviors and their responses in the classroom. The study was also designed to explore schoolteachers' perspectives on the relationship between the students' challenging behavior and disability. A total of 1,056 Ghanaian (n = 502) and Namibian (n = 554) schoolteachers were surveyed to identify their understanding of causes of their students' challenging behavior and how they addressed the behaviors. Results of the study indicated that the teachers perceived challenging behavior as related to discipline and not disability. Most teachers also believed that both home and school environmental factors influenced challenging behavior. Furthermore, most schoolteachers from both countries did not believe that physical punishment was an effective way to address challenging behavior and did not support its use in schools. Teacher training programs in both countries need to emphasize the use of evidence-based proactive strategies to address students' challenging behavior in order to minimize the use of punitive strategies such as physical punishment.

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