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1.1      Background of the study

The issue of undesirable behaviours among children today is a cause of concern among parents, teachers, governments and even children themselves. This is because in recent times there has been a general outcry about undesirable behaviors among children in the society at large and particularly in schools. Cruickshank, Jenkins and Metcalf (2003) comment that, a common persistent problem among teachers, and perhaps the greatest fear of new teachers, is student misbehavior. This problem has also been found to be responsible for many teachers leaving the teaching profession. There is the belief among experts that there is a link between behaviour and learning and as such behaviour should not be considered in isolation from teaching and learning (Grigg, 2010). Undesirable behaviors are believed to have the tendency to impede learning rather than promote learning. Other terms used to refer to undesirable behaviors include, abnormal behavior, misbehavior, inappropriate behavior, disruptive behavior, among others. Efforts have therefore been made to develop strategies that can be used to control undesirable behaviors. To this end there is what experts call behavior modification theories. These are used as guides to control/modify children’s behavior. Every individual all over the world has one form of behavior or the other. Behavioral attitude is one thing every one exhibits and it is our nature to do so. Most of our behavior, left to it, is biased, partial or prejudiced, yet the quality of our life and that of what we build depend on the quality of one behavior. It is important to differentiate between disruptive classroom behavior that which directly interferes with the ability of the instructor to teach or the ability of other students to benefit from the classroom experience from behavior that is merely rude or uncivil. While the latter may become disruptive when it is repetitive or persistent, it usually is best addressed by example and influence. Behavior modification, behavior therapy and behavior counseling are often used interchangeably in literature. However, the major concern is on Behaviour modification. Onwuasoanya (2006), viewed behavior modification as a behavioral science technique, which involves the application of principles derived from research in experimental psychology to alleviate human suffering and increase human functioning. Mahoney (2006), also looked at behavior modification as any technique, which involves the use of broadly, defined set of clinical procedure whose descriptive and rationale often rely on the experimental finding of psychological research. All behaviours follow a set of consistent rules. It is worthy of note that the causes of many undesirable behaviours in schools are beyond the scope of the school. Factors such as poverty, lack of social support and parenting patterns contribute a lot to pupils’ behaviours. It might therefore be difficult for teachers to influence such factors but they can seek for ways of controlling them, especially in the classroom. Undesirable behaviours can impact on the efficiency and productivity of the class in a situation where the classroom teacher is unable to maintain effective classroom control. Some common undesirable behaviours among pupils in the classroom include noise making, failing to do assignments, not paying attention, chewing or eating during lessons, missing classes, bullying and lying among others (Machumu, 2011). The notion of whether behaviour is good or bad is not static because it varies from place to place and from time to time. This is why Grigg (2010) comments that one of the difficulties in assessing the extent of disruptive behaviour in schools is that it is context-specific. Johnston, Halocha and Chapter (2007) also opine that good behaviour in children is not a fixed or definite thing, any more than the good life is an agreed notion among adults. What we require of children will differ from one society or age to the other; therefore our present expectations must be seen as temporary rather than certain solutions. This is why there have been concerns about standards of pupils’ behavior. This notwithstanding, there are certain behaviors that are actually undesirable especially in the classroom irrespective of the place, the time and even the culture. Therefore concerns about undesirable behaviors in schools are being expressed all over the world today


Behaviour could be very difficult to define in precise terms because of cultural differences. Every culture has its own accepted standard or norms of behaviour. A behaviour regarded as appropriate in one culture may be abnormal or inappropriate in another culture. It is a systematic way of changing an undesirable behavior to a desirable one. Behavior modification is presently seen as a process of helping people to learn how to solve certain inter personal, emotional and decision problems. According to Steer and Porter (1981) there are force that serves in three functions of human behaviour; it energizes or causes people to act; it  directs behaviors towards the attainment of specific goal and it sustains the effort expanded in reaching those goals. The control importance of motivation in the classroom is for learner to emulate good behavior. This will foster effective learning in the classroom. It is against this backdrop that the researcher intends to investigate the technique used by primary school teachers in controlling class room undesirable behaviors.


The main objective of this study is to investigate the technique used by primary school teachers in controlling pupils classroom undesirable behaviors. But for the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objective;

i)             To investigate the technique adopted by primary school teachers in curbing pupils behavior

ii)           To ascertain the impact of undesirable behavior on the academic performance of the pupils

iii)          To ascertain the role of the teachers in controlling pupils undesired behavior

iv)         To investigate the relationship between pupils behavior and academic performance


To aid the completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher

 H0: the technique adopted by primary school teachers does not curb undesired behavior among primary school pupil

H1: the technique adopted by primary school teachers does curb undesired behavior among primary school pupil

H02: undesired behavior does not have any impact on the pupils academic performance

H2: undesired behavior does have any impact on the pupils academic performance.


It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the primary school teachers, as the study seek to stress on the role and importance of primary school teachers in controlling the undesirable character of the pupils, the study will also be of great benefit to the headmistress, headmasters, proprietors and proprietress as the study seek to explore the role of teachers in the grooming of primary school pupils in Nigeria. The study will also be of great importance to student who intend to embark on a study in similar topic as the findings of the study will serve as a pathfinder to them. Finally the study will be of great importance to students, teachers and the general public as the finding will add to the pool of existing literature.


The scope of the study covers the technique used by primary school teachers in controlling pupils classroom undesirable behaviors. But in the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a)     AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material      available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

b)     TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider         coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities        and examinations with the study.

c)     FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not     allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the        researcher has other academic bills to cover.



Book Definition:behaving in ways that are statistically rare and violate social norms of what is legally or morally acceptable or desirable. In Your Own Words. Doing something illegal or not socially acceptable. Acting in a way that violates social normal or is uncommon.

Primary school

A primary school (or elementary school in American English and often in Canadian English) is a school in which children receive primary or elementary education from the age of about five to twelve, coming after preschool and before secondary school.



This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc. Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.     Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

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