«European Journal of Contemporary Education» – international scientific Journal.

E-ISSN 2305-6746

Publication frequency – once in 3 months.
Issued from 2012.


How Students Acquire Self-Control:

Primary School Teachers’ Concepts from Turkey


Bahri Aydin a , Rushan Ziatdinov b , *


a Department of Educational Sciences, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey

b Department of Industrial and Management Engineering, Keimyung University, Republic of Korea


* Corresponding author

E-mail addresses: (Bahri Aydin), (Rushan Ziatdinov)



Self-control is a basic skill which enables individuals to be happy and successful, and it can and needs to be improved through education. One of the objectives of maintaining discipline in a classroom is to facilitate students in developing self-control, and the opinions of teachers may be taken into account regarding this. Moreover, teachers have a crucial role in helping students to develop these skills. The aim of our work is to assess how Turkish primary school teachers can help students acquire these skills. The research was conducted using data from one hundred and three primary school teachers from ten schools in Bolu, Turkey, utilising a screening model. Two sample events relating to how students can acquire self-control were given to teachers in a form. The opinions of the teachers were then represented visually as sector charts using a computer algebra system Mathematica v.10, based on the data provided.

Keywords: self-control, self-discipline, classroom discipline, teacher behaviour, primary school, classroom management.


1. Introduction

The economic, social, cultural and political development of a country depends on the quality of the population the country raises. One of the factors affecting this quality is classroom management by teachers and especially teachers’ disciplinary approach in the classroom. Classroom management can be analysed in five dimensions as the physical order of a classroom environment, plan-program activities, activities for time management, arrangement of relationships and the regulation of attitudes (Başar, 1994). There have been many definitions within the framework of classroom management in addition to recent significant works in this area by Turkish researchers. With these definitions kept in mind, classroom management enables students to achieve the educational aim of the course (Özyürek, 2001; Gündüz et al.; 2004; Erden, 2008) removes obstacles that prevent teachers and students from studying (Özsoy, 2003; Başar, 1994), provides and sustains an appropriate learning environment for the students (Özsoy, 2003; Karip, 2003; Gündüz et al., 2004), provdes supervision and guidance of behaviour (Özyürek, 2001; Çelik, 2002; Erden, 2008), enables students to participate in activities (Özsoy, 2003; Başar, 1994; Şişman, 1999), prevents unfavourable attitudes (Şişman, 1999), maintains motivation (Karip, 2003), enables instructional periods to be used appropriately (Özsoy, 2003; Başar, 1994; Sarıtaş, 2000; Çelik, 2002; Şişman, 1999; Karip 2003), manages resources and students well (Özsoy, 2003) helps interaction to be used effectively (Özyürek, 2001; Sarıtaş, 2000; Karip, 2003), to designate classroom rules (Çelik, 2002; Karip, 2003), arranges the physical environment (Şişman, 1999; Karip 2003; Özyürek, 2001), and it is also instrumental in helping students to control themselves emotionally and behaviourally (Celep, 2000).


2. Materials and Methods

 The research sample consisted of teachers with a first degree selected from four primary schools in Bolu, Turkey. A total of 103 teachers from 10 schools took part in the research. During the time period in which the study was conducted, compulsory education consisted of 8 years in Turkey. Class teachers taught the grades of 1–5. In grades 6–8, branch teachers would teach. The data in this study was gathered through class teachers in the 1–5 grades. In Bolu, there are almost eight hundred teachers, and sixty elementary schools. The teachers employed in the districts were not included.



3. Findings

The findings relating to the sample events presented to the teachers are illustrated in Fig. 1 and 2. The first figure shows the opinions of the teachers who asked their students to continue with their work as if the teacher was present in the classroom; the second figure includes opinions about the students who are expected to take their place without a warning to 'go in'.


4. Discussion

Assigning tasks to students while teacher is not present in the classroom may contribute to the students’ acquisition of self-control. Students may adopt the skill of self-control by the teacher giving responsibilities to the students first in the classroom and then outside the classroom.

Giving students set tasks such as a test, homework or worksheet is in a way to give students responsibilities. It is important for students to be held responsible for certain behaviors as a way of learning and gaining self-control. Responsibility is child’s fulfillment of his/her tasks in accordance with the age, gender and level of development starting from the early childhood ages (Yavuzer, 1998). According to Jones, the teachers, who want their students to gain more sense of responsibility, often assign their students tasks of arranging classroom materials, helping maintenance of plants and animal care, etc. on a more regular basis (Charles, 2008). When the literary background is analysed, the occasions that allow students to have responsibilities are stated as to helping to designate classroom rules and procedures and additionally to help student obey them. This produces rational results enabling classroom harmony, helping students to participate in designation of academic objectives, choose learning activities, study with groups, study independently in the class, study independently outside the class, evaluate the behaviors of the peers, assist the peers in correcting their behavior, and to take part in class meetings (Duke & Jones, 1985; Yurtal & Yontar, 2006). Yurtal and Yontar (2006) found out in their research that teachers want their students to fulfill individual studies, homework-project and group studies but most of all to adopt a habit of responsibility.


5. Conclusion

This research is aimed at exploring self-control of school students, which is one of the key objectives of maintaining classroom discipline. In the research, opinions of primary school first degree teachers were sought and analyzed.

Self-control is one of the basic skills which helps individuals to be happy and successful, and it needs and can be improved through education. Teachers have a crucial role in enabling students to gain and develop these skills. Teachers may help students to gain self-control skills by giving responsibilities to them, cooperating with students to make classroom rules, helping students to adopt healthy free time habits, explaining the reasons and importance of the expected behavior, and using reward systems.



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