This paper is an analysis of a peer-reviewed article, which evaluates the use of online blogs in developing behaviour management approaches among students who aspire to be teachers. The analysis will be based on reports presented by the study. The strengths and weaknesses presented by the article will also be examined. The writing will also be assessed by examining bias, the quality of evidence, opinion and the appropriateness of the study to the target audience.
This article shows that for a teacher to manage the behaviour of students effectively, they must have the required teaching skills, in order to ensure the learning environment is supportive for the students and the teachers. It is evident that behaviour management issues are among the factors that have posed challenges for students aspiring to be teachers. This is illustrated from the discipline cases, which cause increased stress and burnout among many teachers. The inability of many student teachers to manage stressful behaviour has deterred many students from joining the profession. This is the reason the article concentrates on the value of blogging in managing behaviour by student teachers while they are on placement.
The information is from other literature and a study conducted among 74 third year students and 17 fourth year students who were undertaking a Bachelors Degree in education. The participants are also individuals who had studied the subject on behaviour management. Some of the methods used in collecting data include blog postings and interviews from focus groups. The article uses responses from the blog postings and participants to evaluate if blogs are a learning tool or if they are not useful (Reupert & Dalgarno, 2011).
An evaluation of the articles reveals that there are various strengths presented by the article. The strengths are evident from the literature review. The study conducts an in depth analysis of previous studies that have been conducted on how blogs play a role in the management behaviour by students who aspire to be teachers. For example, the author attempts to identify other causes of the problem by evaluating reports from previous studies. One of the problems highlighted includes the lack of adequate training in dealing with misbehaviour among student teachers. The other strength presented by the literature review is in the use of evidence. Some of the studies use data to make inferences about the topic. Such data can play a vital role for the study because the author can use the information to make comparison with the results of the study that was conducted.
The other strength is that the literature review not only concentrates on studies conducted among student teachers on behaviour management, but it also examines reports by senior teachers on behaviour management by student teachers. This shows that the author conducted thorough research, which was vital in eliminating bias. Although this study concerns behaviour management among student teachers, the article does not just concentrate on the problems of the student teachers, which is another way through which bias is eliminated. The author attempts to eliminate bias by examining two sides of the problem. For example, the article highlights some of the problems that have been experienced by teacher educators while training student teachers on behaviour management (Anfara, Brown, & Mangione, 2002).
Such an evaluation makes the study valid because it presents other strategies that could be used in helping student teachers with behaviour management. For example, some of the solutions proposed in the article include the desire of step-by-step strategies in addressing bad behaviour among student teachers. The other solution is the use of practical mechanisms that are effective within a short time. This shows that the study is not biased because although the aim is to evaluate how blogging would enhance behaviour management among student teachers, it also examines other possible mechanisms that would be effective, and highlights why the mechanistic approaches are rarely used. For example, the author shows that mechanistic approaches tend to simplify the nature of student teachers.
The other strength depicted by the article is evident in the presentation of opinion. This allows the reader to conduct a comparison on the similarities and differences presented by other authors. The quality of evidence and the effective presentation of opinion are other strengths presented by the article. For example, the results are presented based on two research questions where the first question was how students examined use of blogs, and the second question being lessons learnt by student teachers from blog activity. Examining responses to these two questions, helps the reader to draw conclusions whether the respondents support issue or not. This is advantageous as opposed to using statistical data in presenting data, which is normally prone to bias by the researcher (Atici, 2007).
The manner in which variables have been used in presenting the respondents opinion is the other strength presented by the research. For instance, some of the variables include the effectiveness on blogs in the provision of support and advice, the effectiveness of blogs on time imposition, and their impact in providing students with opportunities for venting. Presentation of data in such a manner is effective because it not only reveals the number of respondents who support or are against the issues, but it also provides reasons behind the responses by presenting the views of the participants. The presentation of results can also be considered appropriate to the target audience. For example, if the audience were student teachers then the article would be useful because from the responses they would be capable of knowing how blogs would be effective in solving the problem. An examination of some of the responses presented in the article shows that there are participants who support the use of blogs in addressing the problems while there are others who are against it. Reading these responses can help the audience weigh options before drawing conclusions about the issue (Francis, 1995).
Despite the strengths that are presented in the article, there are also weaknesses that can be seen from reading the article. The first weakness is in the manner in which the article addresses bias. This can be seen from the selection of the sample. Although the research is conducted among students who had undertaken a subject on behaviour management, the study does not depict age and gender balance. The study should have ensured equal participation of underage and mature students. It would have also ensured both female and male students participate equally (Reupert & Dalgarno, 2011). The other limitation is in the presentation of opinion. Although the responses obtain depict quality of evidence, the author should have incorporated statistical data in presenting the opinion provided by the participants. This would enhance ease for the reader in drawing conclusions whether the proposed solution is effective or not.
In conclusion, the peer reviewed article can be considered effective to the target audience evident in the manner in which information is presented. Some of the strengths presented by the article are evident from the in depth analysis of other literature, the presentation of opinion, and the presentation of results, which is appropriate to the target audience. However, the article also portrays weakness in some of the areas. For example, it depicts bias in the selection of participants, and it does not also use statistical data to present opinion.
- Anfara, V. A., Brown, K. M., & Mangione, T. L. (2002). Qualitative analysis on stage: Making the research process more public. Educational Researcher, 31(7), 28-38.
- Atici, M. (2007). A small-scale study on student teachers’ perceptions of classroom management and methods for dealing with misbehaviour. Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties, 12(1), 15-27.
- Francis, D. (1995). The reflective journal: A window to preservice teachers’ practical knowledge. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11(3), 229-241.
- Reupert, A., & Dalgarno, B. (2011). Using Online Blogs to Develop Student Teachers’ Behaviour Management Approaches. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(5)