This study is about how student perceptions of teacher behaviour influence their own behaviour and what implications follow for behavioural management in Malaysian secondary schools. A quantitative questionnaire was administered to 120 students from four secondary schools in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. Semi structured and open interviews were used with a subsample of 32 students (8 from each school) and 8 Discipline Teachers (2 from each school) selected on the basis of survey responses which explored their relationships further. Data was analysed with SPSS. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify the underlying domains. Secondly, stepwise logistic regression analysis was used to explore the combined and separate effects of teacher characteristics on student behaviour. Findings revealed that a considerable number of students disliked their teachers and subjects taught at their schools. The P values for most of the perceived teacher characteristics were significant (P< 0.05). The data from both surveys and interviews were further analysed in the context of typology. The data compared teachers’ professionalism with reference to their pedagogical, ethical, interpersonal and disciplining styles. Students’ negative perceptions of some teachers were found to be correlated with students’ self reported behaviour. In this respect the views of Discipline Teachers were supportive and added some nuance to students’ perceived teacher characteristics. It was concluded that student perceptions of teacher characteristics may contribute to student disciplinary problems and hence this has implications for behavioural management in schools. \ud It is argued that schools need to examine problems that are within their means and their capacity to resolve. It is further proposed that in order to minimise student disciplinary problems, teachers need to reflect upon their own behaviour and professional practices. Implications for future policies on teacher recruitment and professional development are discussed. It is concluded that teachers’ skills in the effective management of student behaviour are indeed a sign of teacher professionalism
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