Classroom management is a term used by teachers to describe the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run smoothly despite disruptive behavior by students. The term also implies the prevention of disruptive behavior. It is possibly the most difficult aspect of teaching for many teachers; indeed experiencing problems in this area causes some to leave teaching altogether. In 1981 the US National Educational Association reported that 36% of teachers said they would probably not go into teaching if they had to decide again. A major reason was "negative student attitudes and discipline".Solving Discipline Problems Charles H Wolfgang and Carl D Glickman 1986 (Allyn and Bacon)
According to Moskowitz & Hayman (1976), once a teacher loses control of their classroom, it becomes increasingly more difficult for them to regain that control.Moskowitz, G., & Hayman, J. L., Jr. (1976). Success strategies of inner-city teachers: A year-long study. Journal of Educational Research, 69, 283-289. Also, research from Berliner (1988) and Brophy & Good (1986) shows that the time that teacher has to take to correct misbehavior caused by poor classroom management skills results in a lower rate of academic engagement in the classroom.Berliner, D. C. (1988). Effective classroom management and instruction: A knowledge base for consultation. In J. L. Graden, J. E. Zins, & M. J. Curtis (Eds.), Alternative educational delivery systems: Enhancing instructional options for all students (pp. 309-325). Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists.Brophy, J. E., & Good, T. L. (1986). Teacher behavior and student achievement. In M. C. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (3rd ed., pp. 328-375). New York: Macmillan. From the student’s perspective, effective classroom management involves clear communication of behavioral and academic expectations as well as a cooperative learning environment.Allen, J.D. (1986). Classroom management: students' perspectives, goals, and strategies. American Educational Research Journal, 23, 437-459.
Classroom management is closely linked to issues of motivation, discipline and respect. Methodologies remain a matter of passionate debate amongst teachers; approaches vary depending on the beliefs a teacher holds regarding educational psychology. A large part of traditional classroom management involves behavior modification, although many teachers see using behavioral approaches alone as overly simplistic. Many teachers establish rules and procedures at the beginning of the school year. According to Gootman (2008), rules give students concrete direction to ensure that our expectation becomes a reality.Gootman, Marilyn E. The caring teacher's guide to discipline : helping students learn self-control, responsibility, and respect, K-6. 2008, p.36
They also try to be consistent in enforcing these rules and procedures. Many would also argue for positive consequences when rules are followed, and negative consequences when rules are broken. There are newer perspectives on classroom management that attempt to be holistic. One example is affirmation teaching, which attempts to guide students toward success by helping them see how their effort pays off in the classroom. It relies upon creating an environment where students are successful as a result of their own efforts.Pintrich, P.R., & De Groot E. V. (1990). Motivational and self-regulated learning components of classroom academic performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 33-40. By creating this type of environment, students are much more likely to want to do well. This transforms a classroom into a community of well-behaved and self-directed learners.
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