According to Rogers cited in Coetzee, Van Niekerk, & Wydeman (2008), classroom climate is the tone that the class experiences in normal daily life. The classroom is essentially a group of learners brought together for the common goal of learning. The attitude of the class depends on the attitudes of the individuals in the classroom, as well as the educator’s attitude. The educators’ role is to use their knowledge, skill and behaviour to create an effective and positive learning environment in their classroom (Coetzee, Van Niekerk, & Wydeman, 2008). Coetzee et al (2008) postulate that the educator can develop a positive classroom environment by: distinguishing the features of a classroom as a learning environment, discussing stages for building a positive classroom environment, managing resources for effective teaching, establishing a socio-emotional classroom environment by focusing on communication, educator-learner relationships and peer-relationships and finally by designing and applying a personal discipline strategy. For the purpose of this essay, I will focus on how the educator can create and sustain a positive atmosphere in the classroom through; learner motivation, communication, interpersonal relations between learner and facilitator, discipline and a classroom discipline policy.
The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called "truth." ~Dan Rather
The great Albert Einstein said “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” If the knowledge we present to learners is not clear, interesting and at an appropriate level, it is fair to assume that they will lack the motivation to learn (Coetzee et al. 2008). Engaging lessons are instrumental in capturing the class’s attention and establishing a positive learning environment. Additionally, learners that are actively engaged in lessons are less likely to disrupt the class with poor behaviour.
A number of conditions are thought to improve learner motivation in the classroom, these include: establishing inclusion, developing attitude, enhancing meaning and engendering competence (Coetzee et al. 2008). By creating an environment where educators and learners feel connected to and respected by each other you establish inclusions. A learner that feels included, whether it is by his peers or by the teacher in the classroom, develops a sense of belonging. Belonging, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, is one of the most basic needs that must be met in order to ensure higher cognitive development (Schoeman, Jansen, Dreyer, Swanepoel, & van As, 2006). Developing a positive attitude ensures that the learners are comfortable and not afraid of failing in their attempts to learn. Fear of failure stifles a learner’s motivation to try, which in turn inhibits learning, and leaves the learner with a sense of failure. Educators can enhance the meaning of the lesson by creating challenging, thoughtful learning experiences that consider the learners values and perspectives. This will inspire the learners to believe that they can achieve a goal that they value.
The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind (Kahlil Gibran).
Motivation is a quality that must permeate every aspect of teaching and learning. Because, motivated teacher show an interest in activities, and are willing to help students learn and motivated administrators facilitate the process (Schunk, Pintrich, & Meece, 2007). Many motivational theories have been developed that speculate on the best way to create a positive learning environment, which will motivate learners to learner. Some theorists believe in individuals responses to environmental, extrinsic reinforcement (Skinners reinforcement theory), (Coetzee et al. 2008). Some say that individuals...
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