Classroom management is a term used by teachers to describe the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run smoothly despitedisruptive 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".(Wolfgang and Glickman)
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 & Hayman, 1976, p. 283)). 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, 1988, p. 310; Brophy & Good, 1986, p. 335). From the student’s perspective, effective classroom management involves clear communication of behavioral and academic expectations, as well as a cooperative learning environment (Allen 1986).
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., 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 isaffirmation 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 and De Groot 1990).
Gene Van Tassell
Teachers do not generally want to give control to their students. Teachers are instructed that the mark of a good teacher is that the teacher is in control of the class. (Taylor, 1987) The amount of control that teachers have in the class is often seen by the administration as a measurement of the quality of a teacher. Administrators are usually happy if a teacher never sends a student to the office and interpret this as proof that the teacher is in control and must be doing a good job. (Edwards, 1994) Teachers are afraid of losing control if students have increased autonomy. Control is an issue with which many people in management have had to struggle. Although somewhat cyclic in its application, the business world has only in the last couple of decades really accepted the idea that central control may not be the best choice of management. The management systems of the U.S. military are also an interesting example. In the Vietnam war, the U.S. military was central office oriented. Most decisions were made at the Pentagon and White House. Even tactical decisions regarding the battlefield were often made on a table in Washington, D.C. If this style were compared to the management style of the Gulf War in 1991, it would be obvious that the U.S. military currently accepts that local control and autonomy are a better management style. Teachers fear that students with more control will not want to learn what the teacher wants to...
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