Classroom Management

Classroom management is a term used to describe the process of teaching in a disciplined manner, which allows students to learn and gain knowledge on certain topics in a calm environment. The term also incorporates the various techniques used to prevent disruptive behavior in classrooms as well as the methods used to motivate students.

Teachers play a key role in classroom management thanks to the rules and procedures they introduce to ensure the smooth and effective process of learning. The lack of such rules can lead to a chaotic environment, where students do not learn as well. In his book Classroom Management that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Every Teacher (2003), Robert Marzano cites a survey by S. Paul Wright, Sandra Horn and William Sanders conducted in 1997 among 60,000 students, where it demonstrated that improving teachers' effectiveness results in better achievements for students. "Individual teachers can produce powerful gains in student learning," Marzano concludes on the basis of his own research.

Jere Brophy's Classroom Strategy Study from the early 1990s in turn reveals that teachers who act in a different manner with each student are more effective than those who apply the same teaching methods for all students. Some studies from the 1980s dedicated to classroom management show that introducing strict rules at the beginning of each school year is crucial for an effectively managed classroom.

Rules and procedures are another critical part of classroom management. Guidelines that tell students how to behave during lessons further support the effective work of teachers. Conversely, the absence of such rules and routine practices can lead to distraction and lack of interest on behalf of the students, according to Emmer, Evertson and Worsham, the authors of Classroom Management for Elementary Teachers and Classroom Management for Secondary Teachers (both 2003). However, rules and procedures have to be well communicated with students and negotiated to a certain extent, not just imposed. Usually, rules and procedures apply to a number of categories including expectation for behavior, start and end of the school day, transitions and interruptions, cooperative work, equipment and study materials, and teacher-led activities.

Another issue related to classroom management is discipline, one of the most serious problems that schools face in the beginning of the 21st century. In her book Schoolwide and Classroom Discipline (1990) Kathleen Cotton estimates that discipline takes up half of the teachers' time in classrooms, while the other half is used for instruction. However, the matter of discipline depends not only on classroom management but also on effective school management. Teachers can use a variety of discipline techniques, including punishment, reinforcement, assertive discipline and discipline with rewards. A combination of "negative consequences for inappropriate behavior and positive consequences for positive behavior" is recommended by many scientists, as it prevents disruptive behavior, while rewarding and motivating appropriate behavior.

The interaction between teachers and students is another key element of classroom management. Generally, teachers who develop good and positive relations with their students are expected to more easily introduce rules and procedures and implement discipline methods. Teachers showing concern about their students are often rewarded with good teamwork. On the contrary, those who fail to cultivate a good relationship with students from the very beginning usually get resistant attitudes.

Time and space management is also important. According to Joyce McLeod, using time efficiently can optimize learning and create a pleasant atmosphere for both students and teachers. Wong and Wong (1998) set four types of time, namely allocated time (the total time for teaching and learning), instructional time (for actively teaching), engaged time (when students are involved in a task) and academic learning time (when teachers check what students have learned).

Effective classroom management involves a mixture of certain skills, techniques, knowledge and practice. However, the growing number of books and studies on the issue and the increasing attention to the topic can help teachers organize their work in a better way to ensure an appropriate environment for students and facilitate the learning process using balanced methods. Strategy books and materials advise teachers to first set up their classrooms and define strict time frames for each activity. These first steps should be followed by routine practices including certain rules and procedures and various methods for handling disruptive students.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Managing Your Classroom with Heart: A Guide for Nurturing Adolescent Learners
Katy Ridnouer.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2006
Classroom Management That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Every Teacher
Robert J. Marzano; Jana S. Marzano; Debra J. Pickering.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2003
The Key Elements of Classroom Management: Managing Time and Space, Student Behavior, and Instructional Strategies
Joyce McLeod; Jan Fisher; Ginny Hoover.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2003
Classroom Management and Discipline: Responding to the Needs of Young Adolescents
Evans, Katherine; Lester, Jessica.
Middle School Journal, Vol. 41, No. 3, January 2010
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Classroom Management Strategies for Difficult Students: Promoting Change through Relationships
Beaty-O'Ferrall, Mary Ellen; Green, Alan; Hanna, Fred.
Middle School Journal, Vol. 41, No. 4, March 2010
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Classroom Management, Bullying, and Teacher Practices
Allen, Kathleen P.
The Professional Educator, Vol. 34, No. 1, Spring 2010
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Evidence-Based Practices in Classroom Management: Considerations for Research to Practice
Simonsen, Brandi; Fairbanks, Sarah; Briesch, Amy; Myers, Diane; Sugai, George.
Education & Treatment of Children, Vol. 31, No. 3, August 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Classroom Management and Inquiry-Based Learning: Finding the Balance
Poon, Chew-Leng; Tan, Doris; Tan, Aik-Ling.
Science Scope, Vol. 32, No. 9, Summer 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Exploring the Foundations of Middle School Classroom Management: The Theoretical Contributions of B. F. Skinner, Fritz Redl and William Wattenberg, William Glasser, and Thomas Gordon All Have Particular Relevance for Middle School Educators
Bucher, Katherine T.; Manning, M. Lee.
Childhood Education, Vol. 78, No. 2, Winter 2001
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Toward a Conception of Culturally Responsive Classroom Management
Weinstein, Carol S.; Tomlinson-Clarke, Saundra; Curran, Mary.
Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 55, No. 1, January-February 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Classroom Management in Secondary Schools: A Study of Student Teachers' Successful Strategies
Zuckerman, June Trop.
American Secondary Education, Vol. 35, No. 2, Spring 2007
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Classroom Management: Sound Theory and Effective Practice
Robert T. Tauber.
Bergin & Garvey, 1999 (3rd edition)
Investigating Troublesome Classroom Behaviour: Practical Tools for Teachers
Loraine Corrie.
Routledge Falmer, 2002
Class Management in the Primary School
E. C. Wragg.
RoutledgeFalmer, 2001
Class Management in the Secondary School
E. C. Wragg.
RoutledgeFalmer, 2001 (Revised edition)
The Classroom of Choice: Giving Students What They Need and Getting What You Want
Jonathan C. Erwin.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2004
Teaching without Disruption in the Primary School: A Model for Managing Pupil Behaviour
Roland Chaplain.
RoutledgeFalmer, 2003
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