Classroom Management Skills among Beginning Teachers' in Jordan: Preparation and Performance

Article excerpt

Introduction

Classroom management is an intellectual skill that is based on knowledge about action-situation relationships in the classrooms. In order to be an effective educator, the teacher must have quality classroom management skills. This classroom knowledge enables a teacher to recognize and interpret what is happening in an exceptionally complex environment. These knowledge structures developed through direct instruction in prepositional knowledge about classrooms, laboratory experiences that provide opportunities for real-life reasoning about classroom demands, and reflection upon experience in clinical settings.

Classroom management defined as, all the things teachers must do to foster student involvement and cooperation in classroom activities and to establish a productive working environment (Sanford, Emmer, & Clements, 1983). According to Barrett & Davis (1995), the profession is losing far too many teachers at the beginning of their careers (Barret & Davis, 1995). That may explained by White (1995), teachers are entering the profession with a lack of confidence in their classroom management skills, and supported by Evertson (2001) states, studies have supported the importance of classroom management as a necessary condition for effective teaching.

Teacher education training needs to address the issue of classroom management and school districts need to develop effective in-service training for newly hired teachers. Teacher education programs in colleges and universities should place more emphasis on training student teachers in classroom management skills in order to promote quality learning by students. One of the student teacher's biggest problems is how to stimulate acceptable behavior in their students so that a healthy learning atmosphere prevails and the teaching/learning process can take place (Morales, 2001). Landau (2001) agrees with the concept that teacher education programs are not preparing pre-service teachers in the area of classroom management and expresses the importance of classroom management skills. While experienced teachers insist that classroom management is the most important class a new teacher should take, it is often the class most likely left out of truncated teacher education programs.

Universities should examine preparation programs to enhance instruction in the area of classroom management. The primary responsibility in training teachers to become effective classroom managers in teacher education programs placed on colleges and universities (Houston & Williamson, 1992). According to Stronge & Hindman (2003), the quality of the teacher has a powerful residual effect on student learning. Proper training in the area of classroom management is necessary to prepare pre-service educators for the challenges in the classroom.

Levy (1987) stated that, as beginning teachers, they show concern for survival, worrying about controlling classes, impressing administrators and building working relationships with school personnel. Therefore, student learning is not always a top priority as beginning teachers indoctrinate themselves within their new occupation. After some years of successful experience, teacher's concerns finally shift toward students' learning.

Motivating students and monitoring the progress of daily work or homework is part of classroom management strategy. According to Stronge & Hindman (2003), effective teachers monitor learning and use their findings to adjust instruction so that all students in the classroom achieve, regardless of the range of student abilities. Effective teachers possess skills and approaches that help them establish and maintain a safe, orderly, and productive working environment. Effective teachers' classrooms commonly exhibit proactive discipline, multitasking, and efficient procedures and routines.

According to Edwards (2000), managing time in the classroom to keep students on task is an important factor in maintaining good discipline. …