Organizing for Learning in the Primary Classroom: A Balanced Approach to Classroom Management

By Janet R. Moyles | Go to book overview

1
Teachers and teaching:
Beliefs and values

As a new teacher, anxious to know where to start with my first class, I remember being told emphatically by a headteacher to 'Start with the children – the rest will take care of itself.' The obvious child-centredness underlying this belief appealed very much to me as a protagonist for the 'whole child' approach. It is easy to imagine my distress when I quickly discovered the inaccuracy of this advice. It did not take me too long to realize that if I was not prepared to receive the children when they arrived each day, so much time was spent by all of us rushing around after materials, sharpening pencils, finding resources and so on, that there was little time to make vital relationships with individuals.

The next phase in my learning, therefore, thrust me in quite the opposite direction, an understandable (but now unforgivable) response! 'Start with the organisation and then there will be time for the children' became my self-targeted advice. This was equally, of course, potentially inaccurate and naive. Organization is a means to an end and not an end in itself but, nevertheless, classroom organization and management at all levels has other underlying factors determining both its needs and its implementation. As Alexander et al. (1989: 299) suggest: 'notwithstanding the undoubted importance of classroom layout and organization, they are but the framework within which the acts and interactions central to teaching and learning take place'.

In a recent survey conducted among primary teachers, I asked what was their first consideration in planning classroom

-11-

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Organizing for Learning in the Primary Classroom: A Balanced Approach to Classroom Management
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Introduction: Polarizations and Balance 1
  • 1: Teachers and Teaching 11
  • 2: The Learning Environment 34
  • 3: The Children and Their Learning Needs 64
  • 4: Grouping Children for Teaching and Learning 88
  • 5: Time for Teaching and Learning 112
  • 6: Deploying Adult Help Effectively in the Classroom 136
  • 7: Evaluating Classroom Organization and Management 153
  • 8: Conclusion 179
  • References 185
  • Index 194
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