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

By Janet R. Moyles | Go to book overview

2
The learning
environment: Organizing the
classroom context

The physical environment provides both opportunities and constraints. A classroom base, containing as it does a certain amount of space, a set of furniture and fixtures, power points, windows and other light sources, teaching and learning resources, expendable materials and other bits and pieces, commands immediate attention. Organizing this range of possible teaching and learning materials, apparatus and resources requires of primary school teachers a very high level of organizational ability unique in the world of work. For the 30 or so children arriving at the start of the term, it will be their 'home' for a significant portion of each week and, as Kyriacou (1991: 76) states, 'The general appearance of a classroom indicates to pupils the care that goes into providing them with an environment which is conducive to learning.' Periodic revision and maintenance of the system created (described in Chapter 7) will ensure that the organization meets the existing and on-going demands of teachers and children.

However, a distinction needs to be made between the very evident skills of the primary teacher in the actual physical organization of the classroom, the intentions for doing it and the management structures then required. As an example, creating a classroom where the materials are arranged in a very logical way by the teacher and labelled clearly will not ensure in itself that children are able to use them effectively. As Lewis Carroll (1948: 11) wrote of the unnamed crew member hunting the Snark:

-34-

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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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