Classroom Management Is an Educational Term Paper

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..control the environment by implementing a logical system (the teacher's, of course) of conditioning." (Tauber, 1999, p. 19) in this context the teacher is seen as an "interventionist" in that he or she has to control and dictate the learning and behavioral environment. "By accepting a position as a teacher, a person has not only the right but an 'obligation' to modify student behavior" (Axelrod, 1977, p. 158). In essence the interventionist approach is a direct behavioral approach which is described by Tauber as the "carrot-and-stick approach." (Tauber, 1999, p. 19)

This form of discipline is based on a reward and punishment system which is seen as the main method of motivating students. The essence of the approach is that discipline is essentially a form of behavior modification. "A student's behavior must be modified, be shaped. Interventionists would argue that this directing of a student's actions is being done for the student's own good." (Tauber, 1999, p. 20) the teacher therefore is directly in control and there is no question of the more contemporary democratic and sharing approach to class management. On the contrary, in terms of this theoretical approach, the teacher is the central and dominant figure with the children in the background. (Tauber, 1999, p. 20)

The above approach is countered by the noninterventionist theory of discipline. This is a view that discipline and class management should take place in a more supportive way and in an environment in which the students have at least some participatory say in the management of the class. This view shifts the focus from the teacher as the sole "director" of control and power and places emphasis on the inner motivation of the child. The emphasis on control is replaced by the view that nurturing is a far better method of creating a classroom environment in which there is consensus and support rather than a rigid power structure. "...noninterventionists believe in providing a supportive, facilitating environment for students. A faith exists that the student possesses an internal motivation that, if simply nurtured (not controlled), will blossom." (Tauber, 1999, p. 20) in this view the teacher becomes a "facilitator" of the classroom and the learning process.

Studies related to the noninterventionist approach are also careful to point out that this is not a system where "anything goes" and where there would be a breakdown of discipline. This form of discipline relates more to the ideal of "supportive disciple" that will be discussed in the next section. The noninterventionist approach in fact has specific and well - designed classroom management models. "Noninterventionists have complete classroom management models designed to handle every situation interventionists (and their models) must handle." (Tauber, 1999, p. 20)

Another school of thought in discipline and class management is the interactionalist approach. This approach places emphasis on student responsibility and the interaction between the teacher and the class. In brief this theory believes that "...conflicts cannot be resolved without shared responsibility, without full participation in decision making by all the participants in a conflict..." (Tauber, 1999, p. 20)

As its name suggests, the locus of this view is on the dual trust and participation been the parties. "What is important to interactionalists is not how many conflicts occur, but how those conflicts are resolved so that relationships remain intact, both parties save face, and both feel their needs have been met." (Tauber, 1999, p. 20) Another aspect of this view is the importance of choice in the classroom situation. This is intended to promote an environment where the students feel responsible and takes action for their decisions.

What becomes evident in the interactionalist and noninterventionist view of classroom management is that there is a realization of the classroom as complex social environment. This differs from the interventionist attitude towards discipline in which the teacher is the sole mediator of power and order.

4.1. Supportive discipline and achievement

Disciplinary methods that support student achievements and enhance the possibility of learning development are usually considered under the rubric of supportive discipline. According to a study by Englander, (1987) there are six essential conditions for good discipline to exist in the classroom. These are described as follows: " (1) schools must be a good place; (2) students are trusted; (3) rules are established; (4) students agree to and accept the rules; (5) rules are open to change; and (6) rule violations have consequences." (Englander, 1987, p. 97) in the light of these conditions, studies show that successful class management often relies on an environment and disciplinary conditions that are accepted by the students and not rebelled against.

In other words, the concept of supportive disciple relies on a classroom management system in which the "...student feels in control of her destiny, finds friends and success in school..." (Englander, 1987, p. 97) This in turn leads to and enhances the level of academic and other forms of student achievement.

The teacher's role in terms of classroom management therefore is a supportive one and is allied more to the interactionalist and noninterventionist models of management. This view also places emphasis on interpersonal contact and the establishment of relationships between students and teachers, as opposed to the distance model of discipline in the interventionist approach.

Many studies in classroom management claim that this interactive approach to discipline produces positive results. "You will be impressed with how pupil attitudes will change as we change our attitude. As we have already noted, such interpersonal teacher behavior as empathy, genuineness, and respect are reflected not only in pupil attitude but increased academic achievement..." (Englander, 1987, p. 97)

On the other hand the literature also stresses that there must be rules in the classroom and that these rules must have consequences that are recognized by the students. "Students must realize that there are consequences to all behavior and that rule violations are not to be ignored." (Englander, 1987, p. 101)

These studies also point out that the consequences of poor or negative behavior need not be linked to strict authoritative punishments. This is another important aspect to supportive discipline, where the consequences of flouting the rules are administered in a way that encourages the student to conform, rather the forcing conformity on the basis of an authoritative distance. One example of this approach cited by Englander (1987) states that, "The offender is confronted with the behavior and its consequences in terms of personal need satisfaction and the deprivation of others' needs and rights." (Englander, 1987, p. 101) in other words the consequences of the student's actions and the punishment meted out are explained to the students in terms of the effects that the student's actions have on themselves and others.

A central difference posited by supportive discipline can be seen in the view of the "logical consequences" of action that transgress rules, as opposed to the more traditional view of punishments. The logical consequences refer to"...the reality of the social order, not of the person...," while punishment refers to "...the power of a personal authority." (Dreikurs and Grey, 1968, p.71) the idea of logical consequences is a more interactionalist approach which includes the understanding and involvement of the students in disciplinary procedures.

In general the contemporary literature on this aspect tends to conform to the above views in which a more interactionalist approach rather than an interventionist approach is preferred. Many educationists have moved away from the idea of authoritative punishment as a means of control in the classroom and adopted an approach that emphasizes personal responsibility and relationship building. The applications of supportive discipline have been shown to have the effect of enhancing the classroom environment and consequently increasing learning motivation and achievement results and standards.

4.1.1. School and classroom climate

Achievement, motivation and classroom management, from both the student and the teacher's point-of-view, are often strongly influenced and affected by the importance of school and classroom climate. Overall school climate is an important issue in student development and achievement, as it relates directly not only educational issues per se but also to the atmosphere and the working environment in the classroom. The importance of the school climate and its relationship to student achievement and development is expressed by Esposito (1999) in terms of the various aspects of the school environment that contributes to or hinders student development; and which is independent of the effects of the family context. (Esposito, 1999. p. 365) the school climate is often seen by many educational experts as being extremely important in terms of child development.

There are many studies which show the importance of school climate in terms of learning potential, as well as related disciplinary issues.

As one study clearly states; "The interest in the study of school climate stems from a major belief climate is thought to be linked to educational outcomes, especially achievement." (Haynes, Emmons & Ben-Avie, 1997, p. 321)

There are many different but interrelated conceptualizations of "school climate" (Sprott, 2004, p 556) One general view refers to school climate as the climate…[continue]

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