Classroom Discipline Article Review

Excerpt from Article Review :

Classroom Discipline

Cook-Sather, a. (2009). "I'm not afraid to listen: Prospective teachers learning from students."

Theory Into Practice, 48(3), 176-183.

Cook-Sather's article describes a teacher education program she conducts at Bryn Mawr College and the results of a survey of teachers who went through the program. The program is called the Teaching and Learning Together (TLT). Through TLT, secondary education students at the college have substantial interaction with high school students from area high school, including frequent email correspondence and meetings facilitated by a trained teacher. The interactions focus on the content of the curriculum that is geared towards giving pre-service teachers direct access to the points-of-view of high school students. The pre-service teachers are learning by listening to the classroom experiences of these students. Cook-Sather's literature review shows that her project is one of few attempted in the United States but that the use of students as teacher educators is popular elsewhere in the developed world.

The survey asked what, if any, impact or influence has the TLT program had on the work experience as teachers in urban high schools. The respondents said that program has had a positive effect on their teaching experience, helping them to become better listeners, to take the perspectives of their students seriously, and to making their classrooms more engaging learning spaces. This enhanced engagement in learning lessens the need for authoritativeness in the classroom and helps make the student-teacher relationship more collaborative. Such classrooms can have fewer discipline problems.

The author provides advice for how teachers can build programs like hers in their schools and colleges. The report on the survey lacks important details like sample size and rate of response. The author does not discuss the limits of her research.

Erdogan, M., Kursun, E., Sisman, G., Saltan, F., Gok, A., & Yildiz, I. (2010). A qualitative study on classroom management and classroom discipline problems, reasons, and solutions: A case of information technologies class. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 10(2), 881-891.

This article looks at classroom management and discipline issues that confront information technology (IT) teachers in Turkey with the purpose of understanding the kinds of discipline and classroom management problems encountered and the underlying causes for those problems. Solutions to these problems are discussed as well. The authors are a professor of educational sciences and four Ph.D. candidates at various Turkish universities.

The researchers interviewed 14 IT teachers, 14 school principals, 6 vice-principals, and 17 family members of children taking the IT course. In this qualitative study, the researchers used the content analysis method to find categories and themes in the responses the subjects gave. Findings revealed the following problems: lack of motivation, rule breaking, lack of infrastructure, poor time management, classroom environment, and lack of classroom interaction. Underlying causes for these discipline problems pointed out by the interview subjects included the nature of the course, crowded classrooms, lack of software, lack of rules, the students' home lives and their parents attitudes, poor student attitudes, and the teachers' inability to manage their classrooms efficiently. To address these problems, the subject suggested boosting teacher education in the subject area, reforming the IT course curriculum, using software that prevented students from using the computers inappropriately, more classroom activities that foster student motivation, better IT classroom management, punishment for misbehavior, ignoring misbehavior, creating classroom rules, investigating the reasons behind discipline problems, involving the parents, and getting help from other teachers in the school.

The authors point out differences in responses between groups of subjects. For example, parents and school administrators felt the teachers were not managing their classrooms well, while teachers felt that parents were shaping the students' attitudes by having poor attitudes in regards to technology and the IT course. Concerning solutions to the discipline...
...The authors do not suggest topics of further research nor discuss the limitations of their study. The sample is small and was gathered selectively based on convenience of access.

Freiberg, H., & Lamb, S.M. (2009). Dimensions of person-centered classroom management.

Theory Into Practice, 48(2), 99-105.

Freiberg and Lamb advocate a person-centered teaching method based on the client-centered psychotherapeutic approach of Carl Rogers over a more behaviorist, Skinnerian method. They assert that the behaviorist model hasn't improved student discipline and doesn't foster the kind of self-directed learning that helps develop higher intellectual capacities in students.

This article reviews the literature on person-centered classroom management and finds that it produces positive classroom environments and higher student achievement by emphasizing four key concepts: social and emotional connection between teachers and students through an empathetic approach to relating to each other; a connectedness to the school by expanding that empathic approach to include administrators and the greater school community; a safe and trusting climate in which students feel encouraged and supported to take intellectual risks; and a shared responsibility for discipline that puts students in leadership positions and gives them a stake in maintaining order in the classroom.

Freiberg and Lamb, both education faculty members at the University of Houston, point to the success of schools that employ the Consistency Management and Cooperative Discipline program (CMCD), which is based on the person-centered approach. The CMCD program prompts teachers to foster a fair and consistent classroom environment where goals, objectives, and expectations are always accessible to all students and that actively engages students in the learning process. Discipline is shared among all members of the classroom. Students take on leadership roles by applying for and being interviewed for classroom jobs.

This article endorses an approach to classroom management and discipline similar to that in Susan Pass's research. It sounds very idealistic, but the authors do cite several articles to indicate real achievement for those schools using the person-centered approach to education. A weakness in this article is that it does not examine any cases in which this approach has been tried and has failed, nor does it take up the positives of the behaviorist approach. Moreover, the authors don't provide concrete suggestions for how to implement this approach.

Gable, R.A., Hester, P.H., Rock, M.L., & Hughes, K.G. (2009). Back to basics: Rules, praise, ignoring, and reprimands revisited. Intervention in School and Clinic, 44(4), 195-205.

In this article, the authors review the literature concerning classroom management and discipline to see what changes if any have developed over the course of the past 5 decades. They focus on classroom rules, giving praise for good behavior, ignoring minor student provocations, and issuing reprimands. Overall, the review shows that these approaches to classroom management have persisted over time with a few important changes.

The review shows that teachers today have relatively fewer classroom rules and that the current trend is for rules that do more than simply regulate student behavior but also serve to nurture broader behavioral expectations. Research shows that these expectations are more effective if they are taught systemically to the students.

More recent studies suggest that praise is more effective when the teacher is in a position very near the student and when the student has many opportunities to receive praise. Concerning reprimands, the more reactive orientation toward student discipline of the past is being replaced by a precorrective, interventionist concept that aims at removing or neutralizing the antecedents to misbehavior and classroom management problems.

This article, written by three education faculty members and a doctoral candidate at Old Dominion University, provides a broad yet concise review of the research on these four classroom management techniques. It shows the range of approaches used in the classroom and can help a teacher generate ideas for dealing with discipline problems.

Harrell, I., and Hollins, T. (2009). Working with disruptive students. Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges, 14(1), 69-75.

The authors, respectively a coordinator and an associate vice-president of student affairs at Sargeant Reynolds Community College, discuss dealing with disruptive behaviors in college classrooms. They advocate working to prevent misbehavior first. Methods for preventing disruptive behavior include clearly explaining what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behavior on the first day of class and documenting these expectations on the course syllabus, employing an interactive and engaging teaching style, and modeling proper classroom behavior.

When misbehavior occurs, the authors advise faculty to address it promptly in a calm, firm manner and to focus clearly and articulately on the disruptive behavior. If needed, the faculty member should discuss the matter with the student and compose a written agreement that details the behavior problem, what the student is going to do about it, and the consequences of breaking the contract. In extreme cases of disruptive behavior, such as aggressive behavior or coming to class under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the faculty member should engage campus agencies such as public safety or student health services. The authors provide a list of…

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