Classroom Behavior Management Policies Research Paper

Pages: 80 (23815 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 31  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Sociology

Classroom Behavior Management Policies

Title suggestions:

Bridging the Gap Between Systems Theory and Elementary Classroom Management

An Evolution: Systems Theory and Classroom Management


Systems Theory by the Three B's

Robert Freed Bales


Living systems theory

Social entropy theory

Entropy management in organizations


Ludwig von Bertalanffy

The concept of the whole

GST and integrative studies

Science and society

The importance of the individual

A Comparison of the Three B's




Theoretical similarities


Annotated Bibliography

Classroom management definition and challenges

Strategies and methods

Techniques and training

Self-efficacy and beliefs

Culturally responsive classrooms

Evidence-based strategies

Theory -- and model-based strategies

Comparison to Bertalaffny

Top recommended classroom management strategy




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TOPIC: Research Paper on Classroom Behavior Management Policies Assignment

Sociology and the study of social systems has taken many forms over the years. Shifting from metaphysical to purely scientific, theories are diverse and complex. Three such theorists, Robert Freed Bales, Kenneth Bailey, and Ludwig von Bertalaffny have spent a better part of their lives trying to understand and integrate the concept of social systems and to help achieve greater clarity on what defines a system, how it works, and how it applies to society. An analysis of Bale's, Bailey's, and Bertalanffy's theories follows and helps to show how each theory is defined, including key components, and how, if possible, each theory may be applied to practice. Additionally, a comparison of the three theorists is provided to showcase the similarities and differences of their perspectives.

Systems Theory by the Three B's:

Robert Bales, Kenneth Bailey, and Ludwig von Bertalanffy

Philosophers and theorists are risk takers. They are willing to delve fearlessly into a new concept, or way of thinking, to break the bounds of tradition and to challenge norms. And once their concept or thought is complete, they take the next step by testing their theory and eventually presenting it to the world -- despite the inevitable criticism they will face. Some theories never make it into mainstream society, but others change the world forever. Regardless, all theorists can be classified as having an intense willingness to know more, to push the boundaries of what is accepted, and to break the rules.

Three such theorists, Robert Freed Bales, Kenneth D. Bailey, and Ludwig von Bartalanffy, have had a dramatic influence on the perspectives of systems and social science. Highly respected and well-recognized for their work, they have provided much of the foundation that theorists and philosophers use to study and understand how systems work in today's ever-evolving society. To gain a greater understanding of these influential risk-takers, this essay will provide a detailed description of the men behind the theories, as well as a comparison of their similarities and differences. Since each theorist provides great detail about each of his subjects, it was not possible to provide an in-depth analysis within the space allotted. However, it was the goal of this essay to provide the basic structure of each theory and, if possible, focus on how it relates to social systems or society in general.

Robert Freed Bales

Originally from Ellington, Missouri, Robert Freed Bales received a BA and MS degree in Sociology from the University of Oregon and a PhD in Sociology from Harvard in 1945. After graduating, Bales was then invited to join the Department of Social Relations at Harvard as an Instructor. In 1957, after serving a variety of Sociology positions, such as Assistant Professor, Lecturer, and Associate Professor, he was then appointed as Professor of Social Relations. From 1960 to 1967, Bales served as Director of the Laboratory of Social Relations and finally retired 3. As Emeritus Professor in 1986. After his death in 2004, an article in the Harvard Gazette included this statement about Bales, "He was trusted and admired by colleagues in each discipline. They and his students regarded him with deep affection. Freed was one of few faculty members in Social Relations who had moral authority derived from his colleagues' recognition that he placed the welfare of the department above personal motives," (Kagan et al., 2006).

As a theorist, Bales's main work focused on the interpersonal interaction in small groups, a central topic in social psychology. Published in 1950, Bale's first book, Interaction Process Analysis: A Method for the Study of Small Groups, included a series of early studies on interactions in alcohol addiction therapeutic group settings "By studying many such groups, Bales hoped to discover recurring patterns that might be used predictively in the composition and functioning of groups formed for problem solving or other managerial purposes. This work reflected his conception of social psychology as the scientific study of social interaction, in which the group and its activity, rather than the individual, are the primary units of analysis. At the same time, he paid close attention to the role of individual personality in social interaction and was a lifelong student of personality theory. In all of his efforts, he sought to integrate the psychological and sociological sources of social psychology," (Kagan et al., 2006).

Furthermore, Bales was considered a pioneer "in the development of systematic methods of group observation and measurement of interaction processes, including several technological innovations designed to facilitate observation itself and the rating of observed behavior in progress," (Kagan et al., 2006). In his last book, Social Interaction Systems: Theory and Measurement (1999), his goal was to develop "a theory of personality and group dynamics integrated with a set of practical methods for measuring and changing behavior and values in a democratic way." For the comparative essay, this book will be used to represent Bales' work.

In Social Interaction Systems: Theory and Measurement (1999), Bales describes how he felt a great need to achieve what he called a "new theoretical integration," and to actually apply methods to theory, to move from research into data. He claims that because many social psychologists complained about the lack of integration, he focused on integration throughout most of his research career, "I have felt that we must make a transition from an individually centered frame of reference (still the mainstream approach) to a larger framework centered on multiple-person systems of social interaction and their dynamics. Almost all of my work has been an attempt to give substance to that aspiration," (Bales, 1999).

Bales defined "social-interaction systems" as groups of all sizes and types, and used methods based on his social-interaction systems theory to gain a more broad understanding of these groups and their influence on behavioral dynamics. Bales affirmed, "I believe that wherever actual social interaction continues over substantial time, certain behavioral, mental, and social processes tend to emerge and need to be studied together. These processes have regularities and patterns of interdependence (mutual shaping of each other) which almost require them to be treated as parts of a "system." These "systemic" characteristics are recognizably similar over a large range of group sizes," (Bales, 1999).

The concept of values also plays a key role in social interaction. On this subject, C. Kluckhohn (1954), stated, "Very central to groups of all sizes and kinds, as I see it, is that their internal processes and dynamics are represented, propelled, and regulated by concepts and urgencies in the minds of their members that behavioral scientists call "values." "

In a group setting, a value can be based on an individual's assumptions and expectations, that he/she will have some kind of role, that there will be some development and maintenance of status differences, that there will be some division of labor, some kind of leadership, and some differentiation of social roles, as well as some non-compliance from other individuals and deviation from others' values. Above all, it is expected that there will be both conflict and cooperation between leaders and their subgroups and so on. Therefore, the "evaluation" process comes from the individual group member's interior mental picture of the external "drama" of social interaction, Bales (1999). "Thus, all social-interaction systems, irrespective of their size, include "values" as major organizational foci for cooperation and conflict and as sources of dynamic processes and change. Essentially the same may be said of values as they interact with each other in the mental processes of individual personalities," affirmed Bales.

Bales (1999), also stated, "the most efficient way of representing the most important features of a group of almost any kind, and probably of most personalities, is by measurement of the degree and extent of acceptance or rejection of certain very general mental attitudes, called "values." The measurement of values can be an efficient approach because many, if not most, of the more important concrete kinds of social behavior as remembered in the mind and projected in expectations are represented cognitively in more brief and condensed form as "values."


Bale's aspiration to apply his theories was realized with the creation of SYMLOG (SYstematic MultiLevel Observation of Groups). Described by Bales as a new field theory, SYMLOG represents a comprehensive integration of findings and theories from sociology, psychology, and social psychology and is unique in its high degree of integration, breadth, and practical implementation (Bales,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Classroom Behavior Management Policies" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Classroom Behavior Management Policies.  (2010, May 19).  Retrieved September 28, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Classroom Behavior Management Policies."  19 May 2010.  Web.  28 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Classroom Behavior Management Policies."  May 19, 2010.  Accessed September 28, 2021.