Classroom Management Is an Educational Issue Term Paper

Pages: 20 (5873 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 29  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

Classroom management is an educational issue that has come to the fore in the literature in recent years in terms of various theories and models of management. One of the perennial issues often dealt with in the literature is the complex issue of discipline. This is particularly the case in recent years when classroom order, school violence and disruption have become topics in the news. The issue of Classroom management as it relates to discipline has therefore assumed a greater importance in the literature.

It should also be borne in mind that discipline in class management and education is a subject that has a long theoretical and practical history. Teachers throughout the ages have been concerned with this problem. For example, Socrates was said to have complained about children"... who tyrannized over their teachers" (McDaniel, T. 1994)

While it is often stated in the literature that"... The underlying dynamic of classroom misbehavior has not changed much over many decades," (McDaniel, T. 1994) it is certainly true that school management and discipline problems have become even more serious and problematic in modern schools today.

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This study will provide an overview of the literature on classroom management with a special emphasis on discipline theory and issues that are pertinent to establishing and maintaining a good learning environment. Attention will also be given to both the older and more contemporary literature that offers alternative and more integrative approaches to classroom management.

Brief overview

TOPIC: Term Paper on Classroom Management Is an Educational Issue That Assignment

Classroom management has numerous theoretical and practical dimensions. In a study by Mohammad Sakarneh, entitled Effective Teaching in Inclusive Classroom, the author is of the opinion that one of the cardinal issues affecting classroom management is effective teachers and teaching. In other words the modern teacher, who often has to teach inclusive classes where children of mixed abilities are integrated, has to be able to use modern management techniques and skills. "In this situation the teachers must be especially skilled in organization, management, appropriate teaching strategies and behaviour management among other things." (Sakarneh M.)

There is a general consensus in the literature that a good classroom teacher also needs to be a good manager and that the concept of management in this sense refers to an overall integration of skills and abilities.

For example a study by Westwood (1995) in an overview of the literature on the effective teacher, found the effective teacher should be a good classroom manager which includes the following aspects: a focus on "... academic skills, with good expectation, enthusiasm, using effective strategies to keep students on task and using variety of teaching and resources styles, covering the material content." (Sakarneh M.)

Furthermore, the teacher needs to make use of accessible presentation of material, as well as being able to "... explain and outline instruction clearly, frequently observe what students are doing taking into account differences between the students and re-teaching when necessarily, gives frequent feedback for all students and checks for understanding by using probing questions. " (Sakarneh M.)

Another aspect that is noted as being important in effective management is, according to Stanovich and Jordan (1998), that the effective teacher is one capable of monitoring student's behavior in the classroom. There are numerous practical aspects of classroom management that are mentioned in the literature, such as the teacher's ability to"...manage the instruction time for the students and themselves and....the ability to review the previous days lesson, before start a new lesson which is important in connecting the previous and the new knowledge for the students, also ensuring their understanding by using questions and monitoring students progress frequently." (Sakarneh M.)

However many educationists are of the opinion that in terms of the central problematics of classroom management, the main issue mentioned refers to methods of enforcing discipline; which can also serve to enhance classroom management and the learning process. There is little doubt in an overview of the literature that maintaining order and discipline in the classroom is a central contemporary concern. Tauber (1999) asks the central question; "What helps student learn?." The answer to this question relates strongly to discipline in classroom management. "...when data from...research analyses and surveys from experts are combined, classroom management tops a list of twenty-eight categories that most influence learning." (Tauber, 1999, p. 4)

3. Student behavior

The degree of successful classroom management is determined to a large extent by positive student behavior. There is a renewed focus in the contemporary literature on the question of student behavior as it relates to theories and models of classroom management. There is also an emphasis on techniques and methods of enforcing discipline within the classroom in a non-coercive way.

However, the perceived lack of discipline and the generally low level of student behavior in many modern schools have raised concern among educationists and pedagogical theorists. This point is emphasized by the fact that a Gallup Poll of the public's attitudes toward public schools has "...for almost three decades identified lack of discipline as one of the biggest problems in public schools." (Tauber, 1999, p. 3) Studies have also "...singled out lack of discipline as the number one problem more often than any other. Classroom management strategies, a more palatable name for "discipline," clearly need some attention! " (Tauber, 1999, p. 3)

The situation with regard to discipline in the classroom has not changed much in the last few decades. As Charles (1981) points out, discipline and poor student behavior in the classroom is a major problem in schools. (Charles 1981, p. 13) the 1999 study by Tauber also reiterates this concern and states that,

Discipline, class control, classroom management -- by whatever name you call it -- keeping order in the classroom is a teacher's greatest concern. You may not like that fact; you may wish it weren't true. But it is. That's a given in the daily life of teachers. Discipline is so crucial, so basic to everything else in the classroom, that most educators agree: it is the one thing that makes or breaks teachers. (Tauber, 1999, p. 4)

The literature also points out that the question and problematics of discipline and student behavior in classroom management has been a perennial issue in education. "A sampling of more than fifty years of discipline articles repeatedly cites classroom management as a major worry of educators." (Tauber, 1999, p. 4) in other words, the question of discipline as it relates to the control and motivation of positive student behavior is seen to be an imperative factor in good classroom management and in the creation of a positive and achievement - orientated classroom environment.

A the ability to govern is the first essential of success in teaching. For instance, 25% of the teachers who fail do so primarily because of troubles growing out of discipline... one of the most perplexing problems facing many teachers in our schools today -- particularly beginning teachers -- is maintaining control in the classroom. (Tauber, 1999, p. 4)

Another important aspect of classroom management that has come to the fore in more recent studies is the more inclusive and holistic approach to the understanding of discipline and student problems. As experts in the field state, it is important to realize that the issue of student behavior and the problems of discipline extend beyond the confines of the classroom and includes the student's personal histories and social and psychological environments. These are variables that should be included in the understanding of student behavior; and are also factors that complicate the issue of classroom discipline.

In the real world, these children cannot simply leave their out-of-school problems at the school's front door in the morning and collect them at day's end. Students' problems will accompany them to your classroom. Skills to manage students, all kinds of students with all kinds of problems, are essential to even the most effective teacher.

(Tauber, 1999, p. 10/11)

4. Approaches to discipline

One important aspect that emerges from the literature is that in general there are no really new approaches or information on the question of discipline in the classroom. "Little brand new information has been generated on classroom management in recent years." (Tauber, 1999, p. 7) Tauber's study also points out that there have been relatively few new publications on the issue of discipline in the classroom. (Tauber, 1999, p. 7) on the other hand this view is also challenged by the more modern and contemporary approaches to discipline in the classroom in recent years. However, it seem that what Tauber is suggesting is that the essential and basic problems that student discipline and class management represent are not essentially new and that they are one of the oldest areas of concern in teaching.

In general there are three main theoretical trajectories with regard to the issue of discipline. The first is the interventionist approach. This approach is based on the assumption that environmental concerns are the central factor which determines development in children. The teacher is seen as a central and important part of these environmental conditions. Therefore the role of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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