Classroom Management Helen Hammond, Errol Dupoux Essay

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Classroom Management

Helen Hammond, Errol Dupoux, and Lawrence Ingalls (2004) report that teachers harbor great concern over the behaviors of their students and the impact unruly conduct has on the learning environment. It is common for teachers to spend a significant amount of classroom time focusing on changing or molding students' behaviors in an effort to maximize time on-task in order to facilitate academic learning. A teachers' inventory of effective Classroom Management strategies is a vital part of their daily practices as a means of limiting disruptions. Usually, classroom management training for prospective teachers relies on behavioral outcomes based on generic characteristics believed to characterize traditional and non-traditional students, ignoring ethnic, cultural, or socioeconomic differences. It is commonly assumed that instrumental conditioning, such as reinforcement, can provide rewards consistent with the needs of all students to gain compliance with classroom rules. Reinforcement has been described as a necessary component of behavior change. However, in the classroom the teacher arranges, controls, and monitors the environmental conditions of the change. In some cases, the method of reinforcement may be paired with aversive stimuli such as shouting, scolding, or ridicule, as teachers unconsciously practice disciplines that they were exposed to as children. These approaches rarely provide student with the tools to self-evaluate, self-monitor, and self-regulate their actions. On top of this, different cultures self-regulate differently and these methods may fail to take this into account. These values and cultural characteristics play a major role in influencing a child's learning styles.

Cultural Diversity

Children are accustomed to meeting the expectations of their home environment. According to Pong, Hao, and Gardner (2005) much concern has been expressed among educators and social scientists about the educational experience of immigrant children. Researchers agree that differences in socioeconomic status and parental expectations are important in accounting for differences in immigrant children's academic achievement; however there is less agreement about the influence of family processes in immigrant children's school performance. Research on the impact of parenting practices on children's academic achievement has focused on whites or all racial/ethnic groups combined.

It is useful to examine parenting styles of different culture in order to gain a perspective on relevant classroom management techniques. Parenting styles differ substantially by racial and ethnic groups. Ruth Chao (1994) has argued that the authoritarian parenting style does not capture the essence of Asian parenting and that the control and restrictiveness that are seen as characteristic of Asian families reflect a different set of underlying beliefs than for European parents. For many white families, strictness is located in Protestant Christian beliefs, whereas for Asian parents, strictness is rooted in a notion of training that reflects role relationships defined by Confucianism. The goal is to assure harmonious family relationships rather than to dominate or control the child. Querido, Warner, and Eyberg (2002) report that the literature on African-American families suggests that African-American families place greater emphasis on shared parenting responsibilities among community members and use physical punishment more frequently than European parents. The authors found that, in contrast to European families an authoritarian parenting style was not associated with negative behavioral outcomes, such as hostility and resistance in African-American children. Rodriguez, Danovick, & Crowley (2009) report the available literature concerning Hispanic parenting styles is sparse and inconsistent. Some studies have described Hispanic parenting as permissive and others as authoritarian. Some researchers have concluded that an authoritative parenting style is predictive of overall positive child outcomes in Latino families, while other researchers contend that authoritative parenting predicts positive child outcomes in Caucasian children. Researchers have suggested that the use of dimensions such as warmth, demandingness, and autonomy granting are universal and thus better suited to modify student behaviors, especially in ethnic cultural groups where the culture-specific meaning of the behavior may differ.

Classroom Management Strategies

Research suggests that promoting social-emotional development can provide support for children's appropriate behavior and prevent challenging behavior. A pyramid framework includes four levels of practice to address the needs of all children, including children with persistently challenging behavior. Fox, Dunlap, Hemmeter, Gail, and Strain, (2006) describe an intervention strategy with four levels, 1) building positive relationships, 2) Implementing classroom preventive practices, 3) using social and emotional teaching strategies, and 4) planning intensive individualized interventions.

There are many benefits for teachers to invest time building positive relationship with their students. As adults build positive relationships with students, their influence on behavior grows appreciably. Student's notice positive caring adults and pay closer attention to what that adult says and does, and will endeavor to gain even more positive attention from that adult. Also supportive relationships develop children's positive self- concept, confidence and a sense of safety that contributes to the reduction of challenging behaviors.

It is also wise to adapt the student's physical environment to promote pro-social behavior. Teachers should set up routines, schedules, and establish expectations. Adapting instructional materials and encouraging student's engagement in daily activities will likely prevent or decrease challenging behaviors. Simple changes can be made to support positive behaviors such as, providing children with choices, creating well-organized learning centers, eliminating wide open spaces, limiting the numbers of children in learning centers and so forth.

Ediger Marlow (2009) explores seven criteria for creating an s effective classroom environment. He suggests that teachers investigate the advantages and disadvantages of: 1) small group work as compared to individual activities, 2) use of measurably stated objectives vs. constructivism as psychologies of learning, 3) a very quiet environment compared to business like surroundings, 4) zero tolerance in discipline as compared to pupil teacher planning of rules for classroom conduct, 5) teacher directed learning activities compared to a learner centered approach, 6) lecture/explanations vs. critical and creative thinking as well as problem solving experiences, and 7) traditional seating arrangements in rows and columns as compared to flexible room arrangements. The classroom environment facilitates student achievement, and the teacher must constantly evaluate each of these criteria as they may be appropriate for one class in a given moment in time, and not in another.

In my experience as a classroom teacher I have employed two interventions learned through professional development activities that I have found to have great value and benefits for enhancing students' academic achievement and creating a positive learning environment; differentiated instruction and Teacher Expectations and Student Achievement (TESA).

Differentiated instruction is an approach to planning so that one lesson is taught to the entire class while meeting the individual needs of each child. To differentiate instruction the teacher weaves individual goals for each student into the classroom content and instructional strategies. Anderson (2007) explains that the content, in conjunction with the instructional strategies are the vehicles by which the teacher meets the needs of all the students. Each lesson has a definite aim for all students and includes a variety of teacher techniques aimed at reaching students at all levels. The instructor makes allowances for student's differences, adjusts expectations, and provides choice in the method students will use to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts. The instructor also acknowledges that different methods are of equal value, and evaluates students based on their individual differences.

Teacher Expectations and Student Achievement (TESA) an intervention based on expectation theory. TESA is designed to intervene by both heightening teacher's awareness of their perceptions and how those perceptions affect their expectations. The program is intended to give perceived low achievers more opportunity to perform in class, to receive more feedback (perceive low achievers tend to get less analytical feedback than perceived high achievers), and to encourage teachers to establish personal relationships with every student.

Conclusion

According to Vicki Lake (2004) children who habitually engage in anti-social behaviors tend to have a low sense of self-esteem and report feelings of isolation at home and at school. Despite the large number of differences among cultures and nationalities, there remain many universal social skills, such as saying hello, goodbye, thank you and please, or expressions for requesting and receiving help. Building a child's worthiness cannot be separated from the child's culture and in today's diverse society it is the child's culture that should be the starting place for teaching and modeling pro-social behaviors. A classroom that places value on a child practicing social skills in any language enhances the child's sense of worthiness and promotes behavior conducive to establishing a positive learning environment.

References

Anderson, K.M. (2007). Differentiating instruction to include all students. Preventing school failure. Heldref Publications. Retrieved November 27, 2010, from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&hid=8&sid=6e489bfl=d9d3=48b8=8a0b=f2elc246e0c2%40sessionmgr11

Chao, R. (1994). Beyond parental control; authoritarian parenting style: Understanding Chinese parenting through the cultural notion of training. Child development, 45, 1111-1119. In parenting styles - cultural and ethnic variations in parenting styles. Retrieved November 26, 2010 from http://family.jrank.org/pages/1253/Parenting-Styles-Cultural-Ethnic-Variations-in-Parenting-Styles.html

Fox, L., Dunlap, G., Hemmeter, M.L., Gail, J.E., Strain, P.S. (2006, September). The teaching pyramid: A model for supporting social competence amd preventing challenging behavior in young children. The Brown University Child and Adolesent Behavior Letter. Wiley Periodicals Inc. Retrieved November 27, 2010, from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=3&hid=13&sid=8b7b705b-8d14-4ae5-ad69-04382330e75d%40sessionmgr4&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&an=22043721#db=aph&an=22043721#db=aph&an=22043721

Hammond, H., Dupoux, E., & Ingalls, L. (2004, Fall). Culturally relevant classroom management strategies for… [END OF PREVIEW]

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