In an inclusive classroom in which students have varying interpersonal skills and character traits, ensuring that the lessons progress smoothly without any disruptions is one of the most difficult goals to achieve. Interruptions from students often interfere with the effectiveness of learning and compromise the quality of instruction. Teachers have to understand the best practices for classroom management to ensure that they work with their students towards the accomplishment of classroom objectives at all times. According to Sakirudeen classroom management supports the implementation of proper teaching practices as well as execution of curriculum related activities in the best possible manner (44). The actions and directions used by teachers to develop a successful learning environment is what is described as classroom management, and it is one of the determinants of students’ capacity to achieve the set educational goals and objectives (Blank and Shavit 3). A teacher not only needs to correct misbehavior in the classroom but must also ensure that the misbehavior does not affect the learning capacity of other students.
Most of the available educational programs for the training of teachers focus on other phenomena apart from classroom management. For instance, the programs focus on a teacher’s capacity to create a conducive environment for the students to learn. This has to be achieved regardless of the nature of students and the individual difference between them. Classroom management is not explicitly mentioned as a performance indicator, rather, the efficiency of learning as reflected in feedback from the students’ performances. The efficacy of classroom management determines the rate of academic engagement between the teachers and the students. There are several techniques that a teacher could use to attain effective classroom management. For instance, Mandal describes practices such as good teacher-student relationships, assertive practices, and allocated time, as some of the practices that foster effective classroom management (51). The ensuing research paper questions the classification of the classroom management practices and the extent of their efficacy in promoting educational progress.
Classroom management is perceived as a generally unimportant subject. Moreover, one aspect that makes classroom management challenging is the lack of a unique system for the identification of classroom challenges and its contributions to the effectiveness of the lessons. Teachers need to understand how their interactions with students contribute to effective learning and to come up with strategies that can help to improve the performance of the student populations under any learning conditions. The higher education systems do not explicitly teach educators how to manage their classrooms in schools. Even where there are basics taught on classroom management, each classroom presents very unique characteristics, which make it necessary to modify teaching methods and classroom management practices to suit the situation. For this reason, alternative methods have to be sought and used by teachers in order to foster better classroom management. For this to be done there should also be an understanding of the impacts of effective classroom management on the outcomes of the learning process. This paper thus attempts to create this understanding, and to explore different practices that can be used by teachers to enhance their classroom management efficacy.
Effective teaching requires several personal qualities and practices. It is for this reason that students are able to distinguish between the methods of different teachers and to behave differently in the classroom depending on who is managing the class at a particular time. Various studies have also been conducted to determine the impacts of classroom management on student outcomes with varying findings. For instance, some studies have shown that the translation of teacher training concepts into the classroom is seldom effective. Mandal posits that, “there are various difficulties faced by teachers to implement methods, skills and techniques in the classroom what they have got from training (p. 50).” This is an indication that teachers need to be creative during their engagement with students to ensure that they transfer not only knowledge but also social skills. Several factors have been mentioned as influential to effective classroom management including teachers’ self awareness and mindfulness; multicultural competency; efficacy of behavior management; awareness of classroom management; knowledge of the social and physical context in the classroom; regulations and rules; and ecological perspective on classroom management among others Blank and Shavit (2).
Blazar and Kraft also discussed the implications of student attitudes and behaviors on the efficacy of classroom management (146). These factors are affected by the emotional support given by teachers and the organization of the classroom. Teachers who are effective in achieving strong academic performance may not be necessarily effective in accomplishing improved student behaviors and attitudes. These findings prove the multidimensional nature of teaching theory, which justifies the need for alternative approaches to dealing with students in the classroom set-up. Sakirudeen, however, points out that the techniques used by teachers in classroom management also influence the achievement of academic performance (43). Student performances differ significantly based on “verbal instruction, corporal punishment, instructional supervision, delegation of authority to learners (Sakirudeen 43).” Similarly, Barni, Russo and Danioni pegged the teacher’s personal values and socialization values on their classroom management skills (1). Teachers can be classified as authoritative, authoritarian or permissive in their interactions with the students, which results in different student perceptions and subsequently different academic outcomes.
In line with the arguments made by Sakirudeen (43) and Barni and Others (1), Sieberer-Nagler purports that for teachers, it is “important to perform self and external analyses to better learn their strengths and shortcomings (171).” There is no distinct classroom management style that is suitable for all teachers due to the diversity of classroom characteristics. For this reason, teachers have to understand their strengths and limitations in order to make the best decisions with regards to classroom management. In particular, obtaining feedback from students and other teachers is an essential practice for teachers, as is reflection on one’s work. It is also essential for teachers to understand the factors that influence good classroom management. According to Mahvar and Others, various strategies can be used to improve classroom management once a teacher has understood their strengths and weaknesses (106). Most of the methods require commitment and an understanding of the student needs.
A positive reinforcement approach is recommended as one of the classroom management strategies. This should be coupled with accountability. To do this more effectively, Mahvar and Others propose the creation of a favorably ground for the prevention of deviation and misuse of the learning process (107). In regards to deviation, Niculescu and Frant also propose the adoption and implementation of a working classroom routine as the basis of discipline in the classroom (155). Teachers have to design a lesson plan with clear objectives and expectations in order to prevent conflicts with students as a result of mismatched expectations. Mahvar and Others also propose positive reinforcement and the unity of teachers as a strategy to promote good student behaviors (108). Aliakbari and Bozorgmanesh on the other hand propose assertive classroom management as the best solution to student misbehaviors in the classroom.
Niculescu and Frant have provided some of the outcomes associated with effective classroom management including emotional development, reduced behavior problems, increased cognitive growth and better academic performance (156). Another study by Blank and Shavit showed that disruptive behaviors among students resulted in declined academic performance outcomes regardless of the behaviors of specific students (1). This is an indication of the need to control student behavior through effective classroom management. While all these articles provide information about specific aspects of classroom management, there is still a gap in literature that needs to be addressed. In this particular context, most of the studies provide neither a solution nor a measure of the magnitude of academic performance improvement as a result of effective classroom management.
To achieve the study objectives as described, the following are the research questions that will be pursued.
- What are the key elements in effective classroom management practice?
- Which challenges do teachers face while dealing with student interruptions in the classroom setting and how do they deal with them?
- Among the conventional approaches to classroom management/ dealing with misbehavior, which of them can be generalized to all classrooms and how can it be implemented?
These questions will be explored qualitatively based on research findings from interviews and surveys with teachers.
- To what extent can effective classroom management contribute to better outcomes in academic performance?
The second question will be answered through a quantitative methodology that will focus on student performances in different classroom management contexts.
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Barni, Daniela, Russo, Claudia, and Danioni, Francesca. ‘Teachers’ Values as Predictors of Classroom Management Styles: A Relative Weight Analysis.’ Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 9, no. 1970, (2018), pp. 1- 5. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6198056/pdf/fpsyg-09-01970.pdf. Accessed on 2 April 2019.
Blank, Carmel, and Shavit, Yossi. ‘The Association between Student Reports of Classmates’ Disruptive Behavior and Student Achievement.’ AERA Open, vol. 2, no. 3, (2016), pp. 1-17. journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2332858416653921. Accessed on 2 April 2019.
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Mandal, Ram Babu. ‘Implementation of the Teacher Training for Classroom Management.’ Academic Voices: A Multidisciplinary Journal, vol. 7, (2018), pp. 50-54. www.nepjol.info/index.php/AV/article/view/21370. Accessed on 2 April 2019.
Niculescu, Maria, and Frant, Ancuta Ioana. ‘The Influence of Classroom Management Quality on the Students’ Behavior.’ Romanian Journal of English Studies, vol. 13, no. 1, (2016), pp. 154-157. content.sciendo.com/view/journals/rjes/13/1/article-p154.xml. Accessed on 2 April 2019.
Sakirudeen, Abisola Oladeni, Sunday, Adam Happiness, and George, Dr. I.N. ‘Effective Classroom Management and Students’ Academic Performance in Secondary Schools in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.’ Research in Pedagogy, vol. 7, no. 1, (2016), pp. 43-56. research.rs/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2217-7337_v07_n01_p043.pdf. Accessed on 2 April 2019.
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