Classroom behavior problems have been around since we began educating children, and the challenges related to classroom management are likely to grow more acute in future decades. This book provides information and activities designed to help teachers develop their own management philosophy based on their style, their goals, and their understanding of how to create a safe and supportive learning environment for every student. It offers a models approach; thorough coverage of classroom management theories and models; thoughtful discussion of diversity in the classroom and the “safe school” movement; and practical ideas for how to manage a wide variety of classrooms. For future teachers and administrators.
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The Growing Challenges of Classroom Management
The problems of managing students in classrooms and throughout the school have challenged teachers and administrators since the beginning of efforts to provide formal education to children and adolescents. Our firsthand experiences working in schools and our experiences working with practicum and student teachers have convinced us that classroom management is a major concern of educators. Although most preservice and inservice teachers appear to be well grounded in curricular content and instructional methodology, classroom management continues to be a challenge as educators try to find ways to work with students who lack discipline, disrupt the teaching/learning process, limit teachers' effectiveness, and cause others physical and psychological harm. In fact, problems with classroom management have caused sonic qualified educators to leave the profession.
Looking at the realities of contemporary education, we believe that the challenges related to classroom management will likely grow more acute in future decades. Several reasons account for our concern:
In addition to these basic concerns, numerous other behavior issues contribute to management problems in classrooms. These include violence in the media, poverty, changing home and family life, easy access to weapons, and court decisions that limit educators' rights. We are not downplaying the importance of any causes of behavior problems, but we believe that the most important thing we can do is focus on the actions that educators can take and help them plan and implement a classroom management model that works most effectively for them.
What can we do about students bringing guns, knives, and other weapons to school? Current trends and predictions suggest that a definitive answer to these concerns is unlikely in the near future. In fact, the recent violence affecting students and educators, suggests that the need for exemplary responses to behavior problems likely will grow more acute in future years.
Rationale for and Premises of This Book
We wrote Classroom Management: Models, Applications, and Cases to help preservice and inservice teachers understand foundational as well as contemporary classroom management models and theorists, and use these models to develop their own classroom management model—one that is personalized so it will work for them.
This book is based upon several important premises:
Premise 2—Preservice and inservice teachers need to understand a wide array of classroom management models (chapters 212). Unfortunately, some people erroneously believe that classroom management theories written decades ago do not apply to contemporary problems. Quite the contrary. Although a few behavior problems have grown more acute, some management ideas found in older theories continue to hold promise for addressing contemporary behavior problems.
Premise 3—Preservice and inservice teachers should become familiar with the contemporary safe schools movement (chapter 13) and see how they can use this information in their own classrooms.
Premise 4—Preservice and inservice teachers must understand the philosophical underpinnings of classroom management and develop their own carefully considered personal philosophy of classroom management (chapter 14). Rather than trying a little of one idea and a little of another, effective classroom managers need to develop their own philosophical tenets of classroom management (e.g., how they feel about students, roles of educators, definitions of discipline, and goals of classroom management).
Premise 5—Preservice and inservice teachers should base their classroom management strategies and practices (chapter 15) on the philosophy that they developed. Although this philosophy might change as teachers gain experience and knowledge, all teachers need to base their classroom management strategies on their individual philosophy. This is primarily why we examine so many classroom management models in this book. When teachers know what models and theories, and more specifically what strategies and practices, are available, they can develop a classroom management model that works for them.
Premise 6—Preservice and inservice teachers must develop a personal philosophy of classroom management and a comprehensive management (including instructional management) plan that reflects our nation's and schools' increasing diversity. Respect for student diversity of all forms is a thread throughout this book. Whenever possible, we consider each model and theorist in terms of diversity. This is a point that cannot be overemphasized. Classroom management practices should not be offensive or intrusive.
Organization of This Book
Classroom Management: Models, Applications, and Cases is divided into three parts and 15 chapters:
Part I – Understanding the Need for Classroom Management (Chapter 1)
Part II – Understanding Classroom Management Theories (Chapters 2-12)
Part III – Building a Personal Classroom Management Plan (Chapters 13-15)
Part I contains chapter 1, which examines classroom management and discipline in contemporary schools, the effects of classroom management problems, and the need to consider student diversity.
Part II contains chapters 2 through 12. In these chapters, we examine the classroom management theorists. From the foundational theorists to those still working in the schools, these individuals and their ideas, theories, and models continue to be relevant in contemporary elementary, middle, and high schools.
Part III contains three important chapters. First is a detailed look at safe schools in chapter 13. Then, based on the information from chapters 2 through 12, we encourage educators to develop a personal philosophy of classroom management (chapter 14) and to apply that philosophy in workable and effective classroom management practices (chapter 15).
Rationale for Our Choices of Models and Theorists
In this book, we examine as many classroom management theorists as possible in order to give preservice and inservice educators a comprehensive overview of models and ideas on which to base their own philosophy and practice. Thus, we begin in chapter 2 with the theorists who contributed to the beginnings of classroom management. Chapters 3 through 12 provide a collection of the most well-known classroom management theorists, whose contributions continue to be widespread and well known. Finally, chapter 12 gives readers a glance at five contemporary theorists. The theorists in chapters 3 through 11 are arranged randomly, rather than in any assigned order of significance or contribution. Although we personally like some theories better than others, we have tried to provide an objective examination of each of them because we believe they all have the potential for helping educators develop their own personal philosophy and model of classroom management.
Special Features and Pedagogical Aids
Classroom Management: Models, Applications, and Cases has a number of features sand pedagogical aids that contribute to the mission of the book, mainly to help preservice and inservice teachers understand a wide array of models and develop a personal philosophy and model of classroom management.
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