The Art of Classroom Management: Building Equitable Learning Communitites (2nd Edition)

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9780130990778: The Art of Classroom Management: Building Equitable Learning Communitites (2nd Edition)

The author addresses the full range of legal, ethical, and cultural issues, and sets classroom management within a democratic framework that considers the impact of compulsory education, the mandate of the Fourteenth Amendment, the diversity of today's classrooms, and the effect of dynamic social interactions on the day-to-day environment. She stresses that effective classroom management is not just a series of “techniques,” but rather a deliberate construction for supporting every pupil who enters a public school. Integrating classroom management, law, and multicultural issues, this book covers a broad range of issues involved in creating calm, safe, and productive classrooms for all learners. Increased emphasis on language and culture throughout. A final chapter on working with parents encompasses all perspectives, including those of parents, teachers, and pupils. A full chapter on power, a galvanizing issue in many schools, examines who has power, who wants power, and how power is won or lost. For future educators.

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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

I wrote The Art of Classroom Management to provide teacher educators, teachers, administrators, those enrolled in preservice teacher preparation programs, and anyone who shares the belief that every child should have a fair chance to be successful in life with a comprehensive overview of the legal, ethical, and cultural issues associated with classroom management. Public school educators are addressing an increasingly diverse student population that brings with it a broad range of personal needs and interests. A one-size-fits-all approach to management cannot adequately serve teachers who seek to create calm, safe, and productive learning environments for all their students. It is time to expand our shared professional vision of what is meant by the term classroom management.

My vision for what is and what is not appropriate management practices begins with a democratic framework. The ideas shared within these pages take their initial inspiration from the laws that govern public schools. Some of the legal concepts discussed include:

  1. The impact of compulsory education. The fact that students are compelled by law into our public school classrooms heightens the professional responsibility of all educators to ensure equity in their practices.
  2. Fourteenth Amendment concepts of due process and equal protection under the law. Equal protection ensures each student's right to the range of opportunities available in our public schools, and due process helps to protect students while they are in the classroom.

Our increasingly diverse student population also affects the choices and decisions educators must consider in terms of management and curricular practices. Interwoven throughout this book are discussions of two particular issues:

  1. Our increasingly diverse population and how educators can understand its similarities and differences, and our need for mutual dependence. A broad range of issues related to cultural and social diversity is discussed.
  2. The dynamic elements of our social interactions and how they play themselves out every day within our public schools.

Inclusive and welcoming management and curricular practices are a necessity. They are the most powerful means by which to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to be successful regardless of the languages they speak, the beliefs they hold, the disabilities that challenge them, their gender, or the color of their skin.

Organization of This Book

The first chapters of this book establish an understanding of the basic rights and responsibilities shared by all members of the public school community. The early chapters focus on strategies for establishing rules and assessment procedures. Integrated throughout the strategies is a framework of law and multicultural issues and how the two can be used when determining what constitutes effective democratic management. The balance of the book is devoted to a number of supporting topics that are closely associated with how educators might effectively manage all students. The book's underlying theme is that effective management is not a simple matter of using one trick or another but rather is a thoughtful and deliberate construct for supporting every learner who enters a pubic school classroom.

Some books on classroom management are based on multicultural perspectives. Others are based on a legal perspective. Still others provide an overview of management topics and include separate chapters on multicultural issues or legal issues. This book is the first to approach management, law, and multicultural issues from an integrated perspective.

Features

Some of the special features of this text are:

  1. An examination of how an educator's interactions with parents directly influence the classroom climate and management options. Chapter 9, which addresses parental issues, includes the legal and multicultural perspectives of student, teacher, and parent relations.
  2. A chapter devoted to how some students become highly visible or invisible (Chapter 6). Both situations are problematic in terms of student rights, and both can have their etiology in multicultural issues.
  3. A careful examination of the issues surrounding power in the classroom. Who has it? Who wants it? How is it obtained or lost?

Every chapter begins with a scenario that frames the discussion to follow. The scenario is immediately followed by some initial discussion questions designed to stimulate classroom conversations about each chapter's topic or to prompt writing for a dialogic journal. Each chapter concludes with some follow-up questions or suggested classroom activities.

All chapters include specific ideas for helping preservice and in-service teachers effectively address the problems and issues raised. The purpose of this book is to provide educators with practical and legal strategies for working with all students, and accordingly, every chapter provides ideas for addressing a variety of management issues.

Many of the ideas and strategies shared in each chapter come from my own research and from my personal interactions with teachers in a variety of settings around the country. All strategies have been tested in real public school situations. I hope that these good ideas will continue to support the fine work that educators do every day.

New to This Second Edition

  • Revised chapters that focus more specifically on legal and multicultural issues.
  • Greater emphasis on the ways in which cultural and linguistic diversity can impact classroom management.
  • True case studies and stories in every chapter—all but two were either witnessed by or told to the author. (Actual names of students and teachers involved have been changed to protect their confidentiality.)
  • Case studies not involving the author were taken from Hatred in the Hallways: Violence and Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students in U.S. Schools (Human Rights Watch, 2001).
  • Discussion questions following every case study.

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