Chapter Summary

Classroom management is the coordination of lessons and activities to make learning as productive as possible. It is important because classrooms are complex and somewhat unpredictable, because students respond to teachers’ actions in diverse ways, and because society requires that students attend school. There are two major features of management: preventing problems before they occur and responding to them after they occur. Many management problems can be prevented by attending to how classroom space is used, by establishing daily procedures, routines, and rules, by pacing and structuring activities appropriately, and by communicating the importance of learning and of positive behavior to students and parents. There are several ways of dealing with a management problem after it occurs, and the choice depends on the nature of the problem. A teacher can simply ignore a misbehavior, gesture or cue students nonverbally, rely on natural and logical consequences, or engage conflict resolution strategies. Whatever tactics the teacher uses, it is important to keep in mind their ultimate purpose: to make learning possible and effective.

Further Resources

Classroom management: This is the starting page for a number of materials and links about classroom management, in both its positive forms (fostering of a positive learning environment) and negative forms (dealing with undesirable behaviors). The links on this page lead to additional websites devoted to classroom management, which themselves have many additional activities and practical tips.

Additional References

Benson, B. & Barnett, S. (2005). Student-led conferencing using showcase portfolios. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Black, P., Harrison, C., Lee C., Marshall, B., & Wiliam, D. (2004). Working inside the black box: Assessment for learning in the classroom. Phi Delta Kappan, 86(1), 8–21.

Bothmer, S. (2003). Creating the peaceable classroom. Tuscon, AZ: Zephyr Press.

Brown, D. (2004). Urban teachers’ professed classroom management strategies: Reflections of culturally responsive teaching. Urban Education, 39(3), 266–289.

White, C. (2005). Student portfolios: An alternative way of encouraging and evaluating student learning. In M. Achacoso & N. Svinicki (Eds.), Alternative Strategies for Evaluating Student Learning (pp. 37–42). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.