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The Topic Of Classroom Management Education Essay


The topic of classroom management is a vital component to the success of any teacher, particularly those in the field of special education.     By virtue of the types of students these teachers have, the issue of classroom management becomes an even more important component to success.     This is due to the fact that many other areas are impacted by a teacher's classroom management style, such as student discipline, on-task learning time, and social/academic success.     Because each of these areas is a specific deficit within the population of students in special education, an effective approach to classroom management can enable a teacher to positively impact the areas of behavior and academics, and as a result, improve both.     One specific area of particular interest is the effective utilization of transition times between classes, activities, or topics, and how positive classroom management often utilizes teaching strategies in order to accomplish this.     The teaching strategy of particular interest is often called a "bell ringer" or a "do now" activity, in which students are actively engaged in a learning task and thus maximizing on-task time, ultimately increasing learning and decreasing acting out behaviors. 

 Article Summaries 

 Article 1 

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 Zuckerman, J. (2007). Classroom Management in Secondary Schools: A Study of Student Teachers' Successful Strategies.  American Secondary Education  ,  35  (2), 4-16. Retrieved from ERIC database. 


 The research question posed in this article focuses on classroom management strategies that any secondary teacher can use effectively.     While the article posits that any teacher can utilize these strategies, it primarily focuses on strategies used by student teachers in the science classroom.     In discussing the need to examine classroom management techniques, Zuckerman points out that the strategies used by expert teachers are not necessarily effective for beginning and student teachers because of the difference in the way that these three groups look at teaching (Kounin in Zuckerman, 2007). 


 In order to analyze the use and effectiveness of classroom management strategies utilized by student teachers, 141 candidates were asked to report on a significant classroom management issue in their sixth week of student teaching.     This was done by writing a one page report about a specific account, which was then submitted for review by their methods teacher and filtered, based on whether the student teacher was happy with the result of the intervention and if it indeed engaged, re-engaged, or maintained engagement in the activity.     In doing so, the number of accounts used for this research was reduced to 68 accounts.     These accounts were then further judged and categorized into 18 approaches based on a taxonomy of discipline strategies derived from Levin and Nolan (2003). 


 The 18 approaches are listed and placed into the larger categories of  prevention, managing common discipline problems, and managing chronically disruptive children  .     Each of these three categories is further broken down into the strategies successfully utilized by the student teachers.     The use of each strategy is outlined briefly as it pertained to classroom use by the student teachers. 


 Seven intervention strategies stood out according to Zuckerman and warranted attention.     The adaptability of a teacher to abandon a whole-class lecture and break into small groups to more actively engage students was a strategy viewed as particularly effective and accessible for teachers of any experience level.     Most important in this report was the individual conference with chronically disruptive students, some of which did not even know their behavior was a problem, and therefore didn't know that he or she should not be doing it.     Zuckerman noted that one of the most obvious limiting factors of this research is in the validity of the student teacher's reported account.     In addition, all of the student teachers were in the science content area, however, the assumption is that the strategies used by these teachers can be generalized into any subject area. 

    Article 2 

 Johns E., B., Crowley, P., & Guetzloe, E. (2008). Engaged Time in the Classroom.  Focus on Exceptional Children  ,  41  (4), 1. Retrieved from ERIC database. 


 This article presents ideas from current research on the topic of engaged time in the classroom as it pertains to academic success.     The article represents a literature review of a variety of research proposing ways promote academic success through on-task learning activities.     According to Winn, Menlove, and Zsiray (1997) the link between time and learning is one of the most consistent findings in educational research.     Walker and Severson (1992) stated that the following are components of academic engaged time and include attending to the material and the task, making appropriate motor responses, and asking for assistance in an acceptable manner.     Mastropieri and Scruggs (1994) believe that the most important teacher-effectiveness variable is time-on-task.     Mastropieri and Scruggs (1994) also summarized research that shows that transitions constitute a major source of off-task activities.     The findings of further research conducted by Kauchak and Eggen (1993) reported that high-achieving students are typically engaged for 75% of the time or more while low achievers have engagement rates that are often below 50%. Effective teachers produce on-task rates as high as 80% while less effective teachers exhibit on-task rates of 60%.     The result of low on-task time has been reported by Montague, Bergeron, and Lago-Delello (1997), suggests that students who are not engaged academically most of the time frequently become passive learners, give up easily on tasks, become anxious, withdrawn, angry about school, and fail in future grades.     As a result of these previous studies, the authors of this article propose a variety of activities that are meant to actively engage students and thus limit off-task time in order to elevate student achievement.     As a literature review, this article presents an overview of the research into on-task time and its impact on student achievement. 

    Article 3 

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    Hayling, C., Cook, C., Gresham, F., State, T., & Kern, L. (2008). An Analysis of the Status and Stability of the Behaviors of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties.  Journal of Behavioral Education  ,  17  (1), 24-42. Retrieved from ERIC database. 


 This article looks at the situation of students with EBD and how their education setting, as well as the correlation between the type of classroom activity and student behavior impacts overall student achievement.     This research has grown out of the fact that EBD students continue to score poorly for both academic and behavioral outcomes (Bradley et al., 2004).     By investigating classroom settings and activities, the researchers hoped to understand their impacts on overall student achievement. 


 The research was conducted as part of project REACH, a 5 year longitudinal study.     90 students were selected from schools in Pennsylvania and California (58 and 32 respectively).     School and classroom types attended by the 90 participants varied, and were both public and private/nonpublic.     Data was collected through direct observation of the following behaviors:  engagement, disruption, destruction, and time out  .     Activity types during which these behaviors occurred were coded and also collected.    


 Overall, students were observed to be engaged for 77% of the intervals observed while disruptive behavior occurred in 11% of the intervals.     This means that disruptive behavior occurs for roughly 40 minutes a day or 3 hours a week.     Utilizing  an inter-correlation matrix, the researchers examined which instructional strategy was most highly correlated with disruptive behaviors and found that to be independent seat work.     Results showed that the most frequent instructional activity was either independent work or whole class instruction.     As for nonacademic time (transitions), results showed that students spent about 8% of their time in this manner. 


 The researchers point out that 78% of the classroom activities are either whole class instruction or independent seat work and that 8% of the time was devoted to transitions.     In doing an analysis of the correlation between instructional activities and student behavior, it became apparent that independent seatwork instruction was associated with higher rates of classroom problem behaviors.     Nevertheless, the authors pointed out that there were some limitations inherent in the way that data was collected and that during correlation analysis, some other factors may have been at play to cause disruptive behaviors that, due to the data collection method, may not have been apparent. 

    Article 4 

 Shechtman, Z., & Leichtentritt, J. (2004). Affective Teaching: A Method to Enhance Classroom Management.  European Journal of Teacher Education  ,  27  (3), 323-333. Retrieved from ERIC database. 


 This article looks at the incorporation of affective teaching methods as a means of enhancing classroom management.     The adoption of a variety of teaching methodologies can have a positive impact on student outcomes and specifically, the behavior exhibited between affective lessons and cognitive lessons was viewed, with a focus on which type of teaching produced fewer negative student behaviors, such as out-of-turn talking, moving without permission, and aggression.     Research has shown that one of the greatest challenges of a teacher is to maintain order in the classroom so as to achieve academic objectives (Burden, 1995).     Because behavior is neither entirely externally nor internally caused, the interaction of the two must be considered (Alexander, 2000).     The hypothesis of this research was that affective lessons would in fact result in less disruptive behavior and in fact promote more positive, pro-social behaviors. 


 The participants were 420 pupils (281 boys and 139 girls) in 52 self-contained special education classes (about 8 students per class) in the northern region of Israel.     Eighty per cent of them were Jewish (in 41 classrooms) and the rest were Arab pupils (in 11 classrooms), representing the proportions of the populations in the region. Classes ranged from Grade 1 to Grade 9: 20 in elementary school (the average being Grade 3.6) and 32 in secondary school (the average being Grade 8.1).     An observational sheet developed for this study was created and was based on the concepts of misbehavior and off-task behavior (Burden, 1995).     It was divided into four categories of  off-task, talk without permission, move without permission and aggression  .     The classes were observed as a whole and scores were assigned to each child for each observed behavior during three weekly lessons. An average score on each behavior was computed for each child. 


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 The differences between the two methods of instruction were measured by two MANOVA repeated measures procedures, one for misbehavior and another for positive behavior.     The results indicate consistently fewer negative behaviors and more positive behaviors in the affective lessons.     A significant difference between methods of instruction was found for both the negative and positive behaviors; P<0.001 for both. 


 The purpose of this study was to reduce misbehavior and enhance positive behavior in special education classes of pupils with learning disabilities.     Classroom management is a great challenge for all teachers, but is a particularly important one in special education (Emmer  et al,  1994; Evertson  et al.,  1994; Burden, 1995).     The results of less disruptive behaviors and an increase in pro-social behaviors seems to support the idea of a proactive approach based on comprehensive planning of prevention (Dweyer  et al.,  2000; Skiba & Peterson, 2000).     In utilizing affective teaching lessons, teachers were able to decrease off-task time, which ultimately impacts overall student learning. 

    Article 5 

 Polirstok, S., & Gottlieb, J. (2006). The Impact of Positive Behavior Intervention Training for Teachers on Referral Rates for Misbehavior, Special Education Evaluation and Student Reading Achievement in the Elementary Grades.  International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy  ,  2  (3), 354-361. Retrieved from ERIC database. 


 As research has continually pointed out, there is a strong relationship between student behaviors and positive academic achievement.     The classroom environment is one of the primary means of establishing a positive environment, which is an essential "precursor to teaching"( Polloway et al.,2001).     When this positive environment is created, student achievement is projected to rise.     This study proposed that through positive behavior interventions and classroom management training, staff could improve student behavior, on-task behavior, and ultimately student achievement. 


 The three schools were selected to participate in the program by district supervisors who were concerned with each of the school's disciplinary referral data and declining academic performance. The three schools had similar student populations; mainly poor and mainly minority. Each of the schools was characterized by low academic achievement, high teacher requests for transfer and retirement, high percentage of novice teachers and pervasively low staff morale.     In order to ascertain the amount of referrals and thus the disruptive behaviors of the students, records were kept of the referral rate in participating schools. 


 Referral rates and achievement on standardized tests were recorded and compared within the district and to different years at the same schools.     In terms of referral rates in school #1, there was a drop of 61% in regular classrooms and 63% in special education.     In the measure of academic success based on reading scores at or above grade level, all the schools increased from 28% to 32%, while other schools' scores in the district actually fell. 


 The utilization of training to increase pro-social behaviors and create positive learning environments was able to produce positive gains for the schools involved.     This data illustrates an important correlation between positive learning environments and academic achievement.     One of the limitations discussed in the article points out that the principal of a school has an important impact on how well proactive interventions are utilized and therefore teacher training alone is not sufficient to impact a school atmosphere. 

 Research questions: 

    Does the consistent utilization (3 - 5 days a week) of "bell ringer" activities increase on-task behaviors and decrease acting out behaviors? 

    Does the consistent utilization (3 - 5 days a week) of "bell ringer" activities as a scaffolding technique increase academic success of special education students? 

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