Program Insights

Effective Classroom Management Strategies: Concordia Course Spotlight

By The Room 241 Team March 19, 2018

When you’re in the market for a new car, you go for a test drive. When you’re deliberating restaurant options, you check out the menus. When you’re in the market for a master’s degree? Sample the classes. In our new series on the Room 241 blog, we’re asking Concordia faculty to give you a closer look at our MEd courses—more than what you’ll read about on our site, so you can get a taste of what you’d be learning and doing should you enroll in our online master’s programs.

First up is EDCI 549: Effective Classroom Management Strategies, one of the concentration courses in our MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom concentration. Here’s what adjunct faculty member Joyce Cato, EdD told us.

Tell us about this course! What are the goals?

Effective Classroom Management Strategies is a master level course designed for the purpose of assisting new and veteran teachers in the K-12 classroom environment on how to manage their individualized classroom that suits their unique instructional philosophy. The course allows active teachers the opportunity to collaborate with the instructors and colleagues and share their strategies for managing their classroom. Teachers have the opportunity to build on their management strategies by exchanging successful strategies that they have implemented in their own classroom with colleagues.

The goal of this course is for new and veteran teachers to promote transformative teaching and learning, develop effective teaching/leadership, and participate in discussion board and feedback so that the fostering of intellectual openness and add reflective thinking can occur between colleagues. One of the most important goals is to challenge prior ineffective practice with the opportunity to rethink and explore the management strategies that are implemented in each individual teacher’s classrooms.

What kind of students would really enjoy this course?

Students who would really enjoy this course are new teachers and veteran teachers who need to improve their skills in the management of their classroom. As teachers, new and veteran, laying out clear expectations of how they do things and consistently modeling this throughout the year is the first layer of classroom management.

The evidence is irrefutable. Surveys of graduates of education schools and colleges indicate that the #1 area of concern of new teachers is their feelings of inadequacy in managing classrooms. Despite clinical experiences, practicum, student teaching, and other observations in classroom settings, this problem has persisted for decades. There is no magic elixir that will confer skill in this area of professional responsibility (Kizlik, 2014).

Classroom management and management of student conduct are skills that teachers acquire and hone over time. These skills almost never “jell” until after a minimum of few years of teaching experience. To be sure, effective teaching requires considerable skill in managing the myriad of tasks and situations that occur in the classroom each day. Skills such as effective classroom management are central to teaching and require “common sense,” consistency, an often undervalued teacher behavior, a sense of fairness, and courage. These skills also require that teachers understand in more than one way the psychological and developmental levels of their students. The skills associated with effective classroom management are only acquired with practice, feedback, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. Sadly, this is often easier said than done.  Certainly, a part of this problem is that there is no practical way for educating students to “practice” their nascent skills outside of actually going into a classroom setting. The learning curve is steep, indeed (Kizlik, 2014).

What are a couple examples of homework assignments?

Here are two examples of homework assignments:

1) Historically, for educators, classroom management has always been a concern. Using the information in your text (Marzano, Marzano, & Pickering, 2003), do the following:

  • Write a description of quality classroom management and what it should look and sound like in your classroom. Your description should also reflect your beliefs about quality classroom management.
  • You are welcome to post a picture of something you use to demonstrate this in your classroom, or share a different tool you’d like to develop for use in the future.

Support your statements with evidence from the Required Studies and your research. Cite and reference your sources in APA style.

2) One of the challenges teachers face today is disruptive behavior in the classroom. When disruptive behavior occurs (e.g., getting out of seat, speaking without permission), teachers claim it often interferes with the overall learning process in the classroom. “Another challenge for teachers is to find classroom management strategies that are proactive, preventative, and relatively east to implement, and which provide minimal disruption to the classroom” (Guardino & Fullerton, 2010, p. 8). What disciplinary interventions can be used to decrease disruptive behavior and increase student learning?

Using the information from this week’s Required Studies, take time to stop and observe a classroom, preferably your own. If you are not currently in a classroom, the videos Classroom Behavior (Learn NC, 2010) and Classroom Behavior Analysis (Learn NC, 2010) will allow you to view a classroom demonstrating a range of behaviors by students and the teacher.

As you conduct the classroom observation, answer the following:

  • What types of disruptive behaviors occur in the classroom?
  • What types of positive behaviors occur in the classroom?
  • When are the most disruptive behaviors occurring?
  • Where are disruptive behaviors occurring?
  • How are disruptive behaviors addressed?
  • How are positive behaviors addressed?
  • Are modifications to help with disruptive behaviors (e.g., providing areas of personal space, rearranging student seating, classroom climate) being used?

As a class, we are a support to one another. Honestly sharing the answers to these questions will open doors for deeper levels of collaboration in problem-solving and sharing new ideas. (Support your statements with evidence from the Required Studies and your research. Cite and reference your sources in APA style.)

How about an example of the reading material?

We use two textbooks for EDCI 549, Effective Classroom Management Strategies: (1) Exceptional Learners: An Introduction to Special Education (13th Edition) by Daniel P. Hallahan, James M. Kauffman, and Paige C. Pullen. (2) Classroom Management that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Every Teacher by Robert J. Marzano, Jana S. Marzano, and Debra J. Pickering.

How can your students apply what they learn to their profession?

Teachers/(our students) can apply what they learn in this course to their profession by first understanding the impact that a teacher can have on students’ educational achievements. Next, the dynamics of an effective teacher is displayed by the performance they produce in performing the many functions in their profession. These many functions can be enhanced by the knowledge gained in the EDCI 549 Effective Classroom Management Strategies course. These functions can be organized into three major roles:

  1. Making wise choices about the most effective instructional strategies to employ.
  2. Designing classroom curriculum to facilitate student learning,
  3. Making effective use of classroom management techniques.

The first role deals with instructional strategies and their use. Additionally, they know when these strategies should be used with specific students and specific content. The second role associated with effective teaching is classroom curriculum design. They teacher consider the needs of their students collectively and individually and then determine the content that requires emphasis and the most appropriate sequencing and presentation of that content. The third role involved in effective teaching is classroom management. This course detail and exemplify the various components of effective classroom management. This, therefore, is the subject of the EDCI 549 Course and the knowledge acquired that students apply to their profession.

What is your favorite aspect of this course?

My favorite aspect of this course is the fact that it covers different topics for assisting professional students (teachers) in becoming more knowledgeable in effective classroom management strategies. These topics are: Classroom Management, Classroom Instructions, The Inclusive Classroom, Disruptive Behaviors, Classroom Management Policies, Teacher-Student Relationships, Classroom Meetings, Cultural Diversity, and Parental Involvement. I especially enjoy the topics on Cultural Diversity, Teacher-Student Relationships, and Parental Involvement because these topics offer some suggestions for teachers to obtain a more personal relationship with their students in the K-12 classroom.

Reference: Kizlik, B. (2014).  Catalyst: tools for effective teaching.  Robert Kizlik & Associates.  Boca Raton, Florida.

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