Analyzing Two Specific Cases and Suggesting Ways to Achieve Effective Classroom Management

¡@¡@In this essay, the cases will be presented in the following sequence: first of all, the writer would examine the approaches used by two different teachers in each case. Secondly, the writer would list out the advantages and disadvantages of using those approaches in each case. After that, the essay would be summarized by making some suggestions for each case.

Case 1


¡@¡@This case was happened in the writer's primary school. The writer's classmate, Alan, was the student who refused to have English dictation in class due to subsequently poor performance. Miss. Chan, who taught us English Language, mainly adopted the intimidation approach, with the aid of authoritarian approach.

¡@¡@There would be two advantages by adopting the intimidation approach, Miss. Chan could let students notice what behaviour should be prohibited in class. For example, when Alan slept in the classroom, she locked his desk and used an angry tone. This expressed her disapproval to Alan's behaviour. When other students saw this action, they knew that there would be no advantages if they slept in lessons. Thus, they would avoid sleeping in class, fearing that Miss. Chan would send them to see the discipline committee for further punishment. Another advantage was that, Miss. Chan could maintain the classroom's order within a few minutes by applying this approach.
Miss. Chan also applied the authoritarian approach. This approach had two advantages that favoured effective classroom management. First, it allowed teachers to control students' behaviour. In case 1, Miss. Chan could stop Alan sleeping in the class. Second, it was clearly stated that teacher's role was to maintain order inside the class. That meant, Miss. Chan had the right to order Alan not to sleep and bring him to the discipline committee as he disobeyed her orders and his behaviour disturbed the classroom's order at that time.
However, using intimidation approach may not be always effective. According to Kounin's studies (1970s),
" It was discovered that when a teacher's response to a student's behaviour include anger, threats, physical handling, or indications that the she is stressed. It is because other students would become anxious and nervous, but the chances that they will exhibit the misbehaviour themselves in the future are not reduced." (Cangelosi, J.S.1993; pp19)

¡@¡@Sometimes, teachers may add labels to their students. In Case 1, Miss Chan always labeled Alan as lazy but this was not the case at all. Miss. Chan did not feel that she should not call him in that way as she believed that her teacher's status was supreme. These showed that she neglect the need to pay respect to her students. Moreover, she treated Alan's behaviour as Alan's personal character. Referring to the definition of Withitness by Kounin (1970s), he said,

¡@¡@" When similar discipline problems occur, the teacher should consistently take action to suppress misbehaviour of exactly those students who instigated the problems." (Cangelosi, J.S., pp.19)

¡@¡@Thereby, if students discovered that Miss. Chan not only suppressing Alan's behaviour, but also blaming Alan, they would treat Miss. Chan's action as "not with-it " action. They would disagree with what Miss. Chan has done to Alan. Indeed, this would bother the classroom to have effective management.

¡@¡@It is difficult to maintain a long lasting order in the classroom by using harsh forms of punishment such as threats. In case 1, Alan continued to argue with Miss. Chan until she brought him to see the discipline committee. This told us that using the intimidation approach was not enduring.


¡@¡@The following are some suggestions which may enhance effective classroom management.
First of all, Miss. Chan should have attitudes, such as realness, genuineness, acceptance, congruence, prizing, caring, trust, empathic understanding, according to Carl Rogers (1969). She should accept Alan's weakness in learning English. She should pay attention and provide immediate help to Alan when he did not do well in dictations. She should also have a sense of empathic understanding as he has tried to study hard.

¡@¡@Secondly, Miss. Chan should try to communicate with students so as to establish good relationship with them. Take an example, she can create some open, professionally appropriate dialogue with students during recess or lunch hour. (Jones, 1980)

¡@¡@Thirdly, Miss. Chan should provide efficient help to Alan. For example, she can arrange individual remedial class for Alan and teach him some spelling patterns so that his learning incentive would not be lost. Furthermore, Miss. Chan can give special arrangement to Alan, like letting him take other dictations to substitute the failed dictations. By doing so, his self- confidence and self-esteem can be boosted as a result.

Case 2


¡@¡@Miss. Jim took socio-emotional climate and behaviourist-modification approaches in Case 2. By using these approaches, some advantages are attained.

¡@¡@Miss. Jim contained the attitudes that suggested by Carl Roger (1969) such as realness, genuineness, caring, trust and empathic understanding. In this Case, she showed her empathetic to students whom were not happy because of Bobby's misbehaviour. Miss. Jim gave another blank worksheet to them. This could pacify their emotions and avoid conflicts between students and Bobby.
Another merit was that, Miss. Jim tried to talk to Bobby in a very positive way. For instance, she asked Bobby to sit down, ignoring the fact that he did not get her permission. She neither scolded him nor showed her anger.

¡@¡@Bobby drew something on the group worksheet that proved to be a misbehaved. Miss Jim used the Behaviourst-Modification Approach to encourage Bobby to reduce his misbehaviour by making a promise--- giving Bobby prizes.

¡@¡@Although giving prizes seemed to be effective to prevent Bobby to repeat his misbehaviour, it was not a must virtually. On one side, Bobby has got used to have prizes. He did not have incentive to gain prizes. Nevertheless, Miss. Jim did not give clear instruction for Bobby to distinguish which models are inappropriate behaviour. Thus, Bobby forgot what behaviour problem he has made and continued to misbehave.


¡@¡@There are 3 suggested practices for striving effective classroom management. First, Miss. Jim can set a compromise with Bobby by using the Newspaper Model (Burke, K., 2000; pp.205). It allows Bobby to analyze his actions and reflect on the causes and effects of his behaviour. These would help him to distinguish that behaviour is appropriate and which is not.

¡@¡@The second suggestion is that, Miss. Jim can have a behavioural counseling (Cooper 1999, pp. 238) with Bobby. She can hold a private conference with Bobby. The aim of having conference is to let him see a certain behaviour that is appropriate and plan for changes. By doing so, he can realize his actions and the resulting consequences.

¡@¡@Promoting a sense of significance, belonging, safety and respect of other between peers. As suggested by Albert, L. (1989), "The attention seekers who misbehave for attention are never satisfied with a normal amount." (Burke, K. 2000, pp.203) Thus, Miss. Jim can hold some group activities to promote friendship in her class. It may diversify Bobby's attention and let him seek more friends. It may reduce the frequency of having misbehaviour in class.

Reference List

Burke, K. (2000). What to Do With The Kid Who¡K(2nd edition) (pp. 203-205) USA: Skylight Training and Publishing

Inc.Cangelosi, J.S. (1993). Classroom Management Strategies- Gaining and Maintaining Students' Cooperation (2nd edition) (pp. 19) NY: Longman Publishing Group

Cooper. (1999). Classroom Teaching Skills (pp.237-238).

Go to Appendix

This analysis is handed in on 24/10/2003.