Classroom Management Theories
There are several classroom management theories. Time and again, teachers across the world have leveraged these theories to devise their classroom management plans. Undoubtedly, effective classroom management helps in creating a holistic learning environment. Therefore, the significance of these theories is perennial.
Let’s have a look at some popular theories of classroom management.
Behaviour: One of the major classroom management theories, behaviourism is based on the concept ‘practice’. This theory supports operant conditioning using which, a teacher can achieve expected behavioural outcomes. The behaviourist theory of B.F. Skinner advocates these practices, referring to them as ‘Behavioural Intervention Plans.’ It promotes the idea of rewarding students in exchange for expected behavioural outcomes. However, this theory can be used both for positive and negative reinforcements. While academic awards represent a type of positive reinforcement, teachers using rules and guidelines with consequences are ultimately involved in the practice of negative reinforcement.
Behaviour analysis: Under choice theory suggested by Glasser (also called control theory), it is believed that every student should learn how to control his/her own behaviour. In this process, teachers guide students by analyzing their behaviours. This theory encourages students to know all motivational factors behind their behaviours, which will ultimately enable them to reflect on their behaviours and make choices on their own.
Student centred learning : This theory, propounded by Alfie Kohn, is quite newer and more popular than other theories. Kohn has lent his voice for student-directed learning. His idea of democratic classrooms is in line with Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s social learning theories. As per the theory, students should be given control as well as responsibility for their learning, while teachers will only act as facilitators.
Discipline: The theory, proposed by Lee Canter, suggests that students’ positive behaviours should be recognized and encouraged. As per this theory, teachers should inform students about expectations they have as well as rules they have set. Once they inform students, they will closely monitor who follow these guidelines. According to this theory, teachers should be entrusted with the right to teach without any intervention, while students should learn without any interruption.
Although all classroom management theories have some pros and cons, they all shed light on some good-to-follow classroom management practices, which can make the learning environment more positive and the teaching-learning process more rewarding. Teachers can follow any of these practices or even combine some practices in order to create a holistic learning environment in the classroom, thereby ensuring students’ academic development.