Classroom Management : Perspectives on the Social Curriculum / Edition 1

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Overview

This book provides ongoing activities to equip teachers with the ability to construct and refine their existing personal theories, philosophies, and metaphors for managing culturally diverse classrooms. The authors' unique approach of combining diversity issues with management issues challenges readers to conduct action research on a topic that brings the two themes together. Specific coverage of very practical aspects of classroom management includes developing routines, promoting responsibility, and responding to problems. This content helps teachers come to terms with the day-to-day reality of working on management with parameters of diversity. For teachers of all grade levels.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780134609089
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 4/14/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 315
  • Sales rank: 1,353,974
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Read an Excerpt

PREFACE

This book is intended to help readers consider management strategies for contemporary school classrooms. The book engages readers in a number of activities that focus on cultural dimensions of classroom management. An assumption underlying many books on classroom management, especially those reflective of behavioristic perspectives, is that preservice teachers should first learn theoretical principles of management, then somehow connect these principles to their practice during field experiences in teacher education programs or during the first year of teaching. We have learned from research that this kind of theory-practice connection is problematic, and that preservice teachers who learn management theory in such a manner often express concerns over the impracticality of their teacher education experience.

Purely behaviorist approaches to classroom management tend to decontextualize classroom management by discussing it apart from the whole of classroom practice. These approaches also focus in theory on explicit behavior of learners irrespective of biographical or cultural influences. However, the position we take in this book is that decontextualized approaches to classroom management are misaligned with contemporary constructivist thinking on preservice and in-service teacher education and also with the globalization of local school classrooms. Consequently, this book engages readers in readings, activities, and action research projects that proactively link contemporary thinking in classroom management to actual classroom practice. To foster this link, we ask readers to begin with their own theories, perspectives, and biographies relative to classroom management and adaptability, what Hunt (1987) calls "beginning with ourselves." Then throughout the book we help readers extend their personal views of management as they actively construct new meanings for managing classrooms in a pluralistic society. This book also extends and broadens existing textbooks on cultural diversity and multicultural education. Many of these books provide commendable discussions of cultural diversity in school classrooms from sociopolitical and theoretical perspectives but tend to skirt issues of classroom management.

Our extensive experience interacting with preservice and in-service teachers suggests that teacher education programs and their selected textbooks are effective in providing teachers with a view of traditional classroom management theory, but are mostly ineffective in helping teachers understand the limitations of traditional management strategies in contemporary culturally diverse classrooms. Moreover, these same programs, especially those that assume behavioristic approaches to classroom management, are misaligned with the demands on teachers in culturally diverse settings to establish and maintain effective classroom learning environments. Such demands include negotiating classroom interactions with students who represent many different cultures and nationalities. Teachers must also negotiate interactions with and manage learning environments for students with severe disabilities, who were once not a part of regular school classrooms and have not been included in mainstream education. To accommodate linguistic diversity, teachers must also know how to manage the information flow in classrooms where English is not the first language of many of their students.

Cultural pluralism in school classrooms requires new ways of viewing relationships between teachers and students and among students. Student apathy, increased delinquency, and high dropout rates attest to the need for viewing classroom relationships in new ways. This book holds potential to help preservice and in-service teachers understand the social curriculum in multicultural classrooms and to help them consider alternative ways of thinking about their classrooms, what we describe as alternative metaphors. Considering alternative metaphors is crucial in an age marked by a crisis of power and authority. Social models based on authoritarian power are untenable in a society that has become pluralistic and global, where multiple voices once silenced are no longer complacent with being marginalized from the mainstream culture. In this book readers will explore shared power and shared decisionmaking, which represent the sort of social negotiations that are needed in a pluralistic society.

With rapidly changing student demographics in schools everywhere, many classrooms that were once monocultural have become multicultural. Preservice and inservice teachers lacking in prior multicultural experiences both in and out of school may be unaware of how culture, ethnicity, and other social phenomena should be foremost considerations in contemporary schools and in managing classrooms. These monocultural teachers may therefore unknowingly implement management strategies based on their social class value systems, on their perspectives about teaching and learning, and on what may have worked for them as students in school. In culturally diverse settings, however, such unknowing implementation of monocultural management strategies undermines some students' learning.

FEATURES

Through ongoing activities that engage readers in reflective thinking, especially the kind of reflective thinking described by Dewey, Freire, and Rorty, users of this book will actively construct and refine their existing personal theories, philosophies, and metaphors for managing culturally diverse classrooms. Throughout the book readers will think about management in terms of a social curriculum. Consistent with constructivist principles, we hold the view that teachers are thinking persons who actively build personal knowledge for classroom social curricula as they interact with the classroom context, not necessarily as they discuss decontextualized theory in settings isolated from school classrooms. In this book we ask readers to rethink traditional metaphors for working in contemporary school classrooms, as presented in the book, and to organize their classroom context from new perspectives that align more suitably to culturally diverse schools.

The organizing principle for this book is metaphorical perspectives of classroom management in contemporary classrooms. Specifically, readers will consider various metaphors for classroom management, including traditional metaphors of industrial management and contemporary metaphors of negotiation and shared authority. Throughout the book readers are encouraged to rethink their personal perspectives of classroom management for culturally diverse classrooms and to reflect on their prior metaphors of management.

One central feature of this book is classroom-based action research (see chapter 11). A model for action research is provided. Using this model, readers are asked to conduct an action research project, or they can design other projects better suited to their personal needs and school contexts. This component of the book helps readers cultivate habits of reflection about management and helps them look closely and critically at traditional and contemporary views of working with classrooms of diverse learners.

Reflective and proactive learning activities in each chapter are intended to help readers explore the key elements of each chapter. Several activities are included in each chapter to engage readers actively in what is being discussed. Self-reflection and self-assessment are intended to help readers explore their knowledge, beliefs, and prior experiences related to organizational and instructional features of classroom life; therefore, conflict resolution issues are included. Readers explore their biographical predispositions for maintaining positive and productive social curricula. The human dimension of this book is intended to ground theoretical premises of classroom management and social curricula in the real life contexts of teachers and students.

ORGANIZATION OF THIS TEXT

Part I of this book includes information and activities that engage preservice teachers in thinking more deeply about how students and teachers live their school lives together. By completing the activities in this section, readers will be helped to reflect deeply and carefully on their views of the social curriculum in culturally diverse classrooms. Chapter 1 introduces readers to social changes that have profoundly influenced the cultural composition of most school classrooms. The purpose of this chapter is to establish a rationale for rethinking social interactions and the nature of management in contemporary classrooms. Chapter 2 introduces readers to traditional and alternative metaphors for thinking about the social curriculum. This chapter also encompasses historical antecedents to contemporary social curricula. Chapter 3 encourages readers to explore the relationship between classroom management and the labels that dominate school life. Chapter 3 also explores readers' prior schooling and nonschooling experiences (autobiography) about management and conflict resolution issues. One purpose of this chapter is to guide readers through a series of activities that help them become aware of their personal beliefs about and theories of classroom interactions. Chapter 4 helps readers come to terms with the everyday demands of classroom management.

Part II, which comprises chapters 5 and 6, focuses on two related themes. One theme addresses conflict and cooperation. Specifically, chapter 5 focuses on how to address cultural conflict in contemporary classrooms and raises questions about the so-called new demands placed on teachers in a pluralistic society. Comparisons are made between managing students in a traditional sense and working with students in a contemporary sense. Chapter 6 focuses on issues related to student behavior and discipline. This later theme is always a foremost concern of every preservice teacher.

Part III introduces readers to visions of the possible regarding contemporary management. In chapters 8, 9, and 10 we report case studies of successful strategies of schools and teachers. These case studies are intended to help readers understand how selected schools and teachers have established successful learning environments for culturally diverse schools and classrooms. The studies were conducted specifically for this book, and focus on various dimensions of culturally diverse classrooms. They give readers a realistic view of how selected schools and individual teachers successfully negotiate their social curricula with students. Case studies of elementary, middle, and high schools are discussed, as well as vignettes of selected teachers.

Part 1V helps readers explore classroom management from a personal perspective and guides readers in their development of a personal practical philosophy for classroom management. Readers engage in a series of reflective activities to develop this philosophy, determine how this philosophy is embodied in their classroom instruction, and develop action research projects associated with these issues.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We are grateful to many persons who, in specific ways, contributed to the development and completion of this book. Various persons need to be acknowledged for helping us with the site visits we made to the three schools described in chapters 8-10. For John Tynes Elementary School in chapter 8, we are grateful to the principal and many teachers who allowed Tom Savage to explore the school openly and critically. For Brown-Barge Middle School (BBMS) in chapter 9, we are grateful to Camille Barr, who was principal of the school at the time this chapter was written and who gave Richard Powell opportunities to explore the school context from the perspective of classroom management. Thanks also goes to many BBMS teachers who rescheduled their class time to participate in interviews about management strategies in the school. For Estacado High School (EHS) in chapter 10, we are grateful to Jerry Lee and Ken Wallace who allowed us to make observations and to talk with those teachers who had time in their daily schedules. Moreover, Jerry Lee regularly spoke to education classes from a nearby university on management in schools with high levels of cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity. We thank Delores Martinez and Dave Dickerson, two teachers who were at EHS at the time this chapter was written, for allowing us to interview them openly and honestly about management at the school, and for permitting their classrooms to be observed on numerous occasions.

Our most sincere thanks also go to the untiring efforts of the critical reviewers of this book, including Frank D. Adams, Wayne State University; Karen Agne, Pittsburgh State University; Sandra L. DiGiaimo, University of Scranton; Joyce Lynn Garrett, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Ray Gomez, Arizona State University; Jane McCarthy, University of Nevada at Las Vegas; Barbara McEwan, University of Redlands; Iris Nierenberg, Thomas College; Will Roy, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee; Robert Shearer, Miami University; Elizabeth Simons, Kansas State University; and Bruce Smith, Henderson State University. The painstaking work of these reviewers clearly strengthened the quality of our work.

Finally, we are deeply grateful to our editor, Debbie Stollenwerk, whose patience, advice, and emotional support permitted us to eventually reach completion of this work.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

I. THINKING MORE DEEPLY ABOUT SCHOOL LIFE.

1. Toward Student-Centered Management.

2. Managing Interpersonal Relationships in Your Classroom: Historical and Metaphorical Perspectives.

3. How Cultural and Personal Labels Influence Teachers and Students.

4. Dealing With Everyday Classroom Life: How to Develop Routines, Promote Responsibility, and Respond to Problems.

II. UNDERSTANDING CONFLICT AND COOPERATION IN TODAY'S CLASSROOMS.

5. Conflict and Cooperation in the Social Curriculum.

6. Promoting Cooperation and Dealing with Conflict: Classroom Strategies.

7. Contemporary Issues Related to Student Behavior and Discipline.

III DEVELOPING CULTURAL AND LOCAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF SOCIAL CURRICULA.

8. Coping with Change at John Tynes Elementary School.

9. The Social Curriculum of Brown-Barge Middle School: A Case Report of Guidance and Mediation.

10. Diversity and Management: The Case of Estacado High School.

IV. EXPLORING CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT FROM A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE.

11. Inquiring into Classroom and School Life: An Action Research Approach.

12. Synthesizing Your Personal Theories for Management in Contemporary Classrooms.

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Preface

PREFACE

This book is intended to help readers consider management strategies for contemporary school classrooms. The book engages readers in a number of activities that focus on cultural dimensions of classroom management. An assumption underlying many books on classroom management, especially those reflective of behavioristic perspectives, is that preservice teachers should first learn theoretical principles of management, then somehow connect these principles to their practice during field experiences in teacher education programs or during the first year of teaching. We have learned from research that this kind of theory-practice connection is problematic, and that preservice teachers who learn management theory in such a manner often express concerns over the impracticality of their teacher education experience.

Purely behaviorist approaches to classroom management tend to decontextualize classroom management by discussing it apart from the whole of classroom practice. These approaches also focus in theory on explicit behavior of learners irrespective of biographical or cultural influences. However, the position we take in this book is that decontextualized approaches to classroom management are misaligned with contemporary constructivist thinking on preservice and in-service teacher education and also with the globalization of local school classrooms. Consequently, this book engages readers in readings, activities, and action research projects that proactively link contemporary thinking in classroom management to actual classroom practice. To foster this link, we ask readers to begin with their own theories, perspectives, and biographies relative to classroom management and adaptability, what Hunt (1987) calls "beginning with ourselves." Then throughout the book we help readers extend their personal views of management as they actively construct new meanings for managing classrooms in a pluralistic society. This book also extends and broadens existing textbooks on cultural diversity and multicultural education. Many of these books provide commendable discussions of cultural diversity in school classrooms from sociopolitical and theoretical perspectives but tend to skirt issues of classroom management.

Our extensive experience interacting with preservice and in-service teachers suggests that teacher education programs and their selected textbooks are effective in providing teachers with a view of traditional classroom management theory, but are mostly ineffective in helping teachers understand the limitations of traditional management strategies in contemporary culturally diverse classrooms. Moreover, these same programs, especially those that assume behavioristic approaches to classroom management, are misaligned with the demands on teachers in culturally diverse settings to establish and maintain effective classroom learning environments. Such demands include negotiating classroom interactions with students who represent many different cultures and nationalities. Teachers must also negotiate interactions with and manage learning environments for students with severe disabilities, who were once not a part of regular school classrooms and have not been included in mainstream education. To accommodate linguistic diversity, teachers must also know how to manage the information flow in classrooms where English is not the first language of many of their students.

Cultural pluralism in school classrooms requires new ways of viewing relationships between teachers and students and among students. Student apathy, increased delinquency, and high dropout rates attest to the need for viewing classroom relationships in new ways. This book holds potential to help preservice and in-service teachers understand the social curriculum in multicultural classrooms and to help them consider alternative ways of thinking about their classrooms, what we describe as alternative metaphors. Considering alternative metaphors is crucial in an age marked by a crisis of power and authority. Social models based on authoritarian power are untenable in a society that has become pluralistic and global, where multiple voices once silenced are no longer complacent with being marginalized from the mainstream culture. In this book readers will explore shared power and shared decisionmaking, which represent the sort of social negotiations that are needed in a pluralistic society.

With rapidly changing student demographics in schools everywhere, many classrooms that were once monocultural have become multicultural. Preservice and inservice teachers lacking in prior multicultural experiences both in and out of school may be unaware of how culture, ethnicity, and other social phenomena should be foremost considerations in contemporary schools and in managing classrooms. These monocultural teachers may therefore unknowingly implement management strategies based on their social class value systems, on their perspectives about teaching and learning, and on what may have worked for them as students in school. In culturally diverse settings, however, such unknowing implementation of monocultural management strategies undermines some students' learning.

FEATURES

Through ongoing activities that engage readers in reflective thinking, especially the kind of reflective thinking described by Dewey, Freire, and Rorty, users of this book will actively construct and refine their existing personal theories, philosophies, and metaphors for managing culturally diverse classrooms. Throughout the book readers will think about management in terms of a social curriculum. Consistent with constructivist principles, we hold the view that teachers are thinking persons who actively build personal knowledge for classroom social curricula as they interact with the classroom context, not necessarily as they discuss decontextualized theory in settings isolated from school classrooms. In this book we ask readers to rethink traditional metaphors for working in contemporary school classrooms, as presented in the book, and to organize their classroom context from new perspectives that align more suitably to culturally diverse schools.

The organizing principle for this book is metaphorical perspectives of classroom management in contemporary classrooms. Specifically, readers will consider various metaphors for classroom management, including traditional metaphors of industrial management and contemporary metaphors of negotiation and shared authority. Throughout the book readers are encouraged to rethink their personal perspectives of classroom management for culturally diverse classrooms and to reflect on their prior metaphors of management.

One central feature of this book is classroom-based action research (see chapter 11). A model for action research is provided. Using this model, readers are asked to conduct an action research project, or they can design other projects better suited to their personal needs and school contexts. This component of the book helps readers cultivate habits of reflection about management and helps them look closely and critically at traditional and contemporary views of working with classrooms of diverse learners.

Reflective and proactive learning activities in each chapter are intended to help readers explore the key elements of each chapter. Several activities are included in each chapter to engage readers actively in what is being discussed. Self-reflection and self-assessment are intended to help readers explore their knowledge, beliefs, and prior experiences related to organizational and instructional features of classroom life; therefore, conflict resolution issues are included. Readers explore their biographical predispositions for maintaining positive and productive social curricula. The human dimension of this book is intended to ground theoretical premises of classroom management and social curricula in the real life contexts of teachers and students.

ORGANIZATION OF THIS TEXT

Part I of this book includes information and activities that engage preservice teachers in thinking more deeply about how students and teachers live their school lives together. By completing the activities in this section, readers will be helped to reflect deeply and carefully on their views of the social curriculum in culturally diverse classrooms. Chapter 1 introduces readers to social changes that have profoundly influenced the cultural composition of most school classrooms. The purpose of this chapter is to establish a rationale for rethinking social interactions and the nature of management in contemporary classrooms. Chapter 2 introduces readers to traditional and alternative metaphors for thinking about the social curriculum. This chapter also encompasses historical antecedents to contemporary social curricula. Chapter 3 encourages readers to explore the relationship between classroom management and the labels that dominate school life. Chapter 3 also explores readers' prior schooling and nonschooling experiences (autobiography) about management and conflict resolution issues. One purpose of this chapter is to guide readers through a series of activities that help them become aware of their personal beliefs about and theories of classroom interactions. Chapter 4 helps readers come to terms with the everyday demands of classroom management.

Part II, which comprises chapters 5 and 6, focuses on two related themes. One theme addresses conflict and cooperation. Specifically, chapter 5 focuses on how to address cultural conflict in contemporary classrooms and raises questions about the so-called new demands placed on teachers in a pluralistic society. Comparisons are made between managing students in a traditional sense and working with students in a contemporary sense. Chapter 6 focuses on issues related to student behavior and discipline. This later theme is always a foremost concern of every preservice teacher.

Part III introduces readers to visions of the possible regarding contemporary management. In chapters 8, 9, and 10 we report case studies of successful strategies of schools and teachers. These case studies are intended to help readers understand how selected schools and teachers have established successful learning environments for culturally diverse schools and classrooms. The studies were conducted specifically for this book, and focus on various dimensions of culturally diverse classrooms. They give readers a realistic view of how selected schools and individual teachers successfully negotiate their social curricula with students. Case studies of elementary, middle, and high schools are discussed, as well as vignettes of selected teachers.

Part 1V helps readers explore classroom management from a personal perspective and guides readers in their development of a personal practical philosophy for classroom management. Readers engage in a series of reflective activities to develop this philosophy, determine how this philosophy is embodied in their classroom instruction, and develop action research projects associated with these issues.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We are grateful to many persons who, in specific ways, contributed to the development and completion of this book. Various persons need to be acknowledged for helping us with the site visits we made to the three schools described in chapters 8-10. For John Tynes Elementary School in chapter 8, we are grateful to the principal and many teachers who allowed Tom Savage to explore the school openly and critically. For Brown-Barge Middle School (BBMS) in chapter 9, we are grateful to Camille Barr, who was principal of the school at the time this chapter was written and who gave Richard Powell opportunities to explore the school context from the perspective of classroom management. Thanks also goes to many BBMS teachers who rescheduled their class time to participate in interviews about management strategies in the school. For Estacado High School (EHS) in chapter 10, we are grateful to Jerry Lee and Ken Wallace who allowed us to make observations and to talk with those teachers who had time in their daily schedules. Moreover, Jerry Lee regularly spoke to education classes from a nearby university on management in schools with high levels of cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity. We thank Delores Martinez and Dave Dickerson, two teachers who were at EHS at the time this chapter was written, for allowing us to interview them openly and honestly about management at the school, and for permitting their classrooms to be observed on numerous occasions.

Our most sincere thanks also go to the untiring efforts of the critical reviewers of this book, including Frank D. Adams, Wayne State University; Karen Agne, Pittsburgh State University; Sandra L. DiGiaimo, University of Scranton; Joyce Lynn Garrett, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Ray Gomez, Arizona State University; Jane McCarthy, University of Nevada at Las Vegas; Barbara McEwan, University of Redlands; Iris Nierenberg, Thomas College; Will Roy, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee; Robert Shearer, Miami University; Elizabeth Simons, Kansas State University; and Bruce Smith, Henderson State University. The painstaking work of these reviewers clearly strengthened the quality of our work.

Finally, we are deeply grateful to our editor, Debbie Stollenwerk, whose patience, advice, and emotional support permitted us to eventually reach completion of this work.

Read More Show Less

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