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By: Eduvision Consulting  09-12-2011
Keywords: school, teachers, Classroom Management

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Classroom Management, A Thinking & Caring Approach

By Barrie Bennett and Peter Smilanich
This book was written so that experienced teachers, beginning teachers, and educators in staff development positions will be able to extend their thinking and skills related to classroom management.

Overview of the chapters

Chapter 1: Classroom Management: Why is it so Complex?

This chapter provides a framework for classroom and school improvement that illustrates why classroom management and school-wide discipline are so complex, so demanding, and so misunderstood.

Chapter 2: Effective Teachers and Ineffective Teachers

is a reflective analysis of what effective and not-so-effective teachers do to create their situations. This is extended in Chapter three.

Chapter 3: Why Teachers Become Effective or Ineffective

illustrates a process of trying to understand how those teachers think and how they care. Our theory of 'Bumps' is introduced and explained.

Chapter 4: Why Students Misbehave

is an analysis of how students think and why they behave the way they do. Most of what causes students to behave inappropriately relates to their needs not being met. This also helps to explain why teachers misbehave at times -- their needs are not being met.

Chapter 5: Preventing Misbehaviour Through Creating Environments Where Students Belong

provides an initial step in creating a classroom atmosphere where students are more likely to behave because their needs are being met. This chapter takes a social perspective and argues that teachers must take the time to attend to social relationships between students, between teachers, and between students and teachers.

Chapter 6: Preventing and Responding to Misbehaviour Through Instructional Skills

illustrates how instructional skills (explained in Chapter 1) are an integral part of preventing and responding to student misbehaviour. This chapter focuses specifically on one instructional concept: active participation -- an instructional concept that deals with actively involving all students through skills such as the framing of questions.

Chapter 7: How Cooperative Learning Creates and Resolves Classroom Conflicts

takes the instructional strategy of Cooperative Learning and illustrates how it can be used both to prevent misbehaviour from occuring, through the teaching and processing of appropriate social skills, as well as, how to encourage students to acquire and apply skills to prevent and respond to conflicts that occur in their cooperative groups.

Chapter 8: Starting the School Year - Ready, Set, Go

also deals with preventing misbehaviour by effectively managing the classroom. In this chapter, we argue that what you do prior to the year starting, what you do during the first two weeks, and what you do to maintain and enhance the learning environment throughout the year is essential in creating an environment that prevents and effectively deals with classroom problems.

Chapter 9: The Essence of Interpreting Misbehaviour and Deciding What Skill to Select, When to Select it, and How and Where to Apply It

provides a brief and important look at the variables that explain how more effective teachers decide what skill to select, when to use it, why they use it, where they use it, and the artful nuances in its application.

Chapter 10: Bump One - Preventing and Responding to Misbehaviour through Low-Key Responses

is the first chapter that focuses specifically on responding to student misbehaviour when it starts to occur. This is a complex and long chapter, but it deals with an essential strength in the repertoire of effective teachers.

Chapter 11: Bump Two - Squaring Off

explains a skill that effective teachers have employed for years. This is a skill usually used after you have tried the low-key skills and the student continues to misbehave.

Chapter 12: Bump Three and Four - Choices and the Implied Choice

provides a set of skills that invite the students to begin taking responsibility for their behaviour. Unlike Bump 1 and 2 skills, where the teacher takes the responsibility for student behaviour, choices (Bumps 3 and 4) begin to transfer the responsibility for thinking about appropriate behaviour to the students.

Chapter 13: Bump Five - Defusing the Power Struggle

refers to the thinking and skills necessary for teachers to prevent and respond to a level of student escalation that has the potential of producing high levels of stress.

Chapter 14: Bump Six - The Informal Agreement

explains and models a process teachers employ to meet semi-privately with students to clarify a persistent problem. Informal agreements can be chats, or more pre-planned and formal -- depending of course on the intensity and frequency of the misbehaviour and the relationship between the teacher and the student.

Chapter 15: Bump Seven, Eight, Nine, and Ten - The Formal Contract

explains and models the essence of formal contracts. This is a response to more serious and long-standing problems and involves combinations of teacher, counsellor, parent, administration and student in designing and implenting the formal agreement. As part of Formal Contracts, this chapter also deals with how to initiate and implement the design and process of providing students with the time to quietly reflect on the situation -- first at school (Bump 8), and then at home (Bump 9). Bump 10, expulsion from school is briefly discussed.

Chapter 16: School-Wide Discipline

explains the process and pitfalls of establishing school-wide discipline policies. The research on effective schools related to creating safe learning environments is also woven into this chapter.

Keywords: Classroom Management, Instructional Skills, Misbehaviour, school, teachers,

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