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Perspectives on Classroom Management Mary Beth Pollema.

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1 Perspectives on Classroom Management Mary Beth Pollema

2 Three Frameworks In this presentation I will highlight three components of classroom management with special focus on the teacher’s role, the student’s role and the process in general from three different frameworks: Secular, Christian (yet not Biblical), and Biblical. An application and summary will conclude the presentation.

3 Secular Framework: The Role of the Teacher To control the students in the classroom To control the students in the classroom To create a positive learning environment To create a positive learning environment To prevent management problems by focusing students on learning To prevent management problems by focusing students on learning To establish daily procedures, routines and classroom rules To establish daily procedures, routines and classroom rules To pace and structure appropriately challenging lessons and activities To pace and structure appropriately challenging lessons and activities To maintain accurate records and provide regular feedback to students and parents. To maintain accurate records and provide regular feedback to students and parents.

4 Secular Framework: The Role of the Student A negative assumption and premise that many educators operate from is that students will abuse any freedom and responsibility the teacher gives them. A negative assumption and premise that many educators operate from is that students will abuse any freedom and responsibility the teacher gives them. Students are expected to engage themselves in the learning process and search for clarity and understanding. Students are expected to engage themselves in the learning process and search for clarity and understanding. Students are expected to manage their own behavior. Students are expected to manage their own behavior.

5 Secular Framework: The Process Good classroom management is not an end in itself, but a means for creating a classroom where learning happens and students are motivated. Good classroom management is not an end in itself, but a means for creating a classroom where learning happens and students are motivated. Various behavior management systems are implemented; most are based on rewards and punishments to reinforce good behavior and discourage bad behavior. Various behavior management systems are implemented; most are based on rewards and punishments to reinforce good behavior and discourage bad behavior. Rules are dominant. Rules are dominant. The ultimate goal of good classroom management is to make learning possible and effective. The ultimate goal of good classroom management is to make learning possible and effective.

6 “Christian” Framework: The Role of the Teacher Praise and encourage high student achievement Praise and encourage high student achievement Reward good behavior Reward good behavior Enforce Christian standards in classroom and school rules Enforce Christian standards in classroom and school rules Validate students for “doing” right Validate students for “doing” right

7 “Christian” Framework: The Role of the Student To superficially conform to community/school standards To superficially conform to community/school standards To comply with classroom/school rules To comply with classroom/school rules To exhibit “excellence” in academics, sports, fine arts, and other areas of daily life in order to propagate the image that Christian education is superior. To exhibit “excellence” in academics, sports, fine arts, and other areas of daily life in order to propagate the image that Christian education is superior.

8 “Christian” Framework: The Process The “Christian” perspective on classroom management closely resembles the secular perspective with a heavy emphasis on rules in order to control the students. The “Christian” perspective on classroom management closely resembles the secular perspective with a heavy emphasis on rules in order to control the students. Students who excel in academics or extracurricular activities are visibly applauded. Students who excel in academics or extracurricular activities are visibly applauded. Consequences are uniformally meted out in an effort to “nip infractions in the bud”. Consequences are uniformally meted out in an effort to “nip infractions in the bud”. The ultimate goal is good external behavior and performance. The ultimate goal is good external behavior and performance.

9 Biblical Framework: The Role of the Teacher To immerse students in the truth of the gospel and to create an atmosphere of grace in the classroom To immerse students in the truth of the gospel and to create an atmosphere of grace in the classroom To validate students for “being” right To validate students for “being” right To grant students responsibility and accountability so they can learn from their mistakes and receive forgiveness To grant students responsibility and accountability so they can learn from their mistakes and receive forgiveness To affirm students regardless of their behavior To affirm students regardless of their behavior To establish boundaries so that students can flourish and live abundantly To establish boundaries so that students can flourish and live abundantly To shepherd their students To shepherd their students

10 Biblical Framework: The Role of the Student Though fallen, students are image-bearers of God and should live and be seen as such. They are free, responsible, moral co-rulers of the creation who, without the help of the Spirit, will inevitable live out that image in ways that do not honor God. Though fallen, students are image-bearers of God and should live and be seen as such. They are free, responsible, moral co-rulers of the creation who, without the help of the Spirit, will inevitable live out that image in ways that do not honor God. To participate in true community through building relationships. Students respect, depend on, and trust one another to help solve real problems. To participate in true community through building relationships. Students respect, depend on, and trust one another to help solve real problems. To serve one another To serve one another To be responsible as they exercise their freedom and dominion and engage in opportunities to use their creative gifts. To be responsible as they exercise their freedom and dominion and engage in opportunities to use their creative gifts.

11 Biblical Framework: The Process To demonstrate “living” the gospel, not just “talking” about it To demonstrate “living” the gospel, not just “talking” about it Emphasis on people rather than rules Emphasis on people rather than rules To allow students to have some say about the policies that will be utilized to help the classroom run effectively To allow students to have some say about the policies that will be utilized to help the classroom run effectively To allow students to make choices about both behavior and consequences To allow students to make choices about both behavior and consequences The process is designed to affect the heart– to recognize and confess sin and to experience forgiveness. The process is designed to affect the heart– to recognize and confess sin and to experience forgiveness. The goal is to act redemptively– always reconciliation, not mere compliance. The goal is to act redemptively– always reconciliation, not mere compliance.

12 Three Frameworks: Summary and Application The Biblical framework is what we should strive to build our teaching careers upon. It has so much more to offer our students than the secular approach or even the “Christian” approach which, unfortunately, is, at best, a secular approach couched in “God-talk”. Conversely, a Biblical perspective allows us, as teachers, to view ourselves, our students and our classroom tasks as God views them. It is redemptive in nature and makes a difference at the heart level. Teaching in such a way equips our students for a future of fulfilling the purpose that God has created them for.

13 Three Frameworks: Sources Cited Graham, Donovan. (2009). Teaching Redemptively: Bringing Grace and Truth into Your Classroom. 2 nd Edition. Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Design Publications Seifert, K. and Sutton, R. (2009). Educational Psychology, 2 nd Edition. Zurich, Switzerland: The Global Text Project. pg


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