Classroom management can be viewed as a set of activities and procedures used by a teacher to create an effective learning environment. According to Steins, Wittrock, and Haep (2015), classroom management includes not only instructions but also the arrangement of the physical materials and environment, the emotional support, rules, and techniques to motivate students to learn, be attentive, engaged, and avoid misbehaving. This definition indicates that this process is complex, and it can be characterized by three important challenges that the faculty can face while focusing on the principles of effective classroom management.
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The first challenge is the use of only reactive strategies to maintain the order in a classroom that is often based on the exclusive use of punishment and other disciplinary actions. The researchers and educators accept the fact many teachers choose reactive disciplinary strategies as more effective ones to manage the class because of the lack of skills in the appropriate utilization of positive preventive strategies (Mitchell & Bradshaw, 2013).
The other challenge is the teacher’s work in inclusion classrooms. Even though inclusion classrooms in schools reflect the modern social and educational demands and they have positive effects on diverse children, they create an additional challenge for children who need to focus more on selecting the appropriate classroom management strategies that can be not working for diverse students with different needs. The final important challenge to discuss is the students’ misbehavior or disruptive behavior. The children’s misconduct is the most reported challenge faced by teachers with different levels of expertise in classrooms. These challenges are significant to be discussed in detail as they affect the selection of classroom management activities, and they are also influenced by the choice of appropriate or non-appropriate classroom management strategies.
Challenge One: The Exclusive Use of Reactive and Disciplinary Strategies
Mitchell, M. M., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2013). Examining classroom influences on student perceptions of school climate: The role of classroom management and exclusionary discipline strategies. Journal of School Psychology, 51(5), 599-610.
In their study, Mitchell and Bradshaw (2013) focused on examining the relationship between positive behavior and discipline strategies and students’ perceptions of the classroom environment. The psychologists found that students associated the positive support with a higher level of motivation and engagement, and they noted the improved order in the classroom in comparison to exclusionary discipline strategies. The results are important because they showed that disciplinary strategies are less effective to improve the discipline in the classroom.
Honkasilta, J., Vehkakoski, T., & Vehmas, S. (2016). ‘The teacher almost made me cry’: Narrative analysis of teachers’ reactive classroom management strategies as reported by students diagnosed with ADHD. Teaching and Teacher Education, 55(1), 100-109.
Honkasilta, Vehkakoski, and Vehmas (2016), the Finnish educators, conducted the interviews with schoolchildren as a result of which it was found that the teachers’ reactive disciplinary strategies caused the further children’s misbehavior. It was reported that reactive strategies as responses to behavior problems are discussed as traumatizing and unfair. The study results are significant to support the idea that disciplinary classroom management strategies based on punishment can cause the children’s aggression, misunderstanding, and misbehavior.
Pas, E. T., Cash, A. H., O’Brennan, L., Debnam, K. J., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2015). Profiles of classroom behavior in high schools: Associations with teacher behavior management strategies and classroom composition. Journal of School Psychology, 53(2), 137-148.
In their study, Pas, Cash, O’Brennan, Debnam, and Bradshaw (2015), the specialists of Johns Hopkins University, researched the impact of reactive classroom management on the students’ behavior. It was found that the students’ compliance directly depended on the strategy used by the teacher. Thus, in those classes where teachers used different strategies, the level of the students’ engagement was higher. In those classes, where teachers used strict reactive strategies with the focus on punishment and disapproval, the level of noncompliance was higher. The study is significant to support the ineffectiveness of exclusively reactive strategies in classroom management.
Challenge Two: Inclusion Influencing the Effectiveness of Classroom Management
Carneiro, R. U., Dall’Acqua, M. J., & Caramori, P. M. (2015). School inclusion and classroom management: Challenges and possibilities. Creative Education, 6(19), 2037-2044.
Carneiro, Dall’Acqua, and Caramori (2015) are educational psychologists who conducted the study to find out how inclusion in schools can influence the effectiveness of classroom management. The researchers noted that inclusion directly affects the diversity of the classroom. As a result, the effectiveness of traditional classroom management strategies decreases, and teachers face the necessity of adapting their approaches to managing students, and the overall quality of the classroom management can fall. This study is important to demonstrate why school inclusion can be regarded as a challenge for classroom management.
Yearta, L. S., Jones, J. P., & Griffin, J. (2014). Inclusion solutions: Exploring standards, English Language Arts, and the inclusion classroom. Childhood Education, 90(5), 375-378.
Yearta, Jones, and Griffin (2014) are researchers working at the University of South Carolina. The purpose of their study was to examine possible solutions to the issue of organizing more inclusion classes in the United States. It was found that the inclusion classroom is a challenging environment for teachers, and they need to pay more attention to managing the heterogeneous class while adapting procedures and instructions. The significance of the study is in the fact that it provides support to a state that inclusion classrooms are good for children who require social adaptation, but they are still challenging for teachers.
Monsen, J. J., Ewing, D. L., & Kwoka, M. (2014). Teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion, perceived adequacy of support and classroom learning environment. Learning Environments Research, 17(1), 113-126.
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Monsen, Ewing, and Kwoka (2014) are educational psychologists who conducted the study to examine the relationship between the teacher’s attitudes to inclusive education and the actual classroom management. It was found that those teachers who discussed inclusion as a positive phenomenon were more successful in their classroom management, they provide effective support to students, and the level of stress of both teachers and students was minimal. On the contrary, the negative attitudes to inclusion were associated with the inappropriateness of the classroom management and discussion of it as a challenging task.
Challenge Three: Misbehavior and Disruptive Behaviors
Hutchings, J., Martin-Forbes, P., Daley, D., & Williams, M. E. (2013). A randomized controlled trial of the impact of a teacher classroom management program on the classroom behavior of children with and without behavior problems. Journal of School Psychology, 51(5), 571-585.
Hutchings, Martin-Forbes, Daley, and Williams (2013), the researchers specializing in school psychology studied the role of teacher training in improving classroom management while working with children who have behavioral problems. It was found that the misbehavior of students, off-task activities, disruptions, and negative reactions toward peers are challenges for effective classroom management as teachers lack skills in coping with the students’ misconduct. The research is significant as it showed the effectiveness of the teacher training program to address the problem in the classroom.
Bradshaw, C. P., Waasdorp, T. E., & Leaf, P. J. (2012). Effects of school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports child behavior problems. Pediatrics, 130(5), e1136-e1145.
In their study, Bradshaw, Waasdorp, and Leaf (2012), the specialists of Johns Hopkins youth centers, focused on discussing the effectiveness of the prevention strategy to decrease the situations when students misbehave and when the classroom management does not have positive results. The researchers stated that behavior problems are a major challenge for the faculty staff concerning classroom management. However, prevention strategies and associated interventions to change educators’ behaviors can be appropriate to reduce misconduct in the classroom.
Pace, R. T., Boykins, A. D., & Davis, S. P. (2014). A proactive classroom management model to enhance self-efficacy levels in teachers of adolescents who display disruptive behaviors. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 52(2), 30-37.
Pace, Boykins, and Davis (2014) work at the University of Southern Mississippi and study the relationship between the teachers’ self-efficacy and the success of classroom management. The researcher found that when teachers participate in programs to increase their self-efficacy, these activities also affect the effectiveness of their classroom management strategies oriented to working with children who demonstrate misbehaviors. The significance of the study is in the fact that the researchers accentuated the positive role of classroom management programs in increasing the teacher’s self-efficacy and abilities to work with problem students.
Analysis of Exclusive Use of Reactive Strategies
Although reactive and disciplinary strategies and procedures are actively used by teachers as the main tools to maintain the order in the classroom, researchers point to the negative consequences of using only this type of classroom management strategies while working with students (Mitchell & Bradshaw, 2013).
The problem is in the fact that references to punishment, disapproval, and the pressure as methods to address the students’ misbehaviors are often perceived as increasing the tension between the teacher and problem students. As a result, the probability of intensifying the misbehavior increases, as it is noted by Pas et al. (2015). When only reactive strategies are utilized in the classroom, it is impossible to create a positive and productive environment and motivate students to improve their learning and behaviors without the use of disciplinary procedures. Each time when teachers choose punishment instead of praise, students’ trust in the teacher and his or her authority decreases.
The use of strategies that only respond to classroom management problems but do not solve them is a stressful process for teachers who demonstrate the lack of skills to maintain the effective learning environment and a painful experience for students who can demonstrate the higher level of opposition, misbehavior, and aggression (Honkasilta et al., 2016). The use of exclusive reactive strategies in classroom management is a challenge that needs to be addressed through the development of teachers’ skills in adopting preventive approaches and changing their attitudes to positive and supportive techniques as effective ones to work even with problem students.
Analysis of Inclusion as Influencing Classroom Management
Inclusion classroom environments are often discussed by teachers as challenging to work and maintain the discipline. The reason is that inclusive classes consist of diverse students who can be regarded as children with disabilities or children from diverse backgrounds. Diversity associated with inclusion is the main factor that makes classroom management a difficult task (Monsen et al., 2014). Inexperienced teachers can discuss the inclusion as a challenge, and many inclusive classrooms with the management of a low level can become a challenge for the faculty in the educational institution (Carneiro et al., 2015). Inclusion is viewed as a problem influencing classroom management because teachers fail to adapt the strategies to address the needs of diverse students and maintain the discipline to guarantee the focus on tasks and instructions.
The challenge of inclusion in classroom management is also associated with the necessity of being more emotional and emphatic to students’ needs and focus on the creation of a supportive environment. Still, this approach requires high-level skills in classroom management, and teachers can concentrate more on instructions than on addressing the psychological needs of diverse students (Yearta et al., 2014). Inclusive environments require more attention of teachers, and faculties are inclined to discuss them as difficult to be managed effectively. More resources are necessary to help teachers adapt their approaches and technologies to working with the highly diverse students, with the focus on students with disabilities.
Analysis of the Role of Misbehavior in Classroom Management
The misbehavior of children in the classroom is discussed as one of the most typical challenges for teachers who try to maintain the discipline. The problem is in the fact that students often ignore rules of behaving in the classroom, speak to each other when a teacher explains the material, bully each other, or demonstrate other types of disruptive behaviors. Such misconduct causes teachers to waste the lesson time for maintaining order and disciplinary actions.
As a result, the quality of instructions and learning can decrease significantly (Bradshaw et al., 2012). Thus, Hutchings et al. (2013) state that students with problem behaviors can disrupt the whole teaching-learning process in the classroom when a teacher is unable to cope with the issue effectively and manage the behavior of problem students. Such disruptions are the most common causes of ineffective learning and the lack of attention in students studying in elementary and middle schools.
When children have behavior problems, the management of such students is a challenging task for teachers as it is necessary to implement unique strategies to keep the attention of these students and guarantee their learning (Pace et al., 2014). As a result, many educators associate the classroom management skills with the teachers’ abilities to cope with any problem or disruptive behaviors to maintain the order and optimize the learning process. Therefore, it is important to note that disruptive behaviors are the most frequently identified challenges in classroom management.
The analysis of challenges in classroom management indicates the necessity of proposing effective solutions to each of the issues. In their research, Mitchell and Bradshaw (2013) propose the use of more positive support strategies to guarantee the high motivation of students to learn better and become more engaged in the lesson activities. As a result, the effectiveness of classroom management increases. Pas et al. (2015) noted that prevention is usually more effective than the reaction in the classroom as prevention is based on the positive, child-oriented strategies when the reaction is often based on disciplinary actions rejected by students.
It is impossible to expect positive solutions to the problem of misbehaving in the classroom when teachers lack skills in balancing different strategies with the focus on prevention rather than reaction (Honkasilta et al., 2016). Therefore, the balanced use of preventive and reactive strategies, as well as the positive and disciplinary procedures, is the researched-based solution to the problem of the exclusive use of strategies that are based on the prohibition, punishment, and discipline.
According to Yearta et al. (2014) and Monsen et al. (2014), the inclusive classroom is the reality to which teachers need to adapt while developing new strategies, formulating rules, and proposing strategies that can be working for different students. The number of inclusive classrooms will increase in the United States, as well as other countries, and educators should be trained with the help of effective programs to become supportive and productive (Carneiro et al., 2015).
The solution to the problem of management in the inclusive classroom is the provision of more training for teachers to educate them regarding the adaptation of the traditional instructions and procedures to the needs of diverse students. The training is important not only to teach how to adapt and use classroom management strategies in diverse classes but also how to change the attitude to the challenging inclusive classrooms.
In their research, Hutchings et al. (2013) and Pace et al. (2014) accentuated the benefits of training programs for teachers that are helpful to improve their skills in working with problem students. These programs are also important to increase the teachers’ self-efficacy regarding their authority and expertise to work in challenging classroom environments. The misbehavior of students is a typical challenge for classrooms, and teachers should regularly improve their skills in working with problem students to prevent or address the misconduct.
Therefore, the appropriate solution to the issue of misbehavior and disruptive behavior is the training of teachers regarding preventive strategies that can be used to maintain the order in the classroom, set rules, demonstrate the limits of allowable behaviors, improve the communication with students, and guarantee the reduction of cases associated with the disruptive or problem behaviors. It is important to educate teachers regarding the techniques that allow students to understand how they may treat each other and how to behave in concrete situations,
Although the faculties work to improve the classroom management skills of teachers, some challenges prevent educators from succeeding in maintaining the order and the appropriate learning environment during lessons. These typical challenges are the overuse of reactive strategies oriented to punishment, the inclusion caused the impossibility to address the diversity and the misconduct associated with a range of disruptive behaviors. To address these challenges, it is necessary to implement research-based strategies. Thus, researchers propose to balance preventive and reactive management strategies and develop necessary leadership skills with the help of training programs oriented to work with inclusive and problem classrooms. These solutions are important to develop favorable teacher-student relationships.
The observation form was developed to reflect the activities of teachers in selected classrooms, as well as their use of management skills. It was also important to provide the assessment of classroom management abilities of those teachers who work in the High Scope classroom and Grade 8 of the public school. For the first observation, the High Scope classroom was selected since the environments and activities in such classrooms differ significantly from the traditional pre-kindergarten and kindergarten activities. The second observation was conducted to assess the classroom management skills of the teacher of History working with adolescents in Grade 8.
|Classroom Management Observation Form|
|Grade Level||Time and Date||Type of Classroom|
|Activity and Skills||Notes|
|Transitions are used smoothly.|
|The teacher maintains the discipline effectively.|
|The classroom environment is comfortable for students.|
|The classroom is arranged according to the needs of students with disabilities.|
|Rules are stated and communicated clearly.|
|Procedures are described and communicated.|
|The student’s behavior and discipline are constantly monitored.|
|Rewards are used to respond to positive behaviors.|
|There are adequate reactions to negative behaviors.|
|Students are engaged in learning and working.|
|The teacher asks about the students’ understanding of the material and responds to their answers.|
|English Language Learners receive differentiated instructions.|
|Students with disabilities are addressed according to their needs.|
The First Classroom Observation: High Scope Classroom
Completed Observation Form and Notes
|Classroom Management Observation Form|
|Grade Level/Age||Time and Date||Type of Classroom|
|Preschool, 3-4-year-old students||March 12, 2016 |
10.00 AM-10.30 AM
|High Scope Classroom|
|Activity and Skills||Notes|
|Transitions are used smoothly.||The observed period was the ‘work time’ according to the High Scope schedule for 3-4-year-old students. The students were working with the sand, and then they were effectively transited to the necessity of cleaning the surfaces after their activities.|
|The teacher maintains the discipline effectively.||The discipline was maintained effectively despite the high level of the students’ activity.|
|The classroom environment is comfortable for students.||The activity was organized in the sector of the room for ‘Sciences’ and working with different substances.|
|The classroom is arranged according to the needs of students with disabilities.||The equipment and resources that could make the activity easier were available to students with special needs.|
|Rules are stated and communicated clearly.||Rules were stated rather formally before each activity, and students repeated them aloud.|
|Procedures are described and communicated.||Procedures were described along with rules, and they were discussed during the planning session in the morning.|
|The student’s behavior and discipline are constantly monitored.||The students’ behaviors were constantly monitored as the teacher moved along students and assisted them with the task.|
|Rewards are used to respond to positive behaviors.||The verbal praise was used to encourage children who were accurate in performing their activities, but there were only two cases.|
|There are adequate reactions to negative behaviors.||Warnings were used two times to address the first signs of the misbehavior represented by two boys.|
|Students are engaged in learning and working.||Students were actively engaged in activities.|
|The teacher asks about the students’ understanding of the material and responds to their answers.||N/A|
|English Language Learners receive differentiated instructions.||N/A|
|Students with disabilities are addressed according to their needs.||Students with disabilities were assisted by the teacher.|
Analysis of Observation and Recommendations
The obvious strength of the observed approach to classroom management is the ability of the teacher to address the needs of all students working in the classroom. Students with disabilities were involved in the work, and settings were arranged for them to guarantee equal participation in activities (Lamport, Graves, & Ward, 2012). Also, the teacher organized the effective communication of rules before starting the activity, and all students followed them. Moreover, the teacher demonstrated high-level skills in maintaining the discipline in the classroom, and this fact indicates that the teacher has developed leadership skills.
Even though reactive positive strategies were used by the teacher along with warnings, it is possible to recommend the further focus on the use of the verbal praise and the physical rewards as positive responses to the children’s expected behaviors as these approaches work to increase the students’ interest and motivation (Bear, Chen, Mantz, Yang, & Huang, 2016). It was noticed, the use of praise was limited by the teacher, as well as any other form of the verbal encouragement that is important to maintain the positive atmosphere in the classroom (Beazidou, Botsoglou, & Andreou, 2015). From this perspective, the teachers’ classroom management skills can be discussed as developed, but the teacher’s communication with children is too formal, and this fact can influence her sensitivity and empathy, as well as the overall climate in the classroom.
The Second Classroom Observation
Completed Observation Form and Notes
|Classroom Management Observation Form|
|Grade Level/Age||Time and Date||Type of Classroom|
|Grade 8, 13-14-year-old students||March 10, 2016 |
9.00 AM-9.50 AM
|Activity and Skills||Notes|
|Transitions are used smoothly.||Before starting a new activity, the teacher makes conclusions referring to the previous one and states the goals for the following activity.|
|The teacher maintains the discipline effectively.||The discipline was not maintained effectively. Several students used Smartphones during the lesson and spoke to each other.|
|The classroom environment is comfortable for students.||It was stuffy in the classroom, and the sunlight made students uncomfortable.|
|The classroom is arranged according to the needs of students with disabilities.||One student, a wheelchair user, had the individual table.|
|Rules are stated and communicated clearly.||Rules were not stated.|
|Procedures are described and communicated.||Procedures were described but concisely.|
|The student’s behavior and discipline are constantly monitored.||The teacher did not monitor the students’ behaviors and did not move along tables. He was standing near the blackboard and whiteboard without moving toward students.|
|Rewards are used to respond to positive behaviors.||The teacher praised those students who completed the test in time.|
|There are adequate reactions to negative behaviors.||The teacher used warnings and disapproval to react to students’ disruptive behaviors and maintain discipline.|
|Students are engaged in learning and working.||Most students were engaged in activities and learning the material, but several students did not follow the teacher’s comments, and they did not react to his warnings.|
|The teacher asks about the students’ understanding of the material and responds to their answers.||The teacher asked about the understanding of the material and confusing points and proposed the test.|
|English Language Learners receive differentiated instructions.||English Language Learners were provided with additional handouts typed in English and Spanish.|
|Students with disabilities are addressed according to their needs.||The student with disabilities was adequately addressed by the teacher.|
Analysis of Observation and Recommendations
While referring to the observation results and notes, it is possible to conclude that the classroom management skills of the teacher of History working with students from Grade 8 are not developed enough to address the needs of adolescents, involve them in the work, and maintain the order in the classroom. The teacher succeeded in organizing the work of the student with disabilities and the English Language Learners. However, he could not motivate all the students to participate in in-class activities. The reason is in the ineffective use of preventive classroom management strategies and the communication of rules and procedures used during the lesson (Dicke, Elling, Schmeck, & Leutner, 2015). As a result, several students demonstrated the disruptive behaviors and spoke to each other preventing the class from following the teacher’s explanation. It is also possible to assert that the cause of the students’ low level of concentration is the failure to monitor the students’ activities constantly while interacting directly with them and moving around the class.
To address the weaknesses in the classroom management strategies used by the teacher of History, it is necessary to recommend the following changes in his behavior: (1) to focus on preventive strategies and state rules and principles of procedures before starting activities; (2) to monitor the students’ behavior constantly (Moore, Anderson, Glassenbury, Lang, & Didden, 2013); (3) to use both praise and punishment depending on the students’ behaviors; (4) to differentiate the activities to make them interesting and appropriate for different students (Siegle, 2014); (5) to refer to students’ needs and prepare the classroom environment before starting the lesson; (6) to communicate with students openly while accentuating his leadership and authority in this class.
Assessment of Data
The effectiveness of classroom management directly depends on the demographical characteristics of the class. The quality of classroom management can be determined with the focus on the students’ assessment results and learning outcomes. To state what factors associated with the demographics can influence the quality and character of the classroom management, it is necessary to assess the annual enrollment data typical of the state.
It is also significant to assess the data regarding the students’ achievements in English Language Arts (ELA). The focus of this analysis is on the data on the enrollment and ELA assessments in public schools of the state of New York in the 2014-2015 academic year. The detailed evaluation of the public school’s enrollment data and ELA results reported for the state of New York will be provided.
Analysis and Assessment of the Enrollment Data
The discussed data present the information regarding the demographical characteristics of students enrolled in public schools in the state of New York in 2014 and during the 2014-2015 academic year. It is important to note that in 2014-2015, the number of enrolled male and female students was almost equal (51% and 49% accordingly). 45% of students were White Americans when Hispanics represented 25%, African Americans represented 18%, and Asians represented only 9% of students (The New York State Report Card, 2016).
Thus, classes in public schools in New York are mostly composed of white and Latino students with a high percentage of African American students, and the percentage of Asian students is comparably small. The diversity in the classroom is influenced by the fact that students from poor or economically disadvantaged backgrounds represent 54%, 17% of students are persons with disabilities and require special services, and 8% of students are English language learners (The New York State Report Card, 2016). Focusing on the average age of students, it is important to state that the highest number of students (8% of the whole student population) study in the first grade, the second grade, the third grade, the ninth grade, and the tenth grade.
Analysis and Assessment of Students’ Results in English Language Arts
The results of ELA assessments are important to determine the students’ progress regarding learning the English language in different grades. These data are important to be discussed in the context of classroom management as it allows concluding regarding the overall level of the students’ proficiency and their skills. 31% of students were rated as proficient in 2014 and 2015. The proficiency of female students increased by 1%, from 35% to 36% in 2015, and the proficiency of males remained stable. The results of American Indians improved by 2%, from 22% to 24%, and the results of Asian students improved by 3%, from 50% to 53%, as well as the results of white students that increased by 2%, from 38% to 40%. Among African Americans, 18% of students were proficient in ELA. Among Hispanics, this number is 20% (The New York State Report Card, 2016). Only 8% of migrants were rated as having the proficient level in ELA.
- Audience: Educators working in the state of New York and interested in improving classroom management in inclusive classrooms.
- General Purpose: To inform.
- Specific Purpose: By the end of my speech, the audience will understand the specifics of the enrollment and ELA data for public schools in the state of New York as I will refer to my conclusions on how these data can be associated with the quality of classroom management these schools.
It is an issue for debates, but the factor of demographics in the classroom is often the key aspect to influence the effectiveness of the management, instructions, and the students’ learning. The student population studying in the public schools of the state of New York is rather diverse ethnically as according to the data of 2015, 45% of students are White Americans, Hispanics represent 25% of the student population, 18% of students are African Americans, and Asians represent only 9% (The New York State Report Card, 2016).
These data demonstrate that the high level of racial diversity in the classroom can become a challenge for teachers to succeed in classroom management (Bigelow, Elsass, & Arndt, 2015). Today, I want to share the results of my analysis of the enrollment data and results of the English Language Arts (ELA) assessments, as well as discuss the data in the context of its possible impact on classroom management. First, it is important to present and discuss the enrollment data for public schools in New York in 2014-2015.
Inclusive classrooms and groups with English Language Learners or migrants are typical of the public school system, as it is noted by DiCerbo, Anstrom, Baker, and Rivera (2014). As a result, the enrollment data that are different for each academic year are important to be taken into account while discussing factors that influence classroom management. Thus, in 2014-2015, teachers in the public schools of New York faced the necessity of working in the highly diverse classrooms where the majority of students was represented by three large racial groups: White Americans, Hispanics, and African Americans, representing 45%, 25%, and 18%, of the student population accordingly (The New York State Report Card, 2016).
The percentage of Asian students was unexpectedly small as they represented only 9% of students. However, it is important to mention that the management strategies of teachers are also influenced by the social diversity of the class (Janmaat, 2012; Veerman, 2015). In 2014-2015, the majority of students (54%) came from economically disadvantaged families, 17% of students had special needs, and 8% of students were English language learners (The New York State Report Card, 2016). Moreover, teachers working in grades 1-3 and 9-10 faced the challenge of managing the expanded classes as 8% of the whole student population study in each of the mentioned grades.
The ELA results demonstrate the level of the students’ proficiency in learning the English language, and this assessment is discussed since it demonstrates the level of the students’ overall literacy. Proficiency is the measure indicating that students have achieved Level 3 and Level 4 in their knowledge of the language. Still, only 31% of students were rated as proficient in ELA in 2014-2015. Among them, 36% of students with proficient knowledge of English were females, and only 26% were males. With the focus on races, the highest results demonstrated Asians, showing 53% of proficiency, and whites, demonstrating 40% of proficiency (The New York State Report Card, 2016). Only 8% of migrants were rated as having the proficient level in ELA, and only 5% of students with disabilities had proficient knowledge in English.
The analyzed data demonstrates the high level of diversity observed in public schools of New York and the high level of differentiation typical of various demographical groups of students. These data allow revising the approaches to arranging classrooms according to the needs of diverse students to improve classroom management (Kumari, 2012; Thijs & Verkuyten, 2014). The number of enrolled students changes each year, as well as their demographical profiles.
Therefore, teachers need to recognize the specific features of their classes and modify the classroom management plans and schedules according to the needs of the whole class and individuals represented by minorities, students with disabilities, and English Language Learners (Arizpe, Bagelman, Devlin, Farrell, & McAdam, 2014; Hoglund, Klingle, & Hosan, 2015). Classroom management activities should be modified and adjusted to the needs of students as the quality of instructions, cooperation in the classroom, teamwork, and discipline directly affect the level of students’ proficiency reflected in assessment results.
From this perspective, the regular monitoring of the enrollment and assessment data allows understanding tendencies in changing the demographics in public schools of the state. Now, we know that the high level of diversity is a characteristic feature of classes in the state of New York, and this aspect explains the importance of focusing on classroom management activities in these environments. Therefore, the monitoring and analysis of the enrollment and assessment data are effective strategies to provide educators with the necessary information regarding the demographical and social characteristics of their classes.
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Hutchings, J., Martin-Forbes, P., Daley, D., & Williams, M. E. (2013). A randomized controlled trial of the impact of a teacher classroom management program on the classroom behavior of children with and without behavior problems. Journal of School Psychology, 51(5), 571-585. Web.
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