SER manage classrooms in schools. Upon investigating

SERThere has been extensive researcharound the methods which are used to manage classrooms in schools. Uponinvestigating the research, it concludes that student progress is greater uponclassroom management being accounted for over a course of lessons. The initial thoughtthat springs to mind when thinking of classroom management is discipliningbehaviour, and the method behind this is something that has drastically changedover time.

We don’t have to go that far back to identify the difference withinthe approach to discipline in schools. The custom of corporal punishment inschools in UK was legal until as recent as 1986. However, of course times havechanged and the way in which we perceive discipline has now changed. However, we still have the issue ofdiscipline in schools. Rather than focusing on discipline as an instrument bywhich those in education pursue to prevent students from misbehaviour, I will examinethe ways in which discipline can be used to actively inspire positivebehaviour. As well as this, I will investigate the effects academic engagement hason student behaviour. The difference here, is that proactively getting studentsto show demonstrate positive behaviour and to enthuse them into learning are essentiallydifferent from traditional forms of discipline.

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They ultimately encouragepositive behaviour not deterring misbehaviour.The aim of this report is to investigate whether classroommanagement is conducive to student engagement. Furthermore, this report willalso investigate whether this practice is reflective of the related governmentand school policies. In the following section,literature based on student engagement will be reviewed, particularly atinfluences and suggested practices which can affect engagement. The Governmentand School policies will also be investigated and then compared with theLiterature Review. Data gathered from observations, school resources andinterviews with fellow teachers and students will also be examined based on thetopic of this research later on.

 SchoolContext This study was conducted atSchool A, a free school in the heart of East London. The vast majority ofstudents are from a wide range of ethnic minority groups and the borough theborough the school resides in has one of the highest crime rates in London.School A is a mixed gender school of only around 250students aged between 11 and 16.

It was rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ byOfsted in the 2016/17 academic year, however as stated by the management ‘Establishing a free school is a long-term project which always has someearly challenges involved’ this is a school that is only six years old withlast year’s Year 11’s being the first year group to sit GCSE’s and obtained thebest results in the borough.  In response to Ofsted’s report theHeadteacher states “I am committed to making SchoolA an outstanding school and this is acknowledged in the report which statesthat ‘Leaders have put in place systems that are now beginning to secureimprovements in line with their plans for the school’s development”. (School A, 2016). In 2017, the percentage of students achieving Grade 4 and above in English and Maths was 73%, while 62%achieved Grade 5 and above. The school boasts a truly personalisedcurriculum to enable enhanced learning whilst also claiming to be at the heartof technology where students are providedaccess to the use of chromebookswithin some lessons.The main admission criteria for the school are as follows: 1.

Children who are currently or have previously been in thecare of a local authority or are provided with accommodation by the authority(looked-after children*) 2. Children who live within the South Wapping PriorityAdmissions Zone** and have a sibling*** already admitted to the school and inattendance at the same time. 3. Other children who have a sibling*** already admitted tothe school and in attendance at the same time.

4. Children who live within the South Wapping PriorityAdmissions Zone** In the event that there are more applications under thiscriteria than places remaining, the Governors will prioritise between thesechildren by reference to distance****. 5.

Other children by reference to distance**** LiteratureReviewClassroom management is one of the most misconstrued wordsin Education to date, which people often just misinterpret as discipline.However, with this interpretation in mind, discipline tends to be the focusrather than the learning that needs to go on. Disciplining is a form ofbehaviour management. Research shows that effective teachers manage aclassroom, not discipline it. According to Evertson and Harris (1999), “the meaning of theterm classroom management has changed from describing discipline practices and behaviouralinterventions to serving as a more holistic descriptor of teachers’ actions inorchestrating supportive learning environments and building community” (p. 60).Also, Larrivee (2005) noted that “classroom management is a critical ingredientin the three-way mix of effective teaching strategies, which includesmeaningful content, powerful teaching strategies, and an organizationalstructure to support productive learning” (p. vi).

Echoing Evertson and Harris,Brophy (1999) also approved when he specified that “the most successfulteachers approach management as a process of establishing and maintainingeffective learning environments” (p. 44). Classroom management refers to all the things that a teacherdoes to organise students, space, time, and materials so that student learningcan take place. It has its own plan- a set of rules that structure theclassroom so the pupils know what they need to do, how to do it and when to doit.

Effective teachers employ these methods “for establishing rules andprocedures, organizing groups, monitoring and pacing classroom events, andreacting to misbehavior” (Borko & Putnam, 1995, p. 41), and, if doneproperly and consistently, it “looks seamless, even invisible” (Randolph , 1995, p. 17). In spite of an impression that classroom management isa complex set of skills that comprises of much more than just influencing and governingstudent behaviour, there is still a general impression that classroommanagement is largely about ‘discipline.’Educational factors affecting engagement There are several factors which affect students’ engagementin the educational environment. There are three broad factors which should beconsidered: school factors, the classroom context and the needs of theindividual. 2.5.

1.School Factors The majority of the research regarding the relationshipbetween school factors and engagement suggests that there is a link betweenbehavioural engagement and school factors. While there is a potential linkbetween school factors and emotional and cognitive engagement, there is limitedresearch which supports this. Some of the factors which influence engagementare having fair and flexible school rules, a smaller teacher-student ratio,insisting on high academic standards from students and varied tasks to enrichlearning. Alienation is another key factor which affects studentengagement. Newmann (1981) suggested that by reducing student alienation inschools, it would be possible to increase engagement.

He outlined some of thefollowing characteristics as being ways to do this: Page | 11 “voluntarychoice, clear and consistent goals, small size… opportunities for staff andstudents to be involved in cooperative endeavours,” (Fredricks et al., 2004:73).2.5.2.

Classroom ContextSome of the factors within the classroom which can affectengagement are teacher support, peers, classroom structure, autonomy supportand task characteristics. There has been research to show that each of thesefactors can impact a student’s behavioural, emotional and/or cognitiveengagement. Teacher support is one of the factors which has been shownto impact all three types of engagement; this is because their support can beacademic and/or personal. There has been research which suggests that thequality of a teacher’s relationship with their students is associated withtheir level of behavioural engagement. Fredricks et al. (2004) go as far as tosay, “Where teachers created respectful and socially supportive environments…students were more strategic about learning and had higher behavioralengagement,” (Fredricks et al.

, 2004: 75). Connell and Wellborn (1991) alsofound a correlation between teacher support and emotional engagement. The characteristics of a task have also been shown toinfluence engagement. In particular, research has shown a link betweenachievement and behavioural engagement. Newmann et al.

(1992) suggest thattasks which “provide extrinsic rewards, cultivate intrinsic interests, permit asense of student ownership, reflect aspects of work beyond school, and involvesome fun” (Newmann et al., 1992: 28) will allow for a high level of engagement. 2.

6. Teaching practices and engagement There has been research into teaching practices which canpromote engagement. One such piece of research is by Skilling (2014) who lookedin particular at how practices can effect engagement in mathematics. While thesubject-specific nature of her suggested practices could be considered a limitationin the context of this report, this does not mean that the practices detailedbelow are not applicable to other subjects.

Teacher practices which Skilling (2014) suggests couldincrease student engagement are: ·placing an emphasis on the relevance and future value of the subject; ·emphasising the applications of the subject; ·making real world connections between the content being taught and the realworld; · encouraging studentquestioning and independent investigations; ·acknowledging students’ feelings of frustration; ·encouraging students’ interests and desires; ·developing interpersonal relationships with students; ·being sensitive to students’ feelings, in order to build trust. Skilling(2014)  An additional part of Skilling’s article was the inclusionsof teaching practices that she had found to cause disengagement. The followingis a list of such practices: ·expressing low expectations of students; ·viewing engagement as separate to teaching the required content; · beinguncertain about how to engage students in the learning; ·controlling teaching styles. Skilling(2014)  When analysing my data, I would be interested if thefindings show if the above practices are currently used by teachers.


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