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Chapter Twelve Discussion


In order to create and maintain an effective learning environment, many guidelines have been set up to help teachers with this. Jacob Kouinin developed a few strategies to help teachers effectively respond to disruptions and misbehaving in the classroom. First, Kounin discusses the term, "withitness". This term refers to teachers knowing what is going on in the classroom instead of seeming aloof. This definitely contradicts the idea of operant conditioning, so how and why would this idea work?

Secondly, Kounin writes that teachers should handle more then one things at a time, instead of interrupting an activity to correct a problem and loose the attention of the group. In addition to this step, teachers should also maintain smoothness and momentum in the class activity. It is integral that all activities flow, and that one activity is not interrupted by an unrelated action.

Also, keeping the entire class involved will help squelch misbahavior. Instead of calling on students in a pre-set order, Kounin established some ideas that teachers can use to help stear away from the pre-set format. First, teachers can ask a question, and then call on a random student, or a student raising his or her hand - that way they can't predict who is going to answer and tune out if it is not them. Teachers can single out one student to do a problem, but ask all the other students to do the same problem at thier desks. Teachers can also use props, like notecards, and do an entire group discussion, or answer session. How do these steps stop, or lessen misbehavior?

In addition, Kounin says that teachers should keep variety and enthusiasm in the classroom, so students don't get antsy or bored. Kounin discusses the riple effect, when the entire class responds to a reprimand directed only at one person. In order to avoid this, the teacher should identify the action and state that is is unnacceptable, specify a more appropriate behavior, explain why the behavior should stop, state the rules in an authoritative manner, does not resort to anger, and focuses on behavior, not personality. Why do you think that these steps will help stop misbehavior? Do you agree with Kounin, or do you thin that these steps won't work?

The University of Texas also studied group misbehavior and developed some strategies. Expectations should be set for students, students should be kept busy, there is little wasted time, and a no-nonsense atmosphere is created are all conclusion that the University developed. In order to maintain order in secondary classrooms, the room should be organized consistently, free of congestion, the teacher should have a good view of all students, and also the students should have a good view of the teacher.

Techniques have been developed to help deal with behavior problems. Some techniques include, planned ignoring, signals, proximity and touch control, interest boosting, humor, helping over hurdles, program restructuring, antiseptic bouncing, physical restraint, direct appeals, criticism and encouragement, defining limits, postsituational follow-up and marginal use of interpreatation. Which behavior modification technique will work the best for you in your classroom, or is a combination of all of them? How do you plan to use these techniques, and also, in what situations will you use them?

Ginott, in his book, explains the I-Message theory. Teachers should explain how they feel and why they get angry when a student misbehaves. This plays on the students guilt and also makes thems ee the teacher as a human. Thomas Gordan writes that teachers should define the problem, generate possible solutions, evaluate the solutions, decide which solution is best, determine how to implement the solution and assess how well the solution solved the problem. Is this technique too mechanical? WHy or why not? Can you develop your own set of techniques? What would they be?