Education, training, and development of a child are defined by external conditions in school and within a family. Main forms of social life creation in school are lessons and subject practical activities. They are aimed at transferring knowledge, abilities, and skills to a child from a teacher. An important aspect of school activity belongs to classroom management. It is usually supposed to promote enrichment of physical and emotional well-being of a child, formation of independence, capability to joint coordination activities, and inquisitiveness of a child.
According to experts in education, both school and classroom management focus at encouragement and establishment of pupils’ self-control by stimulating positive achievements and behavior. Thus, educational achievements, efficiency of teaching, and behavior of both teachers and pupils are directly connected with the topic of effective school and classroom management.
Classroom management is focused on three main components: content, behavior, and team organization. These components are defined and presented in details along with the list of characteristic elements of effective teaching practices.
Organization of content includes management of space, material, and equipment, movement of people and sequence of lessons which are a part of a training program. Further, organization of behavior is combined from procedures necessary to resolve problems connected with discipline in a class. Finally, team organization focuses attention on interpersonal interaction skills of a leading teacher in relation to pupils.
In their research, Iverson and Froyen (1999) demonstrate that problems with discipline in a class negatively influence the efficiency of instruction and training. In this regard, it was proved that teachers, facing a problem of discipline, do not have any opportunity to plan adequately and carry out educational tasks. Such teachers tend to not diversify plans of lessons and to not encourage pupils to discuss and assess studied material. In contrast, strong and consecutive skills of classroom management lead to reduction of discipline issues.
Iverson and Froyen (1999) point out the importance of help in the development of positive behavior. When planning management by a class, teachers have to consider using positive style of communication and behavior. Moreover, teachers should involve pupils into corresponding educational tasks within general school rules and norms. Furthermore, Iverson and Froyen (1999) state that classroom behavior management is an essential part of creating a basis for organized approach directed at competent teaching and training. It, in turn, results in granting of independence and self-control to pupils by means of effective communication.
Classroom management emphasizes the importance of consideration of a class group as a social system. Behaviors and expectations of a teacher and pupils create the learning environment in a class. Namely, the culture of each separately taken school is special. Nevertheless, it is a subject to the direct influence of more global society whose purposes of education should be realized. Strong relations between schools and public needs have to be reconsidered and constantly adjusted according to social dynamics.
According to Gettinger, Elliott, and Kratochwill (1992), effective teaching methods facilitate both individual expression and social development. Actions mentioned below illustrate this notion:
Following the children’s lead, teachers comment on their activities, similar to the behavioral strategy of attending. When new materials or activities are introduced, they are presented as options, ones in which the children have a choice to participate. Cooperation and getting along with others are facilitated through guided reasoning and modeling. Generally, teachers fulfill a supportive, nurturing role, providing an emotionally safe environment, one in which children feel secure and competent enough to explore and learn through playing (Gettinger et al. 1992, pp.12-13).
However, prevailing practices show that the content of knowledge, imparted at lessons, arranges a child mainly to the problems of training at school. A dominating aspect of classroom management is a direct impact of a teacher on a child, a question-answer form of communication, and disciplinary forms of influence which are combined with formal assessments. Achievements of a child are evaluated according to group standards.
The basic knowledge is mastered by children in the course of games, activity observation, and communication with surrounding people; the purposeful training is aimed at the assimilation of skills and knowledge. Effective classroom management consists of both teacher’s and child’s activities summarized in the following table:
|Teacher’s Activity||Child’s Activity|
|Motivation of activity||Occurrence of the interest to the forthcoming activity, readiness to perception|
|Explanation of an educational material||Perception|
|Training of an educational material||Comprehension|
|Summarizing of an educational material||The feeling of satisfaction by the cognitive activity|
|Determination of new goals||The interest to the new forthcoming activity, its expectation|
Furthermore, effective classroom management involves:
- Generalization of the received knowledge and abilities, assessment of children’s skills;
- Analysis of the results of a group and individual work;
- Attention to the process of performance of tasks, and not just to the result.
Classroom management is one of the fundamental principles for solving complex educational tasks. It is possible to fulfill a program of a comprehensive child’s identity development successfully only through correct classroom management. Communication also plays a crucial role in classroom management. It is one of the most significant factors in successful psychological development of a child. Main functions of communication include organization of joint activity of children and teachers (coordination and association of efforts for their achievement) and formation and development of interpersonal relations between them. Consequently, main forms of effective classroom management include activities aimed at developing communication skills. Communication with adults has an exclusive value for a child at all stages of school curriculum. It is the most important condition for a child’s development in the process of ontogenesis - development of both internal (personal, emotional, motivational) and external (physical, a general status of development, etc.) activities. Communication between adults and children promotes not only a course of a normal development but also can be a “medicine” in unsuccessful genetic background cases (Justice, 2004).
School quality is defined by effectiveness of teachers’ educational methods and achievements of pupils influenced by skills of interpersonal communication. Therefore, relations between teachers and pupils play an essential role in creating a favorable atmosphere in a school and a classroom. Thus, classroom management can be effective in cases if problems connected with discipline are solved either at individual level (between a teacher and a pupil) or collectively during classroom meetings.