Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 11/In the News

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Classroom Management Practices: In the News

Author: Heather Combs

Learning Targets

- The reader should be able to identify what accounts for a disciplinary deficit.

- The reader should be able to recognize effective technology used for classroom management.

- The reader should be able to identify how "court" is conducted in the classroom.

Table of Contents
Disciplinary Deficit
War & Court
Answer Key


The news constantly informs us of current events that happen instantly. Since the introduction of the World Wide Web and cell phones, people have instant access to news every second. We rely heavily on news presentations or articles to be accurate and reliable as possible. However, sometimes news stations or sites have bias embedded within themselves. We as readers/listeners need to recognize bias and learn how to discard of it. Overall news that is delivered is helpful, insightful, and most of the time justified. It is what most of us wake up to in the morning and how we learn of life changing events. However, television has often been blamed, with justification for the increase in violence among children (Curwin & Mendler, 2001). Various research has been performed on this topic and the results are staggering. Everyday we are related to news, either by telling it, posting it, or reading it. Fortunately, for educators, we have access to other teachers' postings, comments, and suggestions that enable us to become better at our profession. One of the greatest assets that we must possess is to have our classrooms in order. Today's technology allows us to manage our classroom easier while the suggestions of other educators enables us to have control. I was once told that if you do not have control over your classroom then you do not have a chance as an educator.

Disciplinary Deficit

Recently an excelling high school senior stated that classroom management needed to be improved in his school. This statement received high reguard from a retired high school teacher who was shocked at the boy's opinion. He pondered the thought of why classroom management was not getting enough attention. He came up with several reasons ranging from parental discipline to No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Here are some statements he made concerning his reasons, "The partnerships that used to exist between teachers and parents are fast becoming a fading memory." "Ironically, when school discipline is weakened to accommodate state and federal No Child Left Behind goals, students ultimately pay a great price for our acquiescence." (Udel, 2009). These are two powerful statements that are totally opposite of each other. One concerns parents while the other concerns state/federal guidelines. He also touched on the fact that elminating consequences is a problem for classroom management as well. If there are not any consequences then why not break the rules? Even though he sounded dishearted about the situation he still felt as though many educators are working hard to eliminate classroom disruptions and that not all classes have these problems. (Udel, 2009) Curwin & Mendler (2001) stated that today's educators are dealing with a different type of student and parents are admitting they have no control over their children.They also found research that proved private schools to be better at educating than public schools because of their ability to maintain discipline.

"There are impressive accomplishments taking place in our schools and there are many devoted and creative teachers, staff and students working together to make them happen. Certainly not all classes are marred by interruptions. However, we should have the wisdom to listen to our students when they tell us that there is a problem and the courage to act in their support."

Edward Udel

War & Court

Some educators may describe their classroom management practices as stern and compare them to other classrooms. However, I discovered two educators who had completely different terms. The first educator explained that she conducted court sessions in her classroom. One day every other week different students, who act as lawyers,defendants, and jury members, go to court. These court sessions were designed to have students monitor their own behaviors. It mocked the "three strikes your out" policy whereas the third appearance in court resulted in losing your role. The teacher stated the following, "With roles, came the expectation of being above disruptive behavior." (Artiles, 2009) The second educator compared his class to war. His chief belief was that you must have your students on your side. He said that if you have 28 out of 30 students under control then you will not have discipline troubles.(Genghis, 2004) He also suggested having students fill out questionnaires at the beginning of school so you can get to know them. He said you can use this to your advantage in many different ways. These are two very different ways of implementing classroom control, but both seem to work well for the teacher.

Teaching is a great job if you can do two things: 1) Teach the students to be kind and polite. 2) Manage the paperwork.

CANI: Constant And Never-ending Improvement

(Genghis, 2004)


Technology allows us to access more information from farther distances around the world. In modern classrooms you will find computers, smartboards, and other electronic devices that aid in different types of learning. Recently a community college in Oklahoma integrated Moodle(an online classroom management system, like blackboard) into the classroom. The Learning Resource Center director, Katherine Combs, stated "This system keeps students and instructors connected, so that if a student is struggling with the material and the instructor is unavailable, he or she can connect with other students and/or additional resources from home." (Harper, 2009) LanSchool is a classroom management software provider that allows teachers to randomly select a student and start classes in seconds, not minutes. (PR-inside, 2009) The educator that mentioned war earlier in the article said that technology such as a camcorder, thermostat, and bull horn work efficiently to get your classroom under control. (Genghis, 2004)This just proves that there are many things that you can use in your classroom that would aid in management and control. One interesting study was performed on younger generation teachers and their technology abilities. It was initially thought that "digital natives" (the younger group that has grown up with technology) would be more comfortable using digital technology than previous generations. However, different research has shown this not to be true. Keep in mind that most of the teachers in the study were first year teachers with no experience. Even though they showed excellent social-communication skills using digital technology they still were unable to perform as well as others had expected them to. (Lei, 2009)

"Given the fact that digital natives, as students, are already playing an active role in using technology in classrooms, it seems reasonable to expect them to be more ready to use technology for teaching as preservice teachers than previous generations of teachers—the digital immigrants. "

(Lei, 2009, p. 88)


1. Which answer indicates a reason for a disciplinary deficit?

A. Bullying

B. Counselor conversations

C. Parental discipline

D. Sexual maturity

2. Why did one educator compare his classroom management skills to war?

A. He said it was a constant fight everyday.

B. He said it was a violent atmosphere.

C. He said you need to be prepared.

D. He said you need to have students on your side.

3. Johnny has only appeared in court twice. At the last court hearing the judge (the teacher) ruled that he was not guilty. How many more times can Johnny be found guilty before he loses his role privileges?

A. zero

B. one

C. two

D. three

4. Mrs. Combs has trouble communicating with her students and constantly complains about losing assignments when students hand them in. Which software system would aid Mrs. Combs in her dilemma?

A. LanSchool

B. Moodle

C. Perfect Teach

D. Zoomba

Answer Key






Artiles, D. (2009). Class Court.Retrived June 6, 2009, from A to Z Teacher Stuff website:

Community Care College Integrates "Moodle" as Classroom Management Tool.(2009). Retrived June 3, 2009, from PRlog: Official site web site:

Curwin, R. & Mendler, A. (2001). Discipline with Dignity.Association for Supervision and Cirriculum Development: Alexandria, VA.

Genghis, . (2004). Classroom Management by Genghis.Retrived June 6, 2009, from A to Z Teacher Stuff website:

LanSchool v7.3 Sets the Standard for 1:1 Computing Classroom Management Software.(2009). Retrived June 3, 2009, from PR-inside: Official Site Website:

Lei, J. (2009). Digital Natives As Preservice Teachers: What Technology Preparation is Needed?Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 25(3), 87-97. Retrived from Old Dominion University database.

Udel, E. (2009). Facing a Discipline Deficit. Retrived June 3, 2009, from The Berkshire Eagle Website:,E&p_text_date-0=-31qzD&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=("facing%20a%20discipline%20deficit")&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

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