Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Classroom Management

I came across an article on classroom management. It may help address the problem of excessive and untimed homework by helping teachers see that homework actually disrupts the classroom. I wrote a comment to the editors of the website that published this article. Here's what I wrote:

I read the article by Amy Pearson, How to Reduce Behavioral Problems in the ElementarySchool Classroom. I'm a psychologist, not an educator, and I defer to educators on issues of curricula and classroom management, but I am absolutely sure that a large number of behavioral problems are actually manufactured by teachers in their efforts to control environments outside the classroom, i.e. the home. Everything said in Ms. Pearson's article makes sense, but it makes sense largely because it involves strategies where the teacher has control. As soon as the teacher tries to establish requirements and standards outside her domain, she loses authority, which will ultimately translate into problematic behavior -- not for all, but for enough students that the class gets disrupted. Homework reform is the most important step the teacher can take to reduce those disruptions. And since homework does not garner research support in the elementary school and since teachers do not take courses in giving homework when they go to school, it's a complete win-win to modify homework practice.

For more information on Dr. Goldberg's model, read other postings on this blog, visit his website, The Homework Trap, or read his book, The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers. 


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