Classroom Management: Group Managerial Approach
The group managerial approach to discipline on classroom management is based on Jacob Kounin's research. He emphasized the importance of responding immediately to group student behavior that might be undesirable in order to prevent problems rather than having to deal with them after they come up. If a student misbehaves, and the teacher stops the misbehavior immediately, it remains an isolated incident and most likely, it will not develop into a problem. On the other hand, if the misbehavior is not noticed, is ignored or allowed to continue for too long, it might spread throughout the group and eventually becomes more serious and chronic.
For Kouhin, classroom activities can be analyzed for purposes of management. It may be divided into two categories - of students’ behavior and teacher management behavior.
Kouhin's behaviors and categories for observing classroom management include two major categories
- Work Involvement: This is the amount of time students spend in assigned academic task. Students who are involved in work (answering assignments in workbook, reading a story, reciting a poem or watching a demonstration lesson) manifest or display lesser disciplinary problem than children who are not involved in any assigned learning task. It is basic in any learning situation that if the teacher keeps the learners busy in their work, there is less chance that boredom and discipline problems will arise.
- Deviancy: From the sociological viewpoint, deviancy is any act that violates social expectations; elicit social disapproval or non-conformity with the social norm. This ranges from simple misbehavior to serious misbehavior. Misbehavior occurs when the student is not purposefully doing anything, but upsetting or annoying member of the class. Mild misbehavior includes action like whispering, teasing, making faces, reading a comic strip or passing notes. Serious misbehavior is manifested by aggressive or harmful behavior that virtually interferes with others or violates school rules. It is important not to allow mild misbehavior to generate into serious misbehavior by dealing with the mild misbehavior as soon as it occurs.
Other related categories of teaching behavior are:
Desist techniques: These are teacher deliberate actions taken to stop misbehavior.
Kounin feels that it will depend on the teacher's two abilities - with-it-ness and overlapping behavior.
With-it-ness: This is the ability of the teacher to react on target and in a smooth timely manner. It involves communicating to students that one knows what is happening.
Overlapping behavior: This is the ability of the teacher to handle more than one classroom situation at the same time - for a student who is interrupting with a question or comment.
Movement management: This is the organization of behavior in transition from academic job to assignment within and between lessons. Movement may be characterized as smooth or jerk or quickly.
Smoothness is an even and calm flow of activities and involves uninterrupted task periods and usually short. Fluid transitions are made automatically and without disruption. The teacher avoids unnecessary announcements and interruptions when students are busy doing their work; finishes one learning activity before starting a new one; and usually does not abruptly end or start another activity.
Jerking - is the disorderly or quick flow of learning activities. Sometimes it may result if the teacher tries to do too many activities at once, or does not make clear directions and procedures to the learners before ending one learning task and changing to a new one.
Movement management involves momentum, keeping learning activities at an appropriate pace. Momentum is slowed if the teacher engages in fragmentation.
Fragmentation takes the form of giving too much detail, breaking things down into several topics or repeating learning activities.
Movement management also refers to the techniques of guiding students from one activity to another in a smooth fashion. It also involves the technique of keeping the lesson and the group moving by changing the pace when the need arises. It includes skills in routinizing housekeeping classroom activities to provide more time for instruction. Some classroom activities can be made automatic in the sense that they can be performed without much thought and energy, especially when they become habitual. Such activities can be routinized. Undoubtedly, routine can help the teacher a lot in classroom management.
Among the housekeeping classroom activities that need to be routinized include:
- Entering and leaving the room
- Seating arrangement
- Monitoring class attendance
- Using board (chalkboard) and keeping it clean after use
- Collecting and distributing students' paper
- Passing, collecting, handling and putting away books, pamphlets, and other learning materials