Free Dissertation Chapter About Classroom Management: Effective Teachers And Instructional Practices In Public Schools
Graduate Faculty of the School of Education
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Prescott Valley, Arizona
Chapter 1: Introduction1
Statement of the Problem3
Purpose of the Study5
Definition of Key Terms6
Chapter 2: Literature Review7
Chapter 1: Introduction
Effective instructional methods are difficult to implement in a classroom environment; yet have the ability to improve discipline and student learning. It can often be difficult for teachers to meet the school's academic priorities in a "chaotic, dangerous, or unproductive environment" (Boyd, 2012, p. 63). Additionally, the shift of classroom practices effects the implementation of management, curriculum and care that extends beyond teacher practices. (Kennedy, 2011). At this phase of learning, middle-school level children are beginning early stages of transformation of learning in a classroom setting. Effective instructional strategies will potentially lead to improvement of learning experiences for students. The performance of teachers in developing instructional methods to motivate student learning is critical.
The reduced effects of instructional methods by teachers in a middle school are often viewed as a similar learning technique associated with junior high schools. Furthermore, classroom management strives to link classroom environment and student motivation. However, there are many challenges remaining for effective classroom management. One-dimensional classrooms (i.e. classrooms without proper classroom management) increased proportions of students reporting below average ability levels and higher peer consensus on ability judged by students, their teachers, and peers (Kelly, 2007). The formula for connecting a student-teacher relationship is to explore the effective approach to initiate new ideas and programs to engage student learning. The central goal of the study will investigate the barriers teachers experience (e.g. Unproductive classroom attitudes and effective instructional strategies) in effective classroom management.
Teaching as a practice is constantly undergoing improvements, changes and alterations that determine the proper strategies and behaviors required of educators to best handle their classrooms, and provides appropriate education outcomes for their students. Research indicates that teacher behavior in their classrooms is twice as impactful on student academic achievement as community involvement, assessments, curriculum development, and education of teachers and staff (Marzano, 2003a).
Management has long been associated with strong learning support. The ideal classroom environment involves students actively engaging in learning activities, which contributes to effective fulfillment of learning goals (Brophy, 2013). Management principles were developed as a general practice by William Changler Bagley, who observed the practices of successful and efficient teachers, establishing the first classroom management strategies (Brophy, 2013). Bagley advocated for teachers to give conscious attention to their classroom environment in order to limit routine and judgment factors that would limit student engagement in classrooms (Brophy, 2013).
Bagley’s principles in the early 1900s continued into the 1950s, as Brown’s work on classroom management “emphasized Christian values, school as preparation for democratic citizenship, and child-centered, progressive educational methods” (Brophy 2013, p. 22). As more educational research focused explicitly on classroom management, behavioral research was performed in order to further study the proper principles for regulating student behavior and managing the classroom; focusing on “reinforcing packages of behaviors” rather than keeping track of each individual student (p. 26). Ecological studies began to be performed in individual classrooms to see how different classroom settings worked and functioned; revealing the efficacy of teaching strategies; such as, ‘withitness,’ overlapping, group alerting and accountability, and others (p. 28).
Based on existing literature, there is a substantial need to match management systems to instructional systems in the development of classroom management strategies (Brophy, 2013). Teachers must determine exactly how to teach their students by catering their management strategies to more accurately fit these principles (Brophy, 2013). Grade levels are another important factor in matching management systems; different priorities and expected personalities can be found in classroom populations depending on grade level. Ultimately, strategies must follow instructional goals to cultivate ideal student behaviors, academic achievement and engagement.
Statement of the Problem
The inability of teachers to manage classroom behaviors contributes to poor student development (Funnell, 2009). In response to this limitation, inefficiencies in adopted strategies may affect student socialization and stunt substantive learning and participation (Shook, 2012). The lack of effort by teachers to conduct and maintain effective classroom management translates into a lack of responsiveness on the part of the students (Nizielski, Hallum, & Lopes, 2012). Teacher accomplishments consist of student learning and teacher efficacy; this can be traced to the ability of the teacher, the strength of their lesson plans, and their ability to manage their classrooms (Reyes et al., 2012). Difficulties in successfully managing classroom can lead frustration for both student and teacher, and create emotional distress within the classroom that is counterproductive to learning (Poduska & Kurki, 2014; Meirovich, 2012; Hoy, 2012). The lack of management skills can result in the alteration of student attitudes towards the given material and result in poor learning environment (Oliver, Wehby, & Reschly, 2011).
Despite the efficacy of classroom management, there are many potential barriers faced by instructors in classrooms that are not efficiently managed, including the teacher's ability to sufficiently engage their students (Reyes et al., 2012). This creates an unproductive and limited environment for students and creates struggles for instructors (Webster-Stratton, Reinke, Herman, & Newcomer, 2011). In particular, poor implementation of classroom management strategies and inability to deal with emotions related to failure can result in low job satisfaction, burnout and low morale among teachers (Reyes et al., 2012). Given established exploration of the emotional climate of the classroom and the barriers that are created in implementing classroom management, it is recommended that teachers utilizing classroom management strategies be evaluated for their emotional intelligence and sense of self-efficacy, particularly in instances of difficulty or low efficacy in classroom management (Reyes et al., 2012).
The purpose of this qualitative study is to perform a qualitative assessment to determine the effect barriers in the implementation of effective classroom management strategies on teacher motivation and self-efficacy. The rationale for this qualitative study is to offer a continuation of the work provided by Reyes et al. (2012) and other researchers, dealing primarily with teacher perception of their performance and the perceived efficacy of their classroom management strategies. The research questions will be used to investigate these issues by honing in on specific barriers to implementation, such as student resistance, problems in school infrastructure, and more.
The research design will take the form of a short-answer questionnaire in which the participants will answer a variety of open-ended questions concerning the methods used to encourage student learning outcome, and the effect of these barriers on their emotional well-being and sense of self-efficacy. After receiving permission from the school to conduct the research; 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teachers in a Middle School District of Virginia will complete a written document with a series of questions. The information will be recorded from the documents by utilizing a Word file to code each response. File folders, computer files or index cards may be used to organize the data to properly develop a matrix or table that can be used to help organize the material. An SPSS software will store responses to easily compile and analyze data properly.
Q1. In what ways do the acknowledged barriers to effective classroom management (lack of resources, classroom behavior, gaps in emotional intelligence) effect teacher’s emotional well-being and morale?
Definition of Key Terms
Classroom management can be defined as a series of strategies used by teachers in practical classroom environments to facilitate better student engagement and participation in classroom activities (Marzano, 2003a). Classroom management strategies can take a number of forms; from systematic punitive action against misbehaving students, to cognitive and behavioral approaches to make students more inclined to engage in and be interested in classroom activities. Classroom management can also be considered the ultimate status of fully and efficiently managing one’s classroom, offering high engagement and participation; as well as, more positive academic outcomes for students within the classroom (Marzano, 2003a).
Constructive feedback is an incredibly important component to classroom management, as it provides teachers with the ability to change their methods in order to become more effective in their duties. Constructive feedback can be rare when coming from students given many students’ predilections toward delinquent and inappropriate behavior (Dudek et al., 2013). Teachers who hope to facilitate effective classroom management must be able to negotiate methods of receiving constructive feedback from students, faculty and staff.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
Poor student development has been determined to stem from the inability of teachers to effectively manage classroom behavior, which stems from ineffective instructional strategies. As teachers show a diminished capacity to support and respond to students’ needs, rates of misbehaviour and poor academic performance will continue. The unproductive, unengaged environment of classrooms run by teachers without adequate classroom management skills results in a need to examine the efficacy of classroom management as a practice in addressing these problems. The following literature review examines the existing literature related to classroom management, providing a definition of classroom management, determining its effectiveness, and finding innovative methods and classroom management skills to help address the existing problems in education.
Defining Classroom Management
Classroom management is a system of behaviours and teaching strategies meant to address student behavioural and academic problems in the classroom (Giallo & Hayes, 2007). While varied, classroom management essentially hopes to address the issues of bad behaviour and unmotivated students in the classroom, motivating them into good behaviour, greater fellowship between teachers and students, and better academic outcomes by incentivizing them to become more involved in the classroom. These strategies are not uniform in nature, and are not endemic to every classroom management environment. However, many recurring trends occur in terms of management goals (such as behaviour management, academic management, and more) (Monteil & Heuguet, 2001). Professional development programs can be used to help instill classroom management strategies and change behaviors of students by allowing teachers to develop their own behavior management plans (Giallo & Hayes, 2007).
The social context of academic performance necessitates the creation of an environment that is conducive to classroom management (Monteil & Huguet, 2001). According to social psychology, human beings function most directly as social creatures; making it necessary to examine students in their social context in order to learn how best to manage them in the classroom (Monteil & Huguet, 2001). Cognition almost always occurs in a social context, making it necessary to understand the way students process experiences through memory and behavior to best manage them. The effectiveness of classroom management lies within the concept of social comparison feedback, which Monteil & Huguet (2001) define as “the involvement of an outside agency who evaluates the individual’s performance, competence, or status, thus placing the individual in a situation of comparison to others” (p. 368). Social comparison is one effective method of classroom management, as it forces students to compare their behavior with that of the teacher and their own peers to determine if their behavior is appropriate.
One potential method of applying classroom management in a student learning setting is a whole-school approach, where diversity is recognized and the goal is to cater to the needs of all students comprehensively, regardless of disability or special needs (Rogers, 1995). There are typically three layers to this approach: first, all students must receive effective differentiated teaching. This is done by applying a basic to learning that is customized for all students, even those who require additional assistance. Next, students should receive focused teaching to allow expectations of academic performance to be met with each level of scaffolded instruction (Rogers, 1995). Finally, the most intensive layer involves direct instruction for the remainder of students who perform outside the average expectations for learning areas, whether above or below. By providing this whole-world approach, a comprehensive method of classroom management can be achieved.
For a more specified and targeted approach to students who are not performing up to expectations, the umbrella approach can also be used in a classroom management platform (Stevens & Lingo, 2013). The umbrella approach provides a systematic method of determining how students respond to classroom management routines, which allow the teacher to easily determine who responds to those procedures and who does not. This method is useful, as it functions well as a metric for determining the extent to which these initiatives are successful; thus allowing teachers to adjust their practices as needed (Stevens & Lingo, 2013).
Person-centered classroom management is another facet of the discipline that provides an alternative to the traditional model of classroom management. It primarily involves person-directed discipline instead of the responsibility being solely focused on the teacher (Jerome & Lamb, 2009). This style of classroom management places a large emphasis on social-emotional interactions and a deep connectedness with school culture; as well as, a focus on student self-discipline and positive classroom environment (Jerome & Lamb, 2009). With the cultivation of a person-centered classroom, there is a greater focus on high achievement and a more positive learning environment is found than in traditional teacher-centered classrooms. As opposed to traditional classroom management environments, in which the teacher is the main focus of discipline and control, the teacher facilitates a more social environment that may make students more comfortable and willing to learn.
Data-based decision making (DBDM) is a more empirical approach to classroom management. Institutional practices and data monitoring are used to determine the effectiveness of classroom management; essentially becoming a more objectively-minded form of the umbrella approach to classroom management (Gage & McDaniel, 2012). The use of DBDM is indicated to be incredibly effective at objectively determining the nature of classroom behavioural problems, thus making it easier to find management solutions and test their effectiveness (Gage & McDaniel, 2012). DBDM can be used in conjunction with the aforementioned methods of classroom management, essentially offer a more data-based approach to determining the efficacy of selected initiatives.
Need for Classroom Management
The need for classroom management is great when considering the negative effects of poor classroom management on both students and teachers. Poor student behavior can lead to a reduction in student learning opportunities and lesson delivery to students. It can also cause greater teacher burnout and low morale within the classroom environment (Giallo & Hayes, 2007). Of crucial importance are evidence-based practices for classroom behavior management, as they provide some of the most effective measures for affecting positive changes in classroom environments (Poduska & Kurki, 2014). Currently, many students suffer from deficits in behavior and academic outcomes due to a variety of factors; including gender-divided reading preferences and attitudes; as well as, poor incentive for citizenship education due to social factors (Griva, Alevriadou & Semoglou, 2012). These students particularly suffer from a challenge to authenticity in classroom environments; not relating to teachers as authentic human beings, but as strict taskmasters dedicated to following curricula and not adequately considering student preferences and barriers to entry (Griva, Alevriadou & Semoglou, 2012). To that end, the need for proper classroom management is great.
There are even greater sociopolitical ramifications to an unengaged student body outside the classroom. Democratic citizenship is another vital component of education that can only come from a properly engaged classroom. Classroom management can provide students with the ability to learn about civic engagement, politics and democratic education that they may not receive otherwise (Harriger & McMillan, 2008). This occurs through two major methods: moderator training; in which the importance and benefits of mental and cognitive deliberation are instilled in students by instructors, and framing; in which issues are placed in proper sociopolitical contexts making them more relatable for the students as a whole (Harriger & McMillan, 2008). Cultivation of these two skills occurs largely in the classroom for many students of college age, as it provides an avenue to practice deliberation skills in a safe space before taking them into the public sphere. Therefore; it is of central importance to teachers that they use classroom management skills to cultivate this sense of democratic citizenship, as they carry a vital role in instilling these values in their students.
Behavior management is one of the fundamental aspects of classroom management; itself being a psychological method to use techniques of ‘rational choice’ to lessen instances of classroom conflict (Funnell, 2009). Order and discipline in school classrooms are a high priority for teachers, as students with behavioral problems can significantly interfere with the proper operation of a classroom setting (Giallo & Hayes, 2007). Poor behavior in students is specifically identified with several symptoms; including (but not limited to) an inability to concentrate, calling out, noncompliance, poor listening, being inattentive in class, providing disruption of class activities and responding negatively to reprimanding (Giallo & Hayes, 2007).
Teaching and Implementation of Classroom Management
In order to provide classroom management skills for teachers, a number of methods can be reliably used and have been tested in the field of education. One of the most intriguing and common is peer coaching; in which two or more teachers collaborate and discuss their current practices, provide instruction and mentoring for each other, and work together to solve classroom behavioral problems and develop new skills in the workplace (Arslan & Ilin, 2013). This provides a concrete, systematic approach to allow colleagues to help each other with their professional development; particularly in terms of developing the skills, techniques and strategies needed to better manage their classrooms. Peer coaching offers feedback that comes from a person of equal importance within the school environment; making teachers more receptive to these teachings as they are allowed to mentor and critique their fellow teachers as well (Arslan & Ilin, 2013). Skills referenced in peer coaching often involve lesson design, cultivating positive atmospheres in the classroom, time management and improving student participation in class activities (Arslan & Ilin, 2013).
Peer coaching and teaching, and the use of self-study, has been proven to be a common method of classroom management education (Garbett & Ovens, 2012). Self-study involves the shifting of the researcher’s perspective from the external study of practice to investigation of one’s own practice with the goal of offering “a means to consider the tacit and personal practical knowledge that is central to an individual’s knowledge and understanding of teaching” (Garbett & Ovens 2012, p. 44). Self-study and peer-teaching provide effective avenues for discussing issues of authenticity and safety, as teachers learn to treat their students with a greater sense of equality and honesty (which then makes them more receptive to classroom activities and less likely to commit bad behavior) (Garbett & Ovens, 2012).
Implementing specific strategies to classroom management has been found to have tremendous positive outcomes in academic and behavioral categories. Poduska & Kurki (2014) demonstrated the efficacy of a training/support model for the Good Behavior Game (GBG), which provided a more controlled classroom environment. Implementing the GBG in an elementary school setting proved to have substantial positive outcomes for these students up to young adulthood. Improvements included lower drug and alcohol use, less reliance on school-based mental health services, and fewer attempts and ideation of suicide (Poduska & Kurki, 2014). Teacher evaluation of progress in classrooms is equally important as studying student behavior. Finding observational assessments and metrics by which the classroom instructional and behavioral management practices of teachers are evaluated is decidedly crucial to determine whether or not instructors are utilizing sound classroom management strategies to influence their students’ behavior (Reddy et al., 2013).
One particular challenge to teaching proper classroom management involves the common misconceptions many teachers have about the practice, which can negatively affect classroom outcomes. First, while management is an important part of teaching, it is not more important. Effective teaching requires effective management skills, used in tandem to reinforce each other (Englehart, 2012). Furthermore, there is not an entirely subjective assessment of what works for each individual teacher. Effective teachers and managers all have some basic common traits, such as, healthy emotional intelligence and a general sense of stable self-image. Just reinforcing boundaries and clearly communicating is not enough, as students often lack the social skills to fully recognize the consequences of their actions. Relationships are important to successful teacher-student interactions; but they are not the sole, ultimate requirement for effective classroom management (Englehart, 2012). Furthermore, it is always possible to change a student’s behavior despite many teacher protestations that students’ poor home lives irrevocably damage student behavioral norms (Englehart, 2012). Dispelling these many myths about classroom management is necessary in successfully teaching instructors how best to use these skills in a positive way in the classroom.
Effectiveness of Classroom Management
The effectiveness of classroom management varies by degrees based on many factors; including the audience, student body, and education/capabilities of the teacher in question (Hochweber, Hosenfeld & Kleime, 2014). Classroom management strategies have been shown to be largely effective in managing behavior and increasing academic outcomes, though much more for teachers than students (Giallo & Hayes, 2007). Research indicates that the application of behavior management strategies based on professional development leads to a perceived increase in teacher understanding of child behavior and behavior management; as well as, provides a greater self-reflection to let the teachers more concretely examine their own behaviors. However; while teacher confidence and morale may improve with the application of behavior management skills, these changes may not lead to equivalent improvements with students (Giallo & Hayes, 2007). To that end, teacher satisfaction may be an inadequate indicator of successful classroom change. However, the improvement in teacher skills is still admirable; particularly when professional development and classroom management skills are provided with a component to permit teachers to self-reflect.
Some research argues that the implementation of behavior management can be ineffective, and actually lead to exacerbated instances of misbehavior; according to Funnell (2009). Behavior management on its own results in a further lack of respect for teachers by students, as poor educational outcomes and high emphasis on behavior control leads to a culture in which students are encouraged to misbehave. In order to best facilitate proper classroom management, Funnell (2009) notes the need for the consideration of three factors; the vehicle of classroom interaction, how learning disengagement affects the institution, and the way this leads to the conflicting expressions of order from the official rule of the school and the student. This can be actualized in either proactive (positive) or reactive (negative) strategies. Classrooms in which reactive strategies were used for problem behavior resulted in the teachers having a lesser disposition to change their classroom management strategies to stave off problematic behavior in the classroom (Shook, 2012).
In order to address the ongoing problems of lack of motivation and discipline within classroom environments, several solutions have been shown to be effective in the realm of classroom management. Improvement in teacher qualification has been shown to be incredibly important. By improving teachers’ qualifications and training in classroom management, they are thought to be more helpful and effective in implementing management within their classroom settings (Ergodan et al., 2010). The structure and place of the course in the curriculum are also incredibly important, as is organizing motivational activities for students to increase their investment in the learning process (Ergodan et al., 2010). Implementing software that controls, computer usage in lab and computer settings permits greater management of student behavior and focus on tasks, and classroom seating plans can help to maximize student attention and limit the possibility of inter-student interference during lessons (Ergodan et al., 2010).
One significant factor that is difficult to control is parental education, which has been shown to have a large degree of significance in determining student grades outside the classroom. Classroom management itself, then becomes a moderating factor between those students with high and low levels of parental involvement in their education (Hochweber, Hosenfeld & Kleime, 2014). Furthermore, coordinating with parents and collaborating on effective study skills and behavior management has been shown to have a more effective outcome of student engagement than teacher-only classroom management strategies (Ergodan et al, 2010). Therefore,ways to incorporate parental involvement whenever possible in the classroom management process is stressed as a way to maximize its effectiveness.
Effective Teachers and Instructional Practices in Public Schools
Public schools, as a specific environment, are particularly in need of classroom management. Teacher effectiveness and more efficient instructional practices must be provided to these environments in order to facilitate greater academic outcomes and address behavioral shortcomings. Particularly, in public school environments, ‘burnout’ can occur . This is a condition evidenced by emotional exhaustion, a reduced sense of personal accomplishment, and depersonalization of co-workers and subjects (Brouwers & Tomic, 2000). Secondary school teachers experience a great deal of burnout in the course of their duties due to the stressful demands placed on them; including “a substantial extent of emotionally charged relationships with students” (Brouwers & Tomic 2000, p. 239). Sixty three percent of public school teachers in America and Canada report their most stressful work factors are being student discipline problems (Brouwers & Tomic, 2000). This directly links the implementation of classroom management to the possible decreased burnout (and, implicitly, increased efficacy) of public school teachers.
Some of the major problems experienced in public schools are psychological – teachers who suffer burnout are said to “distrust their classroom management abilities under standard job conditions and understand the importance of that competence,” “cannot avoid the management tasks if they are to reach the educational goals,” and “are informed that colleagues routinely obtain a comfortable learning environment” (Brouwers & Tomic 2000, p. 242). All of these factors are related heavily to self-efficacy; good classroom management practices cannot work if public school teachers are not armed with high self-efficacy, and the best management practices help to facilitate said high self-efficacy. This, in turn, can reduce burnout and improve outcomes.
Institutional practices for teachers in public schools, particularly as they relate to classroom management can be heavily determined not just by teaching method, but by their teaching style (Kolak, 2010). The most effective teachers in classroom management showcase a tremendous number of leadership qualities, which allow them to successfully influence students into fulfilling tasks readily and willingly (Kolak, 2010). The teaching process for instructors is defined by a number of contributing factors; including application of teaching media, didactic principles, the atmosphere of the classroom, fluency in the subject, and much more (Kolak, 2010). While there are many different factors and theories regarding the definition and allotment of leadership as a teaching style, from stricter, more authoritarian styles to laissez-faire classrooms, it is clear that the application of at least some consistent leadership style is central to determining a strong sense of classroom management (Kolak, 2010).
Effective teachers can also be made through the use of teacher assessments to investigate teacher practices and determine their effectiveness (Reddy et al., 2013). The Classroom Strategies Scale (CSS) is one such evaluative metric; factoring age, years of teaching experience, and educational degree, among other demographics, against internal consistency, freedom from item bias, test-retest reliability and interrater reliability in order to determine how effective their behavioural management practices are in their classroom environments (Reddy et al., 2013). Teacher observational assessments such as these have the effect of accurately determining how successful classroom management practices are as performed by the instructor, and offer a baseline from which to improve.
Social and Economic Factors to Classroom Management
Social and economic factors are also more prevalent in public schools, as there are a statistically higher population of diverse students with a variety of ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds (Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke, & Curran, 2004). Potential issues include student fluency in (or preference for) other languages, difference in behavioral upbringing, potential lack of resources or home care due to low-income households, and so on (Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke, & Curran, 2004). Classroom environments are indelibly shaped by the social environment their students live in.Schools in South Africa, for instance, are heavily influenced by the social legacy of apartheid and colonial rule, which strongly affects non-European citizens of South Africa (Napier, 2011). Some students may even come from former homeschooling environments, in which parents have been the primary instructors for their children, and they are not used to an institutionalized setting (Ray, 2001).
Other social and economic factors are commonly found in many classrooms, particularly in urban and impoverished areas (Brown, 2004). Urban classrooms, in particular, present a number of challenges for teachers attempting to perform classroom management; due to cultural differences between white, black and Latino, the systemic poverty that occurs in minority-heavy urban areas, and more. To that end, it is doubly important that teachers work carefully to gain student cooperation through an acknowledgement of the specific cultural and ethnic needs of their students; in addition to social, cognitive and emotional needs (Brown, 2004). Teachers must be able to take these factors into account when developing classroom management strategies and cater to the personal development of the specific audience with which they are working.
Public school teachers must be able to include a sense of multicultural competence into their classroom management practices. Novice teachers can experience difficulty in this regard, particularly if they have not been heretofore exposed to a wide variety of people from other income brackets and ethnicities prior to their teaching experience (Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke, & Curran, 2004). Often, these cultural differences can lead to unnecessary disciplinary interventions, a lack of sensitivity, and an increase in disruptive behavior between student and teacher. Social differences between student and teacher can create different expectations related to how students should behave in the classroom, which leads to unproductive conflict and can contribute to burnout.
In order to address these issues, institutional practices of culturally responsive classroom management (CRCM) are thought to be effective. There are five central components to CRCM; including recognizing the cultural biases one holds, understanding the cultural backgrounds of students, placing these differences in the socio-political and economic context of the education system, being willing to undertake CRCM strategies, and a willingness to build a community of caring within the classroom (Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke, & Curran, 2004). With these components, teachers can find it easier to find classroom management strategies that are tailored to the cultural and economic makeup of their classroom .
Central to the implementation of CRCM is a sense of critical reflection on the part of teachers, allowing them to be more understanding and cognizant of the social and economic backgrounds of their students (Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke, & Curran, 2004). Critical reflection is key to changing teaching styles from a dominant functionalist perspective, which can be counterproductive to teaching students from a wide variety of backgrounds, to a post-colonial approach that is much more accommodating of these cultural differences (Joy & Poonamallee, 2013). When examining one’s own behavior as a teacher; in context of how that student has been treated by other teachers, by society, by their family and more, teachers can become more aware of the effect they have on their students, and subsequently can provide a greater sense of tolerance and accommodation for students. Monitoring behavior in terms of equitable treatment is a central component of CRCM and institutional practices in general; which includes examining the possibility of stereotyping students based on skin color, their dress or economic background, and the differences in the ways teachers treat students based on these factors (Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke, & Curran, 2004). It is also necessary to examine the ways in which “current practices and policies may reinforce institutional discrimination,” and find ways to avoid that however possible (Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke, & Curran 2004, p. 31). Institutional practices that incorporate these values and factors can result in a more well-rounded, tolerant and effective sense of classroom management.
Based on the existing research, classroom management is an extremely flexible system of instructional and behavioral management strategies, which help to address problems with student engagement and behavior based on a variety of techniques. Umbrella, person-centered and whole-school approaches have been shown to be particularly effective as they respectively provide quality control for teachers engaging in classroom management, offer individual assistance to struggling students and offer a systematic approach to apply management principles to an entire school. The need for classroom management is great, as public opinion and research indicates that a lack of discipline and misbehavior tend to be the greatest obstacles to learning that many educational environments face (Jerome & Lamb, 2009).
Learning and utilizing classroom management strategies must take top priority for instructors and educators, as properly trained teachers find greater effectiveness in managing their students and having a better command of their curriculum in general. The effectiveness of classroom management is largely supported by the research, as studies indicate greater teacher confidence and student academic and behavioral outcomes. However, more research is necessary to determine the true efficacy of classroom management, particularly when major strategies for classroom management are compared in comparable settings.
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Appendix A: Annotated Bibliography
Appe, S., & Barragan, D (2013). Strategies Outside the Formal Classroom: Nonprofit Management Education in Transparency and Accountability. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 19 (4), 519-614.
This study illustrates the blueprints that enrich the knowledge of strategic planning in terms of a non-profit organization in Ecuador. The article examines various societal levels to determine the proper strategy in order to improve curriculum learning and study behaviors outside a classroom setting. Having been collected from varied sources, data comprises numerous articles and reports that have been used for archival documents, 2 courses and a great deal of interviews. The methodological approach has been developed within the case study of Ecuador. Three strategies in terms of nonprofit organizations are expounded, namely training development, knowledge production and collectivity. However, it should be noted that the scope is rather limited and is aimed to justify training opportunities outside the classroom. Therefore, the further research is required in order to evaluate the overall effectiveness along with the potential implications of nonprofit management education through accountability as well as transparency.
Arslan, F., & Ilin, G. (2013). Effects for Peer Coaching for the Classroom Management Skills of Teachers. Journal of Theory & Practice in Education (JPTE), 9 (1), 43-59.
The qualitative study demonstrates an excellent data collection through observation and interviewing, involving teachers as participants to complete the findings on the importance of peer coaching and the improvement of classroom management skills of teachers. The central focus of the study explores the effectiveness of peer coaching and techniques teachers develop during instructional learning. The implementation of effective classroom management relies heavily on the feedback of teachers and new strategies implemented in the classroom to improve student development skills. Extensive data analysis, particularly the literature review, semi-structured interviews and finally the comparison of the two checklists have contributed to the implementation of effective classroom management in terms of peer coaching. Of particular interest is the fact that the findings of the study analyzed various angles by using school lessons to focus on classroom activities. The paradigm of classroom management, student-teacher relationship and peer coaching are three strong attributes that predetermine the learning environment. Nevertheless, the further study with larger groups along with complete novices and highly experienced teachers is worth conducting. Such multilateral research will lead to the far more accurate results.
Baker, D. F., & Baker, S. J. (2012). To “Catch the Sparkling Glow”. A Canvas for Creativity in the Management Classroom. Academy of Management of Management Learning &Education, 11 (4), 504-721.
The article presented a plethora of information on enhancing teachers’ confidence by means of several techniques for motivating and encouraging students to perform creativity in an educational environment. The study did not present data relating to various classrooms, nor new classroom experiences were illustrated. Acknowledging students’ creativity plays a pivotal role in interacting with basic fundamentals to improve academic performance. The central focus of the study is to explore creativity that links to the process of learning. The article notifies teachers of the importance of allowing students to conduct his or her critical thinking. The authors put forward the suggestion that learners are inclined to explore the world of art and relate art to personal experiences in order to build a learning environment. It should be noted that the study failed to report any findings, therefore the information is largely based on assumptions and theories.
Broome, J. L. (2013). A case study in classroom management and school involvement: Designing an art room for effective learning. Art Education, 66 (3), 39-46.
This case study is a seminar moment ushering in a new era of systematic research in classroom management. Broome in his work critically analyzed the varied factors that influence the teacher-student relationship in a class. The main aim of his article is to design a new art room that could provide all specific foci to the subsequent advantages in classroom management. In his new design, Broome suggests that the crucially of the new classroom rules, student routines and prompt classroom environments as crucial elements for effective classroom management. He continues to denote that, both the physical and psychological security of the learners should be adhered to inform of inviting and comforting environment. These reasonable environments will encourage social contact and interaction in the classroom environment.
Cai, Y., Reeve, J., & Robinson, D.T. (2002). Home Schooling and teaching style: Comparing the motivating styles of home and public school teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94 (2), 372-380.
Home schooling is a core concept of the research conducted by Cai, Y., Reeve, J., & Robinson, D.T. (2002). The study covered 1.5 million students in the American educational systems, who participated in home schooling. The study focused on the motivation leading the home schooling and examining the role that culture plays in educational practice. The experiment encompassed 584 teachers-participants in a large southern city which included 176 home educators and 204 public school teachers, and 204 education students enrolled in a large university. The participants used sample questionnaires to collect the data while the researchers used a descriptive statistics for all dependent measuring the group percentages for categorical variables. The different characteristics presented a unique study on classroom experience, grade level as well as teaching feedback.
Chapman, M., Filipenko, M., McTavish, M., & Shapiro, J. (2007). First graders’ preferences for narrative and/or information books and perceptions of other boys’ and girls’ book preferences. Canadian Journal of Education, 30 (2), 531-553.
The study is an attempt to define whether gender has an impact on personal preferences of reading expository and narrative books among first graders. The researchers surveyed eleven classrooms enrolling grades-one children in four different schools that participated in the YCIL (Young Children's Informational Literary) study. The research represented a number of standardized early literary measures along with teacher judgements, to organize the children into high, middle, and low groupings by reading ability. The data were collected by means of the book preference tasks and interviews at the beginning of January before the classrooms were provided with the books that were part of the larger study. The separate books selected tasks contained books that the authors felt were appealing to young learners. The questions were regarding preferences, namely, what books boys and girls enjoy reading. The children were given the opportunity to select a maximum of eight books of their choice. The result failed to support their assumption that boys prefer information books and girls storybooks. The discrepancy between boys' own preferences towards storybooks and their perception of what other boys like to read information books. It should be stated that the criteria for strength of preferences are quite vague. Furthermore, the authors' research needs to explore further to determine gap of preferences on selection of reading materials among boys and girls.
Ellen "Aileen" Curtin. (2005). Instructional styles used by regular classroom teachers while teaching recently mainstreamed ESL students: Six urban middle school teachers in Texas share their experiences and perceptions. Multicultural Education, 12 (4), 36-42.
Curtin in his work presents the various elements of a qualitative research study of the instructional methods used by regular classroom teachers in Texas to address the unique needs of ESL learners. The research was carried out in one of the economically disadvantaged urban settings in with more than 30% immigrant students. The study investigated how several regular teachers are often ill-equipped when teaching ESL students mainstreamed into the regular classes. The study revealed that interactive and didactic teachers had varied perception on how to handle ESL learners. Therefore, in his opinion, he suggests that teachers need to use multiple intelligences in order to attack the major domains of the learners and achieve reasonable results. He further insists on the stakeholders’ role in providing effective teachings to ESL students until they achieve proficiency level.
Englehart, J.M. (2012). Five Half-Truths about Classroom Management. Clearing House, 85 (2), 70-73.
This article examines several underlying assumptions of classroom management and presents different perspectives and beliefs to execute high quality instructional techniques. Englehart (2012) analyzed different classrooms, students’ behavior patterns in terms of the teacher’s approach to manage control in the class. The conditions of the classroom are closely connected to the teacher’s expectations. The author posits the view that “different things work for different people” (p. 71) and stresses that classroom environment depends crucially on the responsibility of a teacher who ensures that all students receive adequate learning. The findings are based merely on ones’ opinions, beliefs and values relating to classroom interaction. Far from being objective, the half-truths do not illustrate current educational environment. Additional research is required in order to gain a better insight on classroom management and factors affecting student behaviors and teacher leadership.
Freiberg, H., & Lamb, S.M. (2009). Dimensions of Person-Centered Classroom
Management. Theory Into Practice, 48 (2), 99-105.
Frieberg & Lamb (2009) discussed the difference between classroom management in teacher-centered versus person-centered settings. The article compares and contrasts student-centered classroom as leadership is shared and management is a form of guidance for student and teachers. One of the best solutions to a teacher-centered classroom is allowing students to participate in classroom activities and reward them for their efforts. The goal of a person-centered classroom described by the author “extends teachers' roles, to encourage, facilitations, and connectors of learning” (p. 102). This form of behavior will allow teachers to build a strong student-teacher relationship enriched with a positive learning environment. The findings of the study revealed a lot of information on classroom management linked to person-centered and teacher-centered classroom for teachers to improve their role as managers. Besides instructional strategies, the article presented a number of ideas for teachers how to enhance students’ academic success.
Gage, N.A., & McDaniel, S. (2012). Creating Smarter Classrooms: Data-based Decision Making For Effective Classroom Management. Beyond Behavior, 22 (1), 1-10.
The article discusses the concept of data-based decision making in order to stimulate efficient learning and determine the strengths and weaknesses of educational curriculum. The data were geared towards effective classroom management, aiming to build a framework for school-wide improvement on any curriculum for classroom instruction. The article revealed the steps of data uses and purposes to provide intervention or implement instructional strategies. The data base collection process is primarily a system used to collect information regarding student behavior and academic needs. It seems apparent that the data based collection process may pose challenges in measuring and assessing teacher and student behaviors. The article presented with good information on data-based decision making the system may not be the correct solution for any particular school. Being based on theories and assumptions, the article necessitates further exploration of alternatives for improving classroom environment
Garbett, D., & Ovens, A. (2012). Being a Teacher Educator: Exploring Issues of Authenticity and Safety through Self-Study. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37 (3), 44-56.
The self-study conducted by Garbett & Ovens (2012) evaluates the implementation of peer-teaching in their physical education and science education courses. Peer-teaching was used as the catalyst for the study. The participant in this study was a faculty member named Dawn who works in the area of science education. The literature expressed the different cultural and educational backgrounds between 25-40 students. Garbett & Ovens (2012) mentioned Dawn's prime motivation for introducing peer-teaching was to ensure that student teachers experiences the challenges of teaching science themselves. The self-initiated, self-focused, improvement-aimed study illustrates rather reformed thinking and transformed practice. Detailed exploration is advisable, as this self-study research offers limited data.
Harringer, K. J. & McMillian, J.J. (2008). Learning Democratic Citizenship: An Experiment in Teaching Deliberation. Conference Papers-American Political Science Association-Teaching & Learning, 1-26.
Harringer & McMillian (2008) scrutinize the political processes on the growing number of scholars who believe that teaching students the skills and predispositions of deliberation is a low tech, relatively low budget pedagogy for advancing a strong democracy. The participants of the study involved thirty entering first-year students called democracy fellows. The cohort class from Wake Forest embraced traditional political venues, more expressive of the responsibilities of citizenship, more analytical and critical of political processes, more efficacious in their political attitudes and language. The results of this study revealed the contextual differences in the effectiveness of deliberation as a tool of civic pedagogy. The expansion of the findings will be different if they are based on the suggestions how other institutions might develop curricular or extra-curricular programs in civic engagement. The study covered the correlation between gender and reading preferences, strategies employed by 5th and 6th grade students of primary school in Greece. The study analyzed the sampling of discrepancy between male and female reading preferred to reading comics and action-stories. A greater proportion of the study focused on the cognitive aspects of reading and aspects of reading and literacy. The study revealed little difference in reading materials between girls and boys. Though, when it comes to findings, further research i