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Student Diversity and Classroom Management 1

STUDENT DIVERSITY AND CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Student Diversity and Classroom Management

Kim Jarvis

Grand Canyon University

EDU 536

September 28, 2010


Student Diversity and Classroom Management 2

Introduction

This essay looks at five classroom management strategies and how they are appropriate

for different student development levels. It also looks at how they encourage critical thinking in

students. The five classroom management strategies used are, Wong’s Pragmatic Classroom,

Kagen, Kyle and Scott’s Win-Win Discipline, Curwin and Mendler’s Discipline With Dignity,

Morrish’s Real Discipline and Canter’s Behavior Management Cycle. It includes hypothetical

examples for each strategy.

Wong’s Pragmatic Classroom is best suited for students who are at a low or moderate

level of development. It does not encourage critical thinking at all. Students are treated like

robots. They are told what to do, trained how to do it and when to do it.

Billy’s third grade teacher has trained his students that at 11:30, when he tells them to get

ready for lunch, they are to take everything that is on top of their desks and put it inside. Then

they have been trained to stand up and push their chairs in. Next, students who have brought

lunch boxes have been trained to retrieve them from the top of the bookcase and return to their

desks. The students have been trained that then, they are supposed to line up in ABC order and

wait for the teacher to tell the first person in line to open the door and the last person in line to

turn the lights off on the way out. When they return from lunch, the students have been trained

to wait for the teacher to tell the first person in line to open the door, enter the classroom and

turn the lights on. The teacher has trained the class to enter the room silently, return to their

desks and prepare for the reading lesson. The students with lunch boxes have been trained to put

them back on the bookcase before returning to their seats.

Kagen, Kyle and Scott’s Win-Win Discipline is suited for students who are at a moderate

of high level of development. The main goal of Win-Win Discipline is to help students develop

long-term, self managed responsibility. (Charles 2008). It encourages critical thinking because
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students help to make the class rules. They also learn life skills such as anger management,

empathy and self-motivation.

Karen is a student in Mr. Johnson’s Algebra class. He has introduced a new concept and

Karen is frustrated because she doesn’t understand it. She loudly tells her neighbors that the

assignment is stupid and a waste of time. Mr. Johnson tells Karen that she seems to have

forgotten the rule about asking for help when you need it. He then reviews the rule with the

class. James raises his hand and tells Mr. Johnson that he understands the assignment, has

finished it and is willing to help Karen. Mr. Johnson thanks James for his offer of help and

allows him to help Karen.

Curwin and Mendler’s Discipline With Dignity is appropriate for all levels of

development. It has been found to work well with students who have been labeled as having

attitude problems and being at risk of dropping out of school. (Charles, 2008). Discipline With

Dignity encourages critical thinking as it emphasizes responsibility instead of obedience. Instead

of doing as they are told, students learn to make the best decision possible. When a student

misbehaves, they are asked to think about what they were doing, what will happen if they

continue doing it and what they can do differently next time. (Delisio, 2009).

Johnny is always listening to his Ipod in Ms. Blake’s history class. She has threatened to

take it away from him several times, which just makes him angry and defensive. One day,

instead of trying to take the Ipod away from Johnny, Ms. Blake asks him why he is always

listening to it. He responds that he is able to concentrate on his work better if he listens to music.

Ms. Blake asks him what music he is listening to and if he will allow her to listen to some of it.

Johnny says that he’s listening to Rap music and hands the Ipod to Ms. Blake. After listening to

lyrics that are full of foul and sexual language, she tells Johnny that if he will refrain from

listening to his Ipod during instruction time, she will allow him to listen to it when he is
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supposed to be completing work. They also discuss the music he is listening to and Ms. Blake

asks if Johnny thinks it’s appropriate for school. Johnny thinks about it and says that it probably

is not appropriate for school. Ms. Blake asks him if he thinks he can find music to listen to that

is more appropriate for school. Johnny agrees to find different music for when he uses his Ipod

at school. The next day when Johnny comes to Ms. Blake’s class, he hands her his Ipod and says

that he found different music. Ms. Blake listens to the music and tells Johnny that she likes his

taste in music. During the lecture, Johnny keeps his Ipod turned off. When it is time to work on

assignments, Ms. Blake allows him to listen to his music.

Morrish’s Real Discipline is appropriate for students at all levels of development. It starts

by teaching very young students or students at a low level of development to “accept adult

authority and comply with it automatically.” (Charles, 2008). That is something that students

who are very young or at a low level of development need to learn. Next, it teaches students how

to behave. It focuses on teaching students the “skills, attitudes, and knowledge needed for

cooperation, proper behavior and increased responsibility.” (Charles, 2008). This is something

that students who are at low or intermediate levels of development need to learn. Lastly, it

teaches students how to make choices. Part of teaching students to make choices is to help them

become self-disciplined and to act appropriately even when the teacher is not present. That is

something that students who are at intermediate or advanced levels of development need to

learn. It encourages critical thinking because as students mature, they are able to make their own

choices about how they will act in school.

Steven is a student in Mr. Greer’s 8th grade history class. He doesn’t care about his

performance in school and when he turns in work, it is always messy and sometimes illegible

and incomplete. Until now, his teachers have allowed him to turn it in that way. Mr. Greer tells

Steven that he does care about Steven’s performance and when he begins to care about it as
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much as Mr. Greer does, it will become his choice. Mr. Greer also tells Steven that he will not

accept work that is messy, illegible or incomplete. He tells Steven that he will not grade the

work until it is done properly. It takes a while, but Steven does begin to care about his

performance in school and turn in work that is neat and finished.

Canter’s Behavior Management Cycle is appropriate for students who are at a low level

of development. It does not encourage critical thinking at all. Students are treated like robots.

They are told what to do and how to do it. If they don’t comply with instructions exactly, the

instructions are repeated with the students being mentioned by name. If a student still does not

exactly comply with instructions, the instructions are repeated with the student being mentioned

by name and then other students show the noncompliant student how to do what they were

instructed to do. If the student still does not comply with the instructions exactly, he or she

begins to lose privileges until he or she does comply with the instructions exactly.

Michael is a student in Ms. Lisa’s second grade class. Every day, after circle time, he

wanders around the room, talking to his friends instead of returning to his seat. On Monday,

after circle time, Ms. Lisa tells the class to return directly to their seats without wandering

around the room and talking to other students. Michael does not comply with the instructions.

On Tuesday, Ms. Lisa tells the class to return directly to their seats without wandering around

the room and talking to other students. She mentions Michael by name when giving instructions.

Michael still does not comply with the instructions. On Wednesday, she gives the same

instructions, mentions Michael by name and has two students model the proper behavior.

Michael still wanders around the room, talking to his friends before returning to his seat after

circle time. Ms. Lisa tells Michael that because he did not follow her instructions exactly, he has

chosen to lose five minutes from his recess time. On Friday, since he does not want to lose any

more of his recess time, Michael decides to comply with Ms. Lisa’s instructions exactly.
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Conclusion

Every behavior management strategy is appropriate for different student development

levels. Wong’s Pragmatic Classroom and Canter’s Behavior Management Cycle are appropriate

for students at a low level of development. Morrish’s Real Discipline is appropriate for students

at all levels of development. Curwin and Mendler’s Discipline With Dignity is appropriate for

students at all levels of development but has been found to work well with students who have

been labeled as having attitude problems and being at risk of dropping out of school. Kagen,

Kyle and Scott’s Win-Win Discipline are appropriate for students who are at a high level of

development.

References

Charles, C. and Senter, G. (2008). Building Classroom Discipline (9th ed.). Boston,
Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon/Pearson Education, Inc.

Delisio, E. (2008). Discipline with dignity. Education World. Retrieved from


http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin534.shtml on September 26,
2010.