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"Classroom management as method and manner".

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Introduction

The research article that I have chosen to review is from a peer reviewed journal, the "Journal of Curriculum Studies". The main reason I chose this particular article is because the title, "Classroom management as method and manner", is eye catching and concisely presented. It gives the immediate impression that the article is very focused on the key issue of classroom management. The language contained within the summary is accessible in the sense that it is relatively simplistic and is not interspersed with highly technical jargon. However the summary is at times vague and long winded. For example, the sentence that begins, "We examine classroom management, manner, beliefs about classroom..." bombards the reader with a lot of information that is hard to digest all at once. I had to read the summary several times before I was able to decipher the key phrases from it. There is no doubt that the summary contains key ideas that correspond to the main body of research within the article, namely its emphasis upon "moral and intellectual goals". However it does not succeed as a good prelude to the article. It is too long winded at the beginning and does not highlight the purpose of the article clearly enough. This article is divided up into sections of manageable length. This gives it direction and makes it easy to follow. ...read more.

Middle

is helpful as it presents an opportunity to learn from two teachers who have had the benefits of time and experience in perfecting their classroom management skills. I found that I could learn from reading about the way in which these teachers interacted with the children. For example, Darlene deals with disruption during one lesson in a subtle and effective manner. She avoids halting her lesson in response to a minor disruption. Instead she controls the situation by "putting her hand up, moving towards the child, or saying his name quietly without interrupting the lesson." (p709) This vividly displays one approach of dealing with a discipline issue and helps me to visualise how I can put certain theory that I have read into practice. For example, Cohen et al recommend "stopping unacceptable behaviour before it escalates" (2000, p 286). In this passage the article displays a good example of how to do so. One of the main aims of the article is to examine the "holistic view" (p 705) of the teacher and in turn to see how this approach translates into the practice of classroom management. This is topical with regard to the changing role of the teacher and also in light of the new developments within the Northern Ireland Curriculum, proposed by CCEA (Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment). Throughout the article there is great emphasis placed upon instilling in children basic values such as trust, politeness and mutual respect. ...read more.

Conclusion

(1970 cited on p 709) However the use of other related literature is one of the negative traits of this article. The authors relied too heavily upon the opinions and theories of others, so much so that it is hard to distinguish between their ideas and observations and those they paraphrase and quote. This is evident when during the second case study a quote from Wolfgang is used to comment upon the teaching style of Kai. (p 716) In cases like this the authors do not share enough of their own insights with the reader and their writing subsequently lacks conviction. Within the individual case studies the authors have devised lists of the qualities displayed by each teacher. This helps break the narrative and is a good recap for the main points discussed. The main points drawn from each case study are then clearly presented in tabular form within the analysis section. The two lists of the methods and manners employed by each teacher serve as a useful basis for comparison of their two styles. This table also serves as a checklist for good practice as regards classroom management. The authors have used a number of different research methods, ranging from interviews, video recordings and first hand classroom observations. They have a very thorough approach and explain in detail how they conducted their research in the opening sections. However, I feel that they could have made more use of the student interviews they conducted and this would have added an interesting dimension to the article. ...read more.

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