3 Trends in Classroom Management and Discipline

Managing your classroom is all about the balance between learning within the classroom and discipline. Today, there are several popular schools of thought regarding classroom management and discipline. Strategies that come to mind include Wong’s Pragmatic Classroom, which stresses the need to define expectations for students, and Canter’s Behavior Management Cycle, which emphasizes a distinct discipline model.

So far, however, all of these strategies floating around have their pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses. The most important thing to consider is that classroom management seems to be considered more valuable these days. Educators are becoming more open-minded about disciplining their students (e.g. the recognition that it is not better to punish the child for inattention or some other indiscretion).

What does this mean, exactly? It means that we can expect to see the following three trends in classroom management in the coming years:

  1. Some strategies will become to go-to methods for classroom management.

Existing strategies for classroom management and discipline approaches tend to be, in general, quite effective. Of course, there is also the need to make some allowances for teaching style. Some teachers excel with one approach to classroom management and discipline. Others prefer alternative methods. While it is unlikely that one strategy will reign supreme, we can be fairly sure that there will be a few top recommended strategies. We should see an increase in their strengths and a corresponding reduction in weaknesses as overall efficiency and effectiveness are improved.

  1. Technology will somehow be integrated into classroom management and discipline.

It probably comes as no surprise that there will be more of an integration of technology within the classroom, in part as a management approach but perhaps also as a discipline approach. Teachers may well find means of applying technology. Whether it is some sort of integrated system used via a system like the iPad (with more and more public school classrooms enjoying access to this type of technology) or some online database for monitoring student behavior in class will depend on the circumstances. Teachers will have increased scope to experiment, very likely knowing ten or fifteen years down the line precisely which of these various resource types is likely to be the most effective.

  1. Children will become more independent, self-reliant, and self-regulating.

With a bit of luck, although this trend is less certain, teachers may well also see a greater transfer of learning responsibility to the child. This is one of those advantages that comes with the integration of technology to the classroom. Technology increases the scope for independent activity among children. In many other areas of school life (for instance, library use and general self-care areas), children are already encouraged to take a lead, to the effect that they learn relevant skills faster and that much more effectively. Very likely, teachers will have means of encouraging students to be more independent in their discipline – in their self-discipline –and, depending on the way in which curriculum and standards develop, perhaps also in terms of how they go about learning within the classroom, moving from task to task and perhaps even having independence in their learning choices.

One thing is for sure though — we can expend change to classroom management and discipline strategies in public education classrooms. We may not have the full story yet on what is likely to happen five to ten years down the road, but we have some signs of change, some definite evidence of the types of shifts. How exactly these individual shifts play out? Only time will tell.

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