Should Classroom Management Be Its Own Ed School Course?

1. The public believes the #1 serious issue in schools is discipline. (See Question 4). 2. One of the larger studies about teachers ever done, the MET study by Tom Kane of Gates Foundation, correlated student perceptions with what kids ultimately learned (as measured by tests). What was the the #1 perception linked to student gains (page 34)?

Students in this class treat the teacher with respect.

The top negative correlation?

Student behavior in this class is a problem.

3. Teach For America ran some regressions a few years ago on their in-house data ("Significant Gains.") What best predicted student gains when comparing one TFA teacher to another? If I recall correctly, disciplined classroom.*

4. The most-purchased book by teachers about pedagogy focuses on...classroom management.

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And yet.

Few Ed Schools offer a course on classroom management. More typically it's covered in a required "Teaching Methods" class, which also covers other topics. See here, for example. Frequently covered in 2 to 6 weeks, or 6 to 18 hours.

Let's say typical masters in teaching = 8 courses * 15 weeks per course * 3 hours per week = 360 hours of instruction. That would mean that this make-or-break topic is allocated less than 5% of course hours.

That's a very thin slice of the pie. Is that the correct dosage?

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*Interestingly, back then TFA coaches tended to attribute classroom discipline levels to lesson plan quality -- as in, if you have a good plan, kids will behave and try hard.

Certainly helpful! But insufficient. More recently, It seems like TFA has been shifting more to a view that "presence", combined with proactive and reactive "teacher moves" (like narrating the positive), is key to achieving a focused classroom (even if you have a good lesson plan). I predict this will help their corps members, particularly rookies.