EDU 454: PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
UNIT 7: CLASSROOM ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT
At the end of this unit, students should be able to:
Explain the importance of classroom organization and management
Identify the types of classroom settings
Elaborate on effective strategies for classroom management
State ways to develop positive teacher-student relationships
Identify guidelines for designing and implementing effective class rules and procedures
Are you satisfied with the learning environment in your classroom?
What kind of relationship do you have with your students?
Do you struggle to deliver your lesson because of your students’ behavior?
How do you keep the classroom under control?
Have you set any classroom rules?
Visualizing the Unit
Definition of Classroom Management
Generally, classroom management encompasses the methods or ways in which a teacher is able to
create a favorable environment for learning. Ideally, this would be a classroom where students are
mostly engaged in on-task behaviours instead of off-task behaviours.
In other words, a well-managed classroom is one that encourages learning among its students.
Evertson, Emmer & Worsham (2003) note that part of any teacher’s duties is to create a classroom in
which students are engaged in worthwhile activities that support their learning. Lemlech (1979 as cited
in Robiah, 1994) defines classroom management as the ‘orchestration of classroom life: planning
curriculum, organizing procedures and resources, arranging the environment to maximize efficiency,
monitoring student progress and anticipating potential problems’. Thus, being a good classroom
manager is by no means an easy task yet it is an essential skill that needs to be honed in every teacher.
Views on Learning
How we approach classroom management may vary depending upon the views or beliefs that we hold
about the nature of learning. Indeed, as observed by Evertson, Emmer & Worsham (2003), teachers are
able to manage a classroom well when they have a clear idea of what classroom conditions and
behaviours are necessary to create a conducive learning environment.
In the past, when learning was largely viewed as being teacher-centred, discipline was often enforced
as a means of controlling the class to ensure that students were “well-behaved” and thus, able to pay
attention to the teachers’ delivery of the lesson. Thus teachers were constantly preoccupied with
exerting their authority in class. This is perhaps not surprising because the traditional approach meant
that little student participation was required in class since teachers were the main focus.
In recent times, more people have adopted a student-centred view towards learning. This view
emphasizes the teacher’s role as a facilitator in the classroom. The focus in learning has shifted from
the teacher to the learners and as such, they must be given some freedom to take charge of their own
learning. As a result, approaches to classroom management are less punitive and teachers encourage
students to be more interactive and participative in class.
Proactive and Reactive Approaches
In addition, Cruickshank et al. (2006) discusses the reactive and proactive approach to managing
classrooms. The reactive approach is ineffective. Reactive teachers do not anticipate what will happen
in class and therefore do not plan ahead. They are ineffective classroom managers because they wait
until problems occur and then decide how to react or cope with the situation. This can cause anger and
frustration among teachers when they are not prepared to deal with a certain situation.
On the other hand, the proactive approach makes for a more effective classroom manager as it entails
teachers anticipating any problems that may occur during a lesson. By being proactive, teachers plan
ahead and take necessary measures to avoid unwanted situations from happening in class. Also, by
thinking ahead, proactive teachers are able to plan effective solutions should something unwanted
happens during their lesson. Thus, by managing expectations and planning their lessons proactively,
these teachers will be more ready and capable of handling their students in class besides helping to
avoid unnecessary emotional stress among teachers.
Goals of Classroom Management
Below are some main goals of classroom management (Santrock, 2011):
1. Help students spend more time on goal-directed behaviour (learning) and less time on non-goaldirected activity
Since class time is limited, teachers should ensure that students are engaged in learning as much
of the time as possible. Some learning time is already taken up with things like taking attendance,
informing the students to take out their textbooks, paper or pencils etc.
2. Prevent students from developing problems
This includes prevention of academic as well as emotional problems.
3. Managing Instruction
Teachers not only manage student behaviours but also instruction. A well-behaved class eases
instruction and also vice versa. If instruction is well-planned, students will be more engaged in the
material and this would lead to a better organized classroom.
The Nature of Classrooms
The classroom may be viewed as mini societies with their own culture, climate, values and social
dynamics. Teachers need to be ‘clued-in’ about the realities of the classroom so that they are able to
manage their expectations and are able to decide what methods work best for managing a particular
class. Several characteristics of classrooms are as follows (Doyle, 1986, 2006 as cited in Santrock,
1. Classrooms are multidimensional
Many activities take place in a classroom such as students doing academic-related work and
communicating or even getting into arguments with their classmates. Teachers could better facilitate
and monitor these events by keeping records and ensuring students stick to a schedule.
2. Activities occur simultaneously
Many things happen at the same time in a classroom that includes on-task behaviours and off-task
behaviours. There are bound to be things that teachers will miss and many more that teachers will
3. Things happen quickly
Teachers should be ready to think on their feet because events can happen rapidly and often
require an immediate response such as if someone were bullying a classmate or a student suddenly
cries. These are situations that require a teacher’s immediate attention and action.
4. Events are often unpredictable
For all that one has planned, there is still a possibility that events you never would have expected to
happen suddenly occurs.
5. There is little privacy
The classroom is a public space and the actions of the teacher and behaviour of students are
observable among members of the classroom.
6. Classrooms have histories
Some of the things that happened earlier in the classroom may have a lasting impact on students’
memories. For example, they could remember how the teacher did something or how the teacher
reacted to certain situations. Therefore, setting the right example and laying a good foundation early
on is important for effective classroom management.
Characteristics of a Good Classroom Manager
Effective classroom managers do the following (Santrock, 2011; Charles & Senter, 2008; Robiah, 1994):
1. Practice good communication skills
How teachers communicate to students will leave an impression about the personality of the
teacher and influence students’ interaction with the teacher. A teacher who is firm but warm and
approachable will naturally invite more open communication and interaction with students compared
to a harsh and rigid teacher.
Try using “I” messages instead of “you” messages when communicating to students. For example, if
you are displeased with a student for coming late to class, tell him or her “I was worried about
you….what happened?”, instead of “Why are you late?”. Students tend to become defensive if they
feel they are being attacked (i.e. if teachers constantly use ‘you” messages).
Also, pay attention to non-verbal communication. Teachers should observe personal and public
space boundaries, be aware of their facial expressions, be cautious about touching students
(particularly students from the opposite sex) and use silence when necessary.
Being an active listener is also part of being a good communicator. It involves paying attention to
both the intellectual and emotional content of the message.
2. Show how they are “with it”
The “withitness” concept was termed by Kounin (1970). It refers to the idea of knowing or being
aware of what is going on in class and in a way that is evident to students. These teachers monitor
students’ behaviour closely and regularly and reacts appropriately thus sending the message to
students that they should behave themselves.
3. Cope effectively with overlapping situations
Also an idea from Kounin (1970), it refers to the ability to deal with at least two issues at the same
time. For example, a teacher is successful at overlapping if he or she is able to address a problem
at one end of the class but still manages to maintain order amongst the unaffected students (i.e. the
rest of the class).
4. Maintain smoothness and continuity in lessons
This implies that teachers should keep their students focused on the lesson as much of the time as
possible, so that they become less easily distracted.
5. Encourage students in a variety of challenging activities
Teachers should also encourage students to engage in a number of challenging but not overly
Starting Off Right
Being prepared for class, especially the first meeting, is important as it sets the tone for the rest of the
semester. Teachers will need to spend some amount of time beforehand planning and preparing
materials and lesson plans so that the first day of school goes on as smoothly as possible. Some
students, too, get jittery, nervous or over-excited on the first day and a well-prepared teacher can help to
put students at ease. Here is a list of things teachers may want to consider (Evertson, Emmer &
Being a good role model by demonstrating desired behaviours
Greeting students and getting acquainted
Discussing with them the classroom rules and procedures
Getting on with administrative tasks such as collecting personal information or distributing materials
Being prepared for special problems such as late addition of students to your class, extra
paperwork, students crying or accommodating a student with disabilities
Robiah (1994) listed 5 main duties that teachers are expected to perform regularly:
Recording students’ attendance
Maintain record of students’ personal information
Keep record of students’ academic progress
Complete students’ report card
Keep record of students’ non-academic performance (co-curricular activities)
The classroom can be thought of not only as a physical space where learning happens but also as a
place where students’ psychosocial development takes place.
The physical outlook and setting of a classroom sets the tone for learning. It has the potential to either
facilitate learning or disrupt the flow of learning and learning activities taking place in the classroom. The
following are several aspects of the physical environment that teachers should consider (Charles &
Senter, 2008; Evertson, Emmer & Worsham, 2003):
1. Wall space
The wall space in a classroom is a canvas for creating a cheerful, warm and inviting learning
environment. In fact, when students are involved in the decorating of their classroom or when they
have their names up on the bulletin board, this helps to create a sense of ownership and belonging
to the class.
Some possible uses of wall space are as bulletin boards, a place to display class rules, class duty
roster, calendar, names of class members, maps, content-related material such as vocabulary
words and even motivational quotes.
2. Floor space
There are various seating arrangements, each serving a different purpose or facilitating a specific
activity. In primary school, especially for lower primary students, the emphasis should be less on the
teacher and more on facilitating their socio-emotional development and facilitating their learning. On
this note, the classroom seating arrangement will impact the type of interaction that is expected and
allowed among students. For example, sitting in twos while facing the teacher promotes pair work
but is still teacher-centred whereas tables grouped in 6 or 8 promote group interaction and learning.
An example of elementary classroom seating:
Principles of Classroom Arrangement
Some general principles for classroom arrangement are as follows (Evertson, Emmer & Worsham,
1. Reduce congestion in high-traffic areas
Busy areas in the class are usually those commonly shared by students such as group work areas,
students’ desks, the teachers’ desk and storage areas. Try arranging these areas far apart from
each other to avoid distraction and disruption in the class.
2. Ensure students can be easily seen by the teacher
This should be observed so that teachers are able to closely monitor student activity.
3. Keep often-used teaching materials and student supplies readily accessible
This is to minimize the disruption of lesson flow.
4. Ensure students can easily see whole-class presentations
This is to ensure students get a good view of any presentation from where they are seating without
having to move their chairs about or strain their necks.
Santrock (2011) lists three guidelines that could help to maintain a positive psychosocial environment in
1. Develop positive relationship with students
2. Get students to share and assume responsibility
3. Reward appropriate behaviour
Classroom Rules: Some Guidelines
Rules and procedures are necessary for any classroom. They serve as a clear guide for teachers and
students on how to conduct themselves in class so that learning can take place. Classroom rules and
procedures should outline what is expected of its members, what is acceptable or not acceptable and
the reasons for it. The following are several guidelines on writing class rules and procedures (Weinstein,
2007 as cited in Santrock, 2011), whereby rules and procedures should:
Be reasonable and necessary
Be clear and comprehensible
Be consistent with instructional and learning goals
Be consistent with school rules
Be based upon the input of students, where necessary
When discussing classroom rules with students, teachers should keep in mind the following (Evertson,
Emmer & Worsham, 2003):
Emphasize the positive parts of the rules rather than the negative parts.
Be explicit about what behaviours are not allowed
Give concrete examples when necessary (through role-play etc.)
Explain any terms that students do not understand
Strategies for Managing Problem Behaviour
Teachers encounter a myriad of behaviour problems in class, some more severe than others. From
minor disruptions in class such as talking while the teacher is teaching, daydreaming to bullying and
even fighting, teachers need to know how to address each situation. Evertson, Emmer & Worsham
(2003) classify types of misbehaviors into three categories and suggest interventions for each:
Non-problems such as students daydreaming, chatting or short periods of inattention do not cause
much disruption to the class and therefore usually does not require intervention.
Minor problems such as passing around notes, calling out friends’ names, leaving seats without
permission or doing unrelated work during class time are relatively minor problems but can undermine
the management of the class if they are left unattended and it persist for an extended period of time.
Some minor interventions recommended:
Use nonverbal cues
Keep activity moving
Provide needed instruction
Move closer to students
Redirect the behavior
Be direct and assertive
Give student a choice
Moderate to major interventions may be required for dealing with students who constantly avoid doing
work, students who engage in disruptive behaviours or those who frequently break class rules and
refuse s to cooperate with the teacher.
Withhold privileges or desired activities
Isolate or remove students
Impose a penalty or detention
Use Reality Therapy Model
The following strategies are influenced by behaviorist theory:
TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE!
Create your own set of rules for your classroom, keeping in mind the guidelines you have learned. Put it
up in your classroom as a visible reminder for you and your students. To do this, begin by listing the
classroom rules you think are important and necessary. Not sure where to start? There are plenty of
examples of typical classroom rules available on the web and also ready-made templates that you could
use. You can be as creative and original as you like or you could even get your students involved in the
Here are a few examples:
Hormati orang lain
Beri perhatian kepada guru
Dilarang makan di dalam kelas
Hormati orang lain
Beri perhatian kepada guru
Saya TIDAK AKAN...
Makan di dalam kelas
TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE!
Identifying specific problems that you would like to rectify in the classroom can facilitate in finding
suitable solutions. Try making a list of problems related to classroom management in your classroom.
Next, try to identify strategies which you have learned that could be used to reduce these problems and
achieve an ideal learning environment.
Strategies to improve/maintain this are...
Things I like about the class...
Things I don’t like about the class...
1. Charles, C.M. & Senter, G.W. 2002. Elementary Classroom Management, 6th ed., Boston:
Allyn and Bacon.
2. Evertson, C. M., Emmer, E. T., & Worsham, M. E. (2003) Classroom management for elementary
teachers, 6th ed. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
3. Santrock, J.W. (2011). Educational Psychology, 5th ed., NY: McGraw-Hill International.
4. Robiah Sidin (1993). Classroom management. Kuala Lumpur: Fajar Bakti
EDU 454: PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
UNIT 8: ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION
At the end of this unit, students should be able to:
1. State what is meant by curriculum evaluation
2. Identify the reasons for curriculum evaluation
3. Briefly describe the types of curriculum evaluation
4. Explain the CIPP Model of curriculum evaluation
Do you think the current curriculum is effective in achieving its intended aims
What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses in the current curriculum?
Are you aware of the methods or models used to evaluate a curriculum?
Visualizing the Unit
CIPP as a curriculum
Curriculum evaluation is the process of gathering relevant data on a programme to determine whether
the intended goals and aims of the programme have been achieved or to what extent have they been
achieved. Generally, curriculum evaluation involves the following:
• Making judgments about the desirability of certain changes in students, and
• Using information gathered to change the method of teaching and the curriculum
Several other definitions are as follows:
• Tyler (1950):
The process of determining to what extent educational objectives are being attained
Borg & Gall (1983):
The process of making judgments about the merit, value or worth of educational programme,
projects, materials and techniques
Smith & Glass (1987):
The process of establishing value judgments based on evidence about a program or product
Stufflebeam et al. (1971):
The process of delineating, obtaining and providing useful info for judging decision alternatives
The comparison of performance to some standards to determine whether discrepancies exist
Reasons for Curriculum Evaluation
Evaluation is a part of the curriculum development process. It enables curriculum makers to review and
modifying existing curriculum so that it caters the current and future needs. Therefore, the curriculum
should be continuously reviewed to maintain:
Several questions should be asked:
• Is the program (curriculum) meeting existing or expected needs?
• Does the program contain extraneous and outdated materials?
• Are the students able to perform adequately once they complete the program?
According to Wentling (1980), evaluation must do more than just analyse the extent to which a program
had adhered to an original plan or attained its primary goals and objectives. Besides that, it should:
• go beyond the assessment of student behavior
• include the overall effect on students, teachers and society
The task of evaluating the curriculum involves a complex process, hence a comprehensive evaluation
framework or model is necessary to achieve a systematic, effective and efficient evaluation.
Types of Evaluation
There are two types of evaluation as described by Scriven (1967 as cited in Clark, 2010), which are
formative and summative evaluation:
When one makes a judgement about the value or effectiveness of a program while the program is still
running or on-going, it is referred to as formative evaluation. It focuses on process rather than product.
This is because improvements to rectify any deficiencies can be made to the program while it is still
running. This allows instructors and students to monitor how well the instructional goals and aims are
being met. In other words, one does not have to wait until the end of the program to benefit from or act
upon any feedback received at any point throughout the duration of the program. Formative evaluation
is also referred to as internal evaluation as it mostly involves (done by) teachers and internal staff.
In contrast, summative evaluation is when one formulates a judgement of a program in terms of its value
or effectiveness, after a program has ended (i.e. at the end of the program). Therefore, it focuses on the
product (outcome) rather than the process. For this reason too, summative evaluation is also referred to
as external evaluation because it is concerned with the issue of accountability and typically involves
parties outside of the institution which includes stakeholders and policy makers.
CIPP as a Model for Curriculum Evaluation
Stufflebeam (1983) proposed the CIPP model of curriculum evaluation, as illustrated below:
According to McLemore (2009), the CIPP Model is a comprehensive framework for guiding formative
and summative evaluations of projects, programs, personnel, products, institutions, and systems. This
model attempts to make evaluation directly relevant to the needs of decision-making during the different
phases and activities of a program.
Thus, this model is centred on making a decision about a programme. The following should be observed
by evaluators in order to make an accurate evaluation (The Learning Domain, 2012):
• clearly describe what is supposed to be evaluated and determine what information that
has to be collected
• collect the necessary information using appropriate techniques and methods (such as
interview teachers, collect test scores of students)
• provide or make available the information (in the form of tables, graphs) to interested
Hence, in order to decide whether to maintain, modify or eliminate the new curriculum or programme,
information is obtained by conducting the following 4 types of evaluation: context, input, process and
product as follows:
• Involves studying the environment of the program
• Conduct “situational analysis” – an assessment of reality regarding what participants would like
to do or know
• Should be a process that serves to provide information regarding how the system operates and
• Designed to provide information and determine how to utilize resources to meet program goals
• Input evaluators assess school’s capabilities to carry out the task of evaluation
• Also evaluates specific aspect of curriculum plan or specific components of the curriculum plan
• What are the questions that input evaluators tend to ask?
• Address curriculum implementation decisions that control and manage the program
• To determine congruency between what is planned and what (activities) were carried out
• Include three strategies:
o Detect or predict defects in procedural design/its implementation stage
o Provide information for decisions
o Maintain a record of procedures as they occur
• Gather data to determine whether final curriculum product now in use is accomplishing what
they had hoped
• Provide info that will determine whether to continue, terminate or modify the new curriculum
TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE!
Try evaluating a program or subject in your school by completing the CIPP Evaluation Model Checklist
(Stufflebeam, 2007) at http://www.wmich.edu/evalctr/archive_checklists/cippchecklist_mar07.pdf
Clark, D. R. (2010). Types of Evaluations in Instructional Design. From:
2. The Learning Domain (2012). Module 8: Curriculum evaluation. From: