Creating learning environment

12,390 views

Published on

How to create an environment conducive to learning by Jeanne Ellis Ormrod

Published in: Education
0 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
12,390
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
6
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
188
Comments
0
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Creating learning environment

  1. 1. EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT COMPILED BY : 1. Abdul R. Tambunan IDN: 410331200 2. Maria Priscillya Pasaribu IDN: 4103312018 BILINGUAL MATHEMATICS 2010 STATE UNIVERSITY OF MEDAN
  2. 2. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT i PREFACE Praise the author prayed the presence of GodAlmighty for His grace, so the writer can complete the preparation of papers entitled “Creating Learning Environment”. Writing this paper is a task of Educational Psychology course. In writing this paper, the author feel there are still many shortcomings, lacked both technical writing and the material, remember the capability of the author. In writing this paper the author would like to thank to our Educational Psychology lecturer and all my friends in completing this paper. Hopefully this paper can provide greater insight to the reader. This has excess and weakness, advice and criticism is very helpful for author. Thank you. Medan, May15th , 2013 Author
  3. 3. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ii CONTENT Preface ..................................................................................................................................................i Content..................................................................................................................................................ii Discussion.............................................................................................................................................1 Case Study: A Contagious Situation.....................................................................................................1 1. Creating an Environment Conducive to Learning ...................................................................2 1.1.Arranging the Classroom...................................................................................................3 1.1.1. Minimizing Distraction ........................................................................................3 1.1.2. Facilitating Teacher-Student Interaction..............................................................4 1.1.3. Surveying the Entire Class ...................................................................................4 1.2.Creating an Effective Classroom Climate .........................................................................4 1.2.1. Showing Acceptance, Respect, and Caring..........................................................4 1.2.2. Establishing a Bussinesslike, Nonthreatening Atmosphere .................................5 1.2.3. Communicating Messages About School Subject Matter....................................5 1.2.4. Giving Students a Sense of Control .....................................................................6 1.2.5. Creating a Sense of Community...........................................................................6 1.3.Setting Limits ....................................................................................................................7 1.3.1. Establishing Initial Rules and Procedures............................................................7 1.3.2. Presenting Rules and Procedures as Information.................................................8 1.3.3. Reviewing Existing Rules and Procedures...........................................................8 1.3.4. Acknowledging Students’ Feelings......................................................................9 1.4.Planning Activities That Keep Students on Task..............................................................9 1.4.1. Keeping Students Busy and Engaged...................................................................9 1.4.2. Choosing Tasks at an Appropriate Level .............................................................10 1.4.3. Providing Structure ..............................................................................................10 1.4.4. Planning for Transitions.......................................................................................10 1.5.Monitoring What Students Are Doing ..............................................................................11 1.6.Modifying Instructional Strategies....................................................................................11 2. Dealing with Misbehaviors......................................................................................................12 3. Taking Students Diversity into Account..................................................................................13 3.1.Creating a Supportive Climate ..........................................................................................13 3.2.Defining and Responding to Misbehaviors .......................................................................14 3.3.Accomodating Students with Special Needs.....................................................................14 4. Coordinating Efforts with Others.............................................................................................16 4.1.Working with Other Teachers ...........................................................................................16 4.2.Working with the Community at Large.............................................................................16 4.3.Working with Parents........................................................................................................16 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................19 References.............................................................................................................................................20
  4. 4. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 1 DISCUSSION Think back your elementary and secondary school years. In which teachers’ classrooms were you more likely to work hard and stay on task? In which teachers’ classrooms were you more likely to misbehave? What strategies did the more effective teachers use to help you be productive? Effective teachers not only choose instructional strategies that promote effective learning and cognitive processing, but they also create an environment that keeps students busily engaged in classroom activities. In this chapter we will consider how we can plan and create a classroom environment conducive to students’ learning and achievement. In particular, we will address the following questions: How can we create a classroom environment that promotes student learning and minimizes off-task behavior? How can we effectively deal with the misbehaviors that do occur? What strategies are especially helpful when we have students from diverse backgrounds? How can we coordinate our efforts with other teachers, community agencies, and students’ parents? CASE STUDY: A Contagious Situation Ms. Cornell received her teaching certificate in May; soon after, she accepted a position as a fifth- grade teacher at Twin Pines Elementary School. She spent the summer planning her classroom curriculum: she identified the objectives she wanted her students to accomplish during the year and developed numerous activities to help them meet those objectives. She now feels well prepared for her first year in the classroom. After the long, hot summer, most of Ms. Cornell’s students seem happy to be back at school. So on the very first day of school, Ms. Cornell jumps headlong into the curriculum she has planned. But three problems quickly present themselves, problems in the form of Eli, Jake, and Vanessa. These three students seem determined to disrupt the class at every possible opportunity. They move about the room without permission, making a point of annoying others as they walk to the pencil sharpener or wastebasket. They talk out of turn, sometimes being rude and disrespectful to their teachers and classmates and at other times belittling classroom activities that Ms. Cornell has so carefully planned. They rarely complete their in-class assignments, preferring instead to engage in horseplay and or practical jokes. They seem particularly prone to misbehavior at “down” times in the class schedule, for example, at the beginning and end of the school day, before and after recess and lunch, and on occasions when Ms. Cornell is preoccupied with other students. Ms. Cornell continuous to follow her daily lesson plans, ignoring her problem students and hoping they will begin to see the error of their ways. Yet, with the three of them egging one another on, the disruptive behavior continuous. Furthermore, it begins to spread to other students. By the middle of October, Ms. Cornell’s class is a three-ring circus, with general chaos reigning in the classroom and instructional objectives rarely being accomplished. The few students who still seem intent on learning something are having a difficult time doing so.
  5. 5. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 2 1. Creating an Environment Conducive to Learning As a first-year teacher, Ms. Cornell is well prepared in some respects but not at all prepared in others. She has carefully identified her objectives and the activities through which she intends to accomplish those objectives. But she has neglected to think about how she might keep students on task or how she might adjust her lesson plans based on how students are progressing. And she has not considered how she might nip behavior problems in the bud, before such misbehaviors begin to interfere with students’ learning. In the absence of such planning, no curriculum, not even one grounded firmly in principles of learning and development, is likely to promote student achievement. Students learn more effectively in some classroom environments than in others. Consider these four classrooms as examples: Mr. Aragon’s class is calm and orderly. The students are working independently at their seats, and all of them appear to be concentrating on their assigned tasks. Occasionally, students approach Mr. Aragon to seek clarification of an assignment or to get feedback about a task they’ve completed, and he confers quietly with them. Mr. Boitano’s class is chaotic and noisy. A few students are doing their schoolwork, but most are engage in very nonacademic activities. One girl is painting her nails behind a large dictionary propped out on her desk, a boy nearby is picking wads of gum off the underside of his desk, several students are exchanging the latest school gossip, and a group of boys is reenacting the Battle of Waterloo with rubber bands and paper clips. Mr. Cavalini’s classroom is as noisy as Boltano’s. But rather than exchanging gossip or waging war, students are debating ( often loudly and passionately ) about the pros and cons of nuclear energy. After twenty minutes of heated discussion, Cavalini stops them, lists their various arguments on the board, and then explains in simple philosophical terms why there is no easy or “correct” resolution of the issue. Mr. Durocher believes that students learn most effectively when rules for their behavior are clearly spelled out. So he has rules for almost every conceivable occasion, fifty-three rules in all. Following is a small example: Be in your seat before the bell rings Use a ballpoint pen with blue ink for all assignments Used white lined paper with straight edges; do not use paper with loose-leaf holes or spiral notebook “fringe”. Raise your hand if you wish to speak, and then speak only when called upon. Do not ask question unrelated to the topic being studied. Never leave your seat without permission. Durocher punishes each infraction severely enough that students follow the rules to the letter. So his students are a quiet and obedient ( if somewhat anxious ) bunch, but they never seem to learn as much as Durocher knows they are capable of learning. Two of these classrooms are quiet and orderly; the other two are active and noisy. Yet as you can see, the activity and noise levels are not good indicators of how much students are learning. Students are learning both in Mr. Aragon’s classroom and Mr. Cavalini’s rambunctious one. At the same time,
  6. 6. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 3 neither the students in Mr. Boltano’s loud, chaotic battlefield nor those in Mr. Durocher’s peaceful military dictatorship seem to be learning much at all. Effective classroom management, creating and maintaining a classroom environment conducive to learning and achievements, has little to do with noise or activity level. A well-managed classroom is one in which students are consistently engaged in productive learning activities and in which students’ behavior rarely interfere with the achievement of instructional objectives. Creating and maintaining and environment in which students participate eagerly and actively in classroom activities can be a challenging task indeed. After all, we must tend to the unique needs of many different students, we must sometimes coordinate several activities at the same time, and we must often make quick decisions about how to respond to unanticipated events. Furthermore, we must vary our classroom management techniques considerably depending on the particular instructional strategies ( expository, hands-on or interactive ) that we are using. So it is surprising that beginning teachers often mention classroom management as their number one concern. To create and maintain the productive learning environment, effective teachers typically Physically arrange the classroom in a way that facilities teachers-students interaction and keeps distracting influences to a minimum Create a classroom climate in which students have a sense of belonging and an intrinsic motivation to learn Set reasonable limits for students behavior Plan classroom activities that encourage on-task behavior Continually monitor what all students are doing Modify instructional strategies when necessary. In the pages that follow, we will consider specific ways to implement eats of these strategies. 1.1. Arranging The Classroom As we arrange the furniture in the classroom, decide to put various instructional materials and pieces of equipment, and think about its student might sit, we should consider the effects that various arrangements are likely to have on students’ behaviors. Ultimately, we want a situation in which we can: Minimize distractions Interact easily with any student Survey the entire class art any given time 1.1.1. Minimizing Distractions Stuart is more likely to poke a classmate with his pencil if he has to brush past the classmate to get to the pencil sharpener. Marlene is more likely to fiddle with instructional materials art and inappropriate time if they are within easy reach of her desk. David is more likely gossip with a friend if that friend is sitting right beside him. As teachers, we should arrangeour classrooms in ways that minimize the probability that such off-task behaviors will occur. For example, we can establish traffic patterns that allow students to move around the classroom without disturbing one another, keep intriguing materials out of sight and reach until it is time to use them, and situate overly chatty friends on opposites of the room.
  7. 7. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 4 1.1.2. Facilitating Teacher-Students Interactions Ideally, we should arrange desks, tables, and chairs so that we can easily interact and converse with our students. Students seated near us are more likely to pay attention, interact with us, and become actively involved in classrooms activities; hence, we may want to place chronically misbehaving or uninvolved students close at hands. 1.1.3. Surveying The Entire Class As we proceed through various lessons and activities, we should ideally be able to see all of our students. By occasionally surveying the classroom for possible signs of confusion, frustration, or boredom, we can more easily detect minor student difficulties and misbehaviors before they develop into serious problems. 1.2. Creating An Effective Classroom Climate In addition to the classrooms physical environment, we must also consider the psychological environment, or classroom climate, that we create. Ideally, we want a classroom in students make their own learning a high priority and feel free to take the risks and take the mistakes so critical for long-term academic success. To create such a classroom climate, we should: Communicate acceptance of, respect for, and caring about our students as human beings Establish a businesslike, yet nonthreatening, atmosphere Give students some control over classroom activities Create a sense of community among the students 1.2.1. Showing Acceptance, Respect, and Caring Human beings may have a fundamental need to feel socially connected with others. This need for relatedness expresses itself somewhat that differently in different students. Many students have a high need for affiliation: they actively seek out friendly relationships with others. Many also have a high need for approval: they want to gain the acceptance and high regard of those around them. We can help out students meet such needs through our own actions, including the many little things we do daily. For example, we can give students a smile and warm greeting at the beginning of each class day. We can compliment them when they get a new haircut, excel in an extracurricular activity, or receiverecognition in the local newspaper. We can ask them for information or advice about a topic of particular interest to them. We can offer our support when they struggle at challenging classroom tasks and let them know we’re pleased when they eventually succeed at such tasks. We can be good listeners when they come to school angry or upset. And we can show them how we, too, are fallible humanbeings by sharing some of our own concerns, problems, and frustrations. Research is clear on this point: effective teachers are warm, caring individual who, through a variety of statements and actions, communicate a respect for students, an
  8. 8. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 5 acceptance of them as they are, and a genuine concern about their well-being. When students believe that their teachers are genuinely caring and supportive, they have higher self-efficacy, find classroom subject matter more interesting and enjoyable, are more likely to ask for help when they need it, are less likely to cheat on classroom assignments, and achieve at higher levels. 1.2.2. Establishing a Businesslike, Nonthreatening Atmosphere As we have just seen, an important element of effective classroom management is developing positive relationships with our students. At the same time, we must recognize that we and our students alike are in school to get certain things accomplished. Accordingly, we should maintain a relatively businesslike atmosphere in the classroom most of the time. This is not to say that our activities must be boring and tedious; on the contrary, they can often be exciting and engaging. But excitement and entertainment should nit be thought of as goals and of themselves. Rather, they are means to a more important goal achieving instructional objectives. Yet it is important that this businesslike atmosphere is not uncomfortable or threatening. Students who are excessively anxious about their class performance are unlikely to give us their best. We can hold our students accountable for achieving instructional objectives yet not place them feel like failures. And we can admonish them for misbehavior yet not hold grudges against them from one day to the next. 1.2.3. Communicating Messages About School Subject Matter As teacher, we give students message about the value of school subject matter not only in what we say but also in what we do. If we as students to spend hours each day engaged in what seems like meaningless busy work, and if we assess learning primarily through tests that encourage rote memorization, we are indirectly telling students that classroom tasks are merely things that need to be “done.” Furthermore, if we continually focus their attention on performance goal, what their test grades are, how their works compares to that their classmates, and so on, we increase their anxiety about school subject matter and indirectly increase the frequency of disruptive behavior. If, instead, we continually demonstrate how classroom topics relate to the outside world, if we assess learning in ways that require meaningful learning and elaboration, and if we focus on how well each student is improving over time, we show students that the subject matter isn’t just something to be learned for its own sake and create a climate more conducive to learning and productivity. 1.2.4. Giving Students a Sense of Control To make sure our students accomplish instructional goals, we must control the direction of classroom events to some extent. Nevertheless, we can give our students a sense that they, too, control some aspects of classroom life. For example, we can use strategies such as these: Give students advance notice of upcoming activities and assignments (enabling them to plan ahead). Create regular routines for accomplishing assignments (enabling students to complete the assignments successfully with minimal guidance from us). Allow students to set some of their own deadlines for completing assignments (enabling them to establish a reasonable timeframe for themselves). Provide opportunities for students to make choices about how to complete assignments or spend some of their class time (enabling them to set some of their own priorities).
  9. 9. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 6 1.2.5. Creating a Sense of Community In general, however, a competitive classroom environment is often counterproductive when we consider principles of motivation. For one thing, competitive situations focus students’ attention on performance goals rather than mastery goals; hence, students are more likelyto worry about how competent they appear to their teachers and classmates than about how well they understand classroom materials. Second, competition creates a situation in which most students become losers learn in undermined. Finally, when students consistently see others performing more successfully than themselves, they are more likely to attribute their own failures to a lack of ability: They conclude that they simply don’t have what it takes to succeed at classroom tasks. We considered the concept of a community of learners, a classroom in which teacher and students consistently work together to help one another learn. Ultimately, we want to create a sense of community in the classroom, a sense that we and our students have shared goals, are mutually respectful and supportive of one another’s efforts, and believe that everyone makes an important contribution to classroom learning. Theorists have identified several strategies that can help create a sense of classroom community: 1. Make frequent use of interactive and collaborative teaching strategies (class discussions, cooperative learning activities, etc.) 2. Solicit students’ ideas and opinions, and incorporate them into classroom discussions and activities. 3. Create mechanisms through which students can help make the classroom run smoothly and efficiently (e.g., assigning various “helper” roles to students on rotating basis). 4. Emphasize such prosocial values as sharing and cooperation. 5. Provide opportunities for students to help one another (e.g., by asking, “who has a problem that someone else might be able to help you solve?”). 6. Institute a “no exclusion” policy in group activities (e.g., by insisting that any student who wants to be involved in a play activity can be involved) 7. Encourage students to be on the lookout for classmates on the periphery of ongoing activities (perhaps students with disabilities) and encourage them to join in. 8. Work on social skills with those students whose interpersonal behaviors may alienate others. 9. Provide public recognition of students’ contributions to the overall success of the classroom. 10. Convey the general message that all students deserve the respect of their classmates and are important members of the classroom community. When students share a sense of community, they are more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior, stay on task, express enthusiasm about classroom activities, and achieve at high levels. Furthermore, a sense of classroom community is associated with lower rates of emotional distress, disruptive classroom behavior, truancy, violence, drug use, and dropping out.
  10. 10. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 7 1.3. Setting Limits Setting reasonable limits on classroom behavior not only promotes a more productive learning environment but also contributes to students’ socialization by encouraging them to develop behaviors essential for successful participation in the adult world. Experienced educators have offered several suggestions for setting reasonable limits on students’ classroom behavior. More specially, they suggests that we establish a few rules and procedures at the beginning of the year present rules and procedures in an informational rather than controlling manner periodically review the usefulness of existing rules and procedures acknowledge students’ feelings about classroom requirements 1.3.1. Establishing Initial Rules and Procedures The first few days and weeks of the school year are critical ones for establishing classrooms procedures and setting expectations for student behavior. Effective classroom managers establish and communicate certain rules and procedures right from the start. They identify acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. They develop consistent procedures and routines for such things as completing seatwork, asking for help, and turning in assignments. And they have procedures in place for nonroutine events such as school assemblies, field trips, and fire drills. Ideally, our students should understand that rules and procedures are not merely the result of our personal whims but are designed to help the classroom run smoothly and efficiently. One way of promoting such understanding is to include students in decision making about the rules and procedures by which the class will operate. For example, we might solicit students’ suggestions for making sure that unnecessary distractions are kept to a minimum and that everyone has a chance to speak during class discussions. By incorporating students’ ideas and concerns regarding the limits we set, we help students understand the reason for those limits. Once rules and procedures have been formulated, we should communicate them clearly and explicitly, describe the consequences of noncompliance, and enforce them consistently. Taking time to clarify and enforce rules and procedures seems to be especially important in the early elementary grades, when students may not be as familiar with “how things are done” at school. Keep in mind that rules and procedures are easier to remember and therefore easier to follow if they are relatively simple and few in number. Effective classroom managers tend to stress only the most important rules and procedures at the beginning of the school year; they introduce other rules and procedures later on as needed. Also keep in mind that, although some order and predictability are essential for student productivity, too much order may make our classroom a rather boring.
  11. 11. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 8 1.3.2. Presenting Rules and Procedures Presenting classrooms rules and procedures as information Our students are more likely to be intrinsically motivated to follow classroom rules and procedures if we present them as items of information rather than as forms of control. We might say this (information): ... rather than this (control): “You’ll get your independent assignments done more quickly if you get right to work.” “Please be quiet and do your own work.” “As we practice for our fire drill, it is important that we line up quickly and be quiet so that we can hear the instructions we are given and will know what to do.” “When the fire alarm sounds, line up quickly and quietly and then wait for further instructions.” “This assignment is designed to help you develop the writing skills you will need after you graduate. It is unfair to other authors to copy their work word for word, so we will practice putting ideas into our own words and giving credit to authors whose ideas we borrow. Passing off another’s writing and ideas as your own can lead to suspension in college or a lawsuit in the business world.” “Cheating and plagiarism are not acceptable in this classroom.” “it’s important that i can clearly read your writing. If your words are illegible and your cross-outs are confusing, i may not be able to give you as high a grade as you deserve on an assignment.” “Use good penmanship on all assignments and erase any errors carefully and completely. Points will be deducted for sloppy writing.” The above table lists several examples of rules and procedures presented in an informational manner; each of these statements includes the reason for imposing certain guidelines 1.3.3. Reviewing Existing Rules and Procedures As the school year progresses, we may occasionally want to revise the rules and procedures we established earlier. For instance, we may find that rules about when students can and cannot move around the room are overly restrictive or that procedures for turning in homework don’t adequately accommodate students who must sometimes leave class early to attend athletic events. Regularly scheduled class meetings provide one mechanism through which we and our students can periodically review classroom rules and procedures. By providing such opportunities for students to revise classroom policies frequently, we find one more way of giving them a sense of ownership in such policies. Furthermore, perhaps because of the authoritative atmosphere and the conversations about moral dilemmas that student decision making may entail, more advanced levels of moral reasoning may result. 1.3.4. Acknowledging Students’ Feelings There will undoubtedly be times when we must ask our students to do something they would prefer not to do. Rather than pretend that such feelings don’t exist, we are better advised to acknowledge them. For example, we might tell students that we know how difficult
  12. 12. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 9 it can be to sit quietly during an unexpectedly lengthy school assembly or to spend an entire evening on a particular homework assignment. At the same time, we can explain that the behaviors we request of them, though not always intrinsically enjoyable, do, in fact, contribute to the long-term goals they have set for themselves. By acknowledging students’ feelings about tasks they would rather not do yet also pointing out the benefits of performing those tasks, we increase the likelihood that the students will accept the limitations imposed on their behavior. 1.4. Planning Activities That Keep Students on Task Effective teachers plan their lessons ahead of time. Furthermore, they plan activities that not only facilitate students’ learning and cognitive processing but also motivate students to want to learn. For instance, they think about how to make subject matter interesting and incorporate variety into lessons, perhaps by employing colorful audiovisual aids, using novel activities (e.g., small-group discussions, class debates), or moving to a different location (e.g., the media center or school yard). As we plan our upcoming classroom activities, then, we should simultaneously plan specific ways of keeping our students on task. In addition to using the motivational strategies, we should: Be sure students will always be busy and engaged Choose tasks at an appropriate academic level Provide a reasonable amount of structure for activities and assignments Make special plans for transition times in the school day 1.4.1. Keeping Students Busy and Engaged Effective classroom managers make sure that there is a little “empty” time in which nothing is going on. As teachers, we can use numerous strategies to keep our students busy and engaged; as examples, we can: Have something specific for students to do each day, even on the first day of class Have materials organized and equipment set up before class Have activities that ensure all students’ involvement and participation Maintain a brisk pace throughout each lesson (although not so fast that students can’t keep up) Ensure that student comments are relevant and helpful but not excessively long-winded (perhaps by taking any chronic time-monopolizers aside for a private discussion about letting others have a chance to express their thoughts) Spend only short periods of time dealing with individual students during class unless other students are capable of working independently and productively in the meantime Have a system in place that ensures that students who finish an assigned task quickly have something else to do (perhaps writing in a class journal or reading books) 1.4.2. Choosing Tasks at an Appropriate Level Our students are more likely to get involved in their classwork, rather than in off-task behavior, when they have academic tasks and assignments appropriate for their current ability levels. They are apt to misbehave when they are asked to do things that are probably too difficult for them, in other words, when they are incapable of completing assigned tasks
  13. 13. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 10 successfully. Thus, classroom misbehaviors are more often observed in students who have a history of struggling in their coursework. This is not to suggest that we should plan activities so easy that our students are not challenged and learning nothing new in doing them. One workable strategy is to begin the school year with relatively easy tasks that students can readily complete. Such early tasks enable students to practice normal classroom routines and procedures; they also give students a sense that they can enjoy and be successful in classroom activities. Once a supportive classroom climate has been established and students are comfortable with classroom procedures, we can graduallyintroduce more difficult and challenging assignments. We might take a similar approach when introducing new instructional strategies; for instance, when we first ask students to engage in cooperative activities, we might have them work with relatively familiar content so that they can focus on mastering effective group interaction skills (asking for help, giving explanations, etc.) without being distracted by difficult subject matter. 1.4.3. Providing Structure The concept of scaffolding is helpful in this context: We can provide a great deal of structure for tasks early in the school year, gradually removing that structure as students become better able to structure tasks for themselves. For example, when introducing students to cooperative learning, we might structure initial group meetings by breaking down each group task into several subtasks, giving clear directions as to how each subtask should be carried out, and assigning every group member a particular role to serve in the group. As the school year progresses and students become more adept at learning cooperatively with their classmates, we gradually can become less directive about how group tasks are accomplished. 1.4.4. Planning for Transitions How might we plan for the various transitions that occur throughout the school day? Here are some examples: A physical education teacher has students begin each class session with five minutes of stretching exercises. An elementary school teacher has students follow the same procedure each day as lunch time approaches. Students must (1) place completed assignments in a basket on the teacher’s desk, (2) put away classroom supplies (e.g., pencils, paint, scissors) they have been using, (3) get their lunch boxes from the coatroom, and (4) line up quietly by the classroom door. A middle school mathematics teacher has students copy the new homework assignment as soon as they come to class. A junior high school history teacher has formed long-term cooperative learning groups (base groups) of three or four students each. The groups are given a few minutes at the end of each class to compare notes on material presented that day and get a head start on the evening’s reading assignment. A high school English composition teacher writes a topic or question (e.g., “My biggest pet peeve,” “Whatever happened to hula hoops?”) on the chalkboard at the beginning of each class period. Students know that when they come to class, they should immediately take out pencil and paper and begin to write on the topic or question of the day. All of these strategies, through very different in nature, share the common goal of keeping students focused on their schoolwork.
  14. 14. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 11 1.5. Monitoring What Students Are Doing Effective teachers communicate something called withitness: they know (and their students know that they know) what students are doing at all times in the classroom. In a sense, “with-it” teachers act as if they have eyes in the back of their heads. They make it clear that they are aware of what everyone is doing. They regularly scan the classroom and make frequent eye contact with individual students. They know what misbehaviors are occurring when those misbehaviors occur, and they know who the perpetrators are. Consider the following scenario as an example: An hour and a half of each morning in Mr. Renaker’s elementary school classroom is devoted to reading. Students know that, for part of this time, they will meet with Mr. Renaker in their small reading groups. They spend the remainder of the time working on independent assignments tailored to their individual reading skills. As Mr. Renaker works with each reading group in one corner of the classroom, he situates himself with his back to the wall so that he can simultaneously keep one eye on students working independently at their seats. He sends a quick and subtle signal, perhaps a stern expression, a finger to the lips, or a call of a student’s name, to any student who begins to be disruptive. When we demonstrate such whititness, especially at the beginning of the school year, our students are more likely to stay on task and display appropriate classroom behavior. 1.6. Modifying Instructional Strategies As we have repeatedly seen, principles of effective classroom management go hand in hand with principles of learning and motivation. When our students are learning and achieving successfully and when they clearly want to pursue the curriculum that the classrooms offers, they are likely to be busily engaged in productive classroom activities for the most of the school day. In contrast, when they have difficulty understanding classroom subject matter or when they have little interest in learning it, they are likely to exhibit the nonproductive or even counterproductive classrooms behaviors that result from frustration or boredom. Research tells us that when students misbehave, beginning teacher often think about what the students are doing wrong. In contrast, experienced, “expert” teachers are more apt to think about what they themselves can do differently to keep students on task, and they modify their plans accordingly. So when behavior problems crop up , we should start thinking as the experts do, by considering question such as the following: How can I alter instructional strategies to capture students’ interest and excitement? Are instructional materials so difficult that students are becoming frustrated? Or are they so easy that students are bored? What are students really concerned about? For example, are they more concerned about interacting with their classmates than in gaining new knowledge and skills? How can I address students’ motives and goals (e.g., their desire to affiliate with classmates) while simultaneously helping them achieve classrooms objectives? Answering such questions helps us focus our efforts on our ultimate goal: to help students learn. Occasionally, current events on the international, national, or local scene (e.g., a terrorist attack, a president’s impeachment trial, or a tragic car accident involving fellow students) may take priority. When students’ minds are justifiably preoccupied with something other than the topic of instruction, they will have difficulty paying attention to that preplanned topic and arelikely to learn little about it. In such extenuating circumstances, we may want to abandon our lesson plans altogether.
  15. 15. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 12 Despite our best efforts, students may sometimes behave in ways that disrupt classroom activities and interfere with student learning. Effective teachers not only plan and structure a classroom that minimizes potential behavior problems but they also deal with the misbehaviors that do occur. 2. Dealing with Misbehaviors For purposes of our discussion, we will define a misbehavior as any action that can potentially disrupt classroom learning and planned classroom activities. Some classroom misbehaviors are relatively minor ones that have little long-term impact on students’ achievement. Such behaviors as talking out of turn, writing notes to classmates during a lecture, and submitting homework assignments after they due date generally fall in this category. Other misbehaviors are far more serious, in that they definitely interfere with the learning and achievement of one or more students. For example, when students scream at their teachers, hit their classmates, or habitually refuse to participate in classroom activities, then classroom learning may be adversely affected. Furthermore, such behaviors may, in some cases, threaten the physical safety or psychological well-being of others in the classroom. As teachers, we need to plan ahead about how to respond to the variety of misbehaviors wee may see in the classroom. As we do so, we must keep in mind that different strategies may be appropriate under different circumstances. In the following pages we will consider six general strategies and the situations in which each is likely to be appropriate: Six Strategies for Dealing with Student Misbehavior STRATEGY SITUATIONS IN WHICH IT’S APPROPRIATE POSSIBLE EXAMPLES Ignoring the behavior The misbehavior is unlikely to be repeated. The misbehavior is unlikely to spread to other students. Unusual circumstances elicit the misbehavior temporarily. The misbehavior does not seriously interfere with learning. One student surreptitiously passes a note to another student just before the end of class A student accidentally drops her books, startling other students and temporarily distracting them from their work. An entire class is hyperactive on the last afternoon before spring break Cueing the students The misbehavior is a minor infraction yet interferes with students’ learning. The behavior is likely to change with a subtle reminder. A students forgets forget to close his notebook at the beginning of a test A cooperative learning group is talking unnecessarily loudly Several students are exchanging jokes during an independent seatwork assignment. Discussing the problem privately with the student Cueing has been ineffective in changing the behavior. The reasons for the misbehavior, if made clear, might suggest possible A students is frequently late to class A student refuses to do certain kinds of assignments.
  16. 16. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 13 strategies for reducing it. A student shows a sudden drop in motivation for no apparent reason. Promoting self- regulation The student has a strong desire to improve his or her behavior. A student doesn’t realize how frequently she interupts her classmates. A student seeks help in learning to control his anger. A student wants to develop more regular study habits. Using behaviorist techniques The misbehavior has continued over a period of time and significantly interferes with student learning. The student seems unwilling or unable to use self-regulation techniques. A student has unusual difficulty sitting still for reasonable periods of time. A student’s obscene remarks continue even though her teacher has spoken with her about the behavior on several occasions. A member of the football team displays unsportsmanlike conduct that is potentially dangerous to other players. Conferring with parents The source of the problem may lie outside school walls. Parents are likely to work collaboratively with school personnel to bring about a behavior change. A student does well in class but rarely turns in required homework assignments. A student is caught stealing, vandalizing school property, or engaging in other unethical or illegal behavior. A student falls asleep in class almost every day. 3. Taking Student Diversity into Account As we plan for a productive classroom environment, we must always take the diverse characteristics and needs of our students into account. 3.1. Creating a Supportive Climate Such a warm and supportive classroom atmosphere may be especially important for students from ethnic minority group. When working with students from lower-socioeconomic, inner- city backgrounds, we should also take special pains to create a classroom that feels safe and orderly. A classroom that is dependable and predictable can provide a sense of self- determination that students may not be able to find anywhere else; hence, it can be a place to which they look forward to coming each day. 3.2. Defining and Responding to Misbehaviors As we determine which behaviors to define as misbehaviors in our classrooms, we must remember that some behaviors considered unacceptable in one culture may be quite acceptable in another culture. We must be patient and understanding as we help students acquire behaviors that are more conductive to academic productivity. 3.3. Accommodating students with Special Needs
  17. 17. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 14 As we create a classroom environment that promotes student learning, we must take into account any special educational needs of our students. In general, an orderly classroom-one in which procedures for performing certain tasks are specified, expectations for student behavior are clear, and misbehavior are treated consistently – makes it easier for students with special needs to adapt comfortably to a general education setting. When students have a history of behavior problems, we may need to provide a great deal of guidance and support to help them develop productive classroom behavior. Furthermore, many students with special needs may need explicit feedback about their classroom performance. Similarly, when student display inappropriate behavior, we should tell them exactly what they have done wrong. Planning for Students with Special Educational Needs Category Characteristics You Might Observe Suggested Classroom Strategies Students with specific cognitive or academic difficulties. - Difficulty staying on task - Misbehaviors such as hyperactivity, impulsiveness, disruptiveness, inattentiveness (in some students) - Poor time management skill and/or a disorganized approach to accomplishing tasks (in some students) - Closely monitor students during independent assignments - Make sure students understand their assignments; if appropriate, give them extra time to complete the assignments. - Make expectations for behavior clear, and enforce classroom rules consistently - Cue students regarding appropriate behavior - Reinforce desired behaviors immediately - For hyperactive students, plan short activities that help them settle down after periods of physical activity (e.g., after recess, lunch, or physical education) - For impulsive students, teach self-instructions - Teach students strategies for organizing their time and work Students with social or behavioral problems - Frequent overt misbehaviors, such as acting out, aggression, noncompliance, destructiveness, or stealing (in some students) - Difficulty inhibiting impulses - Misbehaviors triggered by changes in the environment or daily routine or by sensory overstimulation (for - Specify in precise terms what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable in the classroom; establish and enforce rules for behaviors - Maintain a predictable schedule; warn students ahead of time about changes in the routine - Use self-regulation techniques and behaviorist
  18. 18. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 15 students with autism) - Difficulty interacting effectively with classmates. - Difficulty staying on task - Tendency to engage in power struggles with the teacher (for some students) approaches to promote productive classroom behaviors - Teach social skills - Closely monitor students during independent assignments - Give students a sense of self-determination about some aspects of classroom life; minimize the use of coercive techniques - Make an extra effort to show students that you care about them as human beings. Students with general delays in cognitive and social functioning - Occasionally disruptive classroom behavior - Dependence on others for guidance about how to behave - More appropriate classroom behavior when expectations are clear - Establish clear, concrete rules for classroom behavior - Cue students regarding appropriate behavior. - Use self - regulation techniques and behaviorist approaches to promote desired behaviors - Give explicit feedback about what students are and are not doing appropriately Students with physical or sensory challenges - Social isolation from classmates (for some students) - Difficulty accomplishing tasks as quickly as other students - Difficulty interpreting spoken messages (if students have hearing loss) - Establish a strong sense of community within the classroom - When appropriate, give extra time to complete assignments - Keep unnecessary classroom noise to a minimum if one or more students have hearing loss Students with advanced cognitive development - Off-task behavior in some students, often due to boredom during easy assignments and activities. - Assign tasks appropriate to students’ cognitive abilities. 4. Coordinating Effort with Others As we work to promote student’s learning and development, we will be far more effective when we coordinate our efforts with the other people in students’ lives.
  19. 19. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 16 4.1. Working with Other Teachers Although teachers spend much of the school day working in individual classrooms, they are far more effective when they: Communicate and collaborate regularly with one another Have common objectives regarding what students should learn and achieve Work together to identify the obstacles to students’ learning and develop strategies for overcoming those obstacles Are committed, as a group, to promoting equality and multicultural sensitivity throughout the school community Ideally, we should not only create a sense of community within our individual classrooms but an overall sense of school community. When teachers and other school personnel communicate an overall sense of school community, students have more positive attitudes toward schools, are more motivated to achieve at high levels, and exhibit more prosocial behavior, and students from diverse backgrounds are more likely to interact with one another. In fact, when teachers work together, they may have higher collective self-efficacy – a believe that, working as a group, they can definitely have an impact on students’ learning and achievement – and this collective self-confidence is indeed related to students’ performance. 4.2. Working with the Community at Large Students almost always have regular contact with other institutions besides school – possibly with youth groups, community organizations, social services, hospitals, mental health clinics, or local judicial systems. And some of them are probably growing up in cultural environments unfamiliar to many teachers. As teacher, we will be most effective if we understand the environments within which our students live and if we think of ourselves as part a larger team that promotes their long term development. We must also keep in contact with other people and institutions that play major roles in students’ lives, coordinating our efforts whenever possible. 4.3. Working with Parents Above all, we must work cooperatively with students’ parents or other primary caretakers. We can best think of our relationship with parents as a partnership in which we collaborate to promote students’ long-term development and learning. It is important to recognize that families come in variety of forms and those students’ primary caretakers are not always their parents. The way for working with parents, for teacher are: Communicating with Parents At the very minimum, we must stay regular contact with parents about the progress students making. W must inform them of their children’s accomplishment and alert them to any behaviors that are consistently interfering with learning and achievement. Regular communication also provides a means through which parents can give us information. Such information might suggest ideas about how we can best assist or motivates the children; at the least it will help us understand why our students sometimes behave as they do. Finally, we can coordinate our classroom strategies with those that parents use at home; our efforts to help students succeed will almost
  20. 20. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 17 certainly yield greater return in expectations for academic performance and social behavior are similar both in and out of school. The following describe several ways in which we can communicate regularly with parents: o Parent-teacher Conference In most school districts, formal parent-teacher conferences are scheduled one or more times a year. Oftentimes we will want to include students in these conferences, and in some instances we might even ask students to lead them. When students play an active role in parent conference, we encourage students to reflect on their own academic progress, and we give them practice in communication and leadership skills. Furthermore, teachers, students, and parents alike are apt to leave such meetings with a shared understanding of the progress that has been made and the steps to be taken next. Several suggestions for conducting effective conferences are described as following:  Schedule each conference at a time that accommodates parents’ work schedules and other obligations  Prepare for the conference ahead of time  Create a warm, nonjudgmental atmosphere  Express your thoughts clearly, concisely, and honestly  Avoid educational jargon with which parents may be unfamiliar  End the conference on a positive note  After the conference, follow through with anything you have said you will do. o Written Communication Written communication can take a variety of forms. It can be a regularly scheduled, teacher-constructed checklist or grades sheet that documents a students’ academic progress. It can be a quick, informal note acknowledging a significant accomplishment. Or it can be a general newsletter describing newsworthy classroom activities. All of these have something in common: They let parents knows what is happening at school while also conveying our intention to stay in touch on an ongoing basis. o Telephone Conversations Telephone calls are useful when issues require immediate attention. We might call a parent to express our concern when a student’s behavior deteriorates unexpectedly and without apparent provocation. But we might also call to express our excitement about an important step forward that a student has made. Parents, too, should feel free to call us. Keep in mind that many parents are at work during the school day,; hence, it is often helpful to accept and encourage calls at home during the early evening hours. o Parent Discussion Groups In some instances, we may want to assemble a group of parents to discuss issues of mutual concern. Alternatively, we might want to use a discussion group as a mechanism through which we can all share ideas about how best to promote students’ academic, personal, and social development.
  21. 21. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 18 None of the communication strategies just described will, in and of themselves, guarantee successful working relationships with parents. Ideally, we want not only to communicate with parents but to get them actively involved in school activities as well. o Getting Parents Involved in School Activities Effective teachers get parents and other important family members actively involved in school life and in their children’s learning. Students whose parents are involved in school activities have better attendance record, higher achievement, and more positive attitudes toward schools. Most parents become involved in school activities only when they have a specific invitation to do so and when they know that the school personnel genuinely want them to be involved. o Encouraging “Reluctant” Parents Despite our best efforts, a few parents will remain uninvolved in their children’s education. Educators have offered numerous suggestions for getting reluctant parents more involved in their children’s schooling:  Make an extra effort to establish parents’ trust and confidence  Encourage parents to be assertive when they have questions or concerns  Invite other important family members to participate in school activities  Give parents suggestions about learning activities they can easily do with their children at home  Find out what various parents to volunteer for jobs that don’t require them to leave home  Conduct parent-teacher conferences or parent discussions at times and locations more convenient for families o Discussing Problem Behaviors with Parents We will be more effective when working with parents if we set a positive, upbeat tone in any communication. For one thing, we will always want to couch any negative aspects of a student’s classroom, performance within the context of the many things that the student does well. Following are some suggestions for enhancing your chances for a successful outcome when you must speak with a parent about problem behavior  Don’t place blame,; instead, acknowledge that raising children is rarely easy  Express your desire for whatever support they can give you  Ask for information and be a good listener  Agree on a strategy
  22. 22. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 19 CONCLUSION The strategies for keeping our students engaged and learning are arranging the classroom to facilitate interaction, creating a climate in which students feel safe and respected, setting reasonable limits for behavior, planning activities that keep students on task, continually monitoring what students are doing, and modifying instructional strategies when necessary. Students will sometimes exhibit behaviors that interfere with either their own or their classmates’ learning. Regardless of the roots of these missbehaviors (whether they result from students’ temperaments, family circumstances, peer influences, prior schooling, cognitive or emotional disabilities, or events in our own classrooms), we can nevertheless do many things to bring about positive changes in students’ conduct. In other words, we can make a difference in students’ behavorial development as well as in their cognitive and social development. As teacher, we will be most effective in helping children and adolescents if we realize that we are just one part of a term of teachers, parents, and other community members who are helping children and adolescents acquire behaviors that will serve them well in the adult world. It is especially important that we keep in regular contact with students’ parents, sharing information in both directions about the progress that students are making and coordinating efforts at school with those on the home front.
  23. 23. CREATING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 20 REFERENCES Joyce, Bruce and Marsha Weil. 1992. Models of Teaching, Fourth Edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon L, Crow and A. Crow. 1980. Educational Psychology. New York: American Book Company Ormrod, Jeanne Ellis. 2003. Educational Psychology Developing Learners 4th Edition. New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall Ormrod, Jeanne Ellis. 2008. Psikologi Pendidikan: Membantu Siswa Tumbuh Berkembang. Jakarta: Erlangga

×