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Conference on Educational Leadership

Conference on Educational Leadership

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What Works in Schools

by Robert J. Marzano

Table of Contents

Chapter 10. Classroom Management

Another teacher-level factor is classroom management. It is mentioned in some form in virtually every major study of factors affecting student achievement. Classroom management received its strongest endorsement in a comprehensive study by Margaret Wang, Geneva Haertel, and Herbert Walberg (1993) in which they combined the results of three comprehensive studies. Their content analysis of 86 chapters from annual research reviews, 44 handbook chapters, 20 government and commissioned reports, and 11 journal articles produced a list of 228 variables affecting student achievement. They asked 134 education experts to rate the impact of each variable. The experts concluded from this massive review that classroom management was rated first. This makes intuitive sense—a classroom that is chaotic as a result of poor management not only doesn't enhance achievement, it might even inhibit it.

Although the importance of classroom management is widely recognized, its definition is elusive. Walter Doyle (1986) defines classroom management as “covering a wide range of teacher duties from distributing resources to students, accounting for student attendance and school property, enforcing compliance with rules and procedures to grouping students for instruction . . .” (p. 394). Daniel Duke (1979) defines classroom management as “the provisions and procedures necessary to establish and maintain an environment in which instruction and learning can occur” (p. xii). Jere Brophy (1996) defines classroom management as “. . . actions taken to create and maintain a learning environment conducive to successful instruction (arranging the physical environment of the classroom, establishing rules and procedures, maintaining attention to lessons and engagement in academic activities” (p. 5).


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