The previous module (Module 20) addressed strategies for communicating appropriate levels of concern and cooperation. As we have seen, this is one of the two critical aspects of establishing effective teacher-student relationships. This module deals with the other aspect—communicating appropriate levels of guidance and control.
The issue of locus of control is important in maintaining a positive and productive learning environment within a classroom. On one hand, students must perceive their teacher as providing sufficient guidance and control both academically and behaviorally. On the other hand, students must ultimately take responsibility for their own behavior. We believe students need to experience a gradual release of responsibility from the teacher toward them. This begins with students seeing that the teacher has clearly articulated and implemented rules and procedures and that the teacher maintains emotional objectivity. Students must also see that the teacher is committed to treating each of them fairly, equitably, and objectively. Over time, the teacher gradually makes students more responsible for monitoring and regulating their own behavior.
Reflecting on Your Current Beliefs and Practices