Managing the Classroom and Laboratory

Managing the Classroom and Laboratory

Michael L. Pate (Utah State University, USA) and Robert Bud McKendree (Michigan State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3420-8.ch009
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on management strategies for classroom and laboratory instruction for school-based agricultural education teacher preparation. Specifically, the focus is on teaching methods, techniques, and strategies to proactively sustain positive student engagement in activities to prevent behavioral issues that disrupt the learning process. Characteristics and guidelines for instructional technology are discussed for effective management of student learning. Management practices for both instructional spaces and student behavior are incorporated. Highlights of underlying causes of behavior such as issues within social and psychological disruptions provide context for student engagement efforts. A portion of the chapter differentiates appropriate professional interactions of teachers with students. Behavior scenarios are utilized to provide application of theoretical concepts.
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Introduction

Classroom management starts long before students arrive. Preparation and planning are key components that will contribute to your success in establishing a positive environment for learning. Effective teaching strategies are vital to managing student behavior conducive to learning. This chapter will focus on developing teachers’ management strategies through contextualized theories and examples of proactive approaches.

Learning objectives for this chapter are:

  • 1.

    Evaluate/discern technology for classroom incorporation

  • 2.

    Employ management strategies within the classroom space

  • 3.

    Employ management strategies within the laboratory space

  • 4.

    Evaluating strategies for managing student behavior

  • 5.

    Creating student behavior management plans

Managing an environment conducive to learning focuses on minimizing distractions and maximizes engagement. Education has seen a revolution in the development of online and digital learning environments. Technology has become a fundamental part of the classroom teaching experience. Instructional technology deals with the theory and practice of using technology for education with the ultimate goal of engaging effective learning experiences. The benefits include better access to information, more opportunities for collaboration, and better capabilities for meeting diverse learners’ needs. However, using technology requires thoughtful planning and implementation to effectively manage the learning experience.

Instructional Technology is defined as the use of hardware or software to aid in instruction. This technology, or tech for short, usage in the classroom presents both opportunities and challenges for instructors, including the constantly changing tech available, student access to tech, and opportunity cost associated with teaching the tech. While tech presents opportunities and challenges for students and teachers alike, it has arguably never been more accessible. According to the Pew Research Center (2021), 85% of adults own a smartphone, with younger demographics owning smartphones at a higher rate than older U.S. adults (96% of Americans ages 18-29 own smartphones). While owning a smartphone is nothing out of the ordinary, it means 85% of people within the U.S. now have access to more computing power than was available to NASA on the Voyager I and II space probes – this section will identify thought processes behind how we tap into available instructional technologies.

While tech is readily available, the actual tech we have access to is constantly changing. Technology ages quickly. For instance, a five-year-old computer equates to a 93-year-old person (TAZ Networks, 2016) . What does a constantly changing tech landscape mean for educators? When considering tech use in the classroom, it is more practical and effective to focus on an instructional decision-making process than on existing tech at any given point in time. In this section we will explore fundamental thought processes educators should use when deciding on when, where, and how to utilize tech in the classroom. For those who have engaged in the instructional decision-making process and want to incorporate a new tech, professional development and resource-seeking by that teacher are important next steps to increase literacy.

Instructional technology has long been a focus of educators and educational researchers, with some potential barriers to adoption being identified as lack of support, cost of equipment or software, and lack of teacher time to master new tech (Alston et al, 2003; Williams et al., 2014). While these barriers do exist, access to tech – for example, in the form of smartphones – has arguably never been higher, as evidenced by the propensity of U.S. adults to own smartphones. So, how does one make decisions on incorporating tech in their teaching? Ensuring the use of a given tech aligns with the teacher-decided instructional outcomes and the ways students will engage in learning any given content. To guide these decisions, an educator should filter decisions on the use of technology within the classroom through the following questions:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Intervention: Actions taken by the teacher, administrator, and/or parent to discipline students and maintain accountability.

Accountability: How teachers hold students in compliance with rules and expectations, may include actions geared toward discipline.

Routines: System of repetitious actions taken by students and teacher to aid in the efficiency of the learning process, and includes starting instruction, maintaining activity, and stopping instruction.

Expectations: Broad or specific guidelines for student behavior.

Anchoring: Instructional technique used in conjunction with routines that places emphasis on the physical location of the teacher while giving different types of verbal instruction.

Organization: Physical layout of a learning space as it pertains to stowage of learning supplies.

Instructional Technology: Hardware or software resource used by teachers to aid in the learning process. Can be teacher-focused or student-focused and can encompass many different types of electronic devices.

HALT: Acronym connected to hierarchy of needs that may explain student behavior concerns, includes hungry, angry, lonely, and tired.

Pit Stop: Common intervention used by teachers that involves briefly redirecting a student’s behavior.

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