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Classroom management: Creating and maintaining positive learning environments

This literature review was originally published 09 January 2020.

review of related literature and studies about classroom management

  • 2020 classroom management literature review (PDF 2279 KB)
  • 2020 classroom management infographic (PDF 44 KB)

The literature review defines classroom management and provides a brief overview of classroom management research. It also describes the characteristics of effective classroom management strategies and how schools can best support teachers when implementing them.

Classroom management refers to the strategies teachers use to support and facilitate learning in the classroom. Effective classroom management is important for student achievement because it creates an environment that minimises disruptions, maximises instruction time, and encourages students to engage in learning.

The evidence suggests that classroom management requires both preventative and responsive strategies, with an emphasis on preventative strategies.

Preventative strategies are proactive and encourage students to be on-task, motivated to learn, and prosocial. Effective preventative strategies include:

  • creating and maintaining a positive classroom climate
  • using structured instruction to engage students in learning
  • explicitly teaching students rules and routines
  • offering pre-corrections to remind students of expectations
  • using active supervision in the classroom.

Responsive strategies include corrective responses to inappropriate behaviours. They support students to re-engage in learning. Effective corrective practices:

  • identify why the student is disengaged or being disruptive
  • ensure the student understands the corrective response
  • are consistent and expected
  • are given calmly
  • are proportionate to the level of behaviour displayed.

How to use this resource

Purpose of resource.

The Classroom management: Creating and maintaining positive learning environments resource provides a brief overview of classroom management research. It describes the characteristics of effective classroom management strategies and how schools can best support teachers when applying them.

When and how to use

The resource is a literature review and is accompanied by a discussion guide. School leaders and teachers can read, reflect on, discuss and implement themes and strategies highlighted in the literature review as part of school-developed High Impact Professional Learning (HIPL) .

The appropriate time to use this resource may differ for each school, leader and teacher.

School leaders can:

  • unpack the literature review, using the discussion guide , as part of whole-school professional development and/or stage or grade team meetings
  • encourage teachers to share key findings during professional development
  • reflect on strategies, policies or practices currently in place to create and maintain positive learning environments
  • lead discussions with staff about areas to improve across the school · display the Classroom management poster
  • support staff to find connections between What works best, the School Excellence Framework and the strategies contained in the literature review.

Teachers can:

  • read the literature review or summary and reflect on current practice · unpack the literature review, using the accompanying discussion guide , in a group setting
  • identify strategies and practices in the literature review to apply that will improve classroom management and student learning
  • reflect on the impact of the applied strategies.

Email feedback about this resource to [email protected] using subject line ‘Re: Classroom management: Creating and maintaining positive learning environments’. You can also subscribe to the CESE newsletter and connect with us on Yammer .

Alignment to system priorities and/or needs: NSW Department of Education Strategic Plan 2018-2023 – ‘Every student is engaged and challenged to continue to learn, and every student, every teacher, every leader and every school improves every year’

Alignment to School Excellence Framework: Teaching domain – effective classroom practice (classroom management); Learning domain – wellbeing (a planned approach to wellbeing, behaviour)

Alignment with existing frameworks: Australian Professional Standards for Teachers – Standard 4: Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments

What works best – classroom management NSW Wellbeing Framework for Schools – Thrive: ‘Student learning takes place in an environment which fosters and develops choice, accomplishment, positive relationships, enjoyment, growth, health and safety’

Reviewed by: Learning and Teaching, Learning and Wellbeing, and Teaching Quality directorates; directors, educational leadership (DELs)

Created/last updated: Originally published 9 January 2020

To be reviewed: CESE publications are prepared through a rigorous process. Resources are reviewed periodically as part of an ongoing evaluation plan.

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  • Classroom management: professional learning discussion guide
  • Classroom management: poster
  • Literature review
  • Teaching and learning practices

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A Systematic Review of Studies on Classroom Management from 1980 to 2019

Profile image of Kıvanç Bozkuş

2021, International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education

This review study aims to reveal trends in classroom management research by employing a two-stage analysis of articles indexed by the Web of Science. The bibliometric analysis results indicated the descriptive statistics of the articles, the most productive countries and authors, the most popular articles, journals, and keywords, annual scientific production, growth of the top three journals by year, and the pioneer and influencer researchers in classroom management. The content analysis results showed the changes in the selection of methods, purposes, and participants for nearly three decades of classroom management research. This review concluded that interest in classroom management has been constantly growing, but research on classroom management is not prevalent worldwide.

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Undesirable behavior is inevitable inside and outside the school premises. This research addresses the importance of classroom management as one of the important factor that prevents the occurrence of undesirable behavior of the learners. Based on the findings, the ideal classroom management practices lead and connect teachers and learners to meet the model desirable behavior inside and outside the school premises. Indicators include Establishing clear learning outcomes, behavior management and maximizing in giving praise to the learners. Classroom management has shown to be one of the most important factors that teachers need to consider before the school year. The data has shown that in dealing with students behavior, teacher must develop a strategy that not just only address a single behavior but a multi strategy that meet the needs of the learners. Judith N. Ubod "Classroom Management: The Challenge of Change" Published in International Journal of Trend in Scientific R...

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Wudpecker Journal of Educational Research ISSN 2277 0712 Vol. 2(4), pp. 057 - 061, April 2013 2013 Wudpecker Journals Classroom management: a concern for educational leaders Narayan Prasad Kafle Kathmandu University, School of Education, Nepal. E-mail address: [email protected] Accepted 27 March 2013 Abstract Classroom management covers a wide range of activities. It has evolved through a process of reactive response to proactive initiation taken by educators. The classroom management practice has undergone through a paradigm shift from control focus to participation focus. Out of multiple domains associated with the broader notion of classroom management this paper focuses on the pertinent issues that contribute to students' learning in particular. Based on literature review and reflective questioning method, this paper theoretically interprets inferences of different research writings in this issue. It discusses on issues like the behaviour management, classroom interior design and class size which are some of the first order issues pertaining to classroom management out of many others. It critically examines the propositions of researchers on these issues and attempts to draw the implications for the educational leaders in particular. A classroom management design targeting the students' learning demands a holistic approach that builds on different variables like discipline management, diversity management, internal seating management, and class size management. Key words: Classroom management students' learning, design, educational leaders.

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In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Classroom Management

Introduction, general overviews.

  • Reference Works
  • Behavioral Approaches to the Study of Classroom Management
  • Ecological Approaches to the Study of Classroom Management
  • Process-Product Studies of Classroom Management
  • Teacher-Student Relationships and Classroom Management
  • Early Theories and Models of Classroom Management
  • Evidence-Based Programs of Classroom Management
  • Social-Emotional Learning and Classroom Management
  • Office Disciplinary Referrals (ODRs), Suspension, and Expulsion
  • Culturally Responsive Classroom Management
  • Parental Engagement and Classroom Management
  • Classroom Management and the Law
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  • Professional Development for Inservice Teachers

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Classroom Management by Carol Simon Weinstein , Nancy Jo Schafer LAST REVIEWED: 21 April 2021 LAST MODIFIED: 30 August 2016 DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0155

Classroom management can be defined as the actions teachers take to establish and sustain an environment that fosters students’ academic achievement as well as their social, emotional, and moral growth. In other words, the goal of classroom management is not order for order’s sake, but order for the sake of learning. Teachers, administrators, parents, students, and the general public all view classroom management as a critical component of teaching, but becoming an effective classroom manager is not a simple endeavor. Research has documented the fact that problems with classroom management often lead to teacher stress, anxiety, burnout, and even the decision to leave the profession. Beginning teachers consistently perceive student behavior as one of their most serious challenges, and even experienced teachers can have difficulties—especially given today’s larger classes, increasing cultural and linguistic diversity, the inclusion of children with disabilities, and the narrowing of the curriculum to prepare for high-stakes standardized tests. Unfortunately, despite the complexity and importance of classroom management, teacher preparation programs tend to provide only minimal instruction in this area. Such neglect is at least partly due to the fact that research relevant to classroom management has been conducted by persons in different disciplines working within different research traditions; thus research reports appear in a wide variety of journals and may not even be identified as “classroom management research.” This situation can lead teacher educators to conclude (mistakenly) that a coherent body of research does not exist and can reinforce the view that classroom management is merely a set of tips passed down from teacher to teacher (like “Don’t smile until Christmas”). Another complicating factor is that the very term “classroom management” defies easy definition. For a long time, classroom management was equated with “discipline,” the ways teachers respond to problematic behavior. It is now generally recognized, however, that discipline is only one part of classroom management. In addition to correcting inappropriate behavior, classroom management includes a wide range of tasks designed to prevent inappropriate behavior—designing a physical setting that supports instructional goals, establishing positive teacher–student and teacher–parent relationships, building community among students, creating and enforcing expectations for behavior, and managing instruction in a way that helps students to stay engaged. This broader definition of classroom management is reflected in the references included in this bibliography.

The works in this section provide introductions to classroom management. Brophy 1999 summarizes the development of research-based knowledge of classroom management and examines the relationship between management styles and approaches to instruction. Brophy 2006 provides a comprehensive review of the history of research on classroom management as it developed across the 20th century. Marzano, et al. 2003 reviews research on classroom management and suggest specific evidence-based “action steps” that teachers can use to establish and maintain a positive learning environment. Shimahara 1998 explores classroom management in six countries, documenting the effects of the political, social, and cultural context. Wang, et al. 1993 examines three previous reviews of variables that have an effect on student achievement and show that classroom management has more impact on student achievement than any other variable.

Brophy, Jere. 1999. Perspectives of classroom management: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In Beyond behaviorism: Changing the classroom management paradigm . Edited by H. Jerome Freiberg, 43–56. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Traces the evolution of research on classroom management and points out that most of these studies were conducted in classrooms featuring transmission approaches to teaching. Brophy contrasts these approaches with more recent social constructivist approaches and shows how established management principles can be adapted to social constructivist teaching.

Brophy, Jere. 2006. History of research on classroom management. In Handbook of classroom management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues . Edited by Carolyn M. Evertson and Carol S. Weinstein, 17–43. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Reviews the history of research on classroom management as it developed across the 20th century. Consider its substance, design, and methodology. Highlights major influences and trends and concludes that “the work on classroom management can be counted among the major success stories of educational research in the 20th century.”

Marzano, Robert J., with Jana S. Marzano, and Debra J. Pickering. 2003. Classroom management that works: Research-based strategies for every teacher . Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

After discussing the critical role of effective classroom management in student achievement, this very readable book addresses various aspects of classroom management, such as classroom rules and procedures, disciplinary interventions, and teacher-student relationships. Each chapter begins with a discussion of research, theory, and programs relevant to the particular topic and then suggests specific “action steps” that classroom teachers can take.

Shimahara, Nobuo K., ed. 1998. Politics of classroom life: Classroom management in international perspective . New York: Taylor & Francis.

Focusing mainly on the elementary level, this book examines classroom management in six countries: the United States, Britain, Sweden, Japan, China, and Israel. Argues that the ideology of classroom management and its strategies vary considerably across the cultures or countries where they have been developed.

Wang, Margaret C., Geneva D. Haertel, and Herbert J. Walberg. 1993. Toward a knowledge base for school learning. Review of Educational Research 63.3: 249–294.

A widely cited meta-analysis of learning factors gleaned from educational research experts, quantitative research synthesis, and handbook chapters, resulting in more than eleven thousand statistical relationships. Identifies classroom management as being first in a list of five factors that influence student achievement.

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  • Published: 27 August 2021

Professional Learning and Development in Classroom Management for Novice Teachers: A Systematic Review

  • Shanna E. Hirsch   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-3044-9338 1 ,
  • Kristina Randall   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-7868-6549 2 ,
  • Catherine Bradshaw 3 &
  • John Wills Lloyd   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-2597-6216 4  

Education and Treatment of Children volume  44 ,  pages 291–307 ( 2021 ) Cite this article

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There is a growing awareness that novice teachers in particular are in need of support and additional professional learning and development (PLD), especially in the area of classroom management. Yet there is limited information regarding effective approaches for building novice teachers’ skills related to classroom management. To address this gap, we conducted a systematic review of experimental studies related to novice teacher PLD in classroom management. We identified eight original experimental peer-reviewed studies published. We explored the research base, applying the Council for Exceptional Children Quality Indicators and coding studies to identify elements of practice-based professional development. Together, the available studies suggested that providing PLD increases classroom management practices while increasing student engagement. We discuss the implications of this review and conclude with implications for practice and future research related to novice teacher PLD.

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review of related literature and studies about classroom management

Ball, D. L., & Cohen, D. K. (1999). Developing practice, developing practitioners: Toward a practice-based theory of professional education. In L. Darling-Hammond & G. Sykes (Eds.), Teaching as the learning profession: Handbook of policy and practice (pp. 3-32). Jossey.

Bateman, B. D. (2007). Elements of teaching: A best practices handbook for beginning teachers. Attainment.

Begeny, J. C., & Martens, B. K. (2006). Assessing pre-service teachers’ training in empirically-validated behavioral instruction practices. School Psychology Quarterly, 21 , 262–285.

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