Classroom discipline:Factors to be considered

The question of the relationship between discipline and learning is a crucial one‚ because discipline is acknowledged as a prerequisite to smooth and meaningful learning. Discipline is‚ thus‚ an inseparable part of a classroom that facilitates the teachers to establish an optimal learning environment.

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Gopal Sijapati Magar

Discipline in classroom is an inevitable virtue, as many researches have highlighted that nothing can be learned in a chaotic atmosphere. Though the term ‘classroom discipline’ is not easy to define in words, it often refers to such an integral state of a classroom in which both teachers and students are likely to accept and consistently observe a set of rules that usually far outweigh the potential barriers of both organizational problems and disruptive circumstances. And, the question of the relationship between discipline and learning is a crucial one, because discipline is acknowledged as a prerequisite to smooth and meaningful learning. Discipline is, thus, an inseparable part of a classroom that facilitates the teachers to establish an optimal learning environment where the objectives of teaching-learning activities are easily achieved.

However, many teachers in Nepal often make the mistake of starting their classes with a poor discipline plan. Why they underestimate the idea of maintaining good discipline in their classroom is difficult to understand. A primary reason for poor environment in our nation’s classrooms is, perhaps, that teachers themselves have not been exposed to adequate knowledge about the factors that contribute to classroom discipline. What is more, many teachers here in Nepal do not seem to possess strong faith in their profession. As a result, they fail to understand that a well-disciplined classroom always stimulates the students to act in the way they want.

No doubt, the notion of maintaining discipline in classrooms is one of the most arduous tasks for every teacher. The fact behind it is that the strategies a teacher employs vary individually. However, there are some unavoidable factors that should be considered for better and effective learning. For instance, classroom management is a contributing factor that often involves how the teachers try to teach their students effectively. It reflects how relaxed the classroom environment is; how the students in their classrooms are placed; how well the teacher has led the classroom procedures and stuck to them. Therefore, it is advisable that every efficient teacher should not only learn the skills of classroom management, but also practice them daily.

Similarly, the instructive role of a teacher always make the classroom more disciplined. As an authority, the responsibility for the control of any classroom has to be in the hands of the teachers. This, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that they should always be motivated by a sense of authoritarianism. The amount of control that teachers exercises should be increased since once we set a precedent of following a lot of disruptions, it can be very hard to start with better classroom management and discipline techniques.

Many students, by nature, make noises in their classrooms. Though it is the most common phenomenon which usually echoes within the four walls of the classrooms, it should not be taken as an offence. Instead, we need to think why almost all teachers are compelled to confront such unwanted and disruptive behaviors. It is, perhaps, the result of the failure schemata of teaching procedures and the lack of mutual cooperation between students and teacher or among the students. Most importantly, it should, therefore, be noted that cooperation between students and teacher is not always democratic, but it might be the result of “coercion” or “fear”. However, no teacher can afford to overlook the importance of establishing a rapport with their students. Hence, the proper implementation of all the qualities of a good teacher like courtesy, punctuality, enthusiasm, patience, and the like ameliorates classroom discipline.

The idea of presenting a lesson with a good plan helps the teachers to epitomize the degree of discipline in the classroom, as many educators argue that lesson planning always leads the teacher being on the right track that she/he needs to go in. So, a lesson which goes according to a plan is more likely to be disciplined. But, many teachers across the nation are today found to be not motivated while teaching. In this respect, there are some teachers who claim the futility of using a lesson plan while teaching, arguing that it is too time-consuming. Therefore, for effective and objective learning the practice of using the lesson plans in classroom teaching should always be encouraged. The focusing technique suggests that every teacher should have the attention of their students before they begin taking the lesson in question. The key to this technique is to circulate around the class, while students are working. An efficient teacher always makes a pass through the whole classroom checking whether each student has started his/her work or not. No teacher should attempt to teach over the chatter of students suggesting that they are not paying attention. Teachers should maintain classroom discipline considering all possible factors and strategies-including appropriate teaching and learning materials—in order to stimulate their student’s inherent capacity and thirst for learning.

source: Magar, Gopal Sijapati(2011),"Classroom discipline:Factors to be considered", The Himalayan Times,23 March 2011

2011-05-22 | EducateNepal


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