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Classroom management in business and theater

22 August 1996


Classroom management is an area of the teaching profession 'essential to the development of a positive classroom atmosphere. This document outlines a study done on the use of six classroom management (CM) methods in business ; and theater classrooms. The CM methods are: (1) group alerting, (2) withitness, (3) overlapping, (4) transition time, (5) principle of least intervention, (6) proactive planning. The research site is a high school in the Pacific Northwest. The study documents research progress from a review of CM literature, through methodology, research results, an action plan, a reflection, and future study possibilities.

The area of CM Is quite large. A review of the literature reveals that planning is the most important method in establishing a positive classroom environment. The use of project observation, personal interviews, arid student surveys corroborates this emphasis.

During the project, I studied all six CM methods in the general teaching population,in business, and in theater classrooms. In the general teaching population, all methods were in use. Different departments, however, favored some methods over others. The Math and Science departments tended to use the questioning technique known as group alerting, while the Language Arts department used overlapping, the ability to multitask. In the business department, all six methods were in use, on a graduated scale, with planning being paramount. The theater department used five of the methods. The ii director excluded overlapping because he thought theater classes needed to concentrate on the task at hand.

From these results, I formed CM action plans for business, theater, and an integrated class. The action plans include a priority and an action list. The priority list catalogues the six CM methods in their order of importance (five for theater). The action lists suggest ways to develop these methods.

Reflection is an educational method used to expand knowledge of facts and systems. Reflection provides the teacher with a means to synthesize the information that he/she accumulates during a period of intense study. My reflection revealed a challenging, yet rewarding research process. I had learned a great deal about research methods, the writing process, and teaching styles.

Integration of the research plan took place as I developed a CM action plan for a class In advertising. Advertising Incorporates elements of both theater and business. It requires an individual to be both creative and have exceptional organizational skills. To mirror the interweaving of the two disciplines, the plan's priority list shows planning in top priority and incorporates overlapping as one of its six CM methods.

Future research will include the introduction of different methods, an in-depth look at theater techniques, and the use of quantitative research. I will look introduce new methods in the project, such as empowerment of students or the use of humor in the classroom. I will research CM methods used in theater at a more in-depth level. This will take place through word-of-mouth and personal contacts. I will also introduce the use of quantitative research methods. I will iii develop a numbering system for observational note-taking and use statistical techniques for survey analysis.


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