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Classroom rules and student choices

1 January 1996


This is a research project addressing classroom rules and student choices. The main research question was, what choices do students make in the classroom in regard to the rules? There were four subquestions all relating to the main question. What role do the students play in creating the rules? How do students view the rules? What is the student-teacher relationship in regard to the rules? What are the implicit rules in the classroom? The observations were conducted in an urban school fourth/fifth grade in an upper middle class neighborhood. I chose qualitative research methodology, and as such my direct observations, a class survey, and an interview with the teacher led me to several conclusions .

Students who are given choices in the classroom are more likely to have a vested interest in that class. The students in the class I studied generally adhered to the rules and believed they were necessary and worthwhile. The teacher firmly believed students needed to take part in creating a classroom structure so they could have ownership of the rules and class procedures. It is imperative that students learn to make decisions of this nature in school so they may be better prepared for making decisions throughout their life.


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