Ready for their close-up (on classroom management)?

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As a 3rd year teacher put it in response to a NCTQ survey, "your best lesson plan of the year won't go well if you don't have good classroom management."  Want to walk in the shoes of prospective teachers to see just what sort of training they get in classroom management?  Then take a close look at the nine "cross-program analyses" found in the appendix of our recent report Training our future teachers: Classroom Management.

The analyses depict pretty much everything candidates learn about classroom management before student teaching by a close examination of virtually every required lecture, pencil-and-paper assignment, practice assignment and required reading.

Looking at two of the secondary prep programs whose classroom management training is featured among the nine analyses, you can see how differently the programs prepare their candidates on the topic of classroom rules, one of the "Big Five" principles of effective classroom management NCTQ has identified as most strongly supported by decades of research:

Program D
Program H
What key aspects of classroom
management are candidates
evaluated on in student
Establish and maintain
consistent standards of
Enforce classroom rules;  remind students of rules; make management and behavioral expectations clear.

Across all coursework,
where did
candidates learn about these aspects
before student teaching.
--By reading a chapter in an
ed psych textbook.
--By writing about a teacher observed in a secondary classroom "field placement" with a focus on "stated and unstated rules of the teacher" and "how rules are applied."

--With a lecture on how to create an organized classroom.

--By writing a "management and instructional organization plan."

--By readings in 3 different textbooks, each with a strong or complete focus on classroom management.  

Which program does a better job preparing its candidates for the classroom on the topic of rules?  We think the answer is obvious.  You can make more comparisons of this type on the other "Big Five" ( routines, praise, misbehavior and engagement) by consulting the nine cross-program analyses.