Date of Award

8-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

Educational research in academic success states that effective classroom management is the most important facet of effective student learning. Teacher’s attitudes can both improve and detract from their own and students’ attitudes regarding learning and scholastic experience. Research reveals that teachers who use instructional time ineffectively or unproductively, or do not involve students in meaningful and engaging activities, can risk losing students' attention and negatively impact their motivation to learn. Additionally, it is noted that many inexperienced teachers enter the classroom unprepared for the well-considered balance that is necessary for academic success; the precarious balance between instruction and classroom management. This research project discusses teachers' classroom management skills that effectively support students' literacy development. It assesses and identifies best practices as tools to assist teachers in the discovery of exemplary classroom management techniques. The study considers how classroom teachers across a range of grade levels use various classroom management methods to enhance their literacy instruction and promote student learning. The study highlights specific areas of classroom management including, but not limited to, classroom environment, scheduling, routines, student groups and instructional formats. The following research questions are considered throughout the study: What classroom management techniques do elementary teachers use to support their students' literacy development? What are the similarities and differences among the various classroom teachers, grade levels, or school districts? How does the classroom environment support elementary students' literacy development?

The research study participants represented five school districts, five grade levels, and teachers who were diverse with regard to their teaching experience, gender, classroom categorization and school setting. This sample attempts to represent a range of diverse teaching populations while using a limited number of teacher resources. Conclusive trends from the case study identify methods that incorporate a supportive and encouraging environment, engaging and appropriate instruction, and collaboration with available education and family support, to aid in both student literacy achievement and classroom management.

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