Journal of Classroom Management
Discipline Theory Translated into Practice
Volume: 2, Number: 5
Robert T. Tauber
Management Development Associates
P.O. Box 9328
Winter Haven, Florida 33883-9328
ERIC ABSTRACT: EJ 438 176
Managing the Early Childhood Classroom.
Crosser, Sandra. Young Children; v47 n2 p23-29 Jan 1992
Descriptors: Classroom Environment; Classroom Techniques; Conflict
Resolution: Early Childhood Education; Physical Environment;
Scheduling; Teacher Role: Teacher Student Relationship; Time
Management; Young Children
Classroom management can have a direct effect on the kinds of behaviors
students exhibit and make the difference between chaos and an orderly
environment that facilitates learning. Suggestions for teachers involve planning
for physical space, arrival and departure times, the scheduling of transitions,
children’s interactions with equipment and materials, and conflict resolution. (LB)
PRACTITIONER REACTION EJ
Janice Repasky, Principal, Nicholson Elementary School, Marietta, GA.
Crosser’s approach to early childhood classroom management, appropriately
named BASIC, promotes the concept of preventative classroom management
through emphasis on comprehensive planning for every detail of the school day.
The practice of thoroughly attending to the physical, social and learning
environment before a child enters the classroom, is and has been (for
generations as Crosser reminds us) the basic ingredient in managing behavior.
Effective teachers have consistently created an atmosphere and surroundings
that are conducive to learning. Creative, relevant and effective delivery of
curricula must work in concert with an organized and age-appropriate classroom.
The amount of time needed to handle organizational details has long been
underestimated, especially in the early childhood classroom. However, the
premise of detailed planning and organization could and should be applied to any
educator at any level. The attitude of a teacher thinking, “Thee students are wild
and uncontrollable!” can be changed by substituting the focus to, “If students are
misbehaving, what area of the learning experience do I need to change?”
Crosser suggests a reflection on these five areas: Before school begins, Arrival
and departure times, Schedule transition, Interactions with equipment and
materials, and Conflict management.
Crosser addresses the issue of classroom management with the same, obvious
thoroughness with which she created a classroom. Explicit details and
suggestions are shared and explained. The complete array of questions provided
could be used by early childhood educator to assess the preparedness of a
The article reiterates the consistent and logical theme of avoiding misbehavior
through sound planning that can only be done if, in fact, the nature of the young
child is truly understood and accommodated. True understanding of the nature of
the learner is certainly a mandatory ingredient to preface the planning of an
appropriate classroom. So many areas of education lose effectiveness because
the focus has been placed on the curriculum and the book rather than the
learner. Understanding the personality, characteristics, wants and needs of a
child of a particular age can be accomplished through reading and through
observing children in different developmental stages.
Although each topic addressed was thoroughly discussed, the relationship
between teacher and student was not presented. This element is much too
influential to ignore. In addition to a teacher’s understanding of the importance of
the affective domain there is an almost innate quality in effective teachers that
connects the teacher and the student. That connection will be manifested in a
teacher’s empathetic and accommodating attitude. The teacher’s rapport with
students, coupled with Crosser’s practical suggestions for managing an early
childhood classroom are essential interlocking components in that classroom.
In summary, the concept of BASIC preventive classroom management has been,
and will continue to be, a cornerstone of effective teaching and successful
classrooms. One might say that attention to the logistics of the school day, paired
with the power of the teacher/student connection, makes for a dynamic behavior