Preventive and Classroom-Based Strategies

Authored by: George G. Bear

Handbook of Classroom Management

Print publication date:  September  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415660051
eBook ISBN: 9780203074114
Adobe ISBN: 9781135106843


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Over one hundred years ago, in his book entitled Classroom Management, William Bagley (1908) posited that two opposing theories of classroom management were dominant at that time: the rigid “machinelike” theory and the “self-government” theory (p. 30). Whereas the former emphasized rules and punitive consequences to manage student behavior, the latter emphasized developing self-discipline. Both claimed to best prevent behavior problems in the classroom. Bagley’s century-old conceptualization of classroom management is largely consistent with the dual meanings of the term “discipline,” as well as the two traditional and primary aims of school discipline in American education (Bear, 2005). The first meaning and aim refer to creating and maintaining an orderly learning environment conducive to learning. Correcting behavior problems, most often with punitive consequences (e.g., the use of discipline) has been a major part of this meaning, but so too has the use of more positive and antecedent-based techniques for preventing problem behavior, particularly since the early 20th century. The second meaning of discipline and of the primary aim of education refers to teaching, or developing, self-discipline within students, also often referred to as “self-regulation,” “responsibility,” and “autonomy.” Self-discipline refers to students’ inhibiting inappropriate behavior and exhibiting prosocial behavior under their own volition, or willingly, which involves an integration of social, emotional, and behavioral competencies.

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