Diversity plays a significant role in classroom management. Disabilities and cultural differences impact behavioral differences. It important to know the nature of a disability. For example, an autistic child might require consistency in his/her schedule as disruptions in routine might trigger inappropriate behaviors. In responding to students with disabilities, some learners might need individualized plans for behavior management. Ideas might be to develop a behavior progress monitoring form with categories such as "Brought supplies, Worked productively, Was respectful of others" for various time frames (e.g., periods in a school day) or to develop a behavioral contract. In terms of cultural differences, teachers and all learners in a class should be aware of each others' interaction styles. What is acceptable in one culture might not be in another. For example, there are cultural differences in what is acceptable in speaking to others (e.g., one at a time, and loud voice), levels of physical activity and verbal discourse needed with thinking and learning, attitudes about sharing and respecting physical space, authority figures, what constitutes an authority figure and the manner in which deference is shown to authority figures (Voltz, Sims, & Nelson, 2010, pp. 52-55).
Acquiring this expertise will require that educators play greater attention to differentiated instruction. "Differentiated instruction is a process to approach teaching and learning for students of differing abilities in the same class. The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where he or she is, and assisting in the learning process." Educators who differentiate instruction strive to "recognize students varying background knowledge, readiness, language, preferences in learning, interests; and to react responsively" (Hall, Strangman, & Meyer, 2003, Definition section). As promoters of differentiated instruction, Carol Ann Tomlinson and Jay McTighe (2006) indicated that it is primarily an instructional design model that focuses on "whom we teach, where we teach, and how we teach" (p. 3). Tomlinson's website, , will enhance your knowledge of differentiated instruction. She also clarifies myths and misconceptions about differentiation in an ASCD podcast,.
Extending and refining knowledge
Moran et al. (2006) indicated that multiple intelligences theory proposes viewing intelligence in terms of nine cognitive capacities, rather than a single general intelligence. Thus, a profile consists of strengths and weaknesses among "linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, naturalistic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and (at least provisionally) existential" (p. 23). Overall, the theory has been misunderstood in application.
Learn more about the history of differentiated instruction.
In , Mary Helen Immordino-Yang (2016) linked motivation to emotions, stating "for school-based learning to have any hope of motivating students, of producing deep understanding, or of transferring into real-world skills--all hallmarks of meaningful learning, and all essential to producing informed, skilled, ethical, and reflective adults--we need to find ways to leverage the emotional aspects of learning in education" (p. 18). Further, "Even in academic subjects that are traditionally considered unemotional, such as physics, engineering, or math, deep understanding depends on making emotional connections between concepts" (p. 19). She proposed three strategies that teachers might use to help learners develop emotional thought in classroom learning:
Mastery style--tend to work step-by-step
What are components of effective classroom management? Marzano, Marzano, and Pickering (2003) conducted a meta-analysis of 100 reports on this issue, addressing four general components of effective classroom management: rules and procedures, disciplinary interventions, teacher-student relationships, and mental set. This latter refers to an ability to remain emotionally objective and businesslike and "to identify and quickly act on potential behavioral problems" (p. 75). They found "on the average, students in classes where effective management techniques are employed have achievement scores that are 20 percentile points higher than students in classes where effective management techniques are not employed" (p. 10).
Understanding style--search for patterns, categories, reasons
In fact, students are internally driven by the needs built into their genetic code, and they behave in a never-ending quest to satisfy the universal needs to connect, be powerful, make choices, and have fun in a safe, secure environment. Our success as teachers is largely determined by how effective we are at creating learning environments where students can meet their needs by immersing themselves in the academic tasks we provide. (Sullo, 2009, Ch. 3, Basic Needs section)