In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Classroom Management

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Reference Works
  • Textbooks
  • Journals
  • Early Theories and Models of Classroom Management
  • Evidence-Based Programs of Classroom Management
  • Teacher Preparation and Classroom Management
  • Professional Development for Inservice Teachers

Education Classroom Management
Carol Simon Weinstein, Nancy Jo Schafer
  • LAST REVIEWED: 21 April 2021
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 August 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0155


Classroom management can be defined as the actions teachers take to establish and sustain an environment that fosters students’ academic achievement as well as their social, emotional, and moral growth. In other words, the goal of classroom management is not order for order’s sake, but order for the sake of learning. Teachers, administrators, parents, students, and the general public all view classroom management as a critical component of teaching, but becoming an effective classroom manager is not a simple endeavor. Research has documented the fact that problems with classroom management often lead to teacher stress, anxiety, burnout, and even the decision to leave the profession. Beginning teachers consistently perceive student behavior as one of their most serious challenges, and even experienced teachers can have difficulties—especially given today’s larger classes, increasing cultural and linguistic diversity, the inclusion of children with disabilities, and the narrowing of the curriculum to prepare for high-stakes standardized tests. Unfortunately, despite the complexity and importance of classroom management, teacher preparation programs tend to provide only minimal instruction in this area. Such neglect is at least partly due to the fact that research relevant to classroom management has been conducted by persons in different disciplines working within different research traditions; thus research reports appear in a wide variety of journals and may not even be identified as “classroom management research.” This situation can lead teacher educators to conclude (mistakenly) that a coherent body of research does not exist and can reinforce the view that classroom management is merely a set of tips passed down from teacher to teacher (like “Don’t smile until Christmas”). Another complicating factor is that the very term “classroom management” defies easy definition. For a long time, classroom management was equated with “discipline,” the ways teachers respond to problematic behavior. It is now generally recognized, however, that discipline is only one part of classroom management. In addition to correcting inappropriate behavior, classroom management includes a wide range of tasks designed to prevent inappropriate behavior—designing a physical setting that supports instructional goals, establishing positive teacher–student and teacher–parent relationships, building community among students, creating and enforcing expectations for behavior, and managing instruction in a way that helps students to stay engaged. This broader definition of classroom management is reflected in the references included in this bibliography.

General Overviews

The works in this section provide introductions to classroom management. Brophy 1999 summarizes the development of research-based knowledge of classroom management and examines the relationship between management styles and approaches to instruction. Brophy 2006 provides a comprehensive review of the history of research on classroom management as it developed across the 20th century. Marzano, et al. 2003 reviews research on classroom management and suggest specific evidence-based “action steps” that teachers can use to establish and maintain a positive learning environment. Shimahara 1998 explores classroom management in six countries, documenting the effects of the political, social, and cultural context. Wang, et al. 1993 examines three previous reviews of variables that have an effect on student achievement and show that classroom management has more impact on student achievement than any other variable.

  • Brophy, Jere. 1999. Perspectives of classroom management: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In Beyond behaviorism: Changing the classroom management paradigm. Edited by H. Jerome Freiberg, 43–56. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

    Traces the evolution of research on classroom management and points out that most of these studies were conducted in classrooms featuring transmission approaches to teaching. Brophy contrasts these approaches with more recent social constructivist approaches and shows how established management principles can be adapted to social constructivist teaching.

  • Brophy, Jere. 2006. History of research on classroom management. In Handbook of classroom management: Research, practice, and contemporary issues. Edited by Carolyn M. Evertson and Carol S. Weinstein, 17–43. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Reviews the history of research on classroom management as it developed across the 20th century. Consider its substance, design, and methodology. Highlights major influences and trends and concludes that “the work on classroom management can be counted among the major success stories of educational research in the 20th century.”

  • Marzano, Robert J., with Jana S. Marzano, and Debra J. Pickering. 2003. Classroom management that works: Research-based strategies for every teacher. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

    After discussing the critical role of effective classroom management in student achievement, this very readable book addresses various aspects of classroom management, such as classroom rules and procedures, disciplinary interventions, and teacher-student relationships. Each chapter begins with a discussion of research, theory, and programs relevant to the particular topic and then suggests specific “action steps” that classroom teachers can take.

  • Shimahara, Nobuo K., ed. 1998. Politics of classroom life: Classroom management in international perspective. New York: Taylor & Francis.

    Focusing mainly on the elementary level, this book examines classroom management in six countries: the United States, Britain, Sweden, Japan, China, and Israel. Argues that the ideology of classroom management and its strategies vary considerably across the cultures or countries where they have been developed.

  • Wang, Margaret C., Geneva D. Haertel, and Herbert J. Walberg. 1993. Toward a knowledge base for school learning. Review of Educational Research 63.3: 249–294.

    A widely cited meta-analysis of learning factors gleaned from educational research experts, quantitative research synthesis, and handbook chapters, resulting in more than eleven thousand statistical relationships. Identifies classroom management as being first in a list of five factors that influence student achievement.

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