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Classroom management is the main agenda for future teachers and current
teachers. This is because through effective classroom management, a conducive
classroom environment would occur. One of the ways to manage classroom effectively
is to build a good rapport with the students and observe classroom routines so that it
would be running smoothly. The teacher should understand students behaviour,
personality and habits in the classroom. Experience is a valuable asset for teachers to
handle students and learning environment. The teacher should also know the ways to
identity the root of discipline problems in the classroom. Knowledge of classroom
discipline models and its application can assist the teachers in managing the classroom

The Concept Of Classroom Discipline.

Effective classroom management has a strong foundation of discipline
management. Discipline comes from the Latin word disciplina which means to teach. In
the context of the classroom, discipline is a set of rules applied on pupils to control and
produce the desired behaviour. Teachers from the past assume that teaching and
discipline are two different things. They believe that teaching is to deliver information to
the pupils whereas discipline is to control pupils behaviour to produce acceptable
behaviour. Now the concept of discipline is different because discipline is one of the
aspects in teaching. This is because teaching affects behaviour while behaviour affects
teaching. Because of this, classroom discipline is thought as part of teaching which
includes instructions, communication, structure and classroom management and also
parent-pupil relationship (Charles, 2008).

Classroom Discipline Model

These models are a guide of discipline management and behaviour with the use of
different approaches.

Behaviour Modification Model by B.F. Skinner

Assertive Discipline Model by Canter
Logical Consequences Model by Rudolph
Group Management Model by Kounin
Reality Therapy Model by Glasser


Behaviour modification is based on the principles of operant conditioning, which

were developed by American behaviourist B. F. Skinner (1904-1990). Skinner
formulated the concept of operant conditioning, through which behaviour could be
shaped by reinforcement or lack of it. Skinner considered his concept applicable to a
wide range of both human and animal behaviours and introduced operant conditioning
to the general public in his 1938 book, The Behaviour of Organisms .
There are three basic assumptions on behaviour consequences. The first
assumption is that systematic use of reinforcements (rewards) can shape students
behaviour in desired directions. Reinforcement is a technique used to increase
desired behaviour. There are two types of reinforcement: positive reinforcement and
negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement training is based on a positive
experience - receiving appetitive stimulus, or in other words, rewards. For example,
when Janes parents praise her effort to clean her room, there is a high probability that
Jane will continue to exhibit that same behaviour in the future. The stimulus is the praise
from her parents which produces a response from Jane which is to clean her room.
Negative reinforcement occurs when something already present is removed
(taken away) as a result of a person's behaviour, creating a favourable outcome for that
person. Technically, for negative reinforcement to occur, the person must engage in the
behaviour that created the favourable outcome more frequently in the future
(Miltenberger, 2008). In Negative Reinforcement a particular behaviour is strengthened
by the consequence of the stopping or avoiding of a negative condition. This is an
example of negative reinforcement: When a child says "please" and "thank you" to
his/her mother, the child may not have to engage in his/her dreaded chore of setting the
table. Therefore, not having to set the table will act as a negative reinforcer and
increase the likelihood of the child saying "please" and "thank you" in the future.
The second assumption is that behaviour becomes weaker if it is not followed
by reinforcement. Reinforcement needs correct timing and rewards, high enthusiasm
and consistency. For a reinforcement to work, it must be something valued by the

person or animal. This can mean that you have to tailor it according to the individual.
For example, if Lily is promised to be given candy which is her favourite if she finished
her homework, it is likely that Lily will do the desired behaviour. While this means more
effort initially if training a group, the outcome is worth it.
Punishment is used to refer to any change that occurs after a behaviour that
reduces the likelihood that that behaviour will occur again in the future. While positive
and negative reinforcement are used to increase behaviours, punishment is focused on
reducing or eliminating unwanted behaviours. For children, this could be the removal of
television privileges when they disobey their parents or teacher. Punishment is often
mistakenly confused with negative reinforcement. We need to acknowledge that
reinforcement always increases the chances that behaviour will occur and punishment
always decreases the chances that behaviour will occur.
The third assumption is that behaviour would gradually disappear if there is
no reinforcement. The removal of reinforcement altogether is called extinction.
Extinction eliminates the incentive for unwanted behaviour by withholding the expected
response. A widespread parenting technique based on extinction is the time-out, in
which a child is separated from the group when he or she misbehaves. This technique
removes the expected reward of parental attention.
In the classroom, the teacher has three choices when dealing with undesirable
behaviour. The teacher can either give reward to desired behaviour, ignore the
undesired behaviour with hope that the behaviour will be extinguished, or punish the
student with undesired behaviour.
There are some applications of behavioural modifications in the classroom: A
teacher should find the answers for these problems. The first problem is to identify the
specific undesired behaviour that needs to be observed, measured or altered. The
teacher needs to know the specific behaviour to be corrected in order to choose the
perfect strategies for classroom management. Besides that, the teacher needs to know
the baseline of current behaviour. The teacher needs to be aware of the students
current behaviour in the classroom, the pattern of behaviour.

Other than that, the teacher needs to set the behavioural objective. The teacher
needs to know what undesired behaviour that needs to be removed, and what desired
behaviour that needs to be encouraged. The teacher also needs to know the event
that will likely lead to undesired behaviour. The teacher needs to know the cause of
why the undesired behaviour keeps reoccurring. It could be that the student keeps
making mischief in the class because he feels unappreciated and unnoticed by others.
The next problem would be finding the appropriate reward that should be
given to student. The teacher needs to choose a reward that can be given consistently
to the student. The teacher also needs to figure out who is able to provide the reward
systematically and regularly.
To evaluate this classroom discipline model, we need to look at the pros and cons of
behavioural modification. One of its strengths is that it is very reliable. It is supported by
intensive research and effective discipline strategies. Besides that, it also forces the
teacher to become alert of the happenings in the classroom. Behaviour modification
makes sure that the teacher is consistent in solving discipline problems in the
However behaviour modification does have its weakness. It can be considered
as manipulating since students are encouraged to do something to gain reward,
instead of doing it due to intrinsic motivation. This model is also dangerous to be used
if the teacher is ignorant and unethical. Improper use by the teacher might lead to
students hatred toward school and studies. Besides that, it is difficult for a teacher to
identify the appropriate reward for each student. One reward for a student might be a
punishment to another.