Understanding Three Key Classroom Management Theories


Classroom management is an essential aspect of effective teaching. It involves maintaining order, fostering a positive learning environment, and directing students’ behavior to maximize learning outcomes. There are several theories on classroom management that have been developed by various researchers over time. In this article, we will explore three key classroom management theories and examine how they can be applied to modern education.

1. The Assertive Discipline Model (Lee Canter):

The Assertive Discipline Model, developed by Lee Canter in the 1970s, emphasizes teachers asserting themselves as authority figures in the classroom while maintaining a calm and steady demeanor. According to this theory, teachers should clearly communicate their expectations for student behavior and consistently apply consequences for inappropriate actions.


– Set clear rules and expectations for your students

– Be consistent in applying consequences for misbehavior

– Maintain a calm and composed demeanor while asserting authority

2. The Choice Theory (William Glasser):

Choice Theory, proposed by William Glasser in the 1980s, suggests that students are motivated by their internal needs and desires rather than external factors such as rewards or punishments. This theory posits that students will choose to behave well when they see the benefits of doing so and given the opportunity to make that choice.


– Foster a positive learning environment that meets students’ basic needs

– Implement activities that promote decision-making and problem-solving skills

– Encourage students to take responsibility for their actions and choices

3. The Classroom Organization Model (Jacob Kounin):

Based on his research in the 1970s, Jacob Kounin developed the Classroom Organization Model. This theory views classroom management as a proactive approach aimed at preventing misbehavior before it happens. Kounin emphasized the importance of effective lesson planning, smooth transitions between activities, and maintaining student engagement.


– Be mindful of every aspect of classroom dynamics and organization

– Carefully plan lessons, and utilize a variety of strategies to keep students engaged

– Be skillful in your transitions and adapt promptly to unforeseen situations


Understanding and implementing effective classroom management techniques is crucial for teachers in achieving success within their profession. By integrating the principles of these three theories – Assertive Discipline, Choice Theory, and Classroom Organization – educators can create a balanced and engaging learning environment. Tailoring these strategies to suit individual classroom needs will significantly contribute to a more productive and harmonious learning experience for both students and teachers.

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