A positive environment for student learning relies heavily on classroom management and structure and a climate that facilitates student success. The Assessment of an positive environment of student learning will therefore entail an evaluation of how classrooms are managed and structured to facilitate student success, whether such environments foster a conducive climate for students to succeed and whether teachers have the capacity to establish classrooms that are supportive, caring, safe academically robust and challenging enough to simulate a positive environment for learning (Georgia Department of Education, 2014; Shernoff, 2013; Hindman, et al., 2010).
Evaluation of classroom management will entail finding out whether teachers are in a position to identify and communicate desirable behaviour in classroom settings, whether they are able to apply rules and procedures consistently and whether they can monitor student behaviour. Ideally, they should be able to take preventative as opposed to reactive management actions. They should also have the capacity to pace through class activities and transition between tasks smoothly. Additionally, they should maximize instructional time and keep students on task. Generally, they should make the learning experience more meaningful to their students.
An effective classroom climate facilitates corporation among students and teachers by promoting the pursuit of common goals, values and interests. In essence, the class should have a clear academic focus, which is characterised by well-planned and well organized lessons. This should culminate in specific learning objectives coupled with a favourable instructional pace. Teachers should be supportive and act as role models to students while the latter should be respectful and productive. They should also participate in various class activities to enhance memorability.
Generally, a teacher’s effectiveness in achieving a positive environment for student learning, will be judged from the physical arrangement of classrooms, the observation of discipline and routines in class, the organization of learning activities, engagement of students, maximization of instructional time, communication of high expectations and the display of care and respect.
Georgia Department of Education, 2014. Teacher Assessment on Performance Standard 7: Positive Learning Environment. [Online]
Available at: http://www.gadoe.org/School-Improvement/Teacher-and-Leader-Effectiveness/Documents/FY15%20TKES%20and%20LKES%20Documents/QG%20-%20TKES%20-%20TAPS%207%20Positive%20Learning%20Environment.pdf
[Accessed 7 February 2015].
Hindman, J., Grant, L. & Stronge, J., 2010. The Supportive Learning Environment: Effective Teaching Practices. New York, NY: Routledge.
Shernoff, D. J., 2013. Optimal learning environments to promote student engagement. New York, NY : Springer.
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