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Jacob S. Kounin (Classroom Management Theorist) Who is he? Jacob Kounin is known as a classroom management theorist.

Around 1946, he began working as an educational psychologist at at Wayne State University. Many people believe that Kounin was highly influenced by Glasser, and it can be seen throughout his work. He made people think about the possibility of discipline and instruction being utilized as one. Instead of these two techniques being separate, Kounin explained how you have to incorporate different aspects from each in order to create an effective classroom. By utilizing skills within discipline and instruction, one should be able to manage a classroom according to Kounin's ideas and principles.

Best known for his two studies done in 1970 He wrote the book, "Discipline and Group Management in Classrooms" Kounin worked to combine both discipline and learning in the classroom Kounin believed that organization and planning are key to engaging students This relationship is characterized by proactive teacher behaviour along with student involvement in learning

JACOB KOUNINS THEORY Issue Preventing misbehaviour Skills Withitness Definition General awareness of the classroom, which is communicated to students; prompt and correct identification and correction of misbehaviour. Examples The teacher makes eye contact with a student who is about to shoot a basket with a wad of paper. The student behind him, who has seen the interaction, decides he is not likely to get away with shooting a basket either. The teacher is leading a class discussion when a student comes in late. The teacher nods to him, continuing the discussion. Later, when students have begun a seatwork assignment, she checks in with him and signs his tardy


Attending to two or more simultaneous events

Maintaining group focus

Group alerting

Taking action to engage the attention of the whole class while individuals are responding.

slip. Each student has a number that was draw from a hat on the way into class. The teacher draws numbers and uses them to call on students during a fast-paced review. At the end of discussion and practice of a new skill, students are told to turn to a neighbour and explain the process to him or her. While some students work problems at the board, students at their desk are instructed to check them by working the problems on paper. The teacher notices that the explanation of a relatively minor concept is taking too long and distracting attention from the primary focus of the lesson. The teacher makes a mental note to go more deeply into this concept in a separate lesson the next day, and moves on. While being responsive to student interests, the teacher avoids comments that tend to draw attention away from the key points of the lesson.

Encouraging accountability

Communicating to students that their participation will be observed and evaluated.

High participation formats

Using lessons that define behaviour of students when they are not directly answering a teachers question Keeping lessons moving briskly; planning carefully to avoid slowdowns.

Managing movement



Staying on track with digressions and diversions that can lead to confusion.

Kounins model has its advantages in that it focuses mostly on the teachers behavior. In other words, it is easier to change ones self than others. Withitness, Alerting, and Group Management. *The ripple effect: when you correct one pupil's behavior, it tends to change the behavior of others. *The teacher needs to be with it to know what is going on everywhere in the room at all times. *Smooth transitions between activities and maintaining momentum are key to effective group management. *Optimal learning takes place when teachers keep pupils alert and held accountable for learning. *Boredom [satiation] can be avoided by providing varietyto lessons, the classroom environment and by pupilawareness of progress. Kounin emphasized how teachers could manage students, lessons, and classrooms so as to reduce the incidence of behavior. Kounin identified specific teaching techniques that help, and hinder, classroom discipline. Kounin showed that technique, not teachers personality, is most crucial in classroom management of student behavior. Key features of Kounins classroom and lesson management

Withiness Momentum Smoothness Group alerting Accountability Overlapping Satiation Fun and challenge.

Organization and planning set the stage for good classroom management. LESSON MOVEMENT emphasizes the strong relationship between effective management and effective teaching. Lesson movement is maintained through withitness, overlapping, momentum and smoothness. WITHITNESS means that a teacher knows what is going on in the classroom at all times, kind of "eyes in the back of your head." OVERLAPPING is a closely related to withitness and is the ability to attend to two incidents at the same time. MOMENTUM refers to the force and flow of a lesson. An effective lesson pulls the student along.

SMOOTHNESS is maintaining direction in the lesson and not being diverted by irrelevant incidents or information. Kounin also coined a term he called the Ripple Effect. How a teachers method of handling misbehavior influences the other students who were not misbehaving. The effect tends to have more influence on younger students and early in the school year. Students with high motivation to learn also responded more, as did those who respected the teacher. Desist occurs when the teacher tells a student to stop a behavior. Desist influence on the ripple effect in three areas: CLARITY, FIRMNESS AND ROUGHNESS CLARITY refers to how much information is given. A simple Stop that." Had less ripple effect than, "In school we ask for things, we dont just grab." FIRMNESS is the degree the teacher carries an "I-mean-it" and a "right now!" quality in the desist. ROUGHNESS refers to the amount of anger or exasperation the teacher expresses. Roughness is not simply more firmness and seems to have little effect on the ripple effect. Clear firm desists tend to work the best. Jacob Kounin and some principles of Classroom Management What is classroom management? It includes all of the things a teacher does towards two ends: 1. To foster student involvement and cooperation in all classroom activities. 2. To establish a productive working environment. Effective vs. Ineffective Teachers (or good managers vs. poor managers) ***Kounins 1970s study: effective teachers were no different from ineffective teachers in responding to or dealing with students misbehavior after the misbehavior had occurred. The difference: READINESS * * * Room ready Work ready Teacher ready

Kounin interested in group management -- how a teachers method of handling the misbehavior of a student influences the other students who are audiences to the event but not themselves target the ripple effect. Kounin found that good managers: 1. Project an image of being in charge in the classroom. a. whithitness "having eyes in the back of your head" b. overlapping ability to deal with two or more issues at once 2. Efficiently manage lessons and transitions between lessons. a. focus making sure students know what they are supposed to do and why b. attention motivation and specific directions c. accountability calling on students to respond, discuss, interact, demonstrate d. pacing timing e. momentum progression of lesson without slowdown or frantic rush f. transitions established routines