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com/)

How to Apply Thomas Gordon Model of Classroom Management


to the Classroom
by Jana Sosnowski

Thomas Gordon, author of a model of classroom management called Teacher E ectiveness


Training, derived T.E.T. from principles of psychology in an attempt to shift the responsibility
for behavior from teacher to student. The management style promotes problem-solving
techniques, positive relationships and communication strategies, and often includes school-
wide strategies. There are four basic components to T.E.T.: the behavior window, active
listening, I-message and no-lose con ict resolution.

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(//oureverydaylife.com/importance- framework divides parent view of children's behavior into upper and lower portions, which
3 assessing-classroom-behavior-special-
Examples of Common Assessments in represent acceptance and unacceptance of the child's behavior. Later models included
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High School varying levels of acceptance and unacceptance, but the goal was to determine how the
(//oureverydaylife.com/examples-
adult view of the situation a ected acceptance of behavior and acknowledge that
4 common-assessments-high-school-
Research on Performance Contracts for
19673.html) acceptance could change. In the classroom, the behavior window is designed to help
Students With Behavior Problems
(//oureverydaylife.com/research- teachers recognize problems that interfere with classroom instruction and determine
performance-contracts-students- ownership for the problems. In the model, problems are owned by either the child, the adult,
both behavior-problems-28094.html)
parties or no parties.

Active Listening: Understanding Messages


Integrating the Gordon model into the classroom includes the use of active listening as a strategy for communication between student and
teacher. The active listening strategy is employed when the problem belongs to the student; it gives the student an opportunity to express
his feelings with the knowledge that the teacher will understand and accept what he's feeling and saying. For example, if a student
routinely doesn't complete assignments, instead of creating consequence for the disruption, the teacher would speak with the student
privately and listen to the student's reasons for his behavior.

I-Messages: Communicating Teacher Needs


When the problem is determined to belong to the teacher -- such that the teacher is not able to perform her job because of interference
from a student -- the I-message strategy is employed. In this strategy, the teacher communicates to the student -- without blame, in a
nonjudgmental way -- how the student is causing problems for the teacher. The principle behind this communication strategy is that
students will develop a respect for the teacher's right to meet her own needs. For example, if a student routinely disrupts classroom
instruction, the I-message would include the teacher's inability to complete her lesson plan and do her job.

No-Lose Con ict Resolution


In cases where active listening or the I-message strategies don't improve student behavior, Gordon suggests six steps for no-lose con ict
resolution. The goal of this process is to nd a solution that's acceptable to both student and teacher. The foundation of no-lose con ict
resolution should be implemented in classroom language and atmosphere long before any problems appear. Students should know that
blame will not be placed and their needs will be listened to and considered. Conversation focuses on concerns rather than sides of the two
parties, a practice that can also be implemented in both active listening and I-messages. The six steps to the no-lose con ict resolution are
to de ne the needs of teacher and student, brainstorm solutions, evaluate solutions, choose a solution, implement the solution and check
the results.
(//oureverydaylife.com) (//oureverydaylife.com/)

References
The Clearing House; Models of Classroom Management as Applied to the Secondary Classroom; Kimber W. Malmgren, Beverly J.
Trezek, and Peter V. Paul(http://www.drradlo .com/documents/models-of-classroom-management-as-applied-to-the-secondary-
classroom.pdf)
Cengage; Classroom Management; Gordon Lyons, Margot Ford, Michael Arthur-
Kelly(http://www.cengagebrain.com.au/content/lyons87128_0170187128_02.01_chapter01.pdf)
Gordon Training International: T.E.T. Philosophy(http://www.gordontraining.com/school-programs/t-e-t-philosophy/)
Gordon Training International: Origins of the Gordon Model(http://www.gordontraining.com/thomas-gordon/origins-of-the-gordon-
model/#behaviorwindow)
Gordon Training International: How to Uncover Hidden Needs(http://www.gordontraining.com/free-parenting-articles/how-to-
uncover-hidden-needs/)
Gordon Training International; What Every Parent Should Know; Dr. Gordon Thomas(http://www.nospank.net/wepsk.pdf)
Theory Into Practice; A Con ict Resolution Model; John Davidson, Christine Wood(http://testnewhome. les.wordpress.com/2012/10/a-
con ict-resolution-model1.pdf)

Resources
Gordon Training International(http://www.gordontraining.com)

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About the Author


Based in Los Angeles, Jana Sosnowski holds Master of Science in educational psychology and instructional technology, She has spent
the past 11 years in education, primarily in the secondary classroom teaching English and journalism. Sosnowski has also worked as a
curriculum writer for a math remediation program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from the University of Southern
California.

Photo Credits
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