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Positive Classroom Environments and Rule Setting

Thinking about what sort of environment I want to be in and place in society, I want to be in the safest and most comfortable environment as I possibly can be for me and my family. So the same in the classroom we first need to investigate what makes society feel that they are in a positive environment. Social norms are a big part of how society follows and makes rules and procedures. Social norms are viewed as a collective portrayal of acceptable group behaviour as well as an individual image of particular group conduct (Lapinski, Rimal, 2005). From a sociological viewpoint, social norms are informal understandings that govern the behaviour of members of a society (Jackson, 1965). Social norms can be characterised as:

rules that prescribe what people should and should not do given their social surroundings”;

this is also known as a milieu (Hechter, Michael, Opp, Karl-Dieter, 2005). Social norms could also be viewed as products of culture as in values, customs and traditions etc…Although not treated to be legal laws within society, norms still act to advocate a great deal of social control (Druzin, Bryan, 2016). They are statements that regulate the conduct of an individual and reflect what society as a collective considers a norm. Without them, there would be a world without consensus, common ground, or restrictions leading to a chaotic society and a very negative environment. Therefore, the classroom milieu is the reflection of the norms of social rules and procedures and have to be addressed to be successful.

As the classroom is a social environment a positive procedure could be to create the rules of the classroom together as a social group instead of a teacher just being a dictator. According to Jonathan Erwin (2004) “One of the most effective and practical ways teachers can give students a say in the classroom is by allowing them to participate in developing the classroom rules or behaviour guidelines.” This will help a learner feel a part of this milieu and will take extra care in following the classroom social norms.

Another rule or procedure that can make a more positive classroom environment is language. The continuity of a teacher letting the learners know you believe in them will go a long way in creating a positive classroom environment saying “you have got this” to a student is much more beneficial than saying “you must try harder”. Reminding students of past successes is a positive step toward a happy milieu when a student is struggling with new content.

Try to remind them how successful they have been in the past and if their quality of work can be that good, they can do it again.
Another rule that could be followed is to give honest feedback. This can work both ways as a teacher or student, try to be open about if your instruction is working with all the learners, this can be done as easily by a check for understanding like a thumbs up or a thumbs down if you understand or not, it is very easy to lose a few students if we are not observant about the class as a whole. For a student, honest feedback is needed to progress in their studies, just ‘Great job!’ is not feedback. How does the student go from where they are now to where they want to be, how does the student go from a C to an A?


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Source: https://www.academia.edu/