Instructional Classroom Management: A Proactive Approach to Behavior Management, 2d ed.
Article Type:
Book review
Books (Book reviews)
Shippen, Margaret E.
Pub Date:
Name: Education & Treatment of Children Publisher: West Virginia University Press, University of West Virginia Audience: Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Education; Family and marriage; Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2006 West Virginia University Press, University of West Virginia ISSN: 0748-8491
Date: Feb, 2006 Source Volume: 29 Source Issue: 1
NamedWork: Instructional Classroom Management: A Proactive Approach to Behavior Management, 2d ed. (Book)
Reviewee: Darch, Craig B.; Kame'enui, Edward J.

Accession Number:
Full Text:
Craig B. Darch and Edward J. Kame'enui, Instructional Classroom Management: A Proactive Approach to Behavior Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004 (Second Edition). Paperback, 257 pages, $33.33.

In the context of academic accountability required in public education, Instructional Classroom Management: A Proactive Approach to Behavior Management (2nd ed.) could serve as a valuable resource for practicing educators and teacher preparation programs. The premise of this book is that management of classroom and student behavior is best facilitated through highly structured instructional practice. The authors promote proactive strategies that are both academic and behavioral.

The authors state that the second edition of this book was developed for classroom teachers, school administrators, school counselors, and psychologists. Additionally, they offer web-based resources to college and university faculty and students ( These resources clearly facilitate the use of this book in preservice teacher preparation programs and inservice teacher development.

The book is structured across ten chapters written by Darch and Kame'enui with two chapters (7 and 10) contributed by George Sugai and his colleagues. The chapters in the text cover a range of topics from understanding student behavior to school-wide management systems. The chapter formats vary, but generally each chapter contains (a) information on the given topic arranged in subsections, (b) a summary of the chapter, (c) activities that allow the reader opportunities to apply the information from the chapter, and (d) references to the literature cited within the chapter. Each chapter is briefly described in the following section.

Chapter 1 discusses the philosophy of managing through instruction. This chapter orients the reader to the text and provides the reader with a framework for thinking about behavior management in the context of "can't versus won't" problems exhibited by students. The authors offer three organizing principles that reflect the learner's perspective of management (i.e., the learner should always be treated with respect, every learner has an extraordinary capacity to learn, and the learner's behavior or performance is always purposeful, strategic, and intelligent) and three organizing principles that reflect the teacher's perspective of management (i.e., the teacher makes a profound difference in how, what, when, and why students learn, teaching involves creating as many opportunities as possible for successful learning, and effective teaching enhances what the learner already knows and enables the learner to do things that could not be done before).

Chapter 2 provides theoretical perspectives on behavior (e.g., behavioral, biophysical, psychoeducational, ecological, social learning, and instructional) that have informed the practice of the field. The section, Instructional Perspective, provides the reader with a clear explanation of the instructional classroom management theory and the foundation for this book. Darch and Kame'enui (2004, p. 36-37) state that "the strategies for teaching and managing social behavior are no different than strategies for teaching reading, earth science, or mathematics" and "... that by their very nature, classroom and behavior management procedures are instructional ..."

In chapters 3 and 4 the authors expand the conceptual and temporal framework for the instructional classroom management model. Chapter 3 provides the conceptual framework of instructional management in the context of task dimensions (e.g., history, response, modality, complexity, schedule, and variation) by providing specific instructional examples for each of the task dimensions. Chapter 4 provides an overview the temporal framework across two steps. The first step (considering the phases of instruction, before, during, and after) provides the teacher with specific insight into planning, teaching, and assessing in a task by task approach. Step two provides an overview of the 180-day school year in a broad perspective so teachers can plan the fall, winter, and spring months. Each month of each season presented in this chapter involves purposeful instructional practice. For example, the fall months are organized around teaching students the classroom rules and routines. The winter months focus on the development of behavioral skills and academic competencies. The spring months usher in the final stages of the 180 day plan and the focus is to maintain and reinforce behavioral and academic performance.

In chapter 5 the authors offer assessment strategies. These strategies are embedded within an assessment model that specifies best practice for what teachers should do in the phases before, during, and after instruction. The description of this three phase model culminates with a teacher-friendly checklist that supports the translation and use of assessment that informs instruction.

In chapter 6 the authors describe instructional reinforcement strategies designed to motivate students within specific task dimensions that were introduced in Chapter 3 (e.g., history, response, modality, complexity, schedule, and variation). The authors describe categories of instructional reinforcers as tangible, social, and activity. This chapter provides methods of aligning categories reinforcement strategies with task dimensions. For example, a teacher must consider task modality (oral, motor, or written) when choosing the reinforcer. Written tasks are more challenging for low performing students, therefore a higher frequency of proximity and tangible physical prompts. The authors state that "designing instruction with the reinforcement in mind increases opportunities for learning" (p. 146).

Chapter 7, contributed by Sugai and Lewis, provides guidelines for enhancing and supporting social skills instruction. This chapter builds on the content of the previous chapters and provides practical evidence-based practices for teachers. The authors of this chapter provide the literature base for why social skills instruction is needed. They offer a sample lesson plan for teaching conflict resolution as well as the eight components of a social skills lesson.

The next chapter, Chapter 8, explains the use of punishment as a tool for transition only in the instructional classroom management model. The authors describe five more proactive and preventative instructional strategies to use before selecting punishment. If punishment must be used, they suggest guidelines with specific steps in the form of administration and implementation. First in the administration guidelines provided, the authors suggest developing a list of punishment strategies from least to most intrusive. Next, informing the parents and students about punishment strategies is suggested. The implementation guidelines include using punishment in conjunction with reinforcement, implementing punishment strategies calmly, applying the strategy consistently and withdrawing punishment as soon as possible. The punishment strategies discussed include verbal reprimands, quiet time, owing-time, response-cost, and time-out from positive reinforcement.

In chapter 9 strategies are outlined for proactively managing persistent behavior problems. This chapter uses scenarios of persistent behavioral problems exhibited by students and "walks" the reader through analysis and solution of the problems within an instructional classroom management model. The final chapter (10), also contributed by Sugai and his colleagues, describes the essential elements of effective school-wide discipline. The model of school-wide management described in this chapter underscores the need for proactive instructional approaches.

In summary, this text is comprehensive and thoughtful in its description of the complex issues associated with classroom and behavior management. The instructional classroom management model presented is based on conventional theory as well as research-validated instructional practice. This book provides the reader with a clear understanding of both and could serve as an essential resource to K-12 general and special educators in all content areas.

Reviewed by Margaret E. Shippen Georgia State University
Gale Copyright:
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.