Why You Shouldn’t Have Classroom Rules

February 6, 2019      0
Most of the brigade who have completed schooling a decade ago would be aghast at the concept of no rules in class. But you heard right, the modern methodology is to have no rules at all. Some educationists have challenged the age old practice of established classroom rules and reached some pretty uncomfortable conclusions. The approach is time intensive and needs a huge amount of resources in terms of teacher attention, but if pursued correctly can yield superlative results. Dismantling rules to create a productive learning community The teacher is often daunted when asked to conduct a class devoid of rules. It sounds a little improbable, but the principle is to decentralize the power centre who is traditionally the teacher. The teacher and students come together and help form the broad underlying principles that would help govern the class. Gone are the conventional bathroom use rules, the not eating in class rules, the normal class appropriate behaviour rules. In that place there is established a core classroom committee ethos, where students are equal stakeholders. The first step is to identify the values represented by the school, the teacher and the class as a whole. These are best derived from concepts of social and gender equity.  The next step is to assemble the ideas into a semblance of a norm. The teacher can interact with the students and collect feedback about how habits, behaviour patterns, and verbal contributions were in sync with the general principles agreed on. This creates awareness in the student’s mind about the value system he should adhere to and the class appropriate behaviour that he needs to emulate. Homework is often a debatable part of the negotiations. But studies show that no punishment but acknowledging in class that there is no work done, often prods the child to be on time with assignments. The general consensus seems to be that students should be respectful to their own selves. This makes them able to participate in community activities. It helps one to help others, and the teacher is seen not as a symbol of authority but as a learner and mentor. The idea is to be engaged in class. There should be active participation and a pluralistic community should evolve. Informed conversation gives rise to debates and in-depth study, and that requires a modicum of preparedness. This encourages the student to be prepared with lessons, and also place their arguments and opinions freely in front of the class. The last principle that defines the ‘no rules’ classroom is the need for courage. The students and the teacher need to be able to acknowledge in the class that there is a skill or knowledge gap. Once acknowledged, the gap can be filled. Why You Shouldn’t Have Classroom Rules

Most of the brigade who have completed schooling a decade ago would be aghast at the concept of no rules in class. But you heard right, the modern methodology is to have no rules at all. Some educationists have challenged the age old practice of established classroom rules and reached some pretty uncomfortable conclusions. The approach is time intensive and needs a huge amount of resources in terms of teacher attention, but if pursued correctly can yield superlative results.

Dismantling rules to create a productive learning community
The teacher is often daunted when asked to conduct a class devoid of rules. It sounds a little improbable, but the principle is to decentralize the power centre who is traditionally the teacher. The teacher and students come together and help form the broad underlying principles that would help govern the class. Gone are the conventional bathroom use rules, the not eating in class rules, the normal class appropriate behaviour rules. In that place there is established a core classroom committee ethos, where students are equal stakeholders.

  • The first step is to identify the values represented by the school, the teacher and the class as a whole. These are best derived from concepts of social and gender equity. 
  • The next step is to assemble the ideas into a semblance of a norm. The teacher can interact with the students and collect feedback about how habits, behaviour patterns, and verbal contributions were in sync with the general principles agreed on. This creates awareness in the student’s mind about the value system he should adhere to and the class appropriate behaviour that he needs to emulate.
  • Homework is often a debatable part of the negotiations. But studies show that no punishment but acknowledging in class that there is no work done, often prods the child to be on time with assignments.
  • The general consensus seems to be that students should be respectful to their own selves. This makes them able to participate in community activities. It helps one to help others, and the teacher is seen not as a symbol of authority but as a learner and mentor.
  • The idea is to be engaged in class. There should be active participation and a pluralistic community should evolve.
  • Informed conversation gives rise to debates and in-depth study, and that requires a modicum of preparedness. This encourages the student to be prepared with lessons, and also place their arguments and opinions freely in front of the class.

The last principle that defines the ‘no rules’ classroom is the need for courage. The students and the teacher need to be able to acknowledge in the class that there is a skill or knowledge gap. Once acknowledged, the gap can be filled.

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