Being present in a classroom and as a teacher is something that I’ve found to be incredibly important for classroom management. Being able to connect to and spend time with every one of your students in your classes leads to motivated and on task students. Clearly communicating expectations and rules is also important as well as providing clear instruction. I’ve found that most students that are off task in an art class are confused about what they need to be doing, or doubt their own artistic ability or skills. Finding a way for students to connect to the art project they are working on can be challenging, especially in a large class, but when I see students find something that inspires them, that’s when they are the most focused on creating work.
Navigating distractions and disruptions is also an important part of classroom management and creating strategies with students is something I’ve seen my mentor teacher do with great success. Creating procedures to help with the transitions in class is also essential to deal with the high volume of artwork and materials that are part of an art classroom. Finding ways to empower students and support them while they create is still the most effective way to support a positive classroom environment and motivate students that I have found.
Response to the article and the study Whatever Happened to the “Cool’ Kids?
I want to echo some of the points already mentioned by some of my classmates, that there is many factors that determine whether someone is successful later in life. “Coolness’ or pseudomature behavior may have some small part in this, but nowhere near the economic background of the child, whether or not a child has disabilities, or even the gender or race of a student.
The study found this among the small sample of 184 students, that “early pseudomature behavior also predicted higher adult levels of more serious criminal behavior, alcohol and drug use, and problems associated with such use.’
This does not address what other studies have found:
“African-American students, for instance, are 3.5 times more likely than their white classmates to be suspended or expelled, according to a nationwide study by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. Black children constitute 18 percent of students, but they account for 46 percent of those suspended more than once.
For students with disabilities, the numbers are equally troubling. One report found that while 8.6 percent of public school children have been identified as having disabilities that affect their ability to learn, these students make up 32 percent of youth in juvenile detention centers.’
The issues with these kinds of studies is they usually have a small study group, that they focus on one community, and that they are trying to address issues that are difficult to get hard data on. Relying on surveying adolescents is not the most accurate way to get information. There are so many other factors within this community, school, or within the students that could have made a major impact on the results. This is an issue not just with this study, but with any study that uses similar methods within researching education.
I don’t mean to dismiss the study of pseudomaturity all together, just that we should hesitate before we make broad statements on what will make someone successful or not. The study itself admits that we need to find the intervening mechanisms by which it leads to long-term problematic continuities. And, as the study calls out for in the end, it would be interesting to find out how and why pseudomature behavior develops, and what outside factors influence it.