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ESE502: The Class: Balance: Idea of Balance: Introducing to Balance

Introducing the Idea of Balance

Classroom management is complex. It is a balancing act, and the “mix” for great success requires constant attention and adjustment. This module is a medley of refrains. At the conclusion, the teacher will evaluate the different parts that contribute to the masterpiece of a well run classroom. Once the different voices and parts are clear, it will feel natural to artfully orchestrate and mix the melodic and rhythmic components that contribute to quality performances.

In the orchestra, there are four main voices, the winds, brass, strings and percussion. In the classroom, there are four voices, content, teacher, student and discipline.

Each has its own part to play, each is independent of, and interdependent on the whole. A masterpiece is unlikely when one voice is absent for too long, for the ensemble lacks richness. When one area stays the main focus, the sense of community and quality of learning are at risk.

This module offers opportunities for looking at four ‘voices’ in your classroom. As you look at each component, consider ways that it can be enriched. Think about the times when one is out of balance and what the repercussions are when that occurs. Think about the times when it makes sense for one voice to have a solo.

It can be a great deal of fun to develop a new musical mix of an old standby.

The first step, Maestro, is to take a close look at classroom function. There are many profitable ways to do that. You can choose from the options below As you complete these activities, you may send email responses to share and discuss findings with the professor, or you may post them at the Virtual Conference Center.

Use observation forms to collect data about classroom interactions. You can use those provided in this course, or find your own.

Reflect on the ecology and systemic function of the four ‘voices.’ Draw a cognitive mind map to express your ideas.

Identify places where you want to change the emphasis in your own plan.

Teacher Student Content Discipline

Develop a set of building blocks for constructing your own discipline plan.

* Read recent articles and research written by others who are trying some of the things you are considering. Collect 25 points for each one minute essay submitted.

* Journal your journey. The final asks that you lay out your own discipline plan, so keep track of ideas as you go. A journal is worth 100 points. Remember to keep track of your points so that you will get credit for all your work.

* Share your experiences with others in the conference center in the Student Union item. Give yourself 25 points for each time you engage in this activity. You will submit your point total to the instructor when you complete the course.

Observe classroom interactions.

 by J'Anne Ellsworth

Once you have completed the activities , you should:

Go on to Balancing the Voice in Education
Go back to Balance

Questions??E-mail J'Anne Ellsworth at

Web site created by the NAU OTLE Faculty Studio

Course created by J'Anne Ellsworth


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