Kounin Teaching Principles

Essay by sesame__stUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2009

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Jacob Kounin, an educational psychologist, became best known for his research of the effects of classroom management on student behaviour. In 1970, he published his book, Discipline and Group Management in Classrooms, after realising that teaching and discipline were closely related. He produced a model for teachers to effectively reduce student misbehaviour. There are many benefits for teachers who follow his model.

In his book Discipline and Group Management, Jacob Kounin introduced a model for teachers to assist in classroom management. His principles would dramatically reduce misbehaviour of students in classrooms, if teachers were to follow them. Kounin came about these principles after realising that teaching and discipline were closely related. Previously teaching was thought of as helping students to obtain knowledge and skills, whereas discipline was what teachers did to keep the students on task and paying attention (Charles, 2002). Charles (2002; Kounin 1970) points out that Kounin’s model included several important teaching principles.

The first, ‘withitness’, requires a teacher to be ‘with it’ and be entirely aware of everything that is happening in the classroom. For example, a teacher should be aware that little Johnny in the back row is making paper aeroplanes. Whilst still interacting with the rest of the class she should walk around the classroom and take the paper from Johnny, and give him a look to let him know that he was in the wrong. By this action the teacher has not stopped the lesson to tell Johnny off, because she has not made it obvious of her actions. If the lesson was stopped, the class’ attention would have been taken off the topic to look at Johnny, and class would have been disrupted. I strongly believe that this is Kounin’s strongest principle, as it is most important for teachers to always know of...