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Febuary 2021 Newsletter

Dear Knowledge Network members,  

The long winter has been harsh. February can feel demoralizing as the holidays are a distant memory, and relief in the form of a break appears so far away. Given the extraordinary circumstances of this past year, we want to acknowledge the amazing work of the many dedicated teams of principals, teachers, support staff, and parents who are working overtime to overcome the challenges posed by Covid-19.

This month's newsletter focuses on the topic of behavior management and student conduct. Classroom management is demanding even during the best of times, but during covid, teachers and parents face unprecedented challenges in controlling students' behavior. 

This months' effort offers Wing Institute original work complemented with recently published research on classroom management designed to lessen the burden of managing the students under your supervision. This knowledge base incorporates decades of rigorous analysis to outline a path intended to maximize the success of our dedicated educators and parents who are working tirelessly to succeed in a very complicated situation.

We at the Wing Institute wish you the best as we all await vaccines that offer the best path to getting all students and teachers back in our schools.

Classroom Management

This month the Wing Institute a summary of recent research on teacher preparation.

Wing Institute Original Work: Behavior Management
Additional content includes five Wing Institute original papers on teacher induction and a data mining article on the topic of professional development: For more information on behavior management and it's impact on achievement, please link to these papers: Evidence-based Kernels: Fundamental Units of Behavioral InfluenceEvidence-based practices in classroom management: Considerations for research to practice. Education and Treatment of Children, and Teacher classroom management practices: effects on disruptive or aggressive student behavior.
Behavior Management Research (2020-2021)
This issue contains summaries and access to the following resources: We are confident that our education system will get through these troubling times and emerge stronger than ever.  

Stay safe,
The Wing Institute

Classroom Management

Do teacher preparation programs teach effective classroom management strategies?

A very recent analysis by the National Council on Teacher Quality (Pomeranz and Walsh, 2020) examined teacher preparation programs’ performance in this area.  
Evidence-based research has identified five key strategies for effective classroom management:     
1.   Establishing rules and routines that set expectations for behavior;
2.   Maximizing learning time by managing time, class materials, and the physical setup of the classroom, and by promoting student engagement;
3.   Reinforcing positive behavior by using specific, meaningful praise and other forms of positive reinforcement;
4.   Redirecting off-task behavior through unobtrusive means that do not interrupt instruction and that prevent and manage such behavior, and;
5.   Addressing serious misbehavior with consistent, respectful, and appropriate consequences. (Epstein, 2008)
NCTQ surveyed 941 teacher preparation programs on classroom management in 2020, and compared the data to two previous surveys in 2016 and 2013.  Figure 1 examines the performance of teacher preparation programs in teaching these components:  

Figure 1:  Percent of teacher preparation programs teaching key components of classroom management 

Only 14% of the surveyed teacher preparation programs taught all five critical components of classroom management, and this rate has not improved over the last seven years.  While there was a steady increase in the percent of programs that taught four of five, missing a component will undermine the classroom management effectiveness.  Additionally, over half of the remaining programs taught three or less of the strategies.
Of the components neglected, reinforcing positive behavior is the component with the most research behind its efficacy.  As figure 2 demonstrates, it is also the least taught by a significant percentage.
Figure 2:  Program adherence to specific classroom management strategies 

Three quarters of the teacher preparation programs fail to teach reinforcing positive behavior.
These deficits in teaching effective classroom management strategies show up in the early years of teacher careers.
In the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) administered in 2018, lower secondary teachers (grades 7–9 in the United States) were asked to rate their ability in managing student behaviors, including controlling disruptive behavior in the classroom, making expectations about student behavior clear, getting students to follow classroom rules, and calming a student who is disruptive or noisy.   The results are displayed in Figure 3.   (Wang, et. al., 2020)
Figure 3:  Percentage of lower secondary teachers (grades 7-9) in public schools who reported being able to manage various aspects of student behavior “quite a bit” or “a lot,” 2018

New teachers with less than 3 years experience report significantly less success with classroom management behaviors than those with more practical experience.  Across the four classroom components exhibited in Figure 3, only 68% of new teachers felt they were able to manage various aspects of student behavior “quite a bit” or “a lot,” as opposed to 88% of teachers with more experience.


Pomerance, L., & Walsh, K. (2020). 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Clinical Practice & Classroom Management. National Council on Teacher Quality.
Epstein, M., Atkins, M., Cullinan, D., Kutash, K., & Weaver, R. (2008). Reducing behavior problems in the elementary school classroom: A practice guide (NCEE #2008-012) . Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

Wang, K., Chen, Y., Zhang, J., and Oudekerk, B.A. (2020). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2019 (NCES 2020-063/NCJ 254485). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, and Bureau of Justice Statistics. 

Wing Institute Original Papers

Rues and Procedures

Research suggests that starting each year by teaching rules and procedures results in increased appropriate conduct and higher academic achievement. Both rules and procedures are proactive strategies that set expectations and instruct students on both appropriate and unacceptable ways to interact with peers and adults. Clearly stated, they define and operationalize acceptable behavior necessary to maintain an orderly and well-functioning school or classroom. Read More

Guinness, K., Detrich, R., Keyworth, R. & States, J. (2020). Overview of Rules and Procedures. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Supporting Appropriate Behavior

Proactive classroom management strategies promote appropriate behavior and reduce or prevent misbehavior. This overview focuses on proactive strategies to support appropriate behavior in school settings. Reinforcement is at the core of most proactive strategies. It is defined as a consequence that follows a behavior and increases the frequency of that behavior. Read More

Citation: Guinness, K., Detrich, R., Keyworth, R. & States, J. (2019). Overview of Supporting Appropriate Behavior. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Decreasing Inappropriate Behavior

An effective classroom behavior management program involves both proactive strategies to prevent challenging behavior, and reactive strategies to respond to challenging behavior when it occurs. One type of proactive strategy is attending to the physical environment of the classroom, including how desk arrangement, visual displays, and classroom noise can affect student behavior. Modifying characteristics of the physical environment is a primary intervention in a multitiered system of support (MTSS). This overview summarizes research on the effects of the physical classroom environment on student behavior. Read More

Citation: Guinness, K., Detrich, R., Keyworth, R. & States, J. (2020). Overview of Decreasing Inppropriate Behavior. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Structures Environment

Teachers place inappropriate conduct at the top of the list of challenges they face. Unacceptable behavior ranges from problematic speech to violence. Evidence supports a continuum of strategies to decrease inappropriate behavior, beginning with the least intrusive and progressing through increasingly restrictive interventions. Read More

Citation: Guinness, K., Detrich, R., Keyworth, R. & States, J. (2020). Overview of Structured Environment. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Active Supervision

Active supervision is a behavior management strategy that involves both proactive and reactive components to support appropriate behavior and discourage inappropriate behavior. This intervention can be applied in classrooms and other school environments that are identified as potentially challenging, such as transitions from one activity or environment to another. Read More

Citation: Guinness, K., Detrich, R., Keyworth, R. & States, J. (2020). Overview of Supporting Appropriate Behavior. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

Behavior Management

What practices are essential in establishing a school-wide behavior management system?

Sustaining and Scaling Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: Implementation Drivers, Outcomes, and Considerations. Positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) is a system-wide conduct management approach designed to increase student behavior consistency in schools. PBIS was introduced with the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 1997. This paper examines the 25-year history of the PBIS implementation experience, including the core features of PBIS as a multi-tiered framework and the process and outcomes for implementing PBIS across over 26,000 schools. Read more

What tool can accurately and efficiently identify teacher’s classroom management skills?

Initial validation of the Classroom Management Observation Tool (CMOT). Effective classroom management is critical for student and teacher success. Current approaches to assess teachers’ classroom management are either (a) simple and efficient, but have unknown psychometric properties, or (b) psychometrically sound, but resource intensive.This article describes the development and validation of a four-item rating of teachers’ active supervision, opportunities to respond, specific praise, and positive to corrective ratio. Read more

What is an effective behavior management program for adolescent aged students?

An Evaluation of the Caught Being Good Game With an Adolescent Student Population. This study investigated the Caught Being Good Game (CBGG), for use with an adolescent student population. The CBGG is a positive variation of the Good Behavior Game (GBG), a popular group contingency intervention in classroom management literature. The CBGG was effective in leading to increases in academically engaged behavior and decreases in disruptive behavior in the participating class group. Read More

How can educators leverage the use of gaming to impact student conduct positively?

Gamification for Classroom Management: An Implementation Using ClassDojo. Research supports effective classroom management as an essential component of successful instruction. In order to promote learning and reduce negative behaviors and increase positive ones, this study intervention used gamification as the educational approach and ClassDojo as the online tool to track behavior to determine the effectiveness of both elements to achieve the goal. The study showed the benefit of this method and app regarding the improvement of desired behaviors as well as the decrease of the disruptive ones. Read More

How can School-wide Positive Interventions and Support maximize academic engagement and reduce disruptive behavior of middle school students? 

Building From the Bottom Up: The Importance of Tier 1 Supports in the Context of Tier 2 Interventions. School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) relies on effective implementation of Tier 1 practices to ensure accurate identification of students in need of more intensive supports at Tier 2 or Tier 3. While measures of school-level fidelity are widely used, measures of classroom-level implementation of Tier 1 supports are less common. In the context the authors assessed whether a class-wide Tier 1 program, Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT), enhanced the effectiveness of the Tier 2 intervention. Read More

How can schools increase student attendance during Covid-19?

Improving Attendance in a Remote Learning Environment. The purpose of this brief is to adapt the suggestions and strategies provided in Improving Attendance and Reducing Chronic Absenteeism to guide practice during remote instruction. Strategies from both briefs will be helpful during hybrid instructional models.  Read More

How can schools reduce dropout rates during covid-19?

Dropout Prevention in the Time of COVID-19. Students on the path toward dropping out of high school often exhibit signals that they are at risk well before they stop engaging in school. As school closures due to COVID-19 separate students from structured routines and educational supports, the number of disengaged students may continue to grow. This paper provides examples of signs Educators should be aware of to maximize engagement and supports for at-risk students. Read More

How can parents manage their children’s conduct during Covid-19?

Dropout Prevention in the Time of COVID-19Supporting Positive At-Home Behaviors Among Elementary Students. Parents and caregivers know their child better than anyone. However, when the role of a parent or caregiver changes to include the role of teacher, knowing and using the most effective behavior management strategies can help support this shift. The strategies listed in this piece offer a foundation for parents and caregivers to build positive relationships, and offer students a better environment for progressing academically while learning at home. Read More

Data Mining


Why is this question important? It is conventional wisdom among teachers that classroom management is an essential skill for teacher survivability and student success. Unfortunately, common knowledge isn't always accurate and educators must verify hunches with objective research. Research conducted over the past 30 years confirms that classroom management is truly a core ingredient of effective teaching. Effective classroom management's effect on student success has been determined to be one the most powerful skills teachers need to master their vocation..  Read More


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