Five Reasons Students Should Set Classroom Norms

Every child is entitled to “equitable access to positive learning experiences and potential academic success” (Chubbuck, 2010, p.198).

A community of learners is established by hearing student voices.  It is a deliberate process orchestrated by an effective teacher to ensure that every child has that access to powerful learning experiences and potential academic success.     –Linda L. Carpenter, Jennifer J. Fontanini, and Linda V. Neiman

When some of us hear the phrase, setting norms, we roll our eyes, because many of us have been in situations where setting norms was just an idle exercise.  But it doesn’t have to be and it shouldn’t be. When students have a voice in generating their classroom norms, that exercise becomes meaningful and constructive.

Student-generated classroom norms

  1. create a positive learning environment for all students;
  2. create an operating system for procedures and communication;
  3. increase productivity and learning;
  4. provide means for conflict resolution; and
  5. ensure all students have access to what they need for academic success.

On November 8, we will be conducting a session at the Association for Middle Level Educators (AMLE) conference in Minneapolis entitled Orchestrating Student Voices to Create a Community of Learners.  We hope some of you will join us.

References

Carpenter, L. L., Fontanini, J. J., & Neiman, L. V. (2010). From surviving to thriving: Mastering the Art of the Elementary Classroom. Dayton, OH: Lorenz   Educational Press.

Chubbuck, S. M. (2010). Individual and structural orientations in socially just teaching: conceptualization, implementation, and collaborative effort.  Journal of Teacher Education, 61(3), 197-210.

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