Deal with classroom rowdism directly to curb it


One way of dealing with rowdy elements in a classroom is to deal directly with them, according to a college teacher. As a teacher Marvin Druger of Syracuse University never paid much attention to inappropriate behaviour, presuming most of students were busy taking down notes.

He became aware of the problem only when another disgruntled student, post lecture, complained about his companions talking in class. “After observation, I learned that text messaging, talking on cell phones drawing pictures in notebooks, doing other homework, reading a book, and sleeping were all occurring during my lecture,” explained Druger.

Druger decided to email them about their misbehaviour. He also told them that other students distracted by their behaviour had lodged complaints.

Part of the email message said, “If you are one of the few disruptive students that I’m talking about, please think about your behaviour and modify it. I’m trying to enrich your life, and it’s frustrating to see that a few students in the class seem not to care.”

The week after sending the email, the results were very gratifying. “Students had stopped being disruptive and were attentively listening to the lecture and taking notes,” said Druger.

Druger published his experiences in the Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education. — HNS