This review examines the effects of teachers‟ universal classroom management practices in reducing disruptive, aggressive, and inappropriate behaviors. The specific research questions addressed are: Do teacher‟s universal classroom management practices reduce problem behavior in classrooms with students in kindergarten through 12th grade? What components make up the most effective and efficient classroom management programs? Do differences in effectiveness exist between grade levels? Do differences in classroom management components exist between grade levels? Does treatment fidelity affect the outcomes observed? These questions were addressed through a systematic review of the classroom management literature and a meta-analysis of the effects of classroom management on disruptive or aggressive student behavior.
Twelve studies of universal classroom management programs were included in the review. The classroom-level mean effect size for the 12 programs was positive and statistically significant (d=.80 with an ICC=.05; =.71 with an ICC=.10; <.05). Note that cluster adjustments were required due to differences in reporting measures between classroom level outcomes and individual student level outcomes. The resulting effect sizes index classroom-level differences and cannot be compared to the typical student-level effect sizes commonly reported in the literature. Due to a lack of power to detect heterogeneity and lack of information reported in the studies reviewed, only the first research question could be addressed. Teacher's classroom management practices have a significant, positive effect on decreasing problem behavior in the classroom. Students in the treatment classrooms in all 12 studies located for the review showed less disruptive, inappropriate, and aggressive behavior in the classroom compared to untreated students in the control classrooms. The overall mean classroom effect size of either .80 or .71 indicates a positive effect that significantly impacts the classroom environment. To put our classroom-level mean effect sizes into a comparable format with the more typical effect sizes, we back-transformed our mean effect sizes using the original adjustment formulas (Hedges, 2007). Thus, the classroom-level mean effect sizes of .80 and .71 are roughly comparable to student level effect sizes of .18 and .22 for ICC=.05 and ICC=.10, respectively. Teachers who use effective classroom management can expect to experience improvements in student behavior and improvements that establish the context for effective instructional practices to occur.
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