Exploring Classroom Dynamics

Building on Success:
Exploring Classroom Dynamics
1. To examine the dynamic between staffstudents in a classroom setting
2. To analyse variables that impact upon this
3. To refine and define faculty action points
4. To prioritise faculty action points
• The relationships and interactions between staff-students and
students-students all impact on the teaching and learning
environment within the classroom.
• These relationships are influenced by different variables e.g.
- curriculum subject areas
- teaching approaches and styles
- composition of different class groups
- time of day (previous lesson, break/lunchtime)
- how people are feeling (social/emotional)
- external factors (e.g. weather / media)
The way in which people relate to each other and to the
learning environment can be called ‘the classroom dynamic’.
BFL working party member to work with another faculty.
Within your faculty, choose and rotate for each activity:
• a Chairperson
• a Scribe
• a Time-Keeper
Activity 1 SWOT analysis: 20 mins
Activity 2 Exploratory questions: 20 mins
Activity 3 Defining action points: 15 mins
Activity 4 Diamond 9 prioritising actions: 10 mins
Activity 5 Questions/Evaluations: 10 mins
Activity 1: SWOT Analysis
1. To examine the staff-student dynamic in a classroom
setting; in terms of positive/negative relationships within
your classes.
As a faculty, discuss and note down :
Strengths (areas in which the faculty is currently successful)
Weaknesses (areas for improvement)
Opportunities (areas for future development)
Threats (barriers/obstacles to progress)
Activity 2: a) Exploratory questions
2. To analyse variables :
Focus on prevailing themes from your SWOT analysis.
Use the following questions to analyse what factors may be
contributing to positive or negative classroom dynamics:
What is different about the lessons that are better?
How can you explain these differences?
How do you contribute to these differences?
Is there antagonism between certain children?
Are certain times of day/week better than others?
b) Adult-Child Interaction
• Do you model the behaviour that you want children to
• Do you shout or nag?
• Do you talk too much or expect children to listen for too
• Do you teach children how to meet expectations?
• Do you use adequate positive reinforcement (i.e.
descriptive praise)?
c) Classroom Environment
• Is the physical layout of the classroom appropriate?
• Is the environment as attractive and tidy as possible?
• Is the corridor outside your classroom a potential
d) Curriculum
• Does the challenging behaviour relate to particular
teaching episodes, methods or activities in the
• Is the curriculum causing concern?
• Are different learning styles (VAK) being addressed?
Activity 3: Defining action points
3. To refine and define faculty action points
Referring back to your original SWOT analysis and your findings
from the exploratory questions, create a second SWOT, but now
listing faculty development points using the following prompts:
• Consider the strengths – what would need to happen
to amplify each of these?
• Consider the weaknesses – what would need to
happen to improve these?
• How could your faculty capitalise on the
• How could your faculty minimise the threats?
Activity 4: Diamond 9
4. To prioritise faculty action points.
Write each action point on a separate piece of paper.
Identify each action point according to ‘do-ability’ – use the
following prompts to guide your prioritising:
Is this something that just needs tweaking?
Would this involve changing a habit?
Would this involve a different way of thinking?
Would this need time?
Would this need resources?
Would this involve other people?
Would this need time to plan and develop?
Example of a Diamond 9
e.g. seating
displays of
e.g. visual
Can do now
May involve
time &
May involve
others’ help
e.g. adapting
activity types
for different
times of day
placing staff
at lesson
e.g. use
more nonverbal
1. Questions
2. Evaluations

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