Classroom Management Style: What is Yours?

Classroom Management Style

There are several management styles that both parents and teachers often display. Many studies show that parents exhibit different styles similar to those exhibited by teachers in classrooms. There is a strict relationship, I believe.

Research on classroom management has shown that teachers exhibit four styles in the classroom: authoritarian, authoritative, indifferent, and Laissez-faire. These styles can be classified into two main dimensions: involvement and control.

Control has to do with the amount of authority exercised on students and involvement has to do with the interaction and engagement allowed with students. The degree to which each of these dimensions is employed will identify teachers’ management styles and how they will manage their classes and students.

Control might be seen in the amount of authority being exercised on students. Teachers with high control might sound very strict and serious, punctual, and never tolerate mistakes.  Teachers with low control may work with no rules and no expectations in mind for their students.

Involvement might be seen in the amount of student-teacher interaction. Teachers with high involvement love to be with their students, respect and appreciate them, enjoy being around them and want to see them do their best and succeed. Teachers with low involvement may show little regard to students and not engage with their learners as normal as they should.

The classroom management styles of teachers can be identified on the basis of both: control and involvement. Check the chart below:

 High Involvement Low Involvement
High Control Authoritative Authoritarian
 Low ControlLaissez-faireIndifferent

The authoritarian style is characterized by the following:

  • Teachers are very firm
  • Teachers expect learners to follow the rules.
  • Students should never interrupt the teacher.
  • Students don’t have the opportunity to practice their language.
  • Learners must be in their seats.
  • The tables are usually in straight rows.

The authoritative style is characterized by the following:

  • Teachers control students but simultaneously encourage students to be independent and responsible.
  • Teachers are open to verbal interaction and debate.
  • Students can interrupt the teacher.
  • Teachers work through discipline.

The Laissez-faire style is characterized by the following:

  • Teachers accept students’ actions and reactions and are likely to monitor their behavior.
  • Teachers have difficulty saying or reinforcing rules.
  • There is an inconsistent discipline in the classroom.

The indifferent style is characterized by the following:

  • Teachers appear uninterested.
  • Teachers don’t cater to students’ needs.
  • They never prepare.
  • Teachers are not creative and never invest time and effort in teaching.
  • They use the same instructional materials over and over.

Studies have continuously shown that the type of management style used results in the following characteristic behaviors.

  • The authoritative style helps to produce socially competent and responsible learners.
  • The authoritarian style helps to produce inactive learners who may display difficulties in social interaction.
  • Both indifferent and Laissez-faire styles help to produce immature, irresponsible, less confident learners with poor leadership skills.

After reading this post, try to answer these questions and share your answers in the comments to have a discussion with others.

QUESTIONS to  think about:

  • What kind of classroom management style will you exhibit once you begin teaching?
  • What style is most consistent with your personality and character?
  • Would you feel comfortable with this style?
  • How would change your style if you see it does not work with your students?



 Baumrind, D. (1971). Current patterns of parental authority. Developmental Psychology Monographs, 4(1).




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