What is the difference between classroom management and discipline?

Although related, classroom management and discipline are distinctly different topics. They should not be lumped together as if they were synonymous.

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT deals with how things are done. It has to do with procedures, routines, classroom structure and is the teacher’s responsibility. When procedures are learned, routines are established. Routines give structure to instruction.

Classroom management is enhanced when procedures are:

1. explained to students,
2. practiced by students, and;
3. when necessary, periodically reinforced by practicing again.

Good classroom management is essential for efficient teaching and learning. Chances are that when you walk into a room, you do not pay much attention to the floor, but if it were missing, you certainly would! This analogy works well for classroom management. You don’t notice it when it is good, but without it, the lack of it is readily apparent.

DISCIPLINE deals with how people behave. It has to do with impulse management and self-control and is the responsibility of the student. Discipline without Stress is designed to aid a teacher in dealing with discipline issues.

Related link from Dr. Marshall’s Discipline without Stress website:

Curriculum, Instruction, Classroom Management, and Discipline

  1. Classroom management is the ability of the teacher to manage in terms of resources, the leaning time, engaged time, allocated time, students behaviour and all that promotes a good teaching a learning experience.


  2. I love the analogy you used. Made so much sense to me and seemed like an eye opener. i believe both classroom management and discipline have their special place in education and are equally important.Thank you for your article.