Classroom Management vs. Discipline

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

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT deals with how things are done.
DISCIPLINE deals with how people behave.

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT has to do with procedures and routines to the point of becoming rituals.
DISCIPLINE is about impulse management and self-control.

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT is the teacher’s responsibility.
DISCIPLINE is the student’s responsibility.

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT is enhanced when procedures are:
1. explained to students,
2. modeled for students,
3. practiced by students,
4. reinforced by practicing again, and periodically (when necessary)
5. practiced again. (Oftentimes practicing something one time does not put it into long-term memory.)

When procedures are learned, routines are established.
Routines give structure to instruction.

Good CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT is essential for efficient teaching and learning. Without good classroom management, learning is inefficient and the teacher becomes stressed.

Similarly, a PROACTIVE DISCIPLINE SYSTEM fulfills an essential step in establishing a learning climate that promotes both teaching and learning. When students reflect on the hierarchy of social development students engage in self-evaluation—the most effective approach leading to improved behavior.

  1. Very interesting. Helped me to understand the difference between classroom management and discipline.

  2. very helpful for my research

  3. For a more thorough understanding read the Phi Delta Kappan cover article at

  4. Thank you, it gives me a clear understanding of the two.

  5. Well explained