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Dominance and Cooperation as Classroom Management Strategies


The importance of applying classroom management strategies is discussed by many educators because effective classroom management contributes to developing an appropriate atmosphere for teaching and learning. However, management of students’ behaviors in a classroom can be viewed as a challenging process, and it is important to determine approaches that are effective to maintain discipline and achieve learning goals. From this point, the strategies which are discussed as appropriate to foster positive relationships between teachers and students are oriented to demonstrating dominance, promoting cooperation, guaranteeing the awareness of students’ needs, and providing guidance.

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Classroom strategies

It is important to pay more attention to the classroom management strategies which are supported by studies to be most effective to maintain discipline and develop positive interactions in a classroom. First, researchers refer to the importance of demonstrating teachers’ dominance (Marzano & Marzano, 2003). However, to guarantee that the developed interactions are positive, dominance should not be viewed as a synonym for a teacher’s authoritarian style. Dominance as a strategy means providing lesson purposes and effective guidance, as well as accentuating behavior and study expectations (Marzano & Marzano, 2003). Similar strategies are also discussed by Schibsted (2009), who supports the necessity of agreeing on classroom rules and remaining consistent regarding expectations. Second, the strategy of cooperation is based on the idea of building a team that includes students and their teachers. To become cooperative, teachers need to learn more about students’ interests (Marzano & Marzano, 2003). Schibsted (2009) recommends communicating with students before starting a lesson to learn about their moods. Moreover, the awareness of students’ needs is also important to differentiate strategies and apply various techniques to address learners’ study levels and expectations.

The reason for selecting the listed strategies is that they are research-based and chosen by practicing educators as the most effective ones. Furthermore, the discussed strategies contribute to improving teacher-student relationships, and it is the first step to the appropriate classroom management. According to Marzano and Marzano (2003), those students who have positive relationships with their teachers which are maintained as a result of the combination of dominance, cooperation, and differentiation strategies do not violate classroom rules or demonstrate other negative behaviors. Following Schibsted (2009), it is also important to note that those teachers, who reinforce students’ positive behaviors, remain to be neutral, and focus on causes of behavior problems while combining elements of dominance and cooperation strategies, are expected to demonstrate the effective classroom management.

Teachers’ dominance at lessons, promoting cooperation, the awareness of students’ needs, and guidance are successful strategies to improve students’ learning in a Social Studies classroom. When lessons involve active discussions of problems and instructions include references to students’ group work, the application of dominance and cooperation classroom management strategies is very important. Thus, teachers are expected to set clear rules for conducting discussions, and they are also expected to promote cooperation among students and perform a supporting role (Marzano & Marzano, 2003). From this point, in a Social Studies classroom, teachers need to draw students’ attention to the necessity of following certain behavior rules related to discussions and other lesson activities, create a positive environment based on cooperation, and provide those students who have special needs with differentiated instructions.

It is possible to state that there are three main classroom management strategies that can be used to guarantee that teacher-student interactions are positive. These strategies are associated with teachers’ dominance and accentuation of rules, teachers’ cooperation with students, and differentiation of approaches to working with students with needs. Educators are inclined to provide a range of additional techniques that are used in the context of these strategies to maintain discipline in a classroom.


Marzano, R. J., & Marzano, J. S. (2003). The key to classroom management. Building Classroom Relationships, 61(1), 6-13.

Schibsted, E. (2009). How to develop positive classroom management. Web.

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