Effects of variation in teacher organization on classroom functioning

Claire E. Cameron, Carol Mc Donald Connor, Frederick J. Morrison

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    123 Scopus citations


    This study examined effects of variation in teacher organization on how time is spent in classrooms, focusing on time spent in transitions and instruction, including child skill by teacher organization interactions. Forty-four first-grade classrooms were observed three times over the school year. Timed narratives of each activity were recorded. "Orient-organize" referred to time teachers spent orienting students to classroom procedures or organizing the class for specific assignments, and included instructional clarity, where teachers described objectives of activities to students. Using hierarchical linear modeling, substantial variation across teachers in orient-organize was observed. Overall, classrooms spent less time in organization as the school year progressed. In addition, spending more time in organization was related to less time spent in transition. Students in classrooms that spent more time in organization in the fall also experienced greater amounts of time in child-managed activities in the spring. There was also an interaction between child vocabulary and amount of orient-organize in the winter. Students with lower vocabulary scores were more likely to be in classrooms that spent more time in spring child-managed activities if they continued to receive substantial amounts of orient-organize in the winter. The opposite was the case for students with high vocabulary skills.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)61-85
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of School Psychology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2005


    • Child-managed
    • Classroom organization
    • First-grade
    • Hierarchical linear modeling
    • Transitions

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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