Type to search

Reflections on Teacher Power in the Contemporary Classroom

Building Relationships Reflections on Teaching

Reflections on Teacher Power in the Contemporary Classroom

Print This Article
creating a climate for learning
Teacher power has to do with the ability to influence student behaviors and, ultimately, what they learn and how much. My colleagues and I often lament that it is more difficult to influence student behaviors than it used to be. Much of what we know about power in the classroom is grounded in some rather outdated, but at the time useful, assumptions. In traditional classrooms, students used to submit to teacher authority with little resistance. Back then teachers influenced students to do things they would not have otherwise done by:
  • Promising rewards or punishments
  • Suggesting “I’m an expert, and this is what works for me, so you should try it too”
  • Asserting the authority inherent in their title, “teacher”
  • Developing good relationships with students as a way of encouraging them to comply
  • Managing their classrooms with policies and structures that force students to be on-task (like banning the use of laptops or tablets, side talking, absenteeism, or tardiness)

To continue reading, you must be a Teaching Professor Subscriber. Please log in or sign up for full access.


You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.