maple leaf 2-16. Classroom Meetings

Classroom meetings are excellent places to discuss almost any issue. (A few issues that should not be discussed include extremely personal things such as being sexually abused). Topics that can benefit from classroom discussions include (at age-appropriate levels):

  1. Fighting
  2. Name calling
  3. Stealing
  4. Racism
  5. Etc.

When holding classroom meetings, make sure part of the meeting focuses on problem-solving and having the class function as decision-makers. Let the students explore possibilities and reach consensus on issues that impact upon their lives.

A problem-solving/decision-making model that works is:

  1. Identify the problem.
  2. Understand the problem.
  3. How do you feel? How would you rather feel?
  4. What can we do about it?
  5. Choose the solution that will most likely succeed and make plans as to how individuals, and the complete class, help in achieving the stated solution.
  6. Monitor the solution, being ready to modify it if necessary.

If students are to be involved in making decisions about their lives, we must structure experiences that facilitate decision-making. At the start it is important the teacher controls the agenda, and the class. Only when the students have shown they understand how the system operates, and are willing to abide by the rules, should they take control of classroom meetings.

back | table of contents | next

back to First Nations index | back to subject index