Classroom Leadership Power for Totalitarian, Laise-faire, and Democratic classrooms

Models that can lead to: Totalitarian, Laise-faire, and Democratic classrooms

Attractive: charisma, good looking, socially fun to be with, has a genuine regard for people - created with positive self regard and a caring attitude

Expert: have superior knowledge, enthusiasm, love of learning, academic environment, desire to solve problems and learn alone and together

Reward: grades, recess, stickers, privileges, activities, praise, pat

Coercive: removal of recess, time-out, stay after school, sarcasm, put downs, humiliation, damages self-esteem, reduces self-reliance, and builds barriers. Causes students to feel resentment, desire to rebel, withdraw from participation, play power games, seek retribution, plan revenge, strike back for revenge, commit vandalism, or assault to cause personal damage.

Authority: student believes the educator is fair, has a risk free environment will not allow another person to harm another person physically or verbally. Empower students through goal setting with little to no use of the coercive or reward base allowed by the school system, which will vary from community to community.

Source of Power Observable Characteristics
Environment Behavioral Interactions Atmosphere
Expert Percentage of time: 70%
  • books
  • learning center
  • map
  • experiments
  • manipulative
  • projects
  • students’ work displayed
  • computers
  • math manipulatives
  • junk boxes, and
  • other learning materials
  • monitor progress
  • give feedback
  • encouragement
  • feed forward to encourage excellence
  • students involved
  • demand unachievable
  • teach above student development and and ability
  • over critical
  • scholarly
  • enthusiasm
  • love of learning
  • challenge to learn
  • challenge to excel
  • fear of failure
  • fear of being wrong
  • seek to please the teacher
  • only one way to do a task
Attractive Percentage of time: 25%
  • children’s work displayed
  • student helper
  • student of the week
  • pit
  • loft
  • circle
  • sofa
  • teacher is a model of decorum
  • cheerful
  • smiling
  • knows and involves parents, and other resource people
  • cooperative learning
  • discussion
  • class meetings
  • may enable self limiting behavior with fluff
  • relaxed
  • cooperative learning
  • accepting of ALL children
  • cheerful
  • caring
  • encouraging while achieving
  • fun
  • socialization
  • crafts
  • entertaining activities at the expense of learning
Authority Percentage of time: 3%
  • short list of rules, which may encourage goal setting and self discipline
  • communicate reasons for rules and teach strategies for goal setting
  • long list of rules with many do nots
  • may be little communication
  • students understand and desire the rules
  • consistent use of rule procedures
  • students communicate how rules do and don’t apply
  • teacher dictates rules and what is right and wrong
  • students try to beat the rules
  • students believe they are responsible for their actions
  • care
  • share
  • help
  • intrinsically motivated to learn
  • students believe behavior is the responsibility of the teacher
Reward Percentage of time: 2%
  • tokens
  • stars
  • stickers
  • recess based on condition
  • Bookit or reward ceremonies used to control students
  • General praise
  • Specific praise on quality performance by students to recognize and appreciate their accomplishments
  • smile
  • winning
  • I’m better
  • loosing
  • I’m a failure
  • What will you give me if I do it?
  • I can’t win so why try?
  • WOW look what I can do
  • enthusiasm
  • competition
  • work for rewardmust not be worthy task if have to give a reward
  • reward as bribe
  • withdraw
  • fear of failure
  • extrinsic
  • motivation
  • like the reward
  • intrinsic motivation
Coercive Percentage of time: 0%
  • desire to do what is right
  • thinks before acts
  • does what leader desires
  • names on the board
  • marbles in a jar
  • time-out corner
  • lose recess
  • stay after school
  • leader suggests what to do and followers do it
  • finger pointing
  • raising voices
  • tattling
  • teacher takes away privileges
  • vandalism
  • withdrawal
  • acting out
  • mastery oriented behaviors
  • followers who don't cooperate
  • get what they deserve
  • cold
  • negative
  • rebellious
  • insecure
  • revenge
  • dislike school
  • dislike the teacher
  • dislike learning
  • use force to gain power

Different percentages of each can lead to any of three categories or range between them.

Totalitarian Laise-faire Democratic
Excessive Control

No Limits

Consistency with Dignity and Respect
  • Order without freedom
  • No choices
  • "You do it because I said so."
  • "Do it because I’m the adult and you are the child."
  • Attempt to control or orchestrate every move.
  • Freedom without order
  • Unlimited choices
  • "You can do anything you want."
  • Freedom with order
  • Limited choices "You can choose within limits which show respect, caring, and protection of liberty and freedom for all."

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©