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Page history last edited by Martha Hickson 12 years, 6 months ago

Book cover: Synergetic Classroom

C.M. Charles & 

the Synergetic Classroom

 presented by 

Mary Beth DiPrima
Martha Hickson
Doug Walden
Ann Williams


Rutgers University 

School of Communication, Information &

Library Studies


 April 9, 2007 




About C.M. Charles

C.M. Charles is a globally recognized leader in teacher education, with more than 50 years’ experience in the field. He received a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Educational Psychology from the University of New Mexico in 1961. He has been a faculty member at Teachers College-Columbia University and Pepperdine University, and is currently professor emeritus at San Diego State University.


Dr. Charles has been recognized with numerous awards and has consulted with international governments on education and curriculum. He has written more than 25 books; his most popular work, Building Classroom Discipline, will soon be published in its ninth edition.


Earlier writings

Among Charles’ writings are two textbooks for preservice teachers, published in the 1970s before he presented The Synergetic Classroom:


  • Educational Psychology (1976) explored the contributions to education made by B.F. Skinner and other behaviorists who advanced the idea that education consists of conditioning students to behave, creating an environment to allow maximum learning to take place. Charles advocated three tenets to successful teaching through careful attention to lesson planning, interaction with students, and measurement of achievement. He gave a simple definintion of misbehavior from a teacher's viewpoint: “1. unwillingness to work at assigned activities and 2. disruptive acts that reduce learning efficiency during a lesson” (Charles, Educational Psychology 218). He gave practical steps to identify the underlying causes of misbehavior and reduce or eliminate those causes.


  • Individualizing Instruction (1976linked behaviorism and humanism. Charles encouraged all new teachers to consider their prospective students as people first and learners second in order to teach successfully. He carefully considered dignity, freedom, values, morality, emotions, and concern as the overriding keys to understanding and teaching young people. He proposed seven steps to protecting self concept while teaching:


  1. Communication
  2. Classroom meetings
  3. Facilitation
  4. Values development
  5. Creativity
  6. Behavior modification
  7. Mastery, competence, success


In The Synergetic Classroom, his landmark work on classroom management, Charles explores these themes in greater depth and provides teachers with practical ideas for creating a positive educational climate.  


Unless otherwise specified, all in-text citations refer to C.M. Charles’ The Synergetic Classroom (2000).




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