Authoritative Classroom-Management Style


Classroom-management styles are categorized according to two major factors: the control the teacher exercises over students and how much the students are involved in the classroom.There are four major types of classroom-management styles, including authoritative, indulgent, authoritarian and permissive. Authoritative management stands out from the rest of the management styles by having both a high level of student involvement and a high level of classroom control by the teacher.

Differences From Other Styles

  • Both authoritative and authoritarian classroom styles are characterized by high levels of control; however, authoritarian control is attained by having stringent rules and regulations with little to no explanation or feedback from the students. The indulgent (also known as laissez-faire) management style has a high level of student involvement but involves little to no rules, where the teacher supports any move the students make. An authoritative teacher compromises with students on some things to actively involve them, but still enforces consequences for inappropriate behavior. The permissive style lacks both involvement and control, and is characterized by a low level of teacher support and little to no rules or regulations to control behavior.


  • Authoritative classroom management has several characteristics that help promote student involvement and regulate behavior without being authoritarian. Authoritative teachers communicate their expectations clearly, and they have high expectations for the students, but they will explain why they have the rules and expectations. The authoritative style encourages classroom discussion and questions that are relevant to what the teacher is covering. Even when students are acting inappropriately, authoritative teachers maintain a respectful, firm tone and provide students with a warning before giving a punishment.

Behavior Management

  • Although authoritative style takes measures to reduce behavioral problems, they will still crop up. The way that a teacher reacts to inappropriate behavior is also part of his classroom-management style. An authoritative teacher that makes his expectations and rules clear from the beginning will also make sure that students know there are consequences for choosing not to follow the rules. Rules should be enforced both promptly and consistently, and punishment should be fair according to the behavior, so that students see it more as a natural consequence of their own choices than as the result of the teacher getting angry.


  • The high level of student involvement that comes with authoritative management often fosters a high level of student self-motivation. Encouraging discussions helps to build social competence. The mixture of lecturing and class discussions makes it easy for the teacher to put variety into the class period, which increases attentiveness.


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