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Two schools of thought on classroom management and behavior.

Behavioral views of Teaching/Learning and Classroom Management.

Cognitive views of Teaching/Learning and Classroom Management.
Terminology, notes, and narrative are adapted from the following websites:

1. The Theory Into Practice Database TIP Theories:

2. Operant conditioning and the Skinner Model:
3. Canter & Canter: Assertive Discipline @ Dr. McIntyres Amazing Behavior Management Advise Site
4. Rober J. MacKenzie: Setting Limits in the Classroom @ School Discipline & Classroom 3. Management: A
An overview by E. Sherwin UCD:
Resources @
5. Fred Jones: Positive Classroom Discipline @ Discipline, Instruction, Motivation:
6. Jacob Kounin: Withitness from WikEd @
7. Haim Ginott: Great Pioneers in Modern Discipline @
8. Rudolf Dreikurs: What is Positive Discipline?
9. Richard Curwin & Allen Mendler: Discipline Associates @
10. William Glasser: Reality Therapy @
11. Thomas Gordon: Teacher Effectiveness Training @ Gordon Training International:

Other online resources:

Debating the Consequences of Disruptive Behavior in School
School Discipline & Classroom Management: A Bibliography
School Improvement Research Series
Seven Models of Discipline: Dr. Dan Fontenot @
Optional Elements of a Discipline Plan:
Existential Theory:
Wolfgangs (2004) continuum of discipline models:

Wolfgang, C. (2005) Solving Discipline and Classroom Management Problems: methods and models for todays teachers. (6th
ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

From this Model, you can see where each one lies. The premise on the first three rows in REACTION to a crisis. The
first column is all about The Behavioral Model, The second column moves towards the Cognitive, but relies heavily
on the rewards and punishments from the first column. The Third column is looking at the cognitive without the
rewards or punishments.

Behavioral views of Teaching/Learning and Classroom Management.

Originated in Psychological Studies on behavior modification. Stresses rewards and
punishments, operant conditioning, reinforcing and reinforcement schedules (positive v.
negative, and shaping successive approximations, as well as group reinforcementsconsequences), cueing and prompts, antecedents and consequences.
Criticisms: Alfie Kohn (93) argues, applied behaviorism, which amounts to saying,
do this and youll get that, is essentially a technique for controlling people. In the
classroom it is a way of doing things to children rather than working with them. This can be
ineffective, as when the prizes and praises stop, so does the behavior. Tangible rewards tend
in the end to decrease intrinsic motivation.
Kohn, A., 1993, Rewards v. learning: A response to Paul Chance. Phi Delta Kappan, 74, 783-787.

Behavior Management:
B.F. Skinner is the father of the behavioral school of psychology, and behavior modification
the procedure of shaping student behavior through the use of reinforcements.
Key features of behavior modification
Constant reinforcement
Intermittent reinforcement
Successive approximation
A Neo-Skinnerian Model of Classroom Discipline; Shaping Desired Behavior. A recently
popular outgrowth of Skinnerian behaviorism is Behavior Modification.
*Behavior is conditioned by its consequences. Behavior is strengthened if followed
immediately by reinforcement. Behavior is weakened if it is not reinforced.
["Extinction."] Behavior is also weakened if it is followed by punishment.
*In the beginning stages of learning, reinforcement provided every time the behavior
occurs produces the best results.
*Behavior can be maintained by irregular reinforcement (just as the irregular reward leads
to sustained interest, both in mice and men). Reinforcers include verbal approval,
smiles, "thumbs up," high grades, free reading time, goodies, prizes and awards. This
model is called Neo-Skinnerian to indicate that it is made up of newer applications of
Skinner=s basic ideas. Skinner himself never proposed a model of school discipline.
1. Behavior is shaped by its consequences, by what happens to the individual after
performing the act.
2. Behavior is strengthened if followed immediately by reinforces. Technically, a reinforcer
is a stimulus that increases the likelihood that the individual will repeat the act. We
commonly think of reinforces as rewards.
3. Strengthened behaviors are those that have become more likely to be repeated.
4. Behavior is weakened if it is not followed by reinforcement.
5. Weakened behaviors are those that become less likely than before to be repeated.
6. Behavior is also weakened if followed by punishment. Punishment is not the same thing
as negative reinforcement.
7. Systematic use of reinforcement (rewards) can shape individual=s behavior in desired
8. In the early stages of learning, constant reinforcement produces the best results.
Constant means that the behavior is reinforced every time it occurs.

9. Once learning has reached the desired level, it is best maintained through intermittent
reinforcement, reinforcement that is provided only occasionally, on an unpredictable
10. When applied to classroom learning and discipline, this process of behavior shaping
through reinforcement is called behavior modification.
11. Behavior modification is one of the most powerful tools available to teachers for
strengthening desired classroom learning and behavior.
12. Behavior modification is applied in these two ways:
a. The teacher observes the student perform an desired act; the teacher rewards the
student; the student tends to repeat the act.
b. The teacher observes the student perform an undesired act; the teacher either
ignores the act or punishes the student, then praises a student who is behaving
correctly; the misbehaving student becomes less likely than before to repeat the act.
13. Behavior modification successfully uses various kinds of reinforces. They include social
reinforces, such as verbal comments, facial expressions, and gestures; graphic
reinforces, such as marks and stars; activity reinforces, such as free time, free
reading, and collaborating with a friend; and tangible reinforces, such as food, prizes,
and printed awards.
Lee Canter & Marlene Canter, Assertive Discipline, Barrett, Elden R. "Assertive Discipline
and Research" in ERIC ED 288875, 1985. Canter, Lee and Canter, Marlene. Assertive
Discipline Positive Behavior. pa. Lee Canter and Associates, 1997.
Canter and Canter maintain that the key to this technique is catching students being "good,"
recognizing and supporting them when they behave appropriately and letting them know
you like what they are doing on a consistent basis. For Canter, students obey the rules
because they get something out of doing so, or conversely, understand the consequences of
breaking the rules. Assertive discipline is likely the most widely used discipline plan in
schools. Teachers who use assertive discipline say they like it because it is easy to use and
is generally effective.
Assertive discipline is not without critics. One of the most interesting of these is John
Covaleskie. His ideas about discipline are quite different from Canter's. These differences
are important to understand, because they go to the heart of not just student behavior, but
also to what schooling is for in the first place. Covaleskie believes that the very simplicity of
assertive discipline is one of its biggest problems. He believes that children should obey the
rules because that is the right thing to do, not because there is some reward associated with
obeying, or some punishment for not obeying. The long term implications of rewarding
behavior as suggested by the assertive discipline model are not yet well understood. To that
end, the following links will take you to sites that advocate assertive discipline, provide
examples of how it works and also to some sites that present contrarian points of view,
which I always find to be most interesting about education opinion.
Assertive discipline is a structured, systematic approach designed to assist educators in
running an organized, teacher-in-charge classroom environment. Lee and Marlene Canter,
when consulting for school systems, found that many teachers were unable to control
undesirable behavior that occurred in their classrooms. The Cantors, rightfully so,
attributed this to a lack of training in the area of behavior management. Based on their
research and the foundations of assertiveness training and applied behavior analysis, they
developed a common sense, easy-to-learn approach to help teachers become the captains
of their classrooms and positively influence their students' behavior. Today, it is the most
widely used "canned" (prepared/packaged) behavior management program. Assertive
discipline has evolved since the mid 70's from an authoritarian approach to one that is more

democratic and cooperative. Assertive teachers believe that a firm, teacher-in-charge

classroom is in the best interests of students. They believe that the students wish to have
their behavior directed by the teacher. The Canter's state that society demands appropriate
behavior if one is to be accepted and successful. Therefore, no one benefits when a student
is allowed to misbehave. Teachers show their concern for today's youth when they demand
and promote appropriate classroom behavior. Additionally, educators have the right to
request and expect assistance from parents and administrators in their efforts. More than
being a director, assertive teachers build positive, trusting relationships with their students
and teach appropriate classroom behavior (via direct instruction...describing, modeling,
practicing, reviewing, encouraging and rewarding) to those who don't show it at present.
They are demanding, yet warm in interaction, supportive of the youngsters, and respectful
when addressing misbehavior. Assertive teachers listen carefully to what their students
have to say, speak respectfully to them, and treat everyone fairly (not necessarily equally).
Robert J. MacKenzie, Setting Limits in the Classroom; How to Move Beyond the Classroom
Dance of Discipline. Prima Pub., 1996.
Robert MacKenzie has written three books for parents and teachers: Setting Limits, Setting
Limits in the Classroom, and Setting Limits with your Strong-Willed Child.
He points out that many teachers, schools, and parents fall into the trap of being too
authoritarian or too permissive, with both approaches leading to frustration and wild swings
back toward the opposite approach. The authoritarian teacher may get frustrated that rules
aren't followed and become permissive, while the permissive teacher may feel he's not
taken seriously and become authoritarian.
The solution? Set firm and appropriate limits (with fair and reasonable consequences) and
no matter what, stick to them. Children are like anyone else: they like to know where their
limits are. Permissive parenting (and schooling) only leads children to conduct action
research to find out exactly where these limits are (they've got to be around here
The flip side, authoritarianism, also leads to a breakdown of discipline in that the adults in
the picture simply cannot be respected (such as with our inane "zero tolerance" policies
spreading like fungus all over the U.S.).
It may sound like we're quoting more marvelous theories, which have little application in the
real world, but the truth is, setting limits works. Robert MacKenzie's Setting Limits program
was developed after long experience with schools, teachers, and disruptive children, and
also in connection with his own children, one of whom is "strong willed."
Fredric H. Jones, Positive Classroom Discipline, Jones, Fredric H. Positive Classroom
Discipline. New York:McGraw Hill, c1987.
Jones, Fredric H. Positive Classroom Instruction. New York: McGraw Hill, 1987.
Fredric Jones model in my classroom, especially since it was fine-tuned with students with
disabilities. His suggestion that the program should be taught during the first few weeks of
class seems to me, a valid point. This way, the students would know what to expect
upfront. I would pay close attention to my room arrangement so that I would have quick
access to all students. Jones method of using limit-setting though body language with facial
expressions and physical proximity. I would like to try responsibility training through
incentive systems by giving preferred activity time and having the students choose a
preferred activity.
Differential Reinforcement
Most effective behavior management programs must deal with pairs of behaviors. You must
systematically strengthen the behavior you want while systematically weakening the

competing behaviors that you do not want. A discipline program, for example, should not
only eliminate problem behavior, but it should also systematically build the positive
behaviors that you want to replace the problems. If problem behaviors are simply
eliminated, whatever replaces them will be left to chance. It could be dawdling, or it could
be another discipline problem.
Discipline management, therefore, is more appropriately viewed not as the simple
suppression of problems but rather as the differential reinforcement of appropriate
behaviors, often in conjunction with suppression of the problem. Since most problem
behaviors in the classroom are self-rewarding, some suppression is usually needed to
eliminate the reinforcement generated by the problem itself, which then competes with the
differential reinforcement of appropriate behavior.
Each level of discipline management, therefore, should ideally have both reward and penalty
components. The more explicit the reward component, the more predictably positive will be
the outcome of an intervention.
The Three-Tiered Management System
Positive Classroom Discipline is composed of three different management methodologies
which are integrated to form a three-tier approach to discipline management.

Incentive systems
Back-up systems

Each of these three methodologies, however, can be properly understood only within the
context of the differential reinforcement of appropriate behavior.
Limit-Setting Limit-setting is mild social punishment, and as such it is incomplete. For limitsetting to be in balance, there must be reward. The reward would, of course, be social
reward-the positive social interactions between teacher and student that create an informal
incentive system. The natural counterpart of limit-setting, therefore, is relationship.
Together, limit-setting and relationship building form a tier of the management system
which we might best describe as the interpersonal-interactive level of management.
In the interpersonal-interactive level all sanctions, both positive and negative, are delivered
as part of the fleeting interpersonal interactions between teacher and student. The teacher's
success at the interpersonal- interactional level depends on the social competence of the
teacher - his or her accurate assessment of interpersonal situations and spontaneous and
effective use of a broad range of social skills and emotions with students of all kinds
moment by moment throughout the day.
The effective juxtaposition of positive and negative sanctions during the social exchanges of
teacher and student requires a much higher level of precision than we have any right to
expect from an untrained teacher. And they require the consistently supportive and
successful helping interactions to be described in Positive Classroom Instruction.
Incentive Systems Incentive systems make the exchange of positive and negative sanctions
prearranged, explicit, concrete, and public. It is the formalized counterpart of the
interpersonal-interactive level of management with positive and negative sanctions being
juxtaposed in an analogous fashion.

Incentive systems can be so formalized as to be written in the form of a contract.

"Contingency contracting" is a type of individualized behavior modification program in which
the quid pro quo of the behavioral exchange is both negotiated and set down in writing.
Incentives in business and industry are typically negotiated and written down in the form of
a contract, but in education the cost of the negotiation and the giving of individualized
reinforcement limits their use to special settings in most cases.
With responsibility training the only thing that may need to be written down is the tally of
accumulated PAT. This simple tally, however, is a kind of written contract that keeps the
system honest by making the 6ze of the reward accurate (fair) and public. It is axiomatic in
parent and teacher training that the first person to break a contract between adult and child
is almost always the adult who fails to deliver the agreed-upon reward. It is often innocent:
for example, losing track of time while teaching so that there is no time left for PAT. A public
record, however, will almost always ensure that PAT happens on schedule. The class will see
to that,
One might, therefore, consider incentive systems as the incentive-contractual level of
management. Training in the proper use of incentives can be more "bookish" than training
at the interpersonal- interactive level. Yet a basic technical understanding of incentive
systems is indispensable for teachers, along with a thorough familiarity with the mechanics
of some of the more important classroom management procedures. Social skills for
implementing responsibility training focus primarily on relaxation and the issue of having fun
- especially fun with learning.
Back-up Systems Back-up systems break the pattern of differential reinforcement. Back-up
responses are negative sanctions, and the reinforcement of appropriate behavior is left to
The smaller the back-up responses, the more likely it is that differential reinforcement will
take place. In the classroom of a nurturant teacher, for example, the use of a small back-up
response might be juxtaposed and balanced with warmth and approval for good behavior.
Relationship therefore provides the balance for small back-up responses just as it does for
The larger the negative sanction, however, the more difficult it will be to offset penalty with
reward. Thus the higher up the back-up system you go, the more unbalanced the
management system will become. The more unbalanced the system, the more likely you will
be to generate resentment, resistance, and revenge.
Teachers frequently use threat of impending punition, such as the loss of a privilege, to
"control" their students.
"All right, class. If you don't settle down and take your seats right now, we are going
nowhere when the recess bell rings! Do you understand?"
Almost any social exchange between people creates some kind of incentive system. When
threat and loss of privilege are used by themselves, however, they typically signal a teacher
who is off-balance and struggling to regain control of a situation that is unraveling. Such
attempts at management are shortsighted, and their results are short-lived. Without clear
differential reinforcement of appropriate behavior, there is no systematic behavior building,
and no answer to the question, "Why should I?" that would produce lasting cooperation.
Incentive systems based on punition alone are incentive systems gone awry - stripped of

their incentive function. To avoid confusion we will refer to such unbalanced contingency
exchanges which focus on penalty alone as "disincentive systems."
1. Interpersonal-interactive
+ Informal incentive systems (relationship which includes positive instructional
- Limit-setting
2. Incentive-contractual (formal incentive systems)
A. Simple incentive systems
B. Complex incentive systems
+ Reward/bonus
- Penalty
3. Back-up and containment
Punishment, suppression (disincentive systems - penalty only)
+ (Nothing)
- Negative sanctions
Cognitive views of Teaching/Learning and Classroom Management.
Originated with some of the oldest nature of knowledge and value of reasoning work of
the early Greeks, and is extended in modern contexts with work in Cognitive Psychology.
Stresses reasoning with children, respect, community, negotiation, development of
information processing and memory, self-regulation, intrinsic motivation. A cognitive
approach to classroom management takes into consideration the developmental level of
children in the classroom and teacher efforts to match learning goals to cognitively
appropriate expectations. Teachers need to consider where children are at with respect to
their intellectual development and their capacity for complexity in thinking, and begin from
familiar concepts to their extension into new and more complex learning scenarios.
Cognitivists self-regulate and reflect on their own behavior in the classroom and often ask
Comparing Behavioral and Cognitive views: Cognitive and Behavioral views differ in their
assumptions about what is learned. Cognitive: knowledge is learned and changes in
knowledge lead to changes in behavior. Behavioral: new behaviors are learned. Both
models/theories acknowledge that reinforcements are important in learning, but for different
reasons. Behaviorsits maintain that reinforcement strengthens responses, while Cognitivists
see reinforcement as a source of feedback about what is likely to happen is behaviors are
repeated or changes. Cognitivists view learning as transforming significant understanding
we already have, rather than simple acquisitions written on blank slates (Greeno, Collins &
Resnick, 96)
Greeno, J.G., Collins, A.M., and Resnick, L.B., 1996, Cognition and learning. In Berliner & R. Calfee (eds.),
Handbook of educational psychology (pp/ 15-46), New York: Macmillan.

More on cognitive approaches:

Identifying Behavior Problems
Questions for Reflection
Could this problem be a result of inappropriate curriculum or teaching strategies?

What do I demand and prohibit-and what should I?

Why do certain behaviors bother me, and what should I do about them?
Is this behavior developmentally significant?
Should I concentrate on a behavior excess or a defiency?
Will resolution of the problem solve anything else?
Analyzing Behavior Problems
Questions for Reflection
What are my assumptions about why students behave the way they do?
What are the most important explanations of the misbehavior?
Are there causes of the misbehavior that I can control to a significant degree?
How should I define the behavior I am concerned about and identify its antecedents and
How might I identify the probable cognitive and affective aspects of the behavior?
How should I measure the behavior problem and changes in it?
What is a reasonable goal?
Changing Behavior
Questions for Reflection
Have I tried the simplest and most obvious strategies?
What approaches to helping students change their behavior are most likely to be
How might I use the five operations of a behavioral approach?
How can I capitalize on the cognitive and affective aspects of behavior change?
Is my approach positive and supportive of appropriate behavior?
Talking with Students
Questions for Reflection
How does the classroom setting influence how I talk with students about their behavior?
How does talking with students about their behavior impact in teaching goals?
How will my approach to classroom management affect my communications with students
sabot their behavior?
How can I prepare myself for talking with students about their behavior?
How can talking with students about their behavior teach personal responsibility?
What prerequisites for verbal and nonverbal communication must I model and teach?
What are the benefits of positive and negative talk with students about their behavior?
Are there appropriate ways of talking with angry or aggressive students about their
Do I talk with students who display less serious behaviors in the same way as I
communicate with angry or aggressive students?
How can I use questioning to get the information I need from students about their
How do I talk with students when delivering consequences for their inappropriate
How can I teach students behavioral self-control?
Jacob S. Kounin, Discipline and Group Management in Classrooms. Huntington, N. Y.: R. E.
Krieger, 1977, c1970.
Kounins model has its advantages in that it focuses mostly on the teachers behavior. In
other words, it is easier to change ones self than others.
Withitness, Alerting, and Group Management.

*The ripple effect: when you correct one pupil's behavior, it tends to change the behavior
of others.
*The teacher needs to be with it to know what is going on everywhere in the room at all
*Smooth transitions between activities and maintaining momentum are key to effective
group management.
*Optimal learning takes place when teachers keep pupils alert and held accountable for
*Boredom [satiation] can be avoided by providing variety to lessons, the classroom
environment and by pupil awareness of progress.
Kounin emphasized how teachers could manage students, lessons, and classrooms so as to
reduce the incidence of behavior. Kounin identified specific teaching techniques that help,
and hinder, classroom discipline. Kounin showed that technique, not teachers personality, is
most crucial in classroom management of student behavior.
Key features of Kounins classroom and lesson management
Group alerting
Fun and challenge
Kounin is known for two studies regarding classroom management in the 1970s. In his book
Discipline and Group Management in Classrooms, he summarized the behaviors of effective
and ineffective managers. Kounin concluded that the ways teachers handle misbehavior
once it occurs are not the keys to successful classroom management, but rather what
teachers do to prevent management problems from occurring in the first place.
Organization and planning set the stage for good classroom management.
LESSON MOVEMENT emphasizes the strong relationship between effective management and
effective teaching. Lesson movement is maintained through withitness, overlapping,
momentum and smoothness.
WITHITNESS means that a teacher knows what is going on in the classroom at all times,
kind of "eyes in the back of your head."
OVERLAPPING is a closely related to withitness and is the ability to attend to two incidents
at the same time.
MOMENTUM refers to the force and flow of a lesson. An effective lesson pulls the student
SMOOTHNESS is maintaining direction in the lesson and not being diverted by irrelevant
incidents or information.
Kounin also coined a term he called the Ripple Effect. How a teachers method of handling
misbehavior influences the other students who were not misbehaving. The effect tends to

have more influence on younger students and early in the school year. Students with high
motivation to learn also responded more, as did those who respected the teacher.
Desist occurs when the teacher tells a student to stop a behavior. Desist influence on the
ripple effect in three areas: CLARITY, FIRMNESS AND ROUGHNESS
CLARITY refers to how much information is given. A simple Stop that." Had less ripple effect
than, "In school we ask for things, we dont just grab."
FIRMNESS is the degree the teacher carries an "I-mean-it" and a "right now!" quality in the
ROUGHNESS refers to the amount of anger or exasperation the teacher expresses.
Roughness is not simply more firmness and seems to have little effect on the ripple effect.
Clear firm desists tend to work the best.
Jacob Kounin and some principles of Classroom Management
What is classroom management?
It includes all of the things a teacher does towards two ends:
1. To foster student involvement and cooperation in all classroom activities.
2. To establish a productive working environment.
Effective vs. Ineffective Teachers (or good managers vs. poor managers)
***Kounins 1970s study: effective teachers were no different from ineffective teachers in
responding to or dealing with students misbehavior after the misbehavior had occurred.
The difference: READINESS
* Room ready
* Work ready
* Teacher ready
Kounin interested in group management -- how a teachers method of handling the
misbehavior of a student influences the other students who are audiences to the event but
not themselves target the ripple effect.
Kounin found that good managers:
1. Project an image of being in charge in the classroom.
a. whithitness "having eyes in the back of your head"
b. overlapping ability to deal with two or more issues at once
2. Efficiently manage lessons and transitions between lessons.
a. focus making sure students know what they are supposed to do and why
b. attention motivation and specific directions
c. accountability calling on students to respond, discuss, interact, demonstrate
d. pacing timing
e. momentum progression of lesson without slowdown or frantic rush
f. transitions established routines

Haim G. Ginott, Teacher and Child; A Book for Parents and Teachers. 1st Collier Books ed.
New York: Colliers, 1993, c1972.
Haim Ginotts contribution to classroom discipline provided the first coherent strategies for
building classroom discipline through communication. Clarified his contentions by describing
teachers at their best and teachers at their worst. Explained the nature of congruent
communication and detailed the techniques for its use. Showed how effective discipline is
gained through small, gentle steps rather than strong tactics. Explained how teachers can
show genuine emotion without hurting relations with students.
Addressing the Situation with Sane Messages.
*Discipline is little-by-little, step-by-step. The teacher's self-discipline is key. Model the
behavior you want in students.
*Use sane messages when correcting misbehavior. Address what the student is doing,
don't attack the student's character [personal traits]. Labeling disables.
*Use communication that is congruent with student's own feelings about the situation and
*Invite cooperation rather than demanding it.
*Teachers should express their feelings--anger--but in sane ways. "What you are doing
makes me very angry. I need you to ...."
*Sarcasm is hazardous.
*Praise can be dangerous; praise the act, not the student and in a situation that will not
turn peers against the pupil.
*Apologies are meaningless unless it is clear that the person intends to improve.
*Teachers are at their best when they help pupils developtheir self-esteem and to trust
their own experience.
Key Feature of Congruent Communication, Ginott
Address situations rather than character
Invites cooperation
Accepts and acknowledges feelings
Expresses anger appropriately
Uses brevity in correcting misbehavior
Uses appreciative rather than evaluative praise
Key Feature of Non-Congruent Communication, Ginott
Labels students and name-calls
Asks rhetorical whys and gives moralistic lectures
Invades students privacy
Makes caustic or sarcastic remarks to students
Attacks students character
Demands rather than invites cooperation
Denies students feelings
Shows loss of temper
Uses evaluative praise to manipulate students
Ginotts Special Techniques: To correct student misbehavior-use laconic language and show
students how to behave. To express anger-do so genuinely, but with no sarcasm or hostility.
To praise students-show appreciation for what students DO, not what they are. To invite
cooperation-indicate what needs to be done, without bossing. To use their hidden asset-ask
How can I be helpful to my students right now?

Rudolf Dreikurs, Maintaining Sanity in the Classroom; Classroom Management Techniques.

2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Accelerated Development, 1998.
Dreikurs identified true discipline as synonymous with self-discipline, and based his
discipline scheme on the premise of social interest. Clarified how democratic teachers an
classrooms promote sound discipline. Pinpointed a prime goal (belonging) as an underlying
motivator of student behavior. Identified and offered techniques for giving positive
redirection to students mistaken goals of attention, power, revenge, and inadequacy. Urged
teachers and students to jointly formulate rules and logical consequences for compliance or
Rudolf Dreikurs three types of teachers and classrooms: Autocratic, Permissive,
Confronting Mistaken Goals.
*Discipline is not punishment. It means self-control.
*The teacher's role is helping pupils to impose limits on themselves.
*Teachers can model democratic behavior by providing guidance and leadership and
involving pupils in setting rules and consequences.
*All students want to belong. Their behavior is directed to belonging.
*Misbehavior is the result of their mistaken belief that it will gain them peer recognition.
[It is usually a mistake to assume that misbehavior is an attack directed at the teacher.]
*Misbehavior is directed at mistaken goals: attention-getting, power-seeking, revenge,
and displaying inadequacy. The trick is to identify the goal and act in ways that do not
reinforce mistaken goals.
*Teachers should encourage students' efforts, but avoid praising their work [?] or
character. [Others disagree.]
*Support the idea that negative consequences follow inappropriate behavior by your
Rudolf Dreikurs model focuses on democratic classroom structure, mistaken goal behavior
and sense of belonging. I see similarities with Dreikurs and Jones models. Democracy is
shown in both by decision-making with the class and teacher. Both Dreikurs and Jones
agree that group effort should motivate a students behavior. One area of Dreikurs that I
would implement would be that of logical consequences. This is in line with Jones PAT, but
adds consequences that are out of a time-frame or goofing off nature such as, not
completing homework.
Dreikurs model is that it works to help the student recognize the goals of their behavior. A
disadvantage is that I can see how a student would use their misbehavior and the dialog
that would follow as a way to gain more attention from the teacher. It would also take time
from classroom instruction. On the other hand, as a teacher, I might use the model to
guide lessons about learning social behavior skills and self-determination. As with William
Glasser [and the authors of "Reclaiming Youth at Risk" (The circle of courage)], Rudolph
Driekurs believes that the major need that humans possess is "belonging". We all need to
feel as if we are valued, appreciated, and respected by important groups and, friends, teachers, classmates, etc.
According to Driekurs, encouragement is more important and effective than praise.
Teachers should voice/show their belief in youngsters and encourage/promote appropriate
future behavior. "You can do it" is the message we want to get into the student's head. If
we do praise, it should be "descriptive praise" which recognizes the actions/behaviors of the
student. He recommends that teachers NOT praise the character of the student (e.g.,
"You're a good boy." "You're a talented artist."). Dreikurs recommends that teachers

always speak in positive terms (rather than pointing out what the student did wrong) and
see mistakes (academic or behavioral) as "learning experiences". Teachers would use these
blunders to teach the student better ways and smarter choices, NOT just punish the
youngster. Punishment does not teach what to do, teaching does help kids learn new ways.
We work with "difficult" kids, but we NEVER give up on a youngster. We continue to believe
in their ability to change for the better. We help them to make those changes by
TEACHING, not punishing.
Richard Curwin and Allen N. Mendler Discipline With Dignity: DWD Considers traditional
classroom discipline systems as patriarchal moral system; critiques discipline systems. DWD
teaches responsible thinking, cooperation, mutual respect, and shared decision-making.
DWD equips teachers and administrators with classroom skills and techniques that enable
them to spend less time dealing with behavioral problems and more time on positive
interactions with students and on instruction.
Basic Principles:
Long-term behavioral change, not quick fixes
Dealing with student behavior is part of the job
Rules must make sense
Be a model of what you expect
Always treat students with dignity
Responsibility is more important than obedience
Stop doing ineffective things
You can be fair without always having to treat every one the same
Discipline with Dignity Goals
Skills in Recognizing And Resolving Conflict
*Effective communication
*Defusing potentially explosive situations
*Reducing violence
Supporting Instruction
*To prepare children for their future
*To value and protect opportunities for learning
Learning To Behave Responsibly
*Opportunities to be heard
Clearly Defined Limits
*Less Permissive
*Rule enforcement
*Enhance learning
*Marked degree of decision-making and problem-solving
*Replacing simple rewards and punishments with values
*Practicing democracy
*Teaching students to learn from their mistakes
Practical Discipline Guidelines
1. The most practical discipline technique is to welcome every student.

2. It takes less time at the end when you spend more time in the beginning.
3. When students withdraw, make an even bigger invitation.
4. Discipline responses require a two-stage approach: stabilize and teach.
5. Model effective expressions of anger with your students.
6. When you take something away, give something back.
7. Never use something you want a child to love as a consequence.
8. Eventually you must face a student who misbehaves; no one can do it for you.
9. When disciplining students, always provide choices and limits.
10. No one can change his or her behavior without a commitment.
Obedience Model:
Based on rewards and punishments
*Focuses on deterrents
*Works best with students who don't need it
*Appropriate for safety
*Works fast, doesn't last
Responsibility Model:
Based on values; learning right from wrong
*Focuses on instruction
*Helps all students
*Appropriate for all situations
*Takes longer, lasts longer
William Glasser, Reality Therapy and Discipline, Engelhardt, Loretta. "School Discipline
Programs That Work" in ERIC, ED 241993, 1983.
William Glassers model focuses on students making choices about their behavior and
behavior meeting basic needs. Contended that students choose to behave as they do;
nothing forces them. Described misbehavior as a bad choice and appropriate behavior as a
good choice. Urged teachers to formulate class rules and consequences and involve students
in the process.
Good Behavior Comes from Good Choices. Glasser's recent work focuses on the class
meeting as a means of developing class-wide discipline. See the chapter on The Classroom
Meeting in Joyce and Weil, Models of Teaching. [For those who have their classes under
control and would like to try to go beyond teacher-imposed discipline, William Glasser's
approach is worth serious consideration.
*Students are rational beings capable of controlling their own behavior.
*Help pupils learn to make good choices, since good choices produce good behavior.
*Do not accept excuses for bad behavior. Ask, "What choices did you have? Why did you
make that choice? Did you like the result? What have you learned?"
*Reasonable consequences should always follow good or bad student behavior.
*[Usually developed in classroom meetings,] class rules are essential to a good learning
climate, they must be enforced.
*Classroom meetings are a good way to develop and maintain class behavior. [The group
diagnoses the problem and seeks solutions.]
William Glasser insisted that teachers never accept excuses for misbehavior and always see
that students experience the reasonable consequences of the choices they make. Glasser
maintained that the teachers role in discipline consists of continually helping students to

make better behavior choices. Glasser popularized classroom meetings as a regular part of
the curriculum.
Teachers work to make learning fun, to create a sense of belonging and freedom for the
students, and to empower students. I feel that I would implement Glassers ideas of fun,
belonging, freedom, and empowerment. One thing that I would do would be to create
interesting activities that students see as relevant and useful. This would stem from
knowing the students preferences well. I would introduce the topic and guide the students
to an appropriate assignment of their interest. I would also give choices related to the
different learning styles. Students would be responsible for making up the rubric for their
own assignment. William Glasser, renowned psychologist and educational theorist believes
that teachers should not accept excuses for misbehavior. A student should take
responsibility for his/her actions. However, we help them by teaching personal responsibility
for one's behavior. We help them to make good choices and learn self-direction/selfmanagement of behavior. According to Glasser, inappropriate behavior should be viewed as
a result of making bad choices. Therefore we should help the youngster learn ways to make
smarter choices. This is done via classroom meetings, personal discussions with the student,
and consistent enforcement of class rules. He is, however, opposed to "controlling" kids
without teaching. The "behavior mod" techniques of applied behavior analysis would not be
recommended by him.
Glasser says that kids need to feel connected to us. We should
always be looking for ways to develop a deeper bond with them. They also need to feel as if
they are important and influential in their environments (i.e., classroom, home,
neighborhood). That means that we should allow them to contribute to our class decisions.
With regard to academics, Glasser says that we should engage our kids in work that is
meaningful to them. They should see how it is important to their lives. We should promote
"best effort" versus "accuracy" on assignments. The kids would also self-evaluate their work
and figure out how to improve upon their product/performance. Our lessons should be
entertaining and fun. Periodic "fun" activities should be incorporated into the schedule.
Thomas Gordon, Teacher Effectiveness Training. T. E. T. Gordon, Thomas. T.E.T.; Teacher
Effectiveness Training. David McKay Co., 1987.
A guide for the classroom teacher; how to bring out the best in your students.
Teachers have three types of relationship times with their students: Teaching/Learning time,
when teacher and students are on task, attentive, and participating; Student-Owned
Problem time, when students experience upsets or problems that distract their attention
from learning tasks; and Teacher-Owned Problem time, when the teacher experiences
problems with unacceptable student behavior and is distracted from teaching tasks.
In TET, teachers learn specific skills of interpersonal communication and problem solving
that they use to more effectively assist students with problems and to help get changes in
unacceptable student behaviors. The result is that teachers teach more and feel better
about themselves as teachers, because their students learn more.
These seven specific behavioral skills and their application in the classroom are taught in

Behavioral Observation
Identifying Problem Ownership
Demonstrating Understanding
Being Understood
Expressing Recognition

7. Win/Win Problem Solving

The TET curriculum design is based on a four-step experiential learning model, SIPA, in
1. learning activities are structured
2. students are involved in an activity
3. they communicate about and process their personal experience with others
4. they analyze and generalize for purposes of application to their classroom
Gordons The case against disciplining children at home and in school
Other Theoreticians and their models:
H. Gardner, Multiple Intelligences.
The theory of multiple intelligences suggests that there are a number of distinct forms of
intelligence that each individual possesses in varying degrees. Gardner proposes seven
primary forms: linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, body-kinesthetic,
intrapersonal (e.g., insight, metacognition) and interpersonal (e.g., social skills).
According to Gardner, the implication of the theory is that learning/teaching should focus on
the particular intelligences of each person. For example, if an individual has strong spatial or
musical intelligences, they should be encouraged to develop these abilities. Gardner points
out that the different intelligences represent not only different content domains but also
learning modalities. A further implication of the theory is that assessment of abilities should
measure all forms of intelligence, not just linguistic and logical-mathematical.
Gardner also emphasizes the cultural context of multiple intelligences. Each culture tends to
emphasize particular intelligences. For example, Gardner (1983) discusses the high spatial
abilities of the Puluwat people of the Caroline Islands, who use these skills to navigate their
canoes in the ocean. Gardner also discusses the balance of personal intelligences required in
Japanese society.
The theory of multiple intelligences shares some common ideas with other theories of
individual differences such as Cronbach & Snow, Guilford, and Sternberg .
Scope/Application: The theory of multiple intelligences has been focused mostly on child
development although it applies to all ages. While there is no direct empirical support for
the theory, Gardner (1983) presents evidence from many domains including biology,
anthropology, and the creative arts and Gardner (1993a) discusses application of the theory
to school programs. Gardner (1982, 1993b) explores the implications of the framework for
creativity (see also Marks-Tarlow, 1995).
Example: Gardner (1983, p 390) describes how learning to program a computer might
involve multiple intelligences:
"Logical-mathematical intelligence seems central, because programming depends upon the
deployment of strict procedures to solve a problem or attain a goal in a finite number of
steps. Linguistic intelligence is also relevant, at least as long as manual and computer
languages make use of ordinary individual with a strong musical bent might
best be introduced to programming by attempting to program a simple musical piece (or to
master a program that composes). An individual with strong spatial abilities might be

initiated through some form of computer graphics -- and might be aided in the task of
programming through the use of a flowchart or some other spatial diagram. Personal
intelligences can play important roles. The extensive planning of steps and goals carried out
by the individual engaged in programming relies on intrapersonal forms of thinking, even as
the cooperation needed for carrying a complex task or for learning new computational skills
may rely on an individual's ability to work with a team. Kinesthetic intelligence may play a
role in working with the computer itself, by facilitating skill at the terminal..."
1. Individuals should be encouraged to use their preferred intelligences in learning.
2. Instructional activities should appeal to different forms of intelligence.
3. Assessment of learning should measure multiple forms of intelligence.
Gardner, H. (1982). Art, Mind and Brain. New York: Basic Books.
Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of Mind. New York: Basic Books.
Gardner, H. (1993a). Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice. NY: Basic Books.
Gardner, H. (1 993b). Creating Minds. NY: Basic Books.
Marks-Tarlow, T. (1995). Creativity inside out: Learning through multiple intelligences.
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.