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RESEARCHED-BASED TEACHING METHODS:

Behavioral vs. Cognitive Views on Teaching/Learning
and classroom management: two “schools of thought”.

Behavioral views of Teaching/Learning and Classroom Management.

Cognitive views of Teaching/Learning and Classroom Management.

 

Behavior Management: Behavioral views of teaching/leaqrning originated in Psychological Studies on behavior modification. These methods/strategies stress“rewards and punishments”, operant conditioning, reinforcing and reinforcement schedules (positive v. negative, and “shaping” – successive approximations, as well as group reinforcements-consequences), cueing and prompts, antecedents and consequences.

Criticisms: Alfie Kohn (’93) argues, “applied behaviorism, which amounts to saying, ‘do this and you’ll 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.

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
  • Extinction
  • Successive approximation
  • Punishment

More on Behavioral Models and their key proponents.

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 themselves “

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. Behaviorists 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 and their key proponents.

 

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. McIntyre’s
Amazing Behavior Management Advise Site

4. Rober J. MacKenzie: Setting Limits in the Classroom @
School Discipline & Classroom. Management: A Bibliography:

An overview by E. Sherwin UCD

Resources @ TeacherVision.com

5. Fred Jones: Positive Classroom Discipline @
FredJones.com: Discipline, Instruction, Motivation

6. Jacob Kounin: Withitness from WikEd @ http://moodle.ed.uiuc.edu/wiked/index.php/Withitness

7. Haim Ginott: Great Pioneers in Modern Discipline

8. Rudolf Dreikurs: What is Positive Discipline?

9. Richard Curwin & Allen Mendler: Discipline Associates @
http://www.disciplineassociates.com/faq.htm

10. William Glasser: Reality Therapy @ http://acrtqss.home.texas.net/index.html?Glassner.html~mainFrame

11. Thomas Gordon: Teacher Effectiveness Training @ Gordon Training International: http://www.thomasgordon.com/index.asp

 

Other online resources:

Debating the Consequences of Disruptive Behavior in School

DEVELOPING A DISCIPLINE PLAN FOR YOU

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

Wolfgang’s (2004) continuum of discipline models:
(click on image below to view enlarged version)

AppleMark

Wolfgang, C. (2005) Solving Discipline and Classroom Management Problems: methods and models for today’s 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.

Behavioral views of teaching/leaqrning originated in Psychological Studies on behavior modification. These methods/strategies stress“rewards and punishments”, operant conditioning, reinforcing and reinforcement schedules (positive v. negative, and “shaping” – successive approximations, as well as group reinforcements-consequences), cueing and prompts, antecedents and consequences.

Criticisms: Alfie Kohn (’93) argues, “applied behaviorism, which amounts to saying, ‘do this and you’ll 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
  • Extinction
  • Successive approximation
  • Punishment

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 directions.

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 schedule.

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 somewhere)!

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 student’s 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.

  • Limit-setting
  • 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 limit-setting 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 chance.

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 limit-setting.

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."

LEVELS OF DISCIPLINE MANAGEMENT

1. Interpersonal-interactive

+ Informal incentive systems (relationship which includes positive instructional interactions)

- 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 themselves “

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. Behaviorists 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 consequences?

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 successful?

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 behavior?

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 behavior?

How do I talk with students when delivering consequences for their inappropriate behavior?

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.

Kounin’s model has its advantages in that it focuses mostly on the teacher’s behavior.  In other words, it is easier to change one’s 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 times.

*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 learning.

*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 teacher’s personality, is most crucial in classroom management of student behavior.

Key features of Kounin’s classroom and lesson management

  • Withiness
  • Momentum
  • Smoothness
  • Group alerting
  • Accountability
  • Overlapping
  • Satiation
  • Fun and challenge

Kounin is known for two studies regarding classroom management in the 1970’s. 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 along.

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 teacher’s 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 don’t just grab."

FIRMNESS is the degree the teacher carries an "I-mean-it" and a "right now!" quality in the desist.

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)

***Kounin’s 1970’s 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 teacher’s 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 Ginott’s 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 themselves.

*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 student

Ginott’s 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 violation.

Rudolf Dreikurs  three types of teachers and classrooms: Autocratic, Permissive, Democratic. 

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 actions.

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 student’s behavior. One area of Dreikurs’ that I would implement would be that of logical consequences. This is in line with Jones’ PAT, but ads 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 people...family, 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

*Warmth

*Love

*Respect

*Concern

*Acceptance

*Opportunities to be heard

Clearly Defined Limits 

*Less Permissive

*Structured

*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 Glasser’s 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 teacher’s 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 Glasser’s 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 student’s 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/self-management 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 TET:

    1. Behavioral Observation

    2. Identifying Problem Ownership

    3. Demonstrating Understanding

    4. Being Understood

    5. Expressing Recognition

    6. Confrontation

    7. Win/Win Problem Solving

The TET curriculum design is based on a four-step experiential learning model, SIPA, in which:

    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

Gordon’s “The case against disciplining children at home and in school”

http://eqi.org/tgordon2.htm

 

 

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 language...an 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..."

Principles:

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.

References:

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.

 

 

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