Dr. Allen - EDED 3358
November 30, 2014
A student pushes another student down the slide to get his turn. The teacher puts the kid in time out only to have him do it again the next day. This punitive behavior technique is only temporarily addressing the problem. A better strategy should include a collaborative approach that would help the student understand why their behavior was wrong and come up with a more appropriate replacement behavior. Collaborative discipline is a great approach for intervening in this student’s behavior. This approach focuses on teachers developing a good standing rapport with students and allows them to take responsibility for their behavior as they are included in developing their behavior management plan. In order to fulfill such discipline the teacher would need to be aware that young students do not have the cognitive skills to deal with flexibility, frustration, tolerance and problem solving. With that being said, the collaborative approach will involve the student in a behavior plan that builds on the skills that children lack. In contrast to punitive, zero-tolerance approach to conflict or misbehavior, a problem-solving approach aims to identify circumstantial contributions to school discipline issues so that responses to conflict are flexible and more understanding. To successfully collaborate with a student the teacher must have a positive student-teacher relationship. The student should always feel supported by the teacher, even during times of conflict. The teacher can establish this relationship by positively reinforcing appropriate behavior. For example, the teacher can pull a student to the side to address their behavior and ask them how they could have reacted differently. This helps the student problem solve their own behavior and it also helps the student come to a common ground with the teacher. Theorist William Glasser takes a closer look at how teachers can implement this discipline model.
Glasser’s 7 Steps in Action
First teacher must establish a warm, personal relationship with the student. Students are more likely to discuss their problems and listen to ideas from someone they respect. Second, the teacher should deal with the present behavior. Make students aware of their behavior and have them describe it. For instance, “What did you do that upset Johnny?” If a student does not recognize what they did wrong then you can ask them if they are willing to hear what you or someone else observed. It is important to state the facts of what you saw in a positive way.
Third, a valued judgment needs to be made. Once the behavior is identified then have the student recognize what is wrong with the behavior and the effects it can cause. Fourth, both the teacher and the student work out a plan for alternative behavior. This involves the student in creating a plan to follow. The teacher’s job is to guide the student in developing the plan. So the teacher can ask, “What do you think you can do so that you can study without bothering other students?” Lastly, a commitment needs to be made. During this step the teacher and the student must understand the plan. One way to do this is to restate the plan then ask the student if they can commit to it. After the student commits to the plan they should follow up to discuss how the plan is working. This allows the teacher to reinforce the behavior with praise and ask the student how they feel. Should the teacher find out that the plan did not work; the student and teacher can collaborate again to form a new plan or figure out if the student needs more help to implement it. It is important in this step that the teacher does not put-down the student, but also that the teacher does not accept any excuses. In addition, the teacher should discuss the consequences if the student is not fulfilling their part.
A similar approach for collaborative problem solving was created