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Assertive Discipline and EBD

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by mondragon, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Dear Tom,
    Is assertive discipline effective with an EBD student? Please help!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. Dear Tom,
    Is assertive discipline effective with an EBD student? Please help!!!!!!!!!
     
  3. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    Depends what you mean by "assertive discipline". I would say any method of managing behaviour is only as effective as the practitioner.
     
  4. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I think the basic rule of encouraging the behaviour you want and discouraging eh behaviour you don't want holds with EBD pupils. In addition, I think that EBD pupils need greater consistency of rewards and sanctions than "normal" pupils, and a clearer, more explicit statement of routines, procedures and boundaries.
    However, the means by which you get there may not necessarily be "positive assertive": you may have to rely on coaching techniques, and of course emotional intelligence building is the key to making long term changes.
    I think the techniques used should be contextual and flexible: so, yes it is effective, but only as part of a greater package.
     
  5. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    As posters have mentioned above, any question like this will always be relative to the context.
    That said, assertive discipline- boundaries, consequences and rewards- are usually the backbone of any structural solution to presented challenging behaviour. EBD kids need (as much as any, and some more than many) clearly defined boundaries to help them make sense of their sitaution, to feel safe, and to know where they stand. It might be tough at first, but structurally this needs to be the foundation of your provision. As the relationship develops, you can start to get clever with your expectations, but from the outset, particularly if you don't know them, they need you to show them that you're reliable, firm, in control and supportive. And that means being the adult that they need.
    But it takes time; don't expect miracles, but do expect results. Steel yourself for the storms that come as you get there.
    Good luck
     
  6. Just as the above advice says, clear expectations and boundaries, consistent and explicit. With a new class (can do this any time!) I begin with the simple statement that my classroom is based on respect. I ask students to pair share what this will look like in practice and we feedback on sugar paper that is stuck to the wall, so we can refer back. I can then reinforce with praise when students are behaving in a respectful manner. The conversation ..."we all agreed that ...." can also be powerful, as students have come up with the way they want to work together themselves. I think that if behaviour escalates, it's important to try and find a way back. After an incident, rude comment, kick off, whatever, I ask, "how can we make this right?" The aim is trying to make students feel responsible for their actions and the more I've used it, the more effective it's become. What you don't want is a child whose kicked off and now thinks they're in trouble and have nothing left to loose. Students know the routine, if they put things right (offering to apologise properly, tidy up the classroom at the end etc), then it stays in the classroom. If they don't put things right, parents are contacted etc. The other useful strategy I use is always linking back to learning, avoiding good and bad behaviour and arguments about who did what. Picking up their exercise books and staying, whatever has happened - what level of work is this? Who is being hurt by this behaviour, it's not me, your grades are suffering - reinforcing that you want the student to do well. Hope that helps :)
     
  7. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    The emphasis of the wiki post is far too negative. It misses "positive" out from the title. "Catch them being good" is relegated to a minor point when it is actually central to the strategy. PAD assumes that MOST behaviour is good, and that this behaviour should be acknowledged and rewarded. Therefore, intervention in the cases of negative behaviour is only a small part of the strategy; if you look at Canter's books, the balance of resources is hugely in favour of praise and reward rather than sanction. Any teacher who does not praise and reward behaviour much more than they sanction negative behaviour is not employing PAD correctly. I think the wiki definition does not acknowledge this sufficiently.

     
  8. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    I think that the idea is that more that whenever possible each pupil is rewarded/praised more than sanctioned.
    This happens anyway depending on the expectations of different teachers
    I have seen this happen. Combine this with frequency of sanctions = poor classroom management and you have a recipe for disaster and some staggeringly annoying and tedious conversations including the following if you set a class too many detentions or send too many pupils out:
    <ol>[*]"Mr. Kid what can we do to support you with class X?" Deliver pupils to their detentions I suppose.[*]"While I <u>could</u> ensure that pupils attend their detentions I was thinking more in terms of observing you teaching class X (or looking at your planning or something else equally unhelpful). Are you suggesting that there's a problem with my practice?[*]Well erm...(uncomfortable squirming), not exactly. I'll be observing you on (insert date and time). Great[*]On the subject of detentions have you considered (insert painfully obvious strategy, that is the first thing you tried, that will only work on good kids or kids with supportive parents). I'll be sure to try that again.[*]The observation. Pupils dribble in over the first 10 minutes. Apparently there has been a fight involving pupil Z. Pupils have written down what they saw (Pupil Z assaulting a smaller child). They eventually stop shouting about what happened and start the task that is waiting for them. After 20 minutes pupil Z arrives shouting about how he is going to "merc" any "grasses". When asked to sit down he calls me a "c**t". Bedlam ensues as he refuses to leave and is eventually removed.It takes 10 minutes to calm the class. This leaves 15 minutes before it's time to pack up. At no stage has the SLT observer helped despite the clearly extraordinary circumstances. She then wants to give me feedback...[*]"Don't you feel you were a bit negative with pupil Z?" No[*]"Couldn't you have selectively ignored pupil Z?" Not really. He called me a c**t[*]"I know pupil Z called you a c**t as he entered the room. The question is, what did you do to provoke that sort of anger?" I asked him to stop shouting and sit down. Are you suggesting I shouldn't have?
    [*]"I noticed that your lesson required pupils to listen to what you are saying. Perhaps you could minimise this in future lesson plans. Have you considered video clips or an interactive starter?" I do use them when I think it's appropriate. Today the subject matter didn't lend itself to that sort of activity. [*]"You have unrealistic expectations of how much pupils can write and how long they can concentrate for. In your future plans make this section of the lesson shorter" So you want my pupils to do less work? Are you sure?
    [*]I will observe you again next term and see if you have made progress. I'll be sure to ignore any poor behaviour and not expect pupils to listen or write. </ol>Now that's a genuine sequence of events (as best I can remember it). I had very similar conversations with several members of SLT over a period of years.
    One of the dangers of PAD is that poorly managed it is significantly worse than no behaviour policy at all.

     
  9. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Why don't you change it? Anyone can edit Wikipedia. Go on, it's easy.
     
  10. If management assume that the frequency of rewards = good classroom management they could begin to target the wrong members of staff for professional development.
    I have seen this happen. Combine this with frequency of sanctions = poor classroom management and you have a recipe for disaster and some staggeringly annoying and tedious conversations including the following if you set a class too many detentions or send too many pupils out:
    <ol>[*]"Mr. Kid what can we do to support you with class X?" Deliver pupils to their detentions I suppose.[*]"While I <u>could</u> ensure that pupils attend their detentions I was thinking more in terms of observing you teaching class X (or looking at your planning or something else equally unhelpful). Are you suggesting that there's a problem with my practice?[*]Well erm...(uncomfortable squirming), not exactly. I'll be observing you on (insert date and time). Great[*]On the subject of detentions have you considered (insert painfully obvious strategy, that is the first thing you tried, that will only work on good kids or kids with supportive parents). I'll be sure to try that again.[*]The observation. Pupils dribble in over the first 10 minutes. Apparently there has been a fight involving pupil Z. Pupils have written down what they saw (Pupil Z assaulting a smaller child). They eventually stop shouting about what happened and start the task that is waiting for them. After 20 minutes pupil Z arrives shouting about how he is going to "merc" any "grasses". When asked to sit down he calls me a "c**t". Bedlam ensues as he refuses to leave and is eventually removed.It takes 10 minutes to calm the class. This leaves 15 minutes before it's time to pack up. At no stage has the SLT observer helped despite the clearly extraordinary circumstances. She then wants to give me feedback...[*]"Don't you feel you were a bit negative with pupil Z?" No[*]"Couldn't you have selectively ignored pupil Z?" Not really. He called me a c**t[*]"I know pupil Z called you a c**t as he entered the room. The question is, what did you do to provoke that sort of anger?" I asked him to stop shouting and sit down. Are you suggesting I shouldn't have?
    [*]"I noticed that your lesson required pupils to listen to what you are saying. Perhaps you could minimise this in future lesson plans. Have you considered video clips or an interactive starter?" I do use them when I think it's appropriate. Today the subject matter didn't lend itself to that sort of activity. [*]"You have unrealistic expectations of how much pupils can write and how long they can concentrate for. In your future plans make this section of the lesson shorter" So you want my pupils to do less work? Are you sure?
    [*]I will observe you again next term and see if you have made progress. I'll be sure to ignore any poor behaviour and not expect pupils to listen or write. </ol>Now that's a genuine sequence of events (as best I can remember it). I had very similar conversations with several members of SLT over a period of years.

    Just in case I started to get nostalgic over my uncountable decades in the classroom... just about EVERY 'management' / 'professional development' discussion I've ever had with those supposedly in charge of 'developing' my skills and abilities as a teacher.
    Number 4 is a great favourite of mine, and could be used to sum up the whole concept of 'professional development' as I've encountered it.
     
  11. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Because, unlike others, I don't see Wikipedia as my primary source of educational thinking.

     
  12. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    I'm inclined to agree with Raymond in so much as PAD assumes that most behaviour is good. If most behaviour is good then it stands to reason that dealing with poor behaviour is a small part of the strategy.
    Raymond-Does this mean that PAD is not appropriate for schools where most behaviour is clearly not good at all?
     
  13. And who may I ask does?
     
  14. 'Whenever possible' is something I could live with as the implication is that one is not under any obligation to praise students who have behaved appallingly in a lesson.
    Agreed but actually creating a system that reinforces this is absurd.
    Your final description of the number crunching and nonsensical member of SLT was familiar - I've worked for one that simultaneously bullied teachers for setting too many detentions and claimed that teachers who were not giving detentions for homework were not actually setting any homework.
    Having said all this and having read around 'Assertive discipline' a bit more I'm yet to come across any source that explicity tries to quantify how many times teachers should be rewarding or punishing students.
    I'm not particularly keen on using the word 'positive' in the title either since it is the students who choose whether the system is positive or negative towards them based on their behaviour.



     
  15. Does this mean that we are, for the benefit of further discussion, agreed that there is a distinction between AD and PAD?

     
  16. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Hi bigkid. Can you imagine a school where "most" behaviour is not good at all? Where at least 51% of the children shout out inappropriately at least 51% of the time? Where 51% children misbehave in the corridors 51% of the time? Where 51% of the children swear at and insult 51% teachers 51% of the time?
    I think the "quantification" issue is a red herring: adopting a common sense approach to what "most" means, I would suggest that in any school, most of the children do exactly what you want them to most of the time. Of course, I haven't been in every school, but have been in more schools than "most".

     
  17. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    Yes. I worked in one for 8 years
     
  18. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    So - in a one hour lesson with 30 pupils, 16 of them shouted out uncontrollably for 31 minutes at a time?
    Sorry - I know we can think that "most" behaviour in a school is bad, but if we look at it objectively, the worst we can usually say is that too much of the behaviour is bad. However, if you say so.
     
  19. There are other ways of misbehaving aside from shouting out.
     

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