Preparing New Teachers: A Survival Guide
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     There are a number of philosophies that enable educators to deal with students and their behaviors. They can be instituted at the classroom level or at the school level. Here is a list of those philosophies along with a brief explanation, taken from Cotton (2001).

  • Reality Therapy: This involves teachers helping students make positive choices by making clear the connection between student behavior and consequences. Class meetings, clearly communicated rules, and the use of plans and contracts are featured.
  • Positive Approach to Discipline: This program is based on Glasser's Reality Therapy and is grounded in teachers' respect for students and instilling in them a sense of responsibility. Program components include developing and sharing clear rules, providing daily opportunities for success, and administering in-school suspension for noncompliant students.
  • Teacher Effectiveness Training: This program differentiates between teacher-owned and student-owned problems and proposes different strategies for dealing with each. Students are taught problem-solving and negotiation techniques.
  • Transactional Analysis: Within the context of counseling programs, students with behavior problems use terminology and exercises from this program to identify issues and make changes. The notion that each person's psyche includes child, adult, and parent components is basic to this program.
  • Assertive Discipline: First publicized and marketed in 1976 by developer Lee Canter, this program is a well-respected and widely used program. Assertive discipline focuses on the right of the teacher to define and enforce standards for student behavior. Clear expectations, rules, and a penalty system with increasingly serious sanctions are major features.
  • Adlerian Approaches: Named for psychiatrist Alfred Adler, this program is an umbrella term for a variety of methods which emphasize understanding the individual's reasons for maladaptive behavior and helping misbehaving students to alter their behavior, while at the same time finding ways to get their needs met.

Cotton, K. (2001) Schoolwide and Classroom Discipline. Retrieved on June 8th, 2005 at:

© 2006 Mark Karadimos | Updated September 15th, 2006