Educating Oppositional and Defiant Children

Educating Oppositional and Defiant Children

Educating Oppositional and Defiant Children

Educating Oppositional and Defiant Children


Oppositional and defiant children present a major challenge for teachers and other educators. Students with serious behavior disorders can become aggressive, disruptive, and even violent in class. But instead of becoming frustrated with this antisocial behavior, educators need to approach each child individually with patience and understanding. Using stories based on actual classroom cases, Philip S. Hall and Nancy D. Hall illustrate the key concepts and techniques needed to successfully teach oppositional students. They believe that the teacher's own behavior can positively influence the student's reactions, and they offer practical advice on what approaches work and don't work. Readers will learn how to ? Identify the risk factors that can trigger antisocial behavior; ? Engineer the classroom environment, routines, and tasks to increase success; ? Interact in ways that promote positive behavior; ? Temporarily remove a disruptive child from the classroom while preserving the child's dignity; ? Work with the child's parents to find the appropriate special education services;? Guide parents toward effective training programs; and ? Develop a school culture with the values and beliefs to nurture oppositional students. Students with oppositional and defiant behavior must feel they are emotionally and physically safe in the classroom. Hall and Hall show how educators can help them move from frustration to understanding, from despair to hope, and from failure to success.


A Classroom Incident

[Justin,] the teacher directed, [stop playing with your crayon and get
back to work.] Without even giving the teacher a glance, Justin rolled
his crayon down his desk and squealed in delight as it fell to the floor.

Noticing the teacher's exasperation, the classroom aide, Mrs. John
son, put her hand out and pleaded, [Justin, won't you please give me
your crayon?] Justin threw the crayon at Mrs. Johnson, striking her in
the forehead.

[Justin!] the teacher exclaimed. [That is enough! Mrs. Johnson,]
the teacher said to her aide, [take Justin to the office.]

When Mrs. Johnson arrived at the office with Justin in tow, the sec
retary reached for the phone. [Call his mother?] she rhetorically
queried. Before Mrs. Johnson could nod her head, Justin pulled out of
her grasp, knocked over a chair, and, with the aide in close pursuit, ran
back to his classroom. Seeing the commotion, the principal abruptly
ended her phone call and came to help.

Schools are seeing more and more children like Justin. They are variously called oppositional-defiant, antisocial, conduct disordered, behaviorally disordered, or severely emotionally disturbed. Whatever the label, these children have common characteristics. They do not listen to directives from adults; they are openly defiant; and, if pushed . . .

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