First-Aid for Classroom Discipline Problems

First-Aid for Classroom Discipline Problems

First-Aid for Classroom Discipline Problems

First-Aid for Classroom Discipline Problems

Excerpt

The ideas expressed in this booklet originated in a speech given during a summer workshop of the Preventive Psychiatry Program at the State University of Iowa to a group of teachers interested in the relationship between classroom discipline and mental health. The question had arisen, How does a teacher who is aware of the fact that behavior is the result of interrelated psychological factors handle discipline problems? Experienced teachers had indicated that increased knowledge of human behavior had made them more sensitive to the problems of classroom discipline. They realized the limitations of a punitive authoritarian approach. They also felt, however, that a laissez-faire permissiveness neither helped them in their teaching nor seemed to foster mental health. The objective of this booklet is to give guidance to the teacher who is concerned with the development of a healthy personality in her pupils, but who has not yet reconciled the various theoretical and practical problems involved in classroom discipline and control.

Discipline is a paramount problem for many teachers. As one of my students put it after her first week of teaching: "You never told us that discipline is that important. One really can't teach effectively if the children don't behave." This booklet discusses the importance of finding the psychological causes for discipline problems and develops specific methods for classroom control that are in agreement with mental health principles. The basic concepts used in this discussion are first-aid and permanent aid.

I am greatly indebted to Dr.Ralph Ojemann of the State University of Iowa, who first applied the concept "first-aid" to classroom discipline (46) and who stimulated its further systematic development. Much appreciation is expressed to the Grant Foundation for support of this project. I wish also to thank my associates, Doctors Barnes, Lovell, Moore, Single‐ ton . . .

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