Moving to Positive Strategies for Order-Keeping with Kids Accustomed to Restrictions, Threats, and Punishments
Edward T. Ladd
Kids in elementary and secondary school who are accustomed to being controlled within narrow limits by means of reprimands, reproaches, threats, and punishments -- that is, through aversive approaches -- present a special problem to the teacher who prefers to regulate behavior more liberally, and to do so through influence strategies which enhance kids' morale and initiative, improve student-teacher relations, and lead to the kids' sharing substantially in the governing of their own behavior.
This essay endeavors to explore the source of that problem and to propose a solution. There are important questions with which it does not attempt to deal: whether regulating student behavior is necessary at all; if so, how much regulation is beneficial; whether aversive methods of regulating behavior -- that is, restrictive and punitive methods -- are good or bad; and to what extent students as groups, rather than teachers, can do the regulating. It simply presupposes that regulation is necessary; that the extent of regulation should be much less than is customary; that teachers should prefer compliance practices that are not aversive (for a discussion of restrictive-punitive approaches see Ladd, 1971); and that wherever the problem at issue arises, the turning over of regulatory powers to kids must await its solution.
"Moving to Positive Strategies for Order-Keeping with Kids Accustomed to Restrictions, Threats, and Punishments" by Edward T. Ladd is reprinted from Urban Education Vol. 6, No. 4 ( January 1972) pp. 331-348 by permission of the publisher, Sage Publications, Inc. The author is deceased; the editors have attempted to update the essay where possible and to eliminate sexist language, but have left some original male pronouns intact for readability.