Discipline with Dignity - CI204-ElementaryEd

Discipline with Dignity
Richard L. Curwin
Allen N. Mendler
• “We decided to develop our own set of
procedures that took the best of all discipline
programs, while avoiding the pitfalls of most”
Three Dimensional Discipline
• Prevention-what can be done to prevent
• Action-what can be done when misbehavior
occurs to solve the problem without making it
• Resolution- what can be done for the out-ofcontrol student
Foundation of the Program
Let students know what you need
Provide instruction at levels that match the student’s ability
Listen to thoughts and feelings
Use humor
Vary your style of presentation
Offer choices
Do not accept excuses
Legitimize misbehavior that you cannot stop
Use hugs and touching when communicating
Be responsible for yourself and allow kids to take responsibility for
11. Realize and accept that you will not reach every child
12. Start fresh everyday
The Book Will Help Teachers…
• Develop a discipline plan
• Stop misbehavior without attacking students
• Resolve problems with chronic disrupters
• Reduce stress
• Use special guidelines for rules and
consequences that work
Causes of Misbehavior
Out of School
• Violence
• Media
• “Me” Generation
• Poor family
• Temperament
In School
• Boredom
• Powerlessness
• Unclear limits
• Lack of outlets for
• Attacks on dignity
Responsibility Model
Improves teaching and learning performance
Main goal: teaches students to make
responsible choices
Principle: to learn from the outcomes of
1. Internal locus
2. Done by the students
3. Logical or natural
Locus of Control
• Internal
• Example
– Teacher: Johnny where is
your homework?
– Johnny: I didn’t do it.
• External
• Example
– Teacher: Johnny where is
your homework
– Johnny: I did it but I left
in in my jeans and my
mom washed it. Now I
don’t have it.
Social Contract
• Includes
– Classroom principles
– Specific rules that are based on principles
– A range of consequences for each rule
– Student input
– A test for student comprehension
– Input from parents/administrators
– Method of evaluation
– A process for changes
Logical Consequences
Alternatives or Range
Show students examples of
fair but unequal situations
Are not punishments
Related to the rule
Help violator learn acceptable
• Teaches the importance of
not getting caught
• Retribution
• Fear is the prime motivator
• Punishments are for the
person giving them
1. Do you have a discipline strategy? If
not, what do you use in place
of discipline?
Yes. I use basic 3 tiered system where students have clips on a stoplight
I also have a classroom Popcorn Jar where we work towards adding
"scoops" of popcorn for positive behavior or compliments in the school,
etc..and when it's filled, students earn special things, such as a popcorn
party, or movie, or bring a toy to school for recess, or bring a stuffed
animal to sit on their desk for the day, etc...
We have a school-wide program that's a very "prevention based" type of
program called PBIS. We do a lot of pre-teaching & prevention of
behavior issues throughout the day, week & school year. When students
are caught being good, doing the right thing, making positive choices,
etc., they can earn Panther Paws (small slips of paper w/ a paw on it.) At
the end of each month, we have a Prize Cart (small, movable school
store) that students can spend their Panther Paws on.
2. We read the book, "Discipline with Dignity,"
which is about a three
dimensional discipline strategy that follows
the process; prevention,
action, and resolution. Do you think you
follow this strategy?
No, not that I'm aware of. (??) I'm not
familiar with this strategy.
3. The book talks about having social contracts with the
students. Do
you, or any teachers you know, implement this
I don't use them in my classroom, but that we use
something similar w/ PBIS as a school. When students
have Behavior Tickets (which are written out by any
teacher in the school for students that are not making
good choices), then they might have to meet w/ a
teacher during their recess to discuss the behavior &
complete a form about it, which is similar to a
contract. They rate themselves on what happened,
how they were feeling when the incident occurred &
what they can do to change it.
4. Where did you get your discipline strategy? Do
you follow a certain
one, or a book? Did you design it on your own?
I'm actually not sure where I got it...I've tried
numerous strategies in the past & these seem to
work pretty well. I may try a different type of clip
system after Christmas, but not sure yet...where
there are more choices & focuses on positive
behavior as well as only moving their clips for
negative behavior.
5. Do you have any examples of where you have
had to use discipline in
your classroom?
Talking out, being disrespectful, not following
directions, not making good choices, not
being appropriate w/ friends, etc...
• 6. Do you have any advice for us as future teachers about
I would have a system in place when you start & I would be much more "strict" in
the beginning of the year. It's very important that the students know you're the
teacher in control & you're the one who's in charge & then as they learn the
expectations in the classroom & routine, you can always ease up later. This may
seem harsh & I would assume this may be handled differently at different schools,
but we've had a lot of behavior problems over the past few years, so that's maybe
a different mind set than another teacher might have at a different school. We try
to give our students a positive, safe, secure place where they feel comfortable &
loved. But with that, we also have high expectations regarding their behavior &
the way they treat others. I feel that I am constantly talking to my students about
making good choices & pointing out great behavior in our class & honoring
students for making good choices. We constantly do "prevention" tactics, such as
talking about how you walk down the hallway & keeping our hands to ourselves &
how to deal w/ friends that are making poor choices, etc....I have conversations w/
my students all day long about these kinds of things....it takes ALOT of time &
energy out of your day....but a lot of our students aren't learning these things at
home so we kind of have an "extra" job of instilling these basic values at school as
• Rule: All trash must be thrown away.
1. Pick you trash up
2. Apologize to the teacher
• Rule: You must be in your seat by five minutes
after the bell rings.
1. You are responsible for any information you missed
2. Go to the principals office and miss even more
• Question: When students misbehave should I
have them publicly apologize to either me, or
the other students involved.
• Answer: No because it cause embarrassment
or anger
• Question: In some classes, there is a lare
percentage of disruptive children When they
set the general tone for the class, how can you
change the personality of the group?
• Answer: Be flexible, don’t be afraid to
abandon the lesson plan
Discipline with Dignity Website
• http://www.tlc-sems.com/discipline-withdignity.aspx
Further Reading
• Am I in Trouble? Using Discipline to Teach Young Children
Responsibility. Suggestions for Parents, Teachers, and
Other Care Providers for Children to Age 10.
– Mendler and Curwin
• Solving Discipline and Classroom Management Problems:
Methods and Models for Today's Teachers. 6th Edition
– Mendler and Curwin
• Six Strategies for Helping Youth Move from Rage to
– Mendler and Curwin
• Discipline with Dignity for Challenging Youth.
– Mendler and Curwin
• Beyond Discipline Survival
– Mendler
• What we think about this classroom
management plan
Mendler, L. N. (1992). What do i do when--?, how to achieve
discipline with dignity in the classroom. Solution Tree.
Curwin, I. L., & Mendler, A. N. (1999). Discipline with dignity.
Assn for Supervision & Curriculum.
Mendler, A. N. Handling Difficult Parents. 2006.
Curwin, R. L., and A. N. Mendler. As Tough as
Necessary:Countering Violence, Aggression, and Hostility in
Our Schools. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Deve,
1997. Print.