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flexible system gave students freedom and power, in other words, the authority to decide when they were ready to take an exam and prove what they have learned.

Students did not challenge Mr. Butler’s authority because they recognized it as legitimate (Weber, 2005). Furthermore, by giving students positions of authority that are typically reserved only for teachers, Mr. Butler not only asked his students to recognize his authority—he also challenged them to become active participants in cultivating and upholding the authority he deliberately distributed to the entire community. He wanted them to become his apprentices, and thus, instead of one teacher, there were 24 teachers in his classroom. He clearly articulated expectations that he believed they could reach; he provided flexibility to help each student succeed; and he distributed authority to encourage them to participate in upholding the structures he instituted. The approach works because, as John Dewey suggests, “the social control resides in the very nature of the work done as a social enterprise in which all individuals have an opportu- nity to contribute and to which all feel a responsibility” (Dewey, 1997, p. 163). This is the secret to his success. (Kitzmiller, 2013, pp. 25–31)

This is mighty testimony to the power of student ownership and empowerment, and an intriguing challenge to the urge to over control.

Level 4: Dealing with Very Challenging Students

Over the years, one can build a repertoire of advanced models of discipline to use for the most resistant students who have the most emotional issues. This is not a target for beginners. Successfully mastering the first three levels will take care of the vast majority of the discipline issues any teacher faces. But for the most intractable students, the sophisticated models of discipline will be useful from time to time.

For our most challenging students, approaches beyond what we have presented in this chapter may be necessary. For these students one of the seven therapeu- tic models of discipline developed in the 20th century may be called for. These are students who continue to resist and disrupt despite clear expectations and consequences and despite the teacher’s best efforts at creating ownership and building community in the class. These children bring significant emotional issues through the door with them every morning and act out their needs in disruptive behavior that is resistant to standard measures of behavior manage- ment. Fortunately, there are not too many of them. Most of the students who initially appear to be in this category just need more clarity, conviction, and tenacity about expectations and consequences.



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The Skillful Teacher website explores these seven models in some detail and presents an important matching framework for how to choose from among them to match the apparent psychological needs driving the student behavior:

1. Behavior Modification

2. Self-Awareness Training (Cognitive Behavior Modification)

3. Personal Influence

4. Logical Consequences

5. Reality Therapy

6. Teacher Effectiveness Training

7. Restorative Discipline

Each model has an intellectual parent, a central figure who has pulled it togeth- er and written extensively about it. The exception is Behavior Modification, which has so many parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins it is hard to single one out. All seven models are good when used appropriately, and no one of the sev- en is inherently better than any other. It will be our position that anyone with the position of “Behavioral Interventionist” or “Adjustment Counselor” should be thoroughly trained in all seven, and know how to match them to student needs and how to coach teachers in supporting implementation of the best model choice for their most challenging students. You can learn more about the seven models on The Skillful Teacher website at www.RBTeach.com/TST7.


The comprehensive approach to discipline laid out in this chapter integrates basic management, personal relationships, crystal-clear expectations, and appropriate consequences along with a developmental approach to building strong classroom climate among students. This is a climate of community, so- cial learning, and student ownership. PBIS does the same. The difference is that PBIS, a nationally supported approach to discipline developed by George Sugai of the University of Connecticut and R. Horner of the University of Oregon (Sugai, & Horner, 2006) lays out a systematic plan for getting buy-in to the approach on a schoolwide and districtwide basis. In the PBIS literature, which we recommend, one can find a systematic model of phases and stages for


Seven Therapeutic Models of Discipline



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explaining the comprehensive approach, getting parent buy-in, building faculty interest, and bringing teachers together to get agreement about expectations, consequences, and positive “gotchas” to systematically give positive acknowl- edgement for helpful student behavior. PBIS divides consequences into 3 Tiers which roughly correspond to the four levels of the Hierarchy of Consequences in Table 10.2.



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Twelve Causes of Inattentive or Disruptive Behavior:

Cause 1: Poor General Management Cause 2: Inadequate Personal Relationship Cause 3: Inappropriately Matched or Boring Work Cause 4: Confusing Instruction Cause 5: Unclear Standards, Expectations, and Consequences Cause 6: Student Ignorance of How to Do the Expected Behaviors Cause 7: A Need for Fun and Stimulation Cause 8: Value and Culture Clashes Cause 9: Internal Physical Causes Cause 10: External Physical Causes Cause 11: Extraordinary Emotional Issues Cause 12: Student Sense of Powerlessness

p Effective responses to disruptive behavior are chosen from a repertoire to match the cause or causes.

Effective Discipline Is Built on a Comprehensive Approach of Four Levels:

1. Laying a foundation of sound classroom management, and solid instructional design and delivery, as well as building relationships with students.

2. Establishing authority by communicating expectations, setting limits, and eliminating disruptions.

3. Building a strong classroom climate that nurtures cooperation, responsibility, and self-discipline.

4. Being familiar with more complex models of discipline that may be necessary to implement with a very small percentage of especially troubled or recalcitrant students.

To check your knowledge about Discipline, see the exercises on The Skillful Teacher website at www.RBTeach.com/TST7.



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Part 3

Introduction to Instruction Instruction addresses the skills teachers use to deliver the goods: the cognitive knowledge and skills of their academic disciplines.

Chapter 11: “Clarity” summarizes over a century of research on cog- nitive science as it applies to successful teaching and learning. This is the material most people think of when they hear the word teaching. In this book, we have defined teaching as a much bigger construct: any- thing a person does that increases the probability of intended learning. Nevertheless, Clarity skills are vital for creating successful learning experiences for students. They scaffold learning, make it accessible in varied and powerful ways, check to see if it has been assimilated, and get inside students’ heads to identify misconceptions and confusions. The repertoires within Chapter 11 form a bedrock of good pedagogy.

A supplementary document that analyzes the manifold purposes of questions is available on The Skillful Teacher website (www.RBTeach. com/TST7). The “Questioning Skills” document summarizes the re- search on higher- and lower-level questions and shows the need for all students to experience higher-level questions and higher-level think- ing, regardless of their current skill level. We then make the case for planning questions in advance and model how to do so in a way that brings out the most important aspects of our content. It describes how to teach students to ask good questions, an important life skill.

Chapter 12: “Principles of Learning” summarizes over a century of laboratory research by cognitive psychologists. This domain of teach- ing skill, neglected in recent decades and substantially missing from teacher preparation, is a powerhouse of cognitive science for making learning efficient. Those interested in accelerating student learning and making it more durable will find a treasury of techniques here.

Instruction Introduction


Questioning Skills



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Experienced and already successful teachers often exclaim on meeting this body of information, “Why haven’t I heard about these principles before?!”

Chapter 13: “Models of Teaching” will appeal especially to readers 5 to 15 years into their careers who are looking for intellectual stimulation for themselves and their students. This is the section of the knowledge base for designers who wish to craft lessons that develop thinking skills as well as academic knowledge.

The application of cognitive science in Part 3 is a rich resource for teachers when they are planning lessons. It is especially valuable for teachers working together in professional learning communities to come up with reteaching strategies.




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Instruction Clarity


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