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The Psychology of Discipline
The Basic Premise of Discipline Philosophy

Why the Way We Discipline Students is Wrong

Appropriate intervention uses a creative approach to disciplining the disruptive student. It uses what they value, such as their ability to socialize with peers or their in school mobility, and makes them perks. Once students realize they have to negotiate appropriate behavior in return for what they value their behavior begins to transform and the classroom turns back into a center for learning.  Using this method, learning becomes a privilege not a student right.
Left:  Larry Higginbottom, MSW, LCSW

What Has Been Tried and Failed?

Timeouts, detentions, suspensions, parent conferences, point systems and therapeutic counseling only work for those students who have been nurtured and socialized properly by their parents.  Properly socialized students have nuclear family structures with strong community support and reinforcement systems in place.  That dynamic, however is missing for students in mostly urban school systems.  As a result, the aforementioned discipline interventions have been rendered inept at changing behavior or improving learning.

Reasons for failed Attempts

The reason for these failures is simple; students have learned to adapt to the punitive measures. There exists no intrinsic fear by the students and therefore no respect for the discipline being meted out.

Failed responses to working with disruptive students

Of greater concern the school system philosophy of attempting to change the behavioral (of disruptive students) with the “hope” of improving their academic performance. This ideology has led to the creation of behavioral concepts such as LAB "Learning Adaptive Behavior" Cluster and other alternative programs as well as schools for disruptive students. These are abject failures, as evidenced by their poor records for student achievement, national standards testing results, grade promotion, student graduation and high drop out rate.  They have become a veritable “wasteland” for our youth.

New thinking out of the box

It becomes imperative to create a new discipline paradigm for working with “disruptive” students. If we improve a student’s ability to academically succeed in class then their behavior will be modified.  The average human sprit will not pursue what it is not moderately successful at.  Additionally, educational professionals should begin to hold students to standards and values that they ascribe for their own children, and not continue to make excuses for obnoxious behaviors.

Educational professionals racist / non cultural connections precepts

Educational professionals condescension and cultural disconnection has only enabled students to think that misconduct is okay.  We must begin to make a cultural connection with students to build the trust needed for them to allow us to show them the proper way.  Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu stated “  If you cannot make a cultural connection with a student you cannot educate them”.

What works?

In order for discipline to be effective in schools it must cause a level of discomfort which resonates with students and ultimately deters them from acting out behavior.  To achieve this ideal, you must assess what a student values and use it as dissuasion for aberrant conduct and as motivation for academic achievement.  Without this modeling, our standard discipline forms have failed.

How The Osiris Group Learning Center works?

The Learning Center maintains that academic performance and civility are prerequisites for classroom entrance. By acculturating the student to understand their purpose in school, their student identity and academic routine, as well as addressing any inherent academic deficits, a student will begin to develop the rudiments for success in school life.  As the student becomes successful their behaviors begin to improve and discipline becomes a secondary issue.

Results of Implementation

The need for timeouts, detentions and suspensions are reduced once a student becomes acculturated to academic life and the potential for dropping out declines. Additionally, parent - school relationships are enhanced as parents are no longer inconvenienced or penalized for their child’s behaviors.  The Learning Center intervention is not a panacea, however it is a non-traditional academic approach to behavior modification designed to work with disruptive students.

 

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