Author Archive: Pender Makin
What is the purpose of school discipline? What are our intended outcomes as we respond to student behavior?
Most “misbehavior” is actually the developmental job of children and adolescents, who push up against (and sometimes through) the barriers, guidelines, rules, and expectations we set for them in their ongoing quest for self-regulation and independence. Chronic and extremely maladaptive behaviors can be signals that a child/adolescent has unmet needs, unsolved problems, or lagging skills (Dr. Ross Greene – http://www.livesinthebalance.org).
In either case, educators and others who work with youth have options when it comes to our responses to student behaviors … Traditional, punitive measures (detention, suspension, expulsion) are usually unsuccessful in changing behaviors or fostering personal growth. These responses tend to marginalize, isolate, and disconnect a student from the community, thereby making future misbehavior more likely. Punishment triggers fear, and often teaches lessons like: how not to get caught, how to place external blame, or how to manipulate the system.
A restorative approach, however, repairs, maintains, and strengthens relationships and connections while teaching self-reflection, empathy, and optimism. Even when it’s not possible to facilitate restorative circles, the critical components of a restorative process can change behavior in meaningful and lasting ways. We share some ideas in our Solutions Webcast: http://dropoutprevention.org/webcast/a-customizable-approach-to-restorative-justice-school-discipline-replacing-ineffective-punitive-consequences-with-human-centered-educational-practices/
AND check out this YouthToday article that references our workshop session at the Coalition for Juvenile Justice conference:
CPI is partnering this year with the Positive Youth Development Institute to bring you the “Maine Event” National Conference on Creating Positive Climates for Youth! Earn 16 contact hours or 1.6 CEU’s, while improving your ability to develop and sustain a vibrant school or work climate, networking with colleagues from across the nation, and enhancing your practice through targeted strategies for organizational well-being (and even self care)!
Featuring: Frank DeAngelis, Former Columbine High School Principal, and school climate expert; Karen Williams, dynamic speaker, trainer, and consultant on developmental neuroscience; and SO MUCH MORE… Check the agenda and workshop descriptions here: The Maine Event – National Conference on Creating Positive Climates for Youth!
Restorative Justice School Discipline doesn’t always have to involve cumbersome logistics … In fact, this approach can be phased in seamlessly to enhance your current disciplinary practices! Check out our Solutions Webcast on Restorative Practices on the National Dropout Prevention Center website! And JOIN US at the Maine Event: National Conference on Positive School Climate … less than two weeks away!!
Join us for THE MAINE EVENT: National Conference on Positive School Climate!
This professional development experience focuses on PERSONAL, PROFESSIONAL, and ORGANIZATIONAL WELLBEING! The success of ALL your other School Improvement Efforts hinges on a POSITIVE SCHOOL CLIMATE!
June 23 and 24th at Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, Maine
THERE IS STILL TIME TO REGISTER!
- Earn 1.6 CEUs from University of Southern Maine
- Four Dynamic Keynote Addresses and 36 Workshop Options throughout the 2-Days
- Examples of Workshop Topics: Positive Behavior Supports; ESSA; Neuroscience of Learning and Behavior; Bullying Prevention; Title IX Requirements; Leadership in times of Change and Upheaval; Alternative Education Programs; Restorative Justice…
- Presentation of the Pegasus Awards for Professional Courage!
- Learn strategies and approaches that TRANSCEND changing mandates to enhance ALL of your school improvement initiatives!
June 23-24, 2016 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland Maine!!
There is still time to register for this one-of-a-kind professional development experience!
Resources for school and classroom management, positive school climate, and restorative justice school discipline:
Featured Presentation Slideshow:
See task force recommendations for schools, communities, and juvenile justice systems here: Defending Childhood Report
Connect to information and registration for: The Maine Event – A National Conference on Positive School Climate!
Final Report from Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Offers Social Emotional Learning / Mental Health Recommendations for Schools:
In section THREE of the final report, the commission describes the importance of a focus on improving access to mental health services and the critical roles of public schools in keeping children and families connected to each other and to community supports.
“Nearly 20% of adolescents can be classified as socially excluded (i.e., being ignored or excluded by others), an experience that many liken to “social death”. Research has found significant associations between chronic social ostracism and participation in risk behaviors… higher levels of depression and anxiety, peer victimization and aggression… Retrospective studies have reported that chronic social ostracism, especially experienced during high school, is a risk factor for suicidal ideation and attempts during adulthood. In short, social exclusion threatens psychological and behavioral systems that are critical for normal adolescent development, health, and life-longevity.” – Richard Gilman, PhD, Professor, University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, written testimony submitted to the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
A Few of the Report’s Recommendations for Schools:
– Schools must play a critical role in fostering healthy child development and healthy communities. Healthy social development can be conveyed by role models such as parents, teachers, community leaders, and other adults in children’s lives, but it can also – and should – be actively taught in schools.
– Social-emotional learning must form an integral part of the curriculum from preschool through high school. Social-emotional learning can help children identify and name feelings such as frustration, anger and loneliness that potentially contribute to disruptive and self-destructive behavior. It can also teach children how to employ social problem-solving skills to manage difficult emotional and potentially conflicting situations.
– A sequenced social development curriculum must include anti- bullying strategies. As appropriate, it should also include alcohol and drug awareness as part of a broader substance-abuse prevention curriculum for school-aged children.
– Many of our students and their families live under persistent and pervasive stress that interferes with learning and complicates the educational process. There are many potential resources such as school based health centers that should provide a locus of preventive care, including screenings and referrals for developmental and behavioral difficulties, exposure to toxic stress, and other risk factors, as well as treatment offerings that can address crisis, grief and other stressors. Alternatively, schools can employ the services of community-based mental health providers such as child guidance clinics.
– Schools should form multidisciplinary risk-assessment teams that gather information on and respond supportively to children who may pose a risk to others or face a risk to themselves due to toxic stress, trauma, social isolation or other factors. Schools should look to factors such as social connectedness in identifying children at risk; all school staff should be trained in inquiry-based techniques to apply when disciplinary issues arise in order to deepen their understanding of how children’s behavior can be linked to underlying stressors.
– Schools should work with all providers to enhance community resources and augment services available in schools. For many children schools offer the only real possibility of accessing services, so districts should increase the availability of school guidance counselors, social workers, psychologists, and other school health and behavioral health professionals during and after school as well as potentially on Saturdays.