Kids, classrooms and Rudolf Dreikurs

Kids, classrooms and Rudolf Dreikurs

I have been reading lately about Rudolf Dreikurs and some of his ideas about working with young people. Born in 1897 Rudolf is a person of a past time. And still has something to tell us:

‘Dreikurs’ Social Discipline model is based on the four basic premises of Adler’s social theory. These premises are (http://wik.ed.uiuc.edu/index.php/Dreikurs%2C_Rudolf):

1. Humans are social beings and their basic motivation is to belong

2. All behavior has a purpose

3. Humans are decision-making organisms

4. Humans only perceive reality and this perception may be mistaken or biased’

Sometimes the language used is quite different to what I would choose (because of course, I am so terribly modern); and if I can put this aside for a moment, there are some ideas here worth thinking about. Not necessarily new ideas. But worthwhile ideas.

The following are techniques that can be used to address the four goals of misbehavior:

A. Attention Getting
Minimize the Attention – Ignore the behavior, stand close by, write a note
Legitimize the Behavior – Create a lesson out of the behavior, have he class join in the behaviors
Do the Unexpected – Turn out the lights, play a musical instrument, talk to the wall
Distract the Student – Ask a question or a favor, change the activity
Recognize Appropriate Behavior – Thanks students, give the a written note of congratulations
Move the Student – Ask the student to sit at another seat, send the student to a “thinking chair”

B. Seeking Power and Control
Make a Graceful Exit – Acknowledge student’s power, remove audience, table matter for later discussion,
Use a Time-Out
Apply the Consequence

C. Seeking Revenge
Same as for “Contest for Power”

D. Displaying Inadequacy
Modify Instructional Methods
Use Concrete Learning Materials and Computer-Enhanced Instruction
Teach One Step at a Time (or break instruction into smaller parts)
Provide Tutoring
Teach Positive Self-Talk and Speech
Teach that Mistakes are Okay
Build Student’s Confidence
Focus on Past Successes
Make Learning Tangible
Recognize Achievement’

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