Managing a classroom is very important element of teaching. It can also be very difficult, especially when teachers must discipline students for unruly behavior. Many researchers have identified and employed many strategies that help teachers to manage their classrooms and discipline students with dignity and fairness to their students. While there are many strategies, it is vital that teachers choose one and employ it with consistency. Teachers must also consider the age group of their students and development level. In doing so, they are more likely to have their students critically think about their own actions and work within the rules, rather than against them.
Canter’s Assertive Discipline model has many proponents and opponents. While it may be a suitable program for students of all ages, many who disagree with its premise feel that it does not provide a solution to discipline problems. They believe that students spend more time thinking about the consequences of their actions instead of trying to think critically about how to improve their behavior. Rather than have an environment that is more democratic, the teacher is the one who asserts the most control. Teachers assert that they have the right to teach and students have the right to learn. To assure this, they teach the rules and procedures at the beginning of the year, incorporate “I” statements, and have clearly defined rewards and consequences established for the students to follow. The teacher may say, “I understand that you want to talk with your friends, but I believe you’re your classmates find the lesson more important.” This emphasizes that the teacher is wanting order for the entire class. According to Blandford, “The assertive discipline plan requires consistency in order for pupils and teachers to succeed”(1998). Therefore, if everyone is not involved to ensure its success, the plan could be ineffective.
Even though the Assertive Discipline model emphasizes the positive rewards, students tend to focus on achieving those rewards and avoiding punishment. Also, despite the plan reaching 90-95% of the students, it does not address how to handle the other 5-10% who are not concerned about following the rules. Teachers must come up with an additional plan to address these students’ behavior.
Thomas Gordon’s Discipline through Inner Self-Control is more suited to students who are in middle school and high school. In this model, teachers should not try to moralize or preach to students or use ‘you’ statements that indicate blame. Instead, they should maintain positive composure that does not appear confrontational. Teachers should also attempt to try to solve the problem with the student, rather than dictating what the behavior and consequences will be. Like Canter’s model, teachers do use “I” statements, but they work toward establishing a rapport with the student, rather than an assertive stance. I
Gordon’s model seems to be...