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Lee and Marlene Canters Assertive Discipline


Focuses on creating a classroom based on the rights and needs of both the ... 'nondisruptive'misbehaviors, such as withdrawing, daydreaming, doodling etc. Use ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Lee and Marlene Canters Assertive Discipline

Lee and Marlene Canters Assertive Discipline
Assertive Discipline The Theory
  • Focuses on creating a classroom based on the
    rights and needs of both the students and the
    teacher in the classroom
  • The climate of the classroom needs to be calm and
  • Behavior must be humanely managed
  • What are the rights and needs of both students
    and teachers, according to the Assertive
    Discipline model?

Rights and Needs
  • Students
  • Warm, supportive classroom/teacher
  • Learning
  • Safety
  • Limits
  • Teachers
  • Support from administration/parents
  • Teaching
  • Respect and trust
  • Enforce limits

Primary Teachings…
  • In order for teachers to teach and students to
    learn, the rights and needs of all must be met.
  • Teachers rights include a classroom free of
    disruption and support from administration and
    parents to establish this.
  • Teachers must remember that their mission is to
    teach students and being in control of the
    classroom is key to accomplish this.
  • Teachers must model the behavior that they want
    to see in their students.
  • Teachers need to directly teach students
    appropriate behavior.
  • Teachers need a discipline plan based on mutual
    respect and trust.
  • The plan must include both positive and negative
  • Directives to students must be worded in a
    positive manner.
  • Teachers can be successful with all students,
    even difficult ones.

Teachers and Assertive Discipline
  • According to the Canters, how do teachers
    interact with their students?
  • Hostile teachers see their students as
    adversaries. They see their relationship as a
    power struggle, needing to lay down the law and
    use harsh, loud commands to do this.
  • With hostile teachers students will
  • Feel that they are not liked
  • Feel unjustly controlled
  • The opposite behavior by a teacher is also

Teachers and Assertive Discipline
  • Nonassertive teachers behave passively towards
    students. They are inconsistent in their
    discipline plan and apply rules and procedures in
    an arbitrary manner.
  • With nonassertive teachers, students will
  • Feel that the teacher is wishy-washy and will
    not take the teachers directives seriously!
  • Act confused about what is expected of them
  • The ideal teacher, according to the Assertive
    Discipline Model, is…

Teachers and Assertive Discipline
  • Assertive!
  • Assertive teachers are clear, consistent and
    confident. They are consistent in with
    discipline and apply rules and procedures in a
    manner that encourages students to behave in an
    acceptable manner.
  • With assertive teachers, students will
  • Have their needs meet.
  • Know that they have rights and that they will be
  • Have trust in their teacher and their teachers
    words and actions.

Good Discipline A Step-by-Step Approach
According to the Canters, good discipline is
learned! Good discipline is the fruit of
creating a classroom environment of mutual
respect and trust. How to begin? 1. Listen to
students. Get to know them as individuals. Take
an interest in them as people. This includes
communication with their parents, guardians or
caregivers. 2. Teach them how to behave.
Teachers must model the behavior that they expect
their students to exhibit. Establish clear
routines and procedures in the classroom. Make
sure that students understand what is expected.
This may need to be reinforced and reevaluated
often through positive repetition of rules and/or
A Step-by Step Approach
  • Have a Plan! This plan needs to include rules
    that are stated clearly and positively. For
    example, say keep your hands to yourself rather
    than show respect to others. It is very
    important that consequences are used
  • - Should include both negative and positive
  • - Positive consequences are used when the
    teacher catches a student
  • being good
  • - Negative consequences should be used when
    students misbehave
  • or interfere with the rights of others to
    learn. Students should be
  • aware of consequences. (step 2)
  • They should never include physical or
    psychologically harmful forms of
  • punishment!

A Step-by-Step Approach
  • The Plan should have
  • A discipline hierarchy that establishes clear
    consequences that get increasingly harsher if
    infractions of rules or directions are repeated.
  • The only effective way to make this work is to
    keep track of student behavior. There are a
    variety of ways that this can be accomplished.
  • Clearly post rules and consequences!

Difficult Students
  • According to the Canters, most students will
    respond well by using their techniques. However,
    there will be some who may not, for a variety of
    reasons. These difficult students need more
    attention and guidance.
  • How can these students be included?
  • Reach out to them. Respond to them, dont just
  • Build a trusting relationship with them. Get to
    know them.
  • Students may have special needs, such as extra
    attention, firmer limits, motivation.
  • The teacher should determine which need is the
    primary need and fill that need first.

Difficult Students
  • Some suggestions for working with difficult
  • Write reminders to praise students with positive
    remarks that are genuine!
  • Be aware of nondisruptivemisbehaviors, such as
    withdrawing, daydreaming, doodling etc. Use
    positive ways of redirecting such as eye contact,
    physical proximity or calling on students.
  • Reactive confrontations may worsen
    relationships. The Canters suggest the
  • 1. Stay calm
  • 2. Depersonalize the situation
  • 3. Is it an covert or overt confrontation?
    Covert is when the student mumbles or sneers but
    doesnt verbally confront. Overt is when the
    student draws other students into the situation
    while defying the teacher.
  • 4. Back-off hostile students! Deal with the
    whole class first. Talk with the student
    privately at a later time.

Strengths of Assertive Discipline
It Works McCormack (1989)
Assertive Discipline can be a basis on which to
build a more comprehensive model of discipline,
can raise and clarify teacher expectations for
behavior. McDaniel (1989)
Perhaps the most telling evidence of the
strength of Assertive Discipline is its continued
widespread popularity, which suggests that it
provides educators skills that work well for
their students and themselves. Charles
Criticism of Assertive Discipline
…criticized for being unnecessarily harsh and too
focused on suppressing unwanted behavior rather
than on helping students learn to control their
own behavior. Charles (2002)
…we find no evidence that Assertive Discipline
is an effective approach deserving schoolwide or
districtwide adoption. Render, Padilla,
Krank (1989)
Some final thoughts…
I could site other studies that support the
effectiveness of Assertive Discipline, but the
real test of any educational approach is its use
by teachers, in classrooms, with students.
Assertive Discipline undergoes that testing in
tens of thousands of classrooms every
day. Canter (1988)
The Canters continually modify their approach
to ensure that it remains effective as social
realities change. Earlier they focused on
teachers being strong leaders in the classroom,
while now they emphasized the building of
trusting, helpful relationships between teachers
and students. Charles (2002)
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