PROFESSIONAL READING

Positive Discipline Tools for Teachers: Effective Classroom Management for Social, Emotional, and Academic Success

NELSEN, Jane & . 320p. bibliog. illus. index. Crown/Harmony. Jun. 2017. pap. $17. ISBN 9781101905395.
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Based on the work of psychiatrists Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs, this title is the most recent in the series that includes Positive Discipline in the Classroom and Positive Discipline: A Teacher's A-Z Guide. It presents concrete methods for maintaining order in the classroom by providing students with the intrinsic motivation to be courteous rather than by relying on external rewards or punishments. The authors stress the importance of being caring and respectful yet firm and of fostering cooperation and responsibility. Starting from the premise that "there is a hidden belief behind every behavior," Nelsen and Gfroerer invite teachers to use the "mistaken goal chart" to address the reasons why students act out: undue attention, misguided power, revenge, or assumed inadequacy. The book offers concrete solutions, explaining how to deal with misconduct, make a connection with the student, and move the student back into the fold of the class. "When belonging and contribution increase," the authors state, "misbehavior decreases." Each chapter begins with a quote and explanation of a different topic, followed by a real "tool in action" from a school that practices positive discipline. This valuable guide not only gives insight into the cause of the misbehavior but also clearly lays out specific steps (moderate one's tone of voice, use humor, be consistent) and backs up suggestions with research.
VERDICT An important selection for educators, especially elementary school librarians and teachers.

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