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Canter’s Behavior Management Style Essay

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Disruptive behavior in the classroom has become one of the most common issues in the educational process; negative behavior not only affects the students but the teacher as well. In order for a classroom to function in a positive manner giving the student and teacher the best environment to operate proper behavior and decorum are essential. There are many theories and discipline models teachers adhere to in modern classrooms of today one of the most influential in the area of discipline was developed by Lee and Marlene Canter.

The Canter’s are both teachers and authors; their most famous book is called “Assertive Discipline” which is a how to book on how to rid the classroom of unwanted behaviors. The Canter discipline theory is based on teacher needs, wants and feelings. The Canter’s believe teachers have their own rights which include the following: “The right to establish classroom rules and procedures that produce the optimum learning environment, the right to insist on behavior from students that meets teachers’ needs, the right to receive help in disciplining from both parents and school administrators when support is needed.

These rights are based on the Canter’s “Assertive Theory”. All teachers must clearly communicate what they expect from their students and that there are consequences should the rules not be followed (Canter, 2011). The Canter’s believe in a “take control” approach to the classroom. Their philosophy is teachers are there to teach and students are there to learn, misbehavior should not interfere in this equation. The Canter’s teach educators to take charge in the classroom and be assertive concerning their own wants and needs to their students.

Examples of what the Canter’s communicate to teachers that are used in the classroom management today are: be straight forward with students, use firm tone of voice, make eye contact when speaking, use both verbal/non-verbal communication and continually state the teacher wants and needs. According to the Canter’s if the educator can use the above on a continued basis discipline should take care of itself (Kavanagh, & Lang, 2000). The following is a case study of a discipline problem found in classrooms.

The information below is from a behavioral situation at an elementary school located in Phoenix Arizona. A nine year old student by the name of Billy (4th grader) is exhibiting disruptive behavior in a class reported by the teacher. The student (Billy) comes from a broken home where the father left the family unexpectedly a few years back. The mother recently re-married, the new spouse has a daughter roughly the same age as Billy: the relationship between Billy and his new sister is not considered ideal.

The new spouse often confronts Billy’s mother in a loud voice in front of the children, the atmosphere is not considered conducive to a “family” environment. Billy is having issues inside as well as outside the classroom. The issues outside the classroom are in the form of arguments with fellow students and a lack of respect for teacher authority on the playground. Inside the classroom his disruptive behavior consist of talking when the teacher is talking which is not only disruptive to the teacher but other students as well.

Billy will also speak out of turn, instead of raising his hand to answer a question he will simply blurt out the answer, he will also during this time mimic his teacher in a disrespectful manner. His attention to detail and attentiveness overall in the classroom continues to decline on a daily basis. Billy’s behavior seems to be a reflection of his new family environment. He seems to have authoritative issues and may not like his teacher; Billy seems to have a big problem with the teacher when confronted openly (in front of class) about his misbehaviors.

Billy also has problems with his desk partner who is female and calls attention too many of his misbehaviors. According to Canter the educator should always have a goal of creating an environment where positive teaching behavior is the norm and necessary in order to achieve the goal of effective teaching despite disruptive students such as Billy. The teacher must attempt to control disruptive students such as Billy in a manner different from his/her current teaching model.

Accordingly, the teacher’s classroom management plan in the area of discipline must be evident even in a class where there are very few children exhibiting disruptive behavior. Without a discipline management plan students such as Billy would continue along their path of disruptive behavior. The focus of Canter’s discipline model is the concept of teacher rights in the classroom. The Canter method is to show educators how to take charge in the classroom by taking into account student rights in conjunction with teacher rights.

•The right to good behavior. In the case of Billy the Teacher should start with the basic right to have good behavior from the students (Billy). This right should be set at the beginning of the school year when the teacher presents the set of rules. This right should also be made available to the parents of every student.

•The right to expect support from parents/administrators. In the case of Billy parents must be made aware of the situation and support the teacher to help Billy correct the discipline issues. Billy also has basic rights in this situation “The right to have teachers who help them develop by helping them limit self-destructive and inappropriate behavior. ” The teacher according to Canter can do this with simple actions such as a strong toned voice or by making eye contact. For Billy this can be dealt with at a few different levels.

First make eye contact with Billy when the teacher feels the behavior is wrong, if this does not work then a stern voice , if this does not work talk to student privately voicing behavioral expectations and lastly if all the above does not do the job include the parents/administrators (Turrell, 1999). “The right to have appropriate support from their teachers for their appropriate behavior” (Canter, 2011) According to Canter this is done with positive reinforcement; let the student know when student is presenting appropriate behavior. In the case of Billy always pointing out the negatives and not giving positive reinforcement when he displays good behavior will not produce a productive disciplined student, the educator must have a balance.

•“The right to choose how to behave with advance knowledge of the consequences that will logically and certainly follow” (Canter, 2011). Every student should know at the beginning of class what is deemed appropriate behavior and if an act of misbehavior is executed consequences will follow, this should all be spelled out the first day of class in the class set of rules. Canter said: “Assertive teacher is more effective than the nonassertive or the hostile teacher. The teacher is able to maintain a positive, caring, and productive climate in the classroom. A climate of care and support produces the climate for learning.

Canter believes the educator must present balance in their teaching approach, an educator cannot over emphasize the positive or the negative, if one outweighs the other the learning environment cannot be productive (Ferguson & Houghton, 1992). This is done through the Canter discipline model called “Assertive Discipline”. In Billy’s case it appears his home life is interfering with his behavior at school, it seems he is mimicking the behavior of his new father in some ways and it is up to the teacher to let him know these types of behaviors are not appropriate by using the Canter’s Assertive Discipline” model.

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