Teaching Students with Special Needs: Behavior Management Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 3 August 2016

Teaching Students with Special Needs: Behavior Management

Behavior management is all about classroom management, and knowing the correct ways in which to discipline a child. Here the term, Pedagogy comes into reference. It means the “art” of being a teacher, knowing the correct strategies and being up to date with how to keep the student engaged and active in the classroom. The term, at a general level, means the art of instruction. Instruction being direction, giving the students a direction and keeping them focused on their task. Classroom management and management of a student and student body, as a whole, is an art, or skill which teachers acquire over time and through strategic techniques. A teacher’s never “born” with these skills and needs a certain amount of experience and use of different techniques before the art of student and classroom management can be mastered. These “skills” not only let the teacher to discipline the child, but also connect with them at a psychological level, making it easy for the child and the teacher, both, to learn something.

In this report, we will discuss the different models of discipline, developed over time and applied in educational institutes in order to get the best results out of their students. We will examine how these models work, what strategies are acquired and what skills are honed and polished in students through these models. We will see how effective they are and to what degree and what is the reason behind their success. Then we will pick three of the models and then compare their strategies and see how effective they are and which is more effective. Comparison of the three models will come next and their approach to preventive behavior management.

The Models of DisciplineOver the years, educators developed a set of nine models of discipline, in order to do what they can best with the students of their classroom. The nine models that were developed, each have a different approach and each have a different strategy which is nevertheless effective and have been proved useful in the educational sector.

“The nine models being””The Skinner model of shaping behavior””The William Rogers model of decisive discipline””The Redl Wattenberg model of dealing with the group””The Kounin model of with-it-ness and organization””The Jones model of body language, incentives and efficient help””The Glasser model of rational choices””The Ginnot model of co-operation though communication””The Deiker’s model of confronting mistaken goals””The Canter’s model of Assertive Discipline”Out of the nine models, the three models “Skinners model of shaping behavior”, “Jones’s model of body language, incentives and efficient help”,Skinners Model of Shaping BehaviorSkinners model of shaping behavior follows the simple rule that “Human behavior can be shaped as desired through reinforcement”According to skinner, there were certain ideas of his through which, he felt, behavior could be shaped and honed and polished according to what was desired.

Key Points of Skinners ModelThe key points and essence of the skinner model are, for one, that behavior is formed by its results by what happens to a person instantly afterwards. Meaning if a child misbehaves, and is immediately punished after the deed and not after a delayed period, the said behavior is very less likely to be repeated. Children learn though reinforcement learning.

Then, secondly, systematic use of reinforcement (rewards) can form the students’ behavior towards a desired direction. Behavior becomes weak if not followed by a reward, and it also becomes weak when followed by a punishment. Children learn to relate certain aspects to certain situations. If they get punished once for coloring on the wall, they will remember it the next time they think about it. And if the punishment is repeated the second time around, the act will diminish all together.

It is very important in the early stages to apply reinforcement strategies, the longer you wait to apply reinforcement, and the harder it will be to shape the child’s behavior.

Once the child’s behavior has reached the desired level and has been shaped accordingly, it is best to maintain it through a mild form of reinforcement.

Behavior modification is applied in two ways, one in which the teacher sits and examines the student do an undesired act, and rewards him for it, the student will tend to repeat the act , not knowing its wrong but thinking since he gets rewarded for it.

Second in which the teacher observes two students in her class, if one performs as undesired act, she punishes him immediately for it, and then praises a student who Is behaving correctly, seeing this, the punished student will very less likely, repeat his undesired act.

In behavior modification, it is important that the right kind of rein forcers be used to shape the correct behavior. There are five basic types of rein forcers which are most effective. Them being social rein forcers which are verbal comments, praises etc. facial expressions and gestures, graphic rein forcers such as stars or stickers or markers to praise a child, activity rein forcers such as free time when a child performs a wanted task, and tangible rein forcers such as prizes or gifts etc.

Jones’s Model of Body Language, Incentives and Efficient HelpThe Jones’s model involves good classroom behavior and is important for the teacher to know what kind of body language to use and how to provide incentives that will motivate the desired behavior. The primary focus of Jones’s model of discipline is to help students support their own self control,Key PointsThe important key points of this model is that teachers learn which kind of body language is effective for students to quickly get to the lesson assigned and task assigned in the classroom. Good classroom behavior can be achieved mainly from the technique of effective body language, which includes the right posture, eye contact, facial expression, and signals.

Then it’s important that teachers have incentive systems, systems which motivate students to stick to their task, complete it and behave accordingly and properly. This incentive system contributes strongly to good discipline, and active motivation at the student’s part.

Individual help, if provided to students, it helps them work even more efficiently and powerfully, act better and complete their work on timeThe Ginot Model of Co-Operation through CommunicationAccording to this model, discipline is a collection and series of little success and victories gained when a teachers communication with the student is sound. In other words, the instructor uses rational messages that address the situation rather than a student character, also messages that guide a student and their lesson is everlasting and appropriate.

The main aim of this model is that communication between a student and a teacher should be sound in order for any form of discipline to have an effect on the student. If there is not an environment of good communication between the two it will end in bad classroom behavior.

Key PointsAccording to this model, discipline is a series of victories acquired over time and the most important aspect in classroom discipline is the teachers own self discipline.

It is also important that once the teacher has acquired self discipline, she adopts the technique of using sane messages when correcting and interacting with the students. It is necessary for a good teacher to use communication that is in key with a student’s feelings in the current situation and with themselves.

The worse case situation would be that the teacher attacks the student, and labels them as someone who doesn’t work and isn’t in sync with the rest of the class.

It is important that teachers, themselves act as models for the types of behavior they expect in the classroom, and from their students. It is required for teachers to convey their anger but it should be in a way so as not to further agitate a student but to give them a taste of slight embarrassment so as to make sure they don’t do it again. Labeling a student is probably the worse thing a teacher can do, because that causes defiance in a student and they tend to live their label. Sarcasm is very dangerous when used on a student, praise and sarcasm should both be applied with care, when dealing with a student.

In a classroom, the teacher is the main element and the most powerful person in the classroom. She creates and maintains the classroom environment and has the power to control the students. Their abilities and effectiveness depends on the teacher’s ability to establish a productive educational climate.

Compare and Contrast the three ModelsWe have thus so far, discussed the three model of discipline which is considered, in my opinion, most effective in the classroom. We will see that the point common to all three models is that communication is the key point in all three models. Be it reinforcement, good body language, or a connection with the students at a psychological level. Communication with a student in a classroom is of vital importance and is one of the main reasons why discipline is effective when dealing with students.

Skinners model states that reinforcement of rewards and punishments help student to shape the required behavior. But according to the Ginot model, attacking the student, punishing them the “wrong way” can lead to defiance. Jones’s model states that effective body language would not require the use of punishment and the student will learn the lesson, through the correct use of facial expressions and body language. According to Skinners model, it is important for the teacher to start the act of reinforcement at al early stage so that the lessons learned by students are quick and take no time.

That is, the longer it takes for them to be told what’s wrong and what’s right, the harder it will be to control them later on. But according to Jones’s model, body language is the key of essence in every scenario. According to Ginot, what is important is the correct tone of voice and timing of the punishment. The teacher should have a sense of “self discipline” before addressing the student. All these key points will clash against each other but no doubt, all 3 models are effective and if all these models are compared, and adapted by the teacher, it would make a perfect strategy to control classroom behavior.

The art of pedagogy is a mixture of all these traits. All the models of discipline are gathered and refined and set as the important goals that a teacher needs to refine in order to achieve the fine art and skills that is pedagogy.


Through the comparison of the three models, we come to conclude that, there is no set strategy as to what can improve the behavior of students in a classroom. As of today, there are nine different models that guide us to the correct way of disciplining students in a classroom. But as we compared all of them, each has a component missing which is available in the other model. So what do we learn from this?Disciplining a child and attaining the correct classroom behavior isn’t about knowing the exact model or using the exact technique, or the correct application of a packaged method. It’s all about what a teacher is capable of and how well she knows her students. Yes the models are important and are nevertheless effective, but try using one of the models and see how many components are missing that are a vital part of disciplining a child.

Students do the best they can and it’s the teacher’s job to push them the correct way and in the correct manner. You never know what kind of students you’re going to get and applying one model to every single student in a student body of thousands is suicide on the teacher’s part. That’s why the most important part of learning the art of pedagogy is connecting to your students at a psychological level. Models come only after a teacher develops a bond with the students. That is the key ingredient to this whole formula.


Charles, CM Senter, GW & Barr, KB 1999, Building classroom discipline, Longman, New YorkGlasser W 1990.The quality school Phi Delta Kappan, February , pp425-35Glasser W 1997, A new look at school failure and school success. Phi Delta Kappan, April pp597-602Kameenui, EJ & Darch, CB 1995, Instructional classroom management, Longman, White Plains, NU pp19-39Levin, J. Nolan, J2000, Principles of Classroom Management : a professional decision making model, Allyn & Bacon, Boston pp40-71Lewis, R 1997,. The discipline dilemma, Australian Council of Education Research, Melbourne, pp123-44

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