Sunday, December 4, 2011

I believe in a celebration, I believe you set me free (U2)

Punishment and reward. I've been musing over behaviour management of late.

In my little school there are very very few discipline moments. No exclusions, no suspensions, no malignant defiance of staff, no assaults on staff, verbal or otherwise, no drug or alcohol issues, no physical assaults between students.

Oh sure - it's a boys' school so there are the incidents of name calling and teasing and rough and tumble during the day, even a fight between boys from time to time but they are resolved quickly, and the spill over into serious discipline incidents is very rare.

Even the minor stuff is resolved quickly and without fuss (no detentions, no keeping in at break time, no punishments that I can actually name aside from boys who are not paying attention in assembly are moved to a visible position in front of their peers).

The answer from what I can see is good relationships and positive reinforcement of behaviours. Actually - forget good relationships, fantastic relationships. Fantastic relationships that start before they arrive at school.
The quality of attachment (early in life) predicts later development, positive relationships with peers, teachers and performance in school (Ngozi Onunaku).
The father son relationships I hear about and witness in school bare testament to this.

The great relationships that I see between the teachers (plural and to a man) and the students builds on this foundation.

Which all leads to a conumdrum.

Is it possible that this situation can be replicated in a New Zealand school context? Or is it unique to an Islamic/ Ali bin Abi Taleb context?

Mmmmm? I'll ponder that one for a spell.

1 comment:

Jan and Wayne Thomas said...

I think it all comes down to our darling Principal and the culture he has developed in the school........ not so good at others! I have been in a school (here) where the Police were called in 2 days in a row to quell the fights! Another school where the boys brought crow bars to get out of the locked gates/fdoors when THEY wanted to leave! Mr Mohammed at ABAT is the man!!