Linda Albert – Cooperative Discipline Linda Albert’s Cooperative Discipline Model was designed to allow teachers to utilize specific strategies to reach individual students and help modify their behavior. According to Albert, students choose their own behavior. As teachers, we cannot control a student’s behavior choices, but we can influence them. “Using a comprehensive approach, “Cooperative Discipline” deals with all three discipline types: corrective, preventive, and supportive.
It addresses the topics of student motivation, avoiding and defusing confrontations, ways to reinforce desirable behavior, building student self-esteem, when and how to involve parents and others, and how to discipline cooperatively. ” (Albert, L. , (1990)) Teachers need to find a way to interact with students so they will want to choose appropriate behavior and follow the rules. It also helps for students to have perceptions of their teachers as trustworthy authority figures. Teachers may earn the trust and cooperation of students if they use relationship building to prevent discipline problems. Gregory, A. , & Ripski, M. (2008) pp. 337-340. ) Rudolf Dreikurs first proposed the idea that students misbehave because they want something. The first step of Cooperative Discipline is to identify the cause for student behavior and figure out what it is the misbehaving student wants. There are four main reasons for misbehavior: attention, power, revenge, and avoidance of failure. These are the most common reasons for misbehaving. Students seeking attention might disrupt the class with noises, foul language, or other interruptions.
They want to be the center of attention and use these tactics to gain the attention of the teacher and their classmates. Students who want power want to be in control of the classroom and everyone in it. They are likely to refuse to follow rules and to disobey the teacher. They will argue with the teacher to prove that they are in control and that they cannot be told what to do. Students who misbehave in order to seek revenge may be trying to get even for something that happened to them.
They might damage or steal someone else’s property, or may even threaten physical harm. They might also try to manipulate the teacher into feeling sorry for them. Students who misbehave to avoid failure are afraid that they are not performing to their full potential. They will make themselves appear inadequate by procrastinating or not completing their work in hopes of causing everyone to leave them alone. In order to improve student behavior, a teacher must first understand the underlying goals of that behavior.
After diagnosing the cause of a student’s behavior, Albert suggests the behavior be dealt with immediately. There are specific types of interventions for the different categories of misbehavior. The Cooperative Discipline model allows the teacher to address classroom problems as a cooperative leader whom offers choices that fulfill students’ needs and explains the consequences of their choices. In order to keep misbehavior from recurring, students need to be encouraged. Teachers need to find ways to build students’ self-esteem and strengthen their motivation to cooperate and learn.
Encouragement techniques can make students feel like valuable members of the classroom. The process of Cooperative Discipline promotes collaboration between teachers, students, and parents. One of Albert’s suggestions is to develop a classroom code of conduct with the help of your students. Students will be more interested in following and enforcing rules because they helped develop them. Another strategy is to teach students about the three C’s of encouragement: capable, connect, and contribute and help them find ways to encourage themselves and each other.
Students need to feel capable of succeeding in the classroom, able to connect with their teachers and fellow classmates in positive ways, and be given the opportunity to contribute to the class and the school. Collaboration with parents is also important. Parents can be included in the development of the class code of conduct and be given the opportunity to provide their input. When conferencing with parents about a problem with their child, a teacher should discuss the intervention and encouragement strategies he or she plans to use to help the child choose better behaviors.
Parents can be asked to follow these strategies at home and take a hand in improving their child’s behavior. Research shows that Cooperative Discipline is effective in the classroom. It has proved to improve the overall learning environment, as well as improve parental involvement, school climate, instructional effectiveness, achievement and classroom and school-wide discipline. It has also been found to provide more teaching time in the classroom, as less time needs to be spent addressing behavior problems. (Robinson, D. (1996) p 34. )
I would definitely implement Albert’s Cooperative Discipline Model in my classroom. I believe it is an effective way to get students involved in the way their class is run, and being involved would encourage them to comply to the rules they help set. I feel it is important to form a partnership with your students and make them feel like valuable members of the class. Because a child’s behavior is a choice that they make, I think Cooperative Discipline provides the encouragement students need to make the right choices about their behavior without taking control of their own behavior out of their hands.
Students are given the opportunity to decide for themselves, but also have a strong understanding of what is expected by the other members of the class and what the consequences of not complying with them are. I also feel that Cooperative Discipline is a good way to involve parents in their children’s school-life. It helps form a partnership between them and the teacher and gives them the opportunity to use the same practices at home