TAKING SIDES: CLASHING VIEWS ON CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES IN CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT presents current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. Each issue is thoughtfully framed with an issue summary, an issue introduction, and a postscript. An instructor’s manual with testing material is available for each TAKING SIDES volume. USING TAKING SIDES IN THE CLASSROOM is also an excellent instructor resource with practical suggestions on incorporating this effective approach in the classroom. Each TAKING SIDES reader features an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites and is supported by our student website, www.dushkin.com/online.
Table of Contents
PART 1. Behavior Management and Classroom Instruction
George W. Bush, our forty-third president of the United States of America, proposes that the essential work of democracy is to educate future Americansto govern in the twenty-first century and that the No Child Left Behind Act reflects a belief that every child can learn through greater teacher and student accountability. Susan Black, an American School Board Journal contributing editor and education research consultant from Hammondsport, New York, contends that teachersare stressed out since the passage of No Child Left Behind due to the mounting needs of troubled students, accountability demands to accomodate a widening range of student behaviors, and preparing students for the relentless series of standardized assessments.
Ross W. Greene is director of cognitive-behavioral psychology at the Clinical and Research Program in Pediatric Psychopharmacology at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate professor of psychology in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Professor Green and his research associates contend that students with AD/HD are significantly more stressful to teach than their classmates without AD/HD. Tawnya Kumarakulasingam is coordinator of school psychological services in the Scottsdale, Arizona, schools, and Robert G. Harrington is a professor in the department of psychology and research in education at the University of Kansas. They found that teacher stress and teachers’ levels of hope are predictive of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Hope serves as a moderator of teacher stress.
Elizabeth A. Linnenbrink is an assistant professor of educational psychology in foundations of education at the University of Toledo, and Paul R. Pintrich was a professor of education and psychology and chair of the combined program in education and psychology at the University of Michigan. These authors conclude that it is not appropriate to label students as "motivated" or "unmotivated" since they believe that motivation is a skill that can be taught to all learners. Kathryn R. Wentzel is a professor at the University of Maryland in the department of human development, and Deborah Watkins is an assistant professor at York College of Pennsylvania in special education. They argue that levels of peer support and acceptance in the classroom are important social factors in improving student motivation and behavior; without them, students may not be able to improve motivation.
Eric Carbone is a professor in the department of teaching and learning at New York University. He describes how classroom teachers can improve the learning enviroments of students with AD/HD in their inclusionary classrooms in ways that support the strengths of these students. Regina Bussing is an associate professor and chief of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry, department of psychiatry, pediatrics, and health policy and epidemiology at the University of Florida. Professor Bussing et al. contend that large class sizes, time requirements, and a lack of teacher training combine to make teachers unprepared to teach students with AD/HD in the regular classroom.
James M. Kauffman is the Charles S. Robb Professor of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville; and Kathleen McGee and Michele Brigham are high school special education teachers. They believe that sometimes there is too much tolerance and accommodation for a wide range of student misbehaviors in classrooms. Teachers need to raise their learning expectations for students with special needs. Jennifer Holladay is a program coordinator for the journal Teaching Tolerance. She participated in this survey project that found that teachers think that teaching tolerance to their students and other teachers should be a top educational priority.
PART 2. Teacher Management of Student Misbehavior
Alfie Kohn is an author and lecturer. Kohn postulates that traditional classroom-management strategies often used in schools today do not promote a mutually caring and respectful classroom environment and results in increased student disrespect. Jeremy Swinson is a senior educational psychologist and honorary lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, and Mike Cording is an educational consultant in Southport, England. They support the use of assertive discipline (a traditional classroom-management strategy), even for those students who are disaffected, discouraged, and disrespectful. They maintain that corrective procedures change behavior and do not contribute to student disrespect.
Alfie Kohn, the author of eight books on education and human behavior, believes that positive reinforcement is overused and that, contrary to common belief, may have potentially negative effects on students. K. Angeleque Akin-Little and Steven G. Little are professors at the University of the Pacific. They debate that the benefits of positive reinforcement far outweigh the detriments to students and offer suggestions for the appropriate use of reinforcement programs in educational settings.
Christine A. Readdick and Paula L. Chapman are professors at Florida State University whose child interviews have shown that preschoolers perceive time-out as a punishment, and they are unable to explain why they were placed in time-out, thus reducing its effectiveness. Robert G. Harrington is a professor in the department of psychology and research in education at the University of Kansas who argues that time-out has been used effectively with preschoolers and elementary students to reduce noncomplicance, and he provides guidelines for the effective use of the time-out strategy.
Shannon R. Brinker, Sara E. Goldstein, and Marie E. Tisak are professors in the department of psychology at Bowling Green State University. They contend that children think that conventional punishment works best for conventional classroom transgressions, but removal punishment (e.g., grounding) works best for moral violations. In either case, children believe that punishment works. John W. Maag is a professor in the department of special education and communication disorders at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He contests that while conventional punishments may make a classroom safer for the moment, they fail to teach socially appropriate behaviors.
Maurice J. Elias is a professor at Rutgers University and vice-chair of the leadership team of the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Elias and his colleagues believe student success depends on more than just test scores and that teachers should pay as much attention to student behavior and character as they do to student grades. David Elkind, professor emeritus at Tufts University and a prolific writer, researcher, and lecturer, believes that character education is a luxury that a public school cannot afford. He contends that there is no research to support the practice and that it detracts from valuable teaching time.
PART 3. School-Wide Management Strategies
Christopher H. Skinner and Christine E. Neddenriep are professors at the University of Tennessee. They suggest that perhaps a more effective strategy to change school climate and social relationships through bully-proofing is to teach peers to report the incidental positive behaviors of bullies rather than tattle on their misbehaviors. Charles Go is a youth development advisor in Alameda, California, and Shelley Murdock is a community and youth development advisor in Pleasant Hill, California. They contend that students can be both bullies and victims as part of a continual cycle and that bully-proofing programs that label youths as either victims or bullies will not "fix" the bullies.
Laurel M. Garrick Duhaney is an assistant professor in the department of educational studies at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Garrick Duhaney suggests that when culturally sensitive behavior-management strategies are employed, school violence can be reduced. Judy Groulx and Cornell Thomas are associate professors in the department of educational foundations and administration in the School of Education at Texas Christian University. They contend that teachers working in urban schools enter the field of teaching with misconceptions about students of color and consequently feel uncomfortable in their behavior management because their university coursework did not adequately prepare them.
Kathleen Vail is an associate editor of American School Board Journal. Vail believes that perhaps the best way to help students with their classroom misbehaviors is to first help their parents learn better ways to raise their children at home. Amy E. Assemany is a professor at the State University of New York at Albany, and David E. McIntosh is a professor at Ball State University. They argue that parent education programs are likely to fail, citing premature parental dropouts, parental failure to engage and participate, and failure to maintain gains when parent educators do not consider the contextual factors of socioeconomic disadvantage of the family, family dysfunction, and severity of the child’s externalizing behaviors.
Gale M. Morrison is a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and Russell Skiba is a professor at Indiana University. They share the perspective that students who are involved in various types of school-based offenses and subsequent disciplinary actions are at increased risk for later violence and other unsafe behaviors that threaten the overall safety of school campuses. They argue that the propensity for violence may be mitigated depending upon the response of individual school disciplinarians. Kirk A. Bailey, who is a professor at the Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence at George Washington University, raises suspicions about how profiling for violence might violate the constitutional rights of students, including protections against discrimination, unlawful search and seizure, and privacy.
Sam Chaltain is the coordinator of the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Schools Project in Arlington, Virginia. Chaltain offers data that suggest that many teachers do not know the five freedoms protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution, and if they do not know the freedoms, they cannot be expected to protect student rights. Chaltain believes that in fostering student rights and related responsibilities, schools foster safer schools. Benjamin Dowling-Sendor is an authority on school law and is an assistant appellate defender of North Carolina in Durham. Dowling-Sendor contests that schools are being placed in the middle between defending the rights of students who want an education and those who would disrupt the school climate. Through case law, Dowling-Sendor demonstrates the levels of incivility that have crept into our schools and how schools must walk a tightrope to show that whatever student misbehaviors are encountered, schools may restrict student speech only if they have a well-founded fear of classroom disruption.
PART 4. Severe Behavior Challenges
W. Michael Martin, supervisor of the office of elementary education for the Loudon County (VA) public schools, suggests that zero-tolerance policies are necessary to keep public schools safe for all children but claims that zero tolerance does not necessarily mean that an offending student must be suspended or expelled. He offers alternative remedies. Jeanette Willert, an assistant professor and coordinator of secondary education at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, and Richard Willert, a child and family therapist at Condrell Counseling Center in Orchard Park, New York, counter that zero tolerance does not work since it blames the child as being traumatized and incapable of reform. These authors believe that schools should begin to teach students tolerance for others, coping skills, cooperative learning strategies, and pro-social communications skills as ways for violent students to manage their own anger.
Monica M. Garcia et al. are professors in the department of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. These colleagues present research to show that early destructive sibling conflicts and rejecting parenting are predictive of later aggressive behavior problems, thus suggesting that adolescence may be too late to change this aggressive pattern of social interactions. Leihua Van Schoiack-Edstrom is a research scientist at the Committee for Children. Van Schoiack-Edstrom and colleagues have shown that adolescent students enrolled in their second year in the Second Step Program decreased in their overall endorsement of aggression and perceived difficulty of performing social skills, thus discounting the contention that adolescence is too late for students to improve conduct disorders.
Marc S. Atkins, Patricia A. Graczyk, Stacy L. Frazier, and Jaleel Abdul-Adil are professors at the University of Illinois at Chicago. They take the position that schools should take the lead in providing mental health services to needy students by encouraging greater involvement of families in children’s mental health services, by creating teacher key opinion leaders as on-site experts on topics related to children’s mental health, and by implementing the PALS (Positive Attitude toward Learning in School) program to foster and maintain parents and children in treatment. Heather Ringeisen is chief of the child and adolescent services research program at the National Institute of Mental Health. Researchers Ringeisen, Henderson, and Hoagwood contest that while students and their families might well benefit from mental health services in other contexts, current research has paid insufficient attention to the school context and has not offered means by which school organizations and the behaviors of professionals within those schools might need to be modified to support school-based mental health programs.
David A. Brent is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Professor Brent discusses the historical concern of child and adolescent suicide as well as the factors that have contributed to the drop in suicide rates in recent years. He concludes that specific antidepressants (SSRIs) are a viable treatment for pediatric depression, and discontinuing their usage would put treatment for depression back 25 years. Jennifer Couzin is a contributing author to Science. Couzin offers evidence that when school-age children use SSRIs to treat anxiety and depressive disorders, they are at increased risk of suicidal ideations and suicide. The medications may prove to have little value in treating their depression.
Douglas C. Breunlin is a research professor at the Family Institute at Northwestern University along with researchers Rocco A. Cimmarusti, Tara L. Bryant-Edwards, and Joshua S. Hetherington. These researchers think that schools over-rely on suspensions and expulsions and alternatively should consider utilizing a conflict-resolution training program as a means to prevent and manage violent behaviors in schools. Perry Zirkel is Iacocca Professor of Education at Lehigh University. Zirkel insists that schools have the right to keep their schools safe through suspensions and expulsions even if it means limiting the rights of students to say whatever they might like to of an offensive, derogatory, salacious, or threatening nature on the Internet.
Joseph B. Ryan and Reece L. Peterson, professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, support the use of physical restraint in the public schools with the proviso that schools ensure that teachers receive training in physical restraint, that they create standards for the use of restraint procedures, that they maintain records about who is restrained, and that they require notifying parents and administrators. Sandy K. Magee and Janet Ellis, professors at the University of North Texas, oppose the use of physical restraint in schools due to its detrimental effects, including the escalation of the very behavior it was designed to reduce.