ERIC Number: ED448889
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-7
Beyond Discipline to Guidance: A Primer on the Guidance Alternative.
As early childhood teachers apply principles of guidance rather than punishment in their classrooms, they face the challenge of avoiding a slippage into traditional discipline practices and transcending the punitive aspects of discipline. Guidance is designed to teach children democratic life skills and therefore goes beyond discipline. Teachers are professionals who rely on understanding and use conflicts as opportunities for teaching, not technicians who rely on patience and use the usual discipline techniques such as "time out." Viewing classroom conflicts as mistaken behavior, rather than as misbehavior, results in less labeling of children and more assistance in learning life skills. There are three levels of mistaken behavior: (1) behavior reflecting experimentation to learn about life; (2) behavior socially influenced by others; and (3) behavior resulting from unmet emotional or physical needs. Guidance should be used to build an encouraging classroom where all the students feel accepted as full members of the group and to maintain this encouraging classroom where conflict management rather than "time out" is used to deal with conflict. In using conflict management procedures, teachers should guide children from high level mediation, to low level mediation, to child-negotiation. The teacher should also model and teach a consistent conflict management strategy involving a 5-step mediation process. A comprehensive approach is necessary for children with strong unmet needs. For teachers to use guidance effectively, they must build and maintain a personal and professional support system. (KB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Pre-Conference Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (Atlanta, GA, November 8-11, 2000).