Written by Paul Dix
I have been looking for the biggest stick.
I searched right down the punishment scale. I rejected losing points, phone calls home, detention and castigation. I looked over the imaginary cliff edge to exclusion, restraint, community service, even pain compliance techniques. I rejected them all. You see there are some punishments that sow the seeds for long term behaviour issues. Punishments that teach more than just negative consequences for negative actions. Some punishments teach children that adults are giving up. The punishment that just keeps giving (up) is isolation.
Short time outs can be highly effective way to reset expectations or find a way around a problem. Prolonged or repeated use of isolation teaches children that they are not really wanted. Forcing children to feel as if they are alone with their problems is a disproportionate punishment. It cruelly demonstrates a collective lack of empathy. We expend so much effort in telling pupils that they belong, they are one community, one team. We accommodate a huge range of diverse needs but when the symptoms are behavioural we begin the process of shunning. Am I right to feel a sense of shame that we have no more sophisticated response to poor behaviour than shutting children in cells.
Please login or register to read more...Register here.
© Paul Dix