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Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral…

Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling…

by Ross W. Greene

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Do you believe that kids do as well as they are able or as well as they want to? Dr. Ross Greene believes that kids do as well as they are able and oftentimes, adults treat the problem as if the kids are wanting to misbehave. The truth is that kids who have the most behavioral challenges do so because they lack the skills necessary to behave appropriately and the disciplinary actions most often taken -- suspension or detention for school, or grounding, loss of privileges, etc. for home -- don't make a difference because while they reinforce what kids are doing wrong, they're not showing kids how to change their behavior.

That is where collaborative problem solving, or Plan B comes in. It functions to address the concerns of both adult and child, teaches children problem solving skills, and allows both adult and child to be heard.

I really like what Greene is saying and he explains everything in a way that makes sense -- I think that schools and even parents can really benefit from reading this book and taking its advice to heart. I use the collaborative problem solving strategy with many of the students that I tutor, and I've seen great results from it. If nothing else, giving them a voice in the conversation and letting them tell you why they're acting the way they are is a powerful tool for building a relationship.

Lost at School is easy to follow and pretty much covers everything, from what Plan B is and the theory behind it, to addressing all sorts of common questions that may come up. I did find the "real-life" conversations and story annoying and tedious to get through -- they were too scripted and perfect to allow me to see how the theory actually worked in a real-life situation.

But I do suggest that you take a look at this if you work with kids and have to deal with discipline. I could see it being especially helpful for school personnel and parents. ( )
  sedelia | Jun 17, 2013 |
In the mid-nineties, my school-system switched from a flexible, rule-of-thumb discipline system to today's standard zero-tolerance behavior code, a change mirrored across the nation. Over the next decade, our nation saw a rise in discipline and behavior issues, rising teacher burn-out, a burn-out related to the massive demands placed on teachers to teach in environments in-conducive to learning.

In this context, Dr. Greene's short introduction to Collaborative Problem Solving, or CPS, proposes a new framework of thinking and action in dealing with disruptive behavior. Instead of thinking that student's actions are the result of deliberate behavior (the student wants to act out), Dr. Greene believes a student acts out because the student lacks the skills necessary adapt to the learning environment. The lack of social skills begets disruptive behaivor, which begets a reward-punishment discipline code which fails to teach the needed skills - and if the student doesn't have the skills to behave in school and the punishments don't teach those skills, then something needs to change. Dr. Greene developed a method, CPS, which seeks to teach those skills while reducing discipline issues.

As a teacher, I see the value in this philosophy. While this particular book feels light on the nitty-gritty and his fictional depictions of student-teacher conferences feels more Lifetime than Real-Life, I think the framework has merit. An educational idea worth reading about and integrating into our classrooms. ( )
  woodshopcowboy | Feb 7, 2010 |
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Counsels parents and educators on how to best safeguard the interests of children with behavioral, emotional, and social challenges, in a guide that identifies the misunderstandings and practices that are contributing to a growing number of student failures.… (more)

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