08 September 2010

The STFU Method of Behaviour Modification

Welcome back dear friends, to another guest post by yours truly, Dr. Dick Johncock. Today, I hope to start to explain a little bit more of my revolutionary NBR behaviour modification system.

In review, my last post was all about my belief, as a behaviourist, that negative behaviour must be met with a prompt response, and that, if this response causes discomfort for the student, the behaviour will be changed.

However, many schools face budget shortfalls, and have teachers who are so involved in activities which take up their time and energy, necessitating that this concept must be acronymized. And so, I have used my many years of education experience to concentrate the basic concept I am advocating down into one simple acronym, with four simple steps:

Step One : Student commits an unacceptable act - Teachers recognize this step quite readily. Students do things they ought not do. They lie, hit, talk out, and demonstrate in myriad other ways that they are not yet ready for polite society.

Step Two: Teacher responds with a punishment of some sort. In the prior era of education, this response was often swift and physical. However, as a result of the softening of society, schools (especially American public schools, wary as they are of litigation) very rarely still implement corporal punishment. However, teachers in my system are still encouraged to respond quickly, using a punishment from the OOP (which I will unveil at a later date).

Step Three: Follow-up. Following punishment, student and teacher should have a brief conference to discuss why the punishment occurred. Should the student be angry or defiant, a second trip to step two may be necessary. If the behaviour was extraordinarily outlandish, parents and administrators should be contacted, so that they may also follow-up with students.

Step Four: Understand. Students, through the negative consequence they received, and the follow-up from teachers, parents, and administrators begin to understand that misbehaviour will result in punishment, and that punishment is unpleasant. Thus, students will begin to not misbehave. To put it in the quaint vernacular of the American teen, they will realize that "being punished sucks".

Obviously, there is a need to share this system with students, as you would any new policy. I think it works best if you emphasize the simple nature and predictability that comes with this new system for students. Simply have them write the four steps on their syllabus or notebook: 


In our acronym filled world, this process gets a new simple name. The way I encourage you to deal with that rowdy student? Remind him to STFU.

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