Curtailing Childhood Aggression


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Pedagogical analysis of the factors contributing to aggressive behavior in school-age children, and the role of educators in helping to mitigate its negative effects.

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Curtailing Childhood Aggression

  2. 2. Responsibility of Educators in the ClassroomResponsibility of Educators in the Classroom The primary responsibility of every educator and administrator is to ensure the health and safety of all stakeholders on campus so that learning can take place. A major obstacle to an environment that is conducive to learning continues to be students who display aggressive behavior patterns, thereby posing a disruptive influence to normal classroom activities.
  3. 3. What Can We Do?What Can We Do? All education professionals should be immensely concerned with both the root causes and the most appropriate intervention strategies for students displaying abnormal behavior. Also note that harsh discipline tactics should be reserved as a final course of action and not an immediate reaction to unwanted aggression. FOR MORE INFO... Research the word ‘aggression’ and learn how this type of behavior is not the cause but the effect of an action or state of being that prompts one to act in socially unacceptable ways.
  4. 4. The Goals of Conflict ResolutionThe Goals of Conflict Resolution - Distance the perception of the child from the behavior of the child - Know the causes of the aggressive behavior - Intervene (where appropriate) in not only the initial infraction but also in the underlying problem - Follow-up with the child after resolution to maintain stable behavior
  5. 5. Should We Involve the Parents?Should We Involve the Parents? Yes! Colder, Lochman, and Wells (1997) indicate that parental behavior can spawn aggressive actions in their children through “poor parental monitoring,… few rewards for positive behavior, and harsh and inconsistent discipline…” (Colder, Lochman, & Wells, 1997). Therefore, any intervention sought should be a team effort between teachers/administrators and parents.
  6. 6. Know the Risk Factors for AggressionKnow the Risk Factors for Aggression -Poor example set by parents: -In discipline -In rewards -In involvement with school affairs -In demonstration of proper conflict management skills -Low Socioeconomic Status (SES) -Lack of after-school oversight and constructive activities -Peer rejection and victimization -Emotional and mental health issues -Lack of goals and optimism for the future
  7. 7. Are Harsh Discipline Measures the Answer?Are Harsh Discipline Measures the Answer? No! Research has shown that overly-zealous punitive measures such as Zero-Tolerance policies are actually counterproductive and have a negligible impact on school safety. Instead of focusing on reactive tactics, school officials are encouraged to implement “programs that facilitate and enhance a positive school climate” (Black, 2008). Promoting a positive school climate can be accomplished through character education, social skills training, as well as an evaluation of the physical buildings and security measures in place to promote the prevention and intervention of aggressive behavior.
  8. 8. A Ten-Step Strategy for AdministratorsA Ten-Step Strategy for Administrators 1- Set a primary focus on student academic excellence 2- Provide help at an early stage to students with academic problems 3- Create a common school- or district-wide definition of ‘violence’ 4- Assess the current level of school violence in their building or district 5- Cultivate knowledge of innovative programs and services to address school violence
  9. 9. A Ten-Step Strategy for Administrators (cont.)A Ten-Step Strategy for Administrators (cont.) 6- Match new programs to demonstrated local needs, and monitor the effectiveness of these programs over time 7- Hold students and staff to a common set of behavioral standards 8- Provide swift, consistent consequences for student misbehavior 9- Allocate increasingly focused interventions and staff attention on students with more chronic behavioral problems 10- Foster relationships with law enforcement, outside clinicians, and community agencies (Wright, 2000)
  10. 10. Encourage Parents in Aggression PreventionEncourage Parents in Aggression Prevention - By setting the proper example in how to resolve conflict - By providing constructive after-school activities - Through cooperation with teachers and administrators - By seeking medical attention for prolonged displays of inadequate behavior patterns - By closely monitoring television programs, video games, magazines, toys, and friends for any undue influence of violent and aggressive responses to differences encountered, and quickly removing bad influences
  11. 11. A Call to ActionA Call to Action To represent an effective amalgamation of the aforementioned strategies, it is recommended that school officials implement the following Action Plan for controlling school violence and aggressive behavior: 1- All teachers will meet with the school counselor on a quarterly basis for training on mental health issues as well as to review current challenging students 2- Fridays will be designated as “Resolution Day” to encourage students to discuss any conflict-related problems they are facing at home or school- this is to be done individually with the teacher
  12. 12. A Call to Action (continued)A Call to Action (continued) 3- The district will distribute information pamphlets to all parents at the beginning of each school year in which suggestions on encouraging peaceful resolution techniques and proper parental example will be stressed. The pamphlet will direct the parents to call the school administrators or counselor if they believe further assistance is needed 4- With the exception of actual physical assault, all other Zero-Tolerance policies are to be suspended pending review of the effectiveness of alternate discipline measures
  13. 13. A Call to Action (continued)A Call to Action (continued) 5- For all middle and high school students, a new course entitled “Relationship Management Skills” will be offered, first as an elective, and then as a required course for high school Sophomores with the stated goal of preventing, to the extent possible, all forms of domestic violence, date violence, school violence, workplace violence, as well as lessons on congeniality, ethical treatment of others, and esteem recognition.
  14. 14. Closing ThoughtsClosing Thoughts The integrity of the school system is the responsibility of all of its stakeholders. Only when there is cooperation among each of the entities can the unit function as it was originally intended- to impart knowledge to the students that will enable them to grow up to become well-informed, highly productive citizens who can contribute to the success of our society.
  15. 15. Closing Thoughts (continued)Closing Thoughts (continued) As teachers and administrators, we should be proactive about limiting the incidences of aggressive behavior of the students we serve, and to accomplish this will require that we take a keen interest in the challenges our students face both on campus and at home. By eliminating reaction methods of discipline such as Zero-Tolerance, we also demonstrate to the public our commitment to help every child enrolled to achieve to his or her best ability.
  16. 16. ReferencesReferences Black, K. (2008). Finding the best way to reduce school violence.Black, K. (2008). Finding the best way to reduce school violence. Catalyst Newsletter, 29(10)Catalyst Newsletter, 29(10). Retrieved from. Retrieved from newsletter- newsletter- 2008/volume-29-number-10/finding-the-best-way-to-2008/volume-29-number-10/finding-the-best-way-to- reduce-school-violencereduce-school-violence Colder, C.,  Lochman, J., & Wells, K. (1997). The moderatingColder, C.,  Lochman, J., & Wells, K. (1997). The moderating effects of children's fear and activity level on relationseffects of children's fear and activity level on relations between parenting practices and childhoodbetween parenting practices and childhood symptomatology. symptomatology. Journal of Abnormal ChildJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 25(3),Psychology, 25(3), 251-263.  Retrieved from Alumni 251-263.  Retrieved from Alumni ProQuest Education Journals database.ProQuest Education Journals database.
  17. 17. References (cont.)References (cont.) Wright, D. (2000).Wright, D. (2000). Ten ways to reduce school violence.Ten ways to reduce school violence. RetrievedRetrieved fromfrom