Garry Wickerd PhD, NCSP, BCBA
Teachers often struggle with classroom discipline and management, and school psychologists are well positioned to offer guidance to them. To fulfill this consultative role, school psychologists must know the classroom management strategies taught in teacher training, and later implemented in the classroom. Current classroom discipline and management textbooks provide insight into current classroom management practices taught to teachers. Traditional classroom management practices involve consequences to reduce interfering behaviors based on the form of the student’s behavior. For example, if a student is talking to a peer without permission, a common strategy is to send a nonverbal signal like the “evil eye” to stop the behavior. This strategy may inadvertently increase “talking without permission” if the behavior is maintained by teacher attention. Such an unintentional mistake can be avoided through a functionbased approach. In this study, 50 textbooks intended for teachers were evaluated in terms of popularity, and whether the classroom discipline approaches recommended were function-based or topographical. A majority of the textbooks recommended strategies based on the form rather than the function of interfering behaviors. In addition, results indicated that function-based books are not as widely used. According to these results, it is clear teachers are under prepared to effectively manage problem behavior, due to their training on addressing the form, rather than the function, of the behavior.
Luken, Hannah, "The “Evil Eye” and Other Prescriptive Classroom Management Practices" (2018). Thinking Matters Symposium Archive. 168.