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Daniel Gartrell

Replacing Time-Out:
eachersoftenhearthattimeoutsdonothelpchildrens development or learning. Lessoftentheyaregivenreasons why. Less often still do teachers receivespecificinformationabout what works instead. This article explainswhatthefussisabout concerningtime-outsandwhyitis importanttoreplacetime-outswith guidancethatbuildsanencouragingclassroom. Confusion about time-out is understandable, as experts still disagreeaboutitsuse(Ucci1998; Schreiber1999).Time-outprobably wasfirstusedasaclassroomalternativetoembarrassment,scolding, andcorporalpunishment.Caring teacherswantedothermeansfor dealingwithclassroomconflicts, andtime-outbecamethecommonly usedalternative. Therehasalwaysbeenambiguityabouttheuseofthistechnique. When a teacher removes a child fromasituationandhelpsthechild
Dan Gartrell, Ed.D., is director of the Child Development Training Program and professor of early childhood education at Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota. He is the author of What theKidsSaidToday(2000, Redleaf) and AGuidanceApproachfortheEncouragingClassroom (1998, Delmar/Thomson Learning) and has done well over 100 workshops on this topic. Part two of this article will appear in an upcoming issue ofYoungChildren. It will explore four guidance techniques that use social problemsolving: classic conflict management, guidance talks, class meetings, and comprehensive guidance interventions. These strategies reduce and resolve conflicts without the use of punishment.
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Part One Using Guidance to Build an Encouraging Classroom


Theusuallengthofthetime-out isaminuteortwoforatoddlerand fivetotenminutesforanolderchild. Withpreschoolers,teacherssometimesuseatimertohelpthemrecognizethatthetime-outwillhavea definiteend(Ucci1998).Incontrast, teacherswhodisagreewithtime-out asadisciplinetechniquesometimes usethetermcoolingdowntime, whenreferringtoremovalthatwill

calm down so the two can then talkaboutand,hopefully,resolve theconflict,theinterventionisoftenpositive,leadingtoimportant learning.Mostofushavedifficulty negotiating when we are upset. Butinmanyclassroomsachildis removedtoachairorunoccupied partoftheroomasaconsequence ofsomethingheorshehasdone. Virtuallyallearlychildhoodeducatorsnowbelievethata childshouldneverbeput incompleteisolation(Ucci 1998),althoughsomestill areinfavorofdisciplining achildthroughtheuseof time-out.Ucci(1998)gives therationalethat,togain control,achildneedsto beremovedfromaconflict sohecanthinkabouthis behavior and figure out whattodo. Ucciarguesthattheuse ofalldiscipline,including thetime-out,shouldbe viewednotaspunishment, butratherassupportiveof and teaching about how togain[behavioral]controlandexpressfeelings appropriately (1998,3). From this perspective, the time-out is a logical consequenceofachilds losingcontrolinasituation or otherwise acting inappropriately.
RobertsonsCreativePhotography

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helpachildcalmdownso aconflictcanberesolved (Gartrell1998).

What the fuss is about


Whenusedasdiscipline, the time-out is one of a group of techniquesincluding the name-on-theboard,anassignedyellow orredlight,andthedisciplinar y referral slip thatstillrelyonblameand shame to bring a childs behaviorbackintoline. (Perhapsthemostodiousis puttingachildonspecially made green, yellow, and red steps, depending on frequencyoftheconflicts. Thisisthemodernequivalentof theduncestool.)Oneoftheproblemswiththesetechniques,seen bysomeadultsaslogicalconsequences,isthatgenerallytheyare morelogicaltotheadultthantothe child.Althoughtheadultsintent istodisciplineratherthanpunish, children tend to perceive these traditionaldisciplinetechniquesas theinflictionofpainandsuffering, whichis,infact,afairlystandard definitionofpunishment. Goingbacktothenineteenthcentury,earlychildhoodwritershave criticizeddisciplinetechniquesthat punishchildrenratherthanpositivelyteachthem(Gartrell1998).Froebel wentsofarastosaythatthrough punishment,adultscanmakeachild bad(inLilley1967).Montessori ([1912] 1964) decried traditional systems that reward and punish ratherthanteachchildrenhowto disciplinethemselves.Morerecently, Katz(1984)hasarguedthatpunishments such as time-outs confuse youngchildrenbecausetheycannot easilyunderstandthesequenceof behaviorsduringandafteraconflict norwhatremovaltoachairhasto dowiththem.Clewett(1988)has pointedoutthatsuchpunishments discouragetheindividualchildand dampenthespiritofallchildrenin
Subjects&Predicates

theclass.Marion(1999)explainsthat thetime-outispunishmentbyloss, meaningthattheadulttemporarily deprivesthechildofmembership inthegroupand,asapunishment, doesnotteach. Referringespeciallytotoddlers, Schreiberoffersfivereasonswhythe time-outisanundesirablepractice: 1.Theimposedexternalcontrol ofthetime-outinhibitsachilds abilitytobuildinternalcontrols and may cause a child lasting feelingsofbeingineffectual. 2.Thechildplacedonatime-out chair does not have personal needsmet,includingtheneedto developalternativestrategies. 3.Thetime-outdiminishesthe childs developing self-worth andself-confidence;itmaycause others to view the child as a troublemaker. 4.Theyoungchildhasdifficulty understandingtherelationofactionstoconsequencesandmay feelbewilderedbythetime-out experience. 5.Opportunities for learning valuablelessonsinsocialrelationsarelostduringtheperiodof isolation,[andhumiliationfrom thetime-outmaydiminishthe valueofadultfollow-up](1999, 2223).

Inmyview,theseconsiderations apply to olderchildrenaswell. Clewett(1988)points outthatanairofdiscouragementpervades a classroom in which a time-out chair is prominent. Teachers in such classrooms haveinstitutionalized conditional acceptance, withadultrejectionan ever-lingering threat ifrulesaredisobeyed. Achildplacedonthe chairexperiencespublic, if temporary,loss ofgroupmembership. Otherchildrenbecome apprehensivethatthey may be the next to be excluded fromthegroup.Whenconditional acceptancebecomestheroutine,ingroupsandout-groupsoftenform. Toooften,institutionsperpetuate thisundesirablesocialdynamic,to thelossofallandtheconsiderable detrimentofsome. Inadditiontothewriterscited above,theNAEYCCodeofEthical Conduct (NAEYC 1998) and the NAEYC publication Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs (Bredekamp & Copple 1997) advocate use of positivedisciplineorguidance.The differencebetweenguidanceand traditionaldisciplinecanbesummarizedthisway:
Traditionalclassroomdiscipline tooeasilyslidesintopunishment; itpunisheschildrenformaking mistakesintheirbehavior.Guidancerejectsthepainandsuffering involvedinpunishment.Guidance teaches children to solve their problems,ratherthanpunishing themforhaving problems they cannotsolve.Guidanceteaches childrentolearnfromtheirmistakesratherthandisciplining children for the mistakes they make.(Gartrell1997)

Inadditiontoreplacingtime-out, weneedto replacealldiscipline


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techniquesthatimposepainand suffering. Instead, teachers can focusonthreepositiveandinstructive practices: being a guidance professional,teachingdemocratic lifeskills,andbuildinganencouragingclassroom.

Punishments such as time-outs confuse young children because they cannot easily understand the sequence of behaviors during and after a conflict nor what removal to a chair has to do with them.
WhentheteacherusedthetimeoutwithJamal,shedidnottrytofigureoutallthathappened,howJamal sawtheproblem,whatalternatives hemightlearnfornexttime,and howhemightmakeamendsforhis actionsandrejointhegroup.Instead, shereactedtoahard-and-fastrule zerotoleranceforaggressionwith theestablishedresponse:time-out andasternlecture. Theteachersownsenseofethicspromptedhertomovetoward professionalism.Whenthesecond incidentoccurred,sherealizedthat punishmentwashavinganegative effectonJamalsself-concept.Ina meetingwithstaffwhoknewJamal, shelearnedthatafterlivinginfosterhomes,heandhissiblingshad eryday.Herassistanthelpedmake itpossibletodedicatethistimeto Jamal,andbothteachersbecame moreencouragingofJamalseverydayactivities. TheyalsohelpedJamaldevelop and use a strategy that allowed himtosensewhenhewaslosing controlandremovehimselffrom conflicts. One day, Jamal walked awayfromaconflictand,veryupset,approachedtheteacher.She suggestedhegointothebathroom, shutthedoor,andspitinthesink foraslongashewanted.Iarrived toseeathirstylittleboycomeout ofthebathroomandheadstraight for the water fountain! After the teacher quickly washed out the sink,shehadaquiettalkwithhim abouttheconflict. Teacher-child attachmentsarenecessaryifa childistotrustenough tolearntomanageclassroom conflicts (Betz 1994). In conflict situationstheguidanceprofessionalactsasamediator, seekingtounderstandthe situationandleadchildren towardpeaceableresolution.Thisuseofconflict managementteacheschildrenimportantlifeskills. Whenteachersusetimeout,theyoftenthinkthey areshamingthechildinto beinggood.Thetruth isthatyoungchildrenhavenotyet masteredthecomplexlifeskillsof expressingstrongemotions,resolvingsocialproblemspeaceably,and gettingalong.Theteachermaythink thatthechildknowsbetterandhas onlytobereminded.Butthechild is just beginning to build understandingsandlearncommunication
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Being a guidance professional


Time-outsoftenprovidenoticeableshort-termbenefits,whichcan bemoreobviousthanthenegative sideeffects.Ittakescommitment, time,andefforttolearnguidance alternatives and, until a teacher mastersthem,theymayseemless effective(DaRos&Kovach1998). Tolearnanduseeffectivealternatives,teachersmustbeguidance professionals. Itisnevertoolatetobecomea guidance professional. (A model teacher, in her late forties, once toldmeittookfiveyearsbeforeshe feltherguidanceresponseshadbecomeautomatic.)Inmyexperience, after learning to use guidanceeffectively,evenveteran teacherswonderhowthey evermanagedbefore.This anecdoteillustrateshowone kindergartenteachermoved towardprofessionalism.
Earlyintheyear,Jamalgot upsetwithanotherchildand punched her in the stomach. The teacher became furiousandmarchedhimto thetime-outchair.Laterin the day the principal gave Jamal astern lecture.Two days later, Jamal got into another argument and hit again.Astheteachercame toward him, Jamal walked tothetime-outchairbyhimself andsaid,Iknow.Imgoingcause Imnogood.Theteacherknelt besidehim,putherarmaround his shoulders, and explained thathedidnotupsetherbutthat hisbehaviordid.Afterward,she workedtoimprovetheirrelationship.(Gartrell1998,62)
ElisabethNichols

justbeenreturnedtotheirmothers care.Themotherhadbeenworking hard to overcome chemical dependency. The teacher began getting to know Jamal so she could better understandhimandhisbehavior. Shechangedhermorningroutineto share10minutesalonewithhimev-

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Teacher-child attachments are necessary if a child is to trust enough to learn to manage classroom conflicts
techniquesthat,infact,someadults neverlearn,andmostofuslearn onlyimperfectly(Gartrell1995). Whileshamemaycausethechild tohalt(oratleastbemorecareful about)theimmediatebehavior,it doesnothingtoteachpositivealternativebehaviors.Shamingalso haspsychologicalsideeffects.The childfeelslikeafailurebecausehe doesnotknowsomethingtheteacher expects him to know (Clewett 1988;Schreiber1999).Andshame reinforcesanegativeself-fulfilling prophecy.Thislikelywashappening forJamal,whoalreadysawhimself asnogood.Ifachildinternalizes anegativelabel,preconsciouslyhe isgoingtoaskanaturalfollow-up question,Howdobadkidsact? Inansweringthisquestion,children likeJamaloftenhavemoreconflicts than before the traditional disciplinewasappliedandthenegative self-labelintroduced(Gartrell1995). These reasons account at least inpartforthefactthatformany children, time-outdoesnotwork (Clewett 1988; Betz 1994). Think aboutit:apatternofIdosomethingbad;thereforeIampunished; thereforeIambad;thereforeIdo somethingbadisnotalifepattern wewanttoreinforce!

Teaching democratic life skills


Thesedays,mostthingseducationalareexpectedtohavegoals, standards, and outcomes. With traditionaldiscipline, thegoalis obvious:anorderlyclassroomwith childrenliterallyandfiguratively kept in line (as the saying goes, Theteacherteachesandthestudentslearn).Theexpectationis thatfromcomplianceinchildhood comescharacterinadulthood. Theproblemwiththisgoalisthat itreflectsatimeinoursocietywhen childrenwereseenandnotheard. In years past (before Drs. Spock andBrazelton,amongothers)most familiestendedtohaveauthoritarianparentingstyles,withparents in charge and the goodness of childrenevaluatedbyhowwellthey obeyed.Buttodayschildrencome moreoftenfromfamilieswithdifferentvaluesandinteractionpatterns. Moresothaninthepast,evenvery youngchildrenmakerealchoices and express thoughts freely. For manyfamiliesparent-drivenrules andpunishmentsarereservedfor arelativelysmallnumberofsituations.Practiceslikeparent-child chats and family meetings are ontheincrease.Awareaswellthat theyshouldnotbeoverlypermissive,theseparentsworkhardtobe notpermissivebutinteractive,not authoritarianbutauthoritative. Atthesametimeitisnowwell known that some children also comefromfamiliesunderstress.

Educating for Democracy


Pluralistic democracyisadesirableideal.Americasfoundingfathersvoicedthisconceptand moreorlesssetitup,althoughtheirideaofpluralismwaseffectivelylimitedtomaleEuropeans. Althoughtoeverynewmanifestationofdiversity, reactions, some vicious, have been expressed alongtheway,immigration hasbeenandcontinuestobemoreopeninNorthAmericathanin manyoldernations. Diversitycreatesconflict.Inademocracy,respectfulconflictisdesirable;itenrichesthoughtandbroadenspossibility. Criticalthinkingisonehallmarkofagoodcitizen.Itistheoutcomeof disequilibrium,thesurprisethatoneswayisnottheonlywayandthe onlyinvestmentofeffortinreconcilingdifferentperspectives. Communitymutualcaringandcollaborativeactionisessentialtohumanliving. Civilization is not easily accomplished. It requires a long process of educationoftheyoung,shapingdispositionstocareandlearnaswellas practicingalltheskillsphysical,intellectual,andsocialthatacomplex societydemands.Civilizinggoesoncontinuously;itisneverfinished,but itiseasilylost. Democratic behaviors and critical thinkingarewelllearnedonlythrough practice.Educationalsystems,then,mustcreatedemocraticlearningcommunitieswherethinkingisencouragedandcommunicationisactive. The human child,fortunately,isanenthusiasticlearner.
Source:ReprintedfromE.Jones,EmergentTeaching,The Lively Kindergarten: Emergent Curriculum in ActionbyE.Jones,K.Evans,andK.S.Rencken(Washington,DC:NAEYC,2001),9.

But the child is just beginning to build understandings and learn communication techniques that, in fact, some adults never learn, and most of us learn only imperfectly.
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Theirparentsforvariousreasons areunabletoprovidethehealthy attachmentsandencouragement thatyoungchildrenneed.Children likeJamaloftenenterclassrooms unsureofhowtobehavewithothers,especiallyadults. In this complex new culture, effectiveteachersneedtobeleaders,notbosses.InPiagets([1932] 1960)words,theymustworkforthe goalofautonomy(intelligentand ethicaldecisionmaking)ratherthan obedience.Formanyyears,educatorssuchasDewey([1900]1969), Piaget([1932]1960),andDreikurs (1968)arguedforthisshiftinteachingpriorities.Inrecentyears,educatorssuchasKatz(inKantrowitz &Wingert1989),Elkind(1997),and Gardner (1993) have expressed similarviews.(Seethearticleby HermineMarshall,pp.1925ofthis issue,foradifferentperspectiveon autonomy.) Thegoalsofguidancecomefrom manysources.ForDewey([1916] 1945),thepurposeofeducationwas fullandproductiveinvolvementin the perpetuation of democracy. Piaget([1932]1960)saideducation shouldleadtoautonomy.Gardner (1993) believes healthy developmentincludesinterpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences,thecapacitytounderstandonesownneeds andemotionsandtobalancethis knowledgewithresponsivenessto theperspectivesofothers(Gardner 1993).AndKatz(inKan-trowitz& Wingert1989)saysthat,inaddition tothetraditionalthreeRs,children needtolearnthelessonsofanew firstR:relationships. Accordingtothesethinkersand others, and the NAEYC Code of EthicalConduct(NAEYC1998),the goalsofguidancecanbestatedin termsofdemocratic life skillsthe abilitieschildrenneedtofunction

asproductivecitizensandhealthy individuals. Democraticlifeskillsinclude theabilityto seeonesselfasaworthyindividualandacapablememberof thegroup express strong emotions in nonhurtingways solveproblemsethicallyand intelligently beunderstandingofthefeelingsandviewpointsofothers workcooperativelyingroups, withacceptanceofthehuman differences among members (Gartrell1998) Teachingdemocraticlifeskillsisnot adiversionfromrealteaching,but integraltoit.Weteachtheseskills notjustthroughconflictsresolved peaceablybutalsothroughthecurriculum.Inaddition,guidanceprofessionalsactivelymodelandteach democraticlifeskillsthroughout everyday.Theyexpectchildrento learnthem,andguidetheminthe process.Suchteachersseeconflict not astheresult of misbehavior, but of mistaken behavior, from whichthechildcanlearn(Gartrell 1995).Whileteacherscanreduce mistakenbehaviorsthroughuseof developmentallyappropriatepractice,theyrecognizethatconflicts happeneveryday.Thechallenge forteachersandchildrenisto recognizeconflictsasopportunities forteachingandlearning. Acommitmenttoguidanceincludes viewingcurriculumassomethingthat isapartofchildrenslives.Education is about learning to live together peaceably and solving problems cooperativelyandcreativelymore sothanpreparationforstandardized testsanddrillsinbasicskills.Each timechildrenarehelpedtoresolve

conflicts,theyengageinhigh-level socialstudies,languagearts,and sometimesevenmathematicalthinking. I once heard a four-year-old exclaim,Iamsofrustrated,Igot togettheteachertohelpusshare! Theteacherdidhelp,andgentlyreinforcedthewordfrustrated. It is important to see children whoexperiencerepeated,serious conflictsnotasproblemchildren but as children with problems whoneedguidance.Suchchildren sometimes need comprehensive guidancetoresolveissuesthatare bigger than they are. With both children who experience typical conflictsandthosewhohaveseriousproblemsduetounmetneeds, alternativestotraditionaldiscipline canhelpthem,andothersinthe class,builddemocraticlifeskills. Professionalteachersuseguidance toensurethatnochildisstigmatizedanddeniedfullmembership intheclassroomcommunityand sothatallchildrenprogressinthe useandlearningofdemocraticlife skills(Gartrell1998).

Building an encouraging classroom


In the encouraging classroom, teachersworktogetherinteamsto createanenvironmentthatincludes allchildren;makethescheduleresponsivetotherhythmsofthegroup; provideanenvironmentthatencouragesindividualandsmallgroupengagement;adjustthecurriculumto childrensattentionspans,learning styles,andfamilybackgrounds;and includedemocraticlifeskillsinthe curriculum.Byusingpracticesthat are developmentally appropriate andculturallyresponsive,teaching teamsreducethekindsofinstitutionallycausedconflictsthatchildrendo notcausesomuchasfallinto.Atthe sametime,theteamrecognizesthat thereareotherconflictsthatoccurin eventhemostencouragingclassroom environments.Whenmanysmallbodiesareinasmallspaceforlonghours withfewadults,conflictshappen.
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Effective teachers need to be leaders, not bosses. In Piagets ([1932] 1960) words, they must work for the goal of autonomy (intelligent and ethical decisionmaking) rather than obedience.
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priateandeffective.Theteacher, herassistant,andtwoparentvolunteersdividedtheclassintofour groupsforavisittothepumpkin patch,whereeachgrouppickeda pumpkin.Backintheclassroom, thechildrenworkedontheirpumpkins in small groups. They were actively involved and had few Daily schedule.Thedailyschedconflicts. One group of children uleforaHeadStartclasscalledfor andaparentwhomthe returning to the classteacher knew did not room after active play, celebrate Halloween, The Encouraging Classroom. . . lining up for bathroom cuttheirpumpkininto and hand-washing, and ...isacaringcommunitywithinthephysicalboundariesof smallpiecesandmade then sitting down for theclass.Itisaplacewherechildrenfeelathomewhenthey pumpkinbarsandcollunch.Afteronemonth, areoutofthehome....Adultsprovideongoingguidancein lected the seeds for theteachersnoticedthe ordertomaintainanequilibriumbetweentheneedsofeach roasting. The teacher children had problems developingmemberandtherightofthecaringcommunity concludedthattherewaitinginline,withconformutualappreciationamongits members.Itconstitutes visedactivitywasmuch flicts occurring almost thecreationandsustenanceofacaringcommunityamong moredevelopmentally daily.Theymettodiscuss childrenandadultswithinthephysicalboundariesofthe appropriateandculturtheproblemandplana group. allyresponsive,andit differentapproach.The Guidance,whichistheapproachteachersusetobuild minimizedconflicts. classwasalreadydivided theencouragingclassroom,activelyteacheschildrento intofourfamilygroups, Developing curricuexpressandmeetneedsacceptably.Unliketeacherswho eachledbyamemberof lum.Atthebeginning usetraditionaldiscipline,inaguidanceapproach,teachers theteachingteam.Ona oftheyear,apreschool neverthreatenthechildsmembershipinthecommunityto rotatingbasis,onefamily teaching team develmotivatebetterbehavior.Thechildsplaceintheclassgroup came in early to opedthemesbasedon roomcommunity,exceptinraresituationsthatinvolveparhelppreparethetables democraticlife skills. entsandevenotherprofessionals,isnotupfordiscussion andgetthemselvesready Aspartofthethemefor (Gartrell2000,17172). forlunch.Whentheothworkcooperativelyin ergroupsreturnedtothe groups, the teachers classroom,thechildren put on a puppet play wenttothelibrarycornertolook writingandart).Childrensplaytime abouttwobearswhowouldnotlet atbooksindividuallyandinpairs. soonbecamemoreproductive,and theteacherbegantoweavecenter afrogplaywiththem.Theteachers Theteacherwouldhaveafewchilstoppedtheplayandinvitedthe drenatatimegotothebathroom useintomathandlanguageartsfochildrentodiscusswhathadhaptowashhandsandtransitiontothe custimesandperiodicthemes. pened.Usingthechildrensideas, lunchtables.Everyonewouldeat theteachersrevisedtheplaythis Modifying curriculum.Afirstlunchwithhisorherfamilygroup. timethebearsletthefrogplaywith From the first day teachers tried year teacher planned a pumpkin them.Thechildrenweremuchhapthenewapproach,conflictsclearly activityforherclassof21children. pierwiththisending. Everyonesatinacircleandeach diminished. childinturncameupanddugout In encouraging classrooms all childrenfindawelcomeplace.The onespoonfulofpulpfromthepumpRoom arrangement. Inakinderteachingteamworkscontinuously gartenclassof24children,centers kin.Thechildrensoonbecamerestforreading,house,andblocksand lesswaitingfortheirturns,andthe tomaketheprogramresponsiveto eachchildinthegroup.Children trucksweresetuparoundtheedges teacherdecidedtocarvethepumpoftheroom.Theteacherobserved kinherself.Amotherlatersawthe learntomanagetheirconflictswiththatthecentersweretoocrowded, jack-o-lanternandtoldtheteacher outbullyingandotherformsofvioandsomechildrenusedthelarge thatherfamilydidnotrecognizeor lence(Carlsson-Paige&Levin2000). Theteachersarepositiveleaders openareainthemiddleoftheroom celebrateHalloween. asaracewayforthetrucks.Infact, Thenextyeartheteacheragain whocontinuetolearnevenasthey acoupleoftheboysreferredtothis planned a pumpkin activity but teach.Theyhavebecomeguidance professionals who help children spaceasthetrack.Afterattending changedittomakeitmoreapprolearndemocraticlifeskills.
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Teachersinencouragingclassrooms work hard to reduce the frequencyofconflictscausedby aninappropriate environment or activities. They continuously reviewandmodifythedailyschedule, classroomlayout,andcurriculum.

aworkshoponlearningcenters,the teacheraddedcentersforwriting, art,music,science,andtechnology. Hespacedthemaroundtheroomto eliminaterunways,clusteringthem by estimated activity levels. For dailyworktimeheaskedthechildrentodecidewhatcentersthey intendedtouseandtheyrecorded theirchoicesinjournals(withearly

What Teachers Can Do


1. Be a guidance professional.Whenchildrenexperienceaconflict,try toseethingsthewaytheydo.Beginbybuildingagreementabouthow eachchildviewstheconflictandthen guidethechildrentowardproblemsolvingactionstheyfeelokaywith. 2. Teach democratic life skills. Concentrateononedemocraticlifeskill youwouldlikethechildrentolearn.Planathree-partstrategyforteaching theskill: developathemeorunitthatincludesavarietyofopen-endedlearning activitiesthroughlearningcenters modifythedailyschedule,roomarrangement,groupingpatterns,and transitionactivitiestogivetheskillahighpriority usedirectmodelingandinstructionontheskillduringconflicts 3. Build an encouraging classroom.Eliminatepracticesthatsingleout individualsorsmallgroupsofchildrenforeitherpubliccriticismorpraise. Instead,directprivateencouragementandguidancetoindividualsandencouragingpubliccommentstothewholegroup.Quietlychampionchildren whotendtobestigmatizedfortheirappearanceorbehavior.Workasateam tofigureouthowtoincludesuchchildrenasfullandequalparticipantsin thegroup.Ifthesechildrenneedextrahelptoreducetheirconflictsand mistakenbehaviors,workwiththemandtheirfamiliestogettheassistance theyneed.

Lawhon,T.1997.Encouragingfriendships amongchildren.Childhood Education 73 (4):22831. Logan,T.1998.Creatingakindergartencommunity.Young Children 53(2):2226. Marion,M.1997.Guidingyoungchil-drens understandingandmanagementofanger. Young Children 52(7):6267. McClurg, L.G. 1998. Building an ethical communityintheclassroom:Community meeting.Young Children 53(2):3035. Nansel,T.R.,M.Overpeck,R.S.Pilla,W.J. Ruan,B.Simons-Morton,&P.Scheidt. 2001. Bullying behaviors among U.S. youth:Prevalenceandassociationwith psychosocialadjustment.Journal of the American Medical Association285(16): 2094100. Sandall, S., & M. Ostrosky, eds. 1999. Practical ideas for addressing challenging behaviors. Denver,CO:DivisionforEarly ChildhoodoftheCouncilforExceptional Children.(AvailablefromNAEYC.) Stone,J.G.2001.Building classroom community: The early childhood teachers role. Washington,DC:NAEYC.

When a Targeted Approach Is Needed


Somechildrenmaynotrespondto thesupportiveguidanceapproaches describedinthisarticle.Theirchallengingbehaviormayresultfromlivingwithhighlevelsofstressorthey mighthaveemotionalorbehavioral disabilities.ThePosition Statement on Interventions for Challenging Behavior,adopted andreaffirmed bythe DivisionforEarlyChildhood (DEC)oftheCouncilforExceptional ChildrenandendorsedbyNAEYC, remindsusthatmostyoungchildren withchallengingbehaviorsrespond to developmentally appropriate guidance,therearemanytypesof servicesandinterventionstrategies foraddressingchallengingbehavior, andfamiliesshouldbeinvolvedin designingandcarryingouteffective interventions. ThePositionStatementisonthe DEC Website at http://www.decsped.org/positions/chalbeha.html. TheForFurtherReadingsectionof thisarticleincludesresourcesfrom DEC,NAEYC,andothersonguiding thebehaviorofallchildrenandsupportingchildrenwhosechallenging behaviors require more targeted attention.
Copyright2001bytheNationalAssociation fortheEducationofYoungChildren.SeePermissionsandReprintsonlineatwww.naeyc. org/resources/journal.

References
Betz,C.1994.Beyondtime-out:Tipsfroma teacher.Young Children 49(3):1014. Bredekamp,S.,&C.Copple,eds.1997.Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs.Rev.ed.Washington, DC:NAEYC. Carlsson-Paige,N., & D.E.Levin.2000.Before push comes to shove: Building conflict resolution skills with children.St.Paul,MN: Redleaf. Clewett,A.S.1988.Guidanceanddiscipline: Teachingyoungchildrenappropriatebehavior.Young Children43(4):2536. DaRos,D.A.,&B.A.Kovach.1998.Assisting toddlersandcaregiversduringconflictresolutions:Interactionsthatpromotesocialization.Childhood Education75(1):2530. Dewey,J.[1900]1969.The school and society. NewYork:FreePress. Dewey,J.[1916]1945.Democracy and education. Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress. Dreikurs,R.1968.Psychology in the classroom. NewYork:HarperandRow. Elkind,D.1997.Thedeathofchildnature: Educationinthepostmodernworld.Phi Delta Kappan(November):24145. Gardner,H.1993.Multiple intelligences: The theory in practice. NewYork:Basic. Gartrell,D.J.1995.Misbehaviorormistaken behavior?Young Children50(5):2734. Gartrell,D.J.1997.Beyonddisciplinetoguidance.Young Children52(6):3442. Gartrell,D.J.1998.A guidance approach for the encouraging classroom.Albany,NY:Delmar/ Thompson. Gartrell,D.J.2000.What the kids said today. St.Paul,MN:Redleaf. Kantrowitz,B.,&P.Wingert.1989.Howkids learn.Newsweek,17April,5056. 16 Katz,L.1984.Theprofessionalearlychildhoodteacher.Young Children 39(5):310.

Lilley,I.M.,ed.1967.Friedrich Froebel: A selection from his writings. London:Cambridge UniversityPress. Marion,M.1999.Guidance of young children. NewYork:Merrill. Montessori,M.[1912]1964.The Montessori method. NewYork:ShockenBooks. NAEYC. 1998. Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment.[Brochure]Washington,DC:Author. Piaget,J.1932[1960].The moral judgment of the child.Glencoe,IL:FreePress. Schreiber,M.E.1999.Time-outsfortoddlers: Isourgoalpunishmentoreducation?Young Children 54(4):2225. Ucci,M.1998.Timeoutsandhowtouse them.Child Health Alert (1):23.

For further reading


Beane,A.L.2000. The bully free classroom. Minneapolis:FreeSpirit. Elkind,D.1997.Thedeathofchildnature: Educationinthepostmodernworld.Phi Delta Kappan (November):24145. Froschl,M.,&B.Sprung.1999.Onpurpose: Addressingteasingandbullyinginearly childhood.Young Children 54(2):7072. Harris,T.T.,&J.D.Fuqua.2000.Whatgoes aroundcomesaround:Buildingacommunityoflearnersthroughcircletimes. Young Children 55(1):4447. Kaiser,B.,&J.Rasminsky.1999.Meeting the challenge: Effective strategies for challenging behaviours in early childhood environments. Ottawa,Ontario,Canada: CanadianChildCareFederation.(AvailablefromNAEYC.)

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