From ‘Under a Black Cloud – shame-based behaviour systems in schools’ (read full post here: http://www.sallydonovan.net/2012/01/06/under-a-black-cloud-why-i-dont-like-shame-based-behaviour-systems-in-schools/ )
From an excellent blog by an adoptive mother of traumatised two children. I’ve lost a lot of the last two days reading through this blog, must read for educators. Gives a good idea of what’s going on with some of our students outside the classroom and what may have happened to the before they reached us. (I’m sure we’ve all met a Jamie)
GWALP adds: Indeed, this was a good read. Not all classroom/behavior management systems work for all students. At the high school level, this type of public shaming is completely ineffective and often counterproductive.
Unfortunately, I see or read about too many of these “behaviour management systems” that are failing our students - especially those with special education needs. It frustrates me that this is considered a behaviour management technique (like that’s a good thing) when I can see that a concept was (mis)applied by someone not up to date on behaviour change, behaviour analysis. If a tool such as this is meant to function as punishment - it is working at punishing school attendance, co-operation and being ready to learn while doing very little to motivate a student to work with their teacher and learn skills. Behind every challenging behaviour is a purpose and thus a missing skill on the part of the learner. How does labeling one’s behaviour under the category of black cloud of shame promote learning and skill development?
Behaviour change is a process and will not occur with just a sticker chart or a sun/cloud picture (as if those hold relevance). Shame and punishment-based systems teach students what to avoid and if teachers/EAs/support staff are associated with these system, the student ultimately avoids (or tries to escape from) them.
And finally, all of these poorly applied and mismanaged behaviour management systems give behaviourism (and ultimately B.F. Skinner) a bad rap. I’m pretty sure Skinner never intended classroom management and learning to look like this; and neither do behaviourists like me.