PREVENTIVE DISCIPLINE

Summary

Prevention of conduct problems through careful planning and wise administration is desirable. Because one learns what he practices, it is well to prevent misbehavior, which is in effect the practice of bad conduct. Applying principles of mental hygiene will aid in discipline.

Principles

1. The best method of discipline is preventive, which means planning in such a way as to avoid the rise of behavior problems.

"The best way to prevent the growth of evil is to preoccupy the soil." FE 164

2. It [preventive discipline] helps children and youth to trust them [educators].

The wise educator, in dealing with his pupils, will seek to encourage confidence and to strengthen the sense of honor. Children and youth are benefitted by being trusted. Many, even of the little children, have a high sense of honor; all desire to be treated with confidence and respect, and this is their right. They should not be led to feel that they can not go out or come in without being watched. Suspicion demoralizes, producing the very evils it seeks to prevent. Instead of watching continually, as if suspecting evil, teachers who are in touch with their pupils will discern the workings of the restless mind, and will set to work influences that will counteract evil. Lead the youth to feel that they are trusted, and there are few who will not seek to prove themselves worthy of the trust. Ed. 289, 290

3. Teachers should watch for symptoms of restlessness and try to remove the causes of tension or institute counteracting influences.

The wise educator, in dealing with his pupils, will seek to encourage confidence and to strengthen the sense of honor. Children and youth are benefitted by being trusted. Many, even of the little children, have a high sense of honor; all desire to be treated with confidence and respect, and this is their right. They should not be led to feel that they can not go out or come in without being watched. Suspicion demoralizes, producing the very evils it seeks to prevent. Instead of watching continually, as if suspecting evil, teachers who are in touch with their pupils will discern the workings of the restless mind, and will set to work influences that will counteract evil. Lead the youth to feel that they are trusted, and there are few who will not seek to prove themselves worthy of the trust. Ed. 289, 290

4. One of the methods of preventive discipline is for the teacher to be present on the playground with the children, taking part in their play; thus he is at hand to repress any disorder that may be incipient.

The teachers of the schools often go out with their pupils while they are at play, and teach them how to amuse themselves, and are at hand to repress any disorder or wrong. 5T 653

5. There is less likelihood of misconduct if the teacher makes "obedience to his requirements as easy as possible."

Since the surrender of the will is so much more difficult for some pupils than for others, the teacher should make obedience to his requirements as easy as possible. Ed. 288

6. Where it is practicable, moving a child to a new psychological climate by placing him under a different teacher may prevent the growth of misbehavior.

If teachers see that it is impossible to bring a student under the discipline of the class, let him be removed to another class, for it may be that another teacher may be able to supply the deficiency. What one teacher lacks, another may possess; TSS 79

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