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room decisions, discipline through dignity is promoted. Discipline through dignity suggests that the teacher cares about the student and understands that the student’s dignity and self- esteem must be motivated and maintained. Their ideas establish rules and consequences that create order in the classroom through a three dimensional plan of: prevention, action, and resolution.

Prevention or preventive discipline begins by building a management program that addresses teacher and student needs. A well-developed preventive program includes established rules and procedures that have been taught, practiced, and reinforced. They are culturally responsive and help build a classroom environment that maintains predictability and consistency.

Action or supportive discipline refers to techniques used to prevent escalating misbehavior or strategies employed to support the student in making good choices. In her article, “Twelve Practical Strategies to Prevent Behavioral Escalation in Classroom Settings,” S. Shukla-Mehta (2003) recommends that the teacher know what triggers misbehavior. For example, any day before a holiday is going to be a trigger. The day after Halloween is going to be a trigger. Spring, snow, and full moon can all be added to the list. Any shift in the schedule can have a tendency to be a signal for misbehavior. A change in behavior might indicate the need for an intervention before the ripple effect causes the behavior to spread to other students. If con- sequences are warranted, they should be used wisely and judiciously. After the appropriate behaviors have been taught and reinforced, students need the opportunity to be successful in their behaviors.

The resolution or correction phase is needed when the preventative and supportive mea- sures have not been successful. Corrective measures refer to the consequences or interven- tions invoked to stop or redirect the misbehavior and get a student back on track while maintaining the student’s dignity and classroom well being.

For example, many classrooms work on the “1-2-3 strikes, you’re out” technique. The student is given three chances with some type of indicator as to how many strikes or chances the student currently has already used. This could be in the form of name on the board, stoplight fixture, color coded card, or a baseball diamond. Canter (1992) recommends using 5 con- sequential steps in his assertive discipline program. In this positive and assertive approach, teachers establish clear guidelines that allow for teaching and learning to take place. By es- tablishing rules, setting limits, and following through with consequences, a positive, caring, and productive environment is maintained.

In his article, “Assertive Discipline: More than Names on a Board and Marbles in a Jar,” Canter

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Virginia Educational Leadership

Vol. 7 No. 1

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