Richard Curwin and Allen Mendler’s

Discipline with Dignity

All life is precious and needs to be respected, protected, and valued. ~ Richard Curwin

  • Dignity refers to respect for life and for oneself and it has been at the center of Curwin and Mendler’s approach to discipline.


  • Curwin and Mendler point out that students with chronic behavior problems see themselves as losers and have stopped trying to gain acceptance in normal ways. In order to maintain a sense of dignity, those students tell themselves it is better to stop trying than to continue failing, and that it is better to be recognized as a troublemaker then be seen as stupid.



  • Curwin and Medler’s Discipline with dignity equips teachers and administrators with classroom skills and techniques that enable them to spend less time dealing with behavioral problems and more time on positive interactions with students and on instruction.

Focus and Logic:

Focus:


  • Establishing classroom discipline based on dignity and hope
  • Reclaiming students destined to fail in school because of their misbehavior
  • Finding long-term solutions to problems of misbehavior, including violence
  • Working productively with difficult-to-manage students


Logic:

  • Through dignified discipline we can save students who would otherwise failing school
  • Many students misbehave when their sense of personal dignity is threatened
  • It is essential to restore a sense of hope in students who chronically misbehave
  • Violence and aggression, which teachers fear, can be dealt with effectively

Curwin and Mendler’s model contains three hierarchical dimensions (3-D Discipline):

Prevention, Action, and Resolution

Prevention:


(1) increasing teacher self-awareness

(2) increasing student awareness,

(3) expressing true feelings,

(4) discovering and recognizing alternatives or other models of discipline,

(5) motivating students to learn,

(6) establishing social contracts with the class, and

(7) implementing social contracts


Action:


(1) increasing teacher self-awareness

(2) increasing student awareness,

(3) expressing true feelings,

(4) discovering and recognizing alternatives or other models of discipline,

(5) motivating students to learn,

(6) establishing social contracts with the class, and

(7) implementing social contracts


Resolution:



The resolution dimension is used to reach out-of- control students. These students who cannot comply with the social contract, require individual contracts. Individual contracts are needed when students do not accept the consequences established in the social contract; chronically violate rules and disrupt the class and repeatedly refuse to follow specific rules of the rules of the social contract. In these situations teachers should discuss preventive procedures with the student, develop a mutually agreeable plan, monitor the plan and revise it if necessary, and use creative approaches.

Works Cited


Charles, C.M. and Senter, Gail W. Building classroom Discipline. September, 1995. (p.128-146)

McCormick, Bob. Discipline With Dignity. Retrieved on March 11, 2015 from http://stuff4educators.com/index.php?p=1_29_Discipline-with-Dignity

Tuğba GÜRCAN & Esra TEKİN. Discipline Models: Discipline, Is it a Dirty word? Retrieved on March 10, 2015 from http://www.metu.edu.tr/~e133376/project/Discipline%20With%20Dignity.htm