In This Chapter

Positive Psychology and School Discipline

Authored by: George G. Bear , Maureen A. Maureen

Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415621854
eBook ISBN: 9780203106525
Adobe ISBN: 9781136258398


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During the past several decades, the term positive has been utilized on an increasing basis to describe many approaches to classroom management and school discipline. In fact, among the multiple models of classroom management and school discipline available (see Charles, 2010), the term positive appears in the title of two popular, and perhaps the most popular, models: Positive Discipline (Nelsen, Lott, & Glenn, 2000) and Assertive Discipline: Positive Behavior Management for Today’s Classroom (Canter, 2010). It also appears in the title of the most rapidly growing general approach to school discipline, the schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS) approach (Sugai & Horner, 2009; Sugai et al., 2010; also see Another widespread general approach is social and emotional learning (SEL). Although this approach does not include positive in its title, when evaluated within the framework of positive psychology, SEL appears to be the most positive of the four models and approaches. In this chapter, we present guiding principles of positive psychology applied to school discipline. Next, we briefly review the core features of the four popular models and approaches to school discipline cited. We then critique the four models and approaches as to the extent to which each is consistent with the guiding principles.

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