Biography Lee attended California State University, then completed a master’s degree at the University of Southern California. In 1970 he began serving as a psychiatric social worker for children in southern California. Assertive Discipline has sold more than 1.5 million copies and trained more than a million teachers. Has been a guest on the Today Show, Oprah, and many other talk shows. He has over forty best selling books.
Basic Tenets The classroom has a well developed and meticulously followed behavior management plan. Consequences, both negative and positive, are predetermined and immediately awarded. No student’s behavior is allowed to distract from the learning of another.
Teacher Responsibilities The teacher must have a well formed behavior management plan before students ever step in the door. Consequences should be predetermined and fair for all students. Teachers must explain and make sure all students understand the plan and the consequences. Teachers should reward good behavior with immediate praise to encourage other students to be well behaved. Teachers must help their students understand that the students have a choice to follow the rules, but will face the repercussions for not doing so.
Student Responsibilities Students must learn what is expected of them, and the penalty for not following the rules. Canter believes that students make the choice to misbehave and should be held responsible. Students should encourage each other to be well behaved, because some teachers use a whole classroom behavior approach where rewards are given when the class behaves well as a whole.
Key Vocabulary Assertive- a teacher must run her classroom in a firm, but positive manner. Compliance- Students must make a choice to follow the rules that have been set for them. Consequences- Immediately follow a behavior, whether good or bad. They can consist of time out or a treat given to a well behaved student.
Pros The classroom has fair, well established rules, which makes students feel safe. Students know the consequences for misbehavior and are held responsible. There is no room for argument about punishment, which can be distracting to other students.
Cons Many teachers only follow the negative consequences. Some teachers take assertive discipline too far and create a negative environments. Teachers may see physical punishment as an appropriate form of discipline.