This week in my Severe Disabilities class we talked about positive behavioral support (PBS), and while reading the papers for our EDU 6120 Foundations class a topic came to me from page 4 of the Session 4 Readings: Plutarch and Quintilion “The Education of Children” by Plutarch (46-120 AD):
12. This also I assert, that children ought to be led to honorable practices by means of encouragement and reasoning, and most certainly not by blows or ill-treatment, for it surely is agreed that these are fitting rather for slaves than for the free-born; for so they grow numb and shudder at their tasks, partly from the pain of the blows, partly from the degradation. Praise and reproof are more helpful for the free-born than any sort of ill-usage, since the praise incites them toward what is honorable, and reproof keeps them from what is disgraceful.
Just to think, they knew that over a millennium ago. Also in “Educational Reform” by Arthur Ellis,”Demonstrate caring attitudes toward students (p. 10)” and, “11. Good teachers are thoughtful and reflective about their practice.”
Both of these excerpts reminded me of not only using PBS in the classroom, but when I get frustrated with my own children. I don’t use corporal punishment at home, so why would someone use it at work. I need to remember that all behavior is communication, and what is it that I want to communicate?
I was pretty excited for this week’s illustrative assignment, and my mind swirled at the possibilities of elaborate pages of images, but in the end I fell back to the first rule of graphics, “less is more.” I remember in elementary school, the principal had a paddle he called “the attitude adjuster,” but I renamed it a bit. Even though I never had to meet it, I hope it really is in retirement.