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Conscious Discipline: Program Review

written by: stadams • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 9/11/2012

Administrators and teachers trying to find the next strategy to deal with the ever increasing flow of poor behavior. Short of parents actually sending their children to school ready to learn, this may be your answer.

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    The Review

    Conscious Discipline is a program developed and energetically delivered by Dr. Becky Bailey. Dr. Bailey’s overriding principle of behavior management is understanding how the brain processes information, and how we can use that knowledge to encourage children to behave a certain way. The program is advertised for home and school use, but I feel after watching the video and following along in the handbook, that there would be a lot lost in translation for the average parent. It is not that the concepts are that hard to understand, but fitting them all together in a constructive manner would require that a parent already have a pretty good grasp of behavior management.

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    Tips and Techniques

    Dr. Bailey’s program is filled with great tips and techniques for promoting positive behavior. She implements several strategies that other behavior management programs utilize, such as allowing the child choices, empathy, setting limits, and consequences. The difference is, she actually demonstrates how and why they work based on the way we process information. Some teachers need the how and why before they will put their trust in a program. One technique that I particularly gravitated toward was using the same process that creates bad habits in a positive way. It goes something like this:

    Describe the action you like.. (don’t judge) then re-enforce how it helps. We all do this in a negative way but rarely in a positive manner. Negative Exp: You just stepped on my sand castle! Now, I have to do it all over again! Positive Exp: You cleaned the lunch table all by yourself. Now we can all go to recess on time.

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    Shortcomings

    The program is full of helpful advice and strategies, but I don’t think it is for home use. There are a lot props and a great deal of set up to utilize the material as a cohesive program. Definitely worth the effort and I have seen it utilized in the classroom, but most parents wouldn’t take the time to run the program effectively. This program will take a good bit of “buy in" on the teachers’ behalf if it is to be used school wide. Just one more small critique: Dr. Bailey is definitely excited about what she is doing, but I found the video a bit infantile and rather difficult to sit through. I was often tempted to fast forward through the prolog of each section. "Just the facts ma'am, just the facts."