What Every Teacher Should Know About Punishment Techniques and Student Behavior Plans

What Every Teacher Should Know About Punishment Techniques and Student Behavior Plans

Introduction

In everyday terms, people use the word punishment to describe negative consequences imposed on people when they misbehave. Often, the term has moral overtones, suggesting that those being punished 'deserve' that punishment because their actions violate a rule, law, or social expectation. In the field of behavior management, though, punishment has a more narrow (and morally neutral) definition: the presentation or removal of events that leads to a reduction in a target behavior (Kazdin, 1989). According to this definition, events that serve to decrease an individual's behaviors are considered to be punishers. Teachers should understand the pros and cons about using punishment in the classroom, as schools frequently build punishing, or aversive, consequences into plans designed to help manage student behaviors.

The focus of this issue of The Practical Teacher will be to explain  the pros and cons about using punishment in the classroom, as schools frequently build punishing, or aversive, consequences into plans designed to help manage student behaviors.

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