Rudolf Dreikurs By: Monica VanGilder
Biography • Born: February 8, 1897 in Vienna Austria • Died: May 25, 1972 in Chicago, Illinois • Dreikurs was an American psychiatrist and educator who developed Alfred Adler’s system of individual psychology into a pragmatic method of understanding the purposes of misbehavior in children and for stimulating cooperative behavior without punishment or reward • Dreikurs was Alfred Adler’s close colleague and student • Before he died he completed Adler’s lecture tour in Scotland
Dreikurs • His main focus in his ideas was on pre-adolescents and he reasoned that their behavior resulted from feelings of lack of significance in their social group • He saw the family as the first social setting in which education takes place with the school environment as an extension of the family • Believed encouragement was essential to the improvement of behavior and human relationships • Argued behavior is a result of a search for significance within a social setting
“Discipline Makes No Use of Punishment” • Main focus in the classroom is on establishing a classroom which is democratic in nature and gives students a sense of belonging • Different levels of misbehavior that occur in a progressive manner • Students will try to get attention • If does not work, students will misbehave further to try to achieve power over teacher and others • If power and attention does not get attained, then the student seeks revenge • Can only feel sufficient by hurting others
“Discipline Makes No Use of Punishment” • When all else fails student shows inadequacy * also called “learned helplessness” * sees themselves as complete failures * feel others will leave them alone if they seem inadequate
Climate of Classroom • Ideal model used for enhancing student empowerment • Make sure leaning is taking place • A lot of time is needed to gain student’s trust • Much time is spent on talking about beliefs, decision making, and consequences which then project the teacher into a counseling role
Adler School of Professional Psychology • Dreikurs founded this school in 1952 which was first named Adler’s Institute which is located in Chicago, Illinois • School applies Adler’s principles and concepts in an attempt to solve social problems • Curricula prepares professionals to improve social and global concerns, as well as address the needs of marginalized and under served populations • The center offers training to students, as well as provides services to the community of the Chicago Loop Clinic, through prisons and schools
CASE STUDIES FOR PRACTICAL CLASSROOM IMPLEMENTATION • Elementary Case Study • Bessie is repeating the third grade. Her learning rate is probably low. In math she will put anything down for an answer or she might put down no answer at all. She seems afraid to recite. Dreikurs concludes that the child is functioning on a lower level than her ability allows. Bessie's teacher has spoken with the class about the importance of being good listeners. It was decided and agreed upon that while one student was reading aloud other students would wait to raise their hands until the teacher asked for input. This would encourage students like Bessie to recite without feeling nervous or interrupted. Dreikurs notes how this strategy was effective in inducing the whole class to give Bessie support and encouragement. The teacher also began giving Bessie more time to finish her work. By the next week, Bessie had improved a great deal. The teacher remarked that she was proud of Bessie, drew a smiling picture on her paper, and solicited encouragement from the principal as well. Bessie's teacher, by identifying Bessie's fear of failure during recital and removing pressure, allowed Bessie to discover that she could solve the problems. After this realization, Bessie was soon able to work at a faster pace. Furthermore, by encouraging Bessie, the teacher nurtured Bessie's pride in her accomplishments Dreikurs, 1968, p.178).
Case Study • This case study focuses on the fourth goal of misbehavior, or Helplessness and Inadequacy. Bessie was refusing to try most educational demands because she was unaware of her capabilities and therefore refused to comply with classroom expectations. Bessie's problems are rooted in feeling discouraged. Strategies that assist helpless students include modifying instructional methods, teaching in a step-by-step fashion, allowing for mistakes, building confidence by recognizing achievement, and teaching positive self-talk. By modifying instruction based on Bessie's individual needs, her teacher was successful. It is important to note the significance of the teacher's responsibilities when considering Dreikur's behavior management techniques. These strategies require an openness and caring for the student in order to achieve success.
Activity • Each student needs to take out a sheet of paper and write their name at the top of the paper • Writing as many nice things about that person in each rotation • 6 rotations with 1 minute at each one • Practicing supportive and non-discriminatory behavior • Provides encouragement, which is essential to improvement of behavior
References • http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Classroom_Management_Theorists_and_Theories/Rudolf_Dreikurs • www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Rudolf_Dreikurs • www.ziplink.net/users/edboda/lisafinal/driekurs.html