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Acceptance Approach (Rudolph Dreikurs)

There are many teachers that only know punishment to control or motivate their
Teaching has been based on a tradition which emerged from an autocratic society.
It maintained the dominant role of a teacher over the students and endorsed the
absolute power of the master. Control was achieved through the use or rewards
and punishments and the teacher was powerful enough to reduce any classroom
Todays society is now moving toward a more democratic path where values such
as social equality, mutual respect, shared responsibility and cooperation coexists.
Dreikurs centred his ideas for working with children on the belief that their basic
need is social acceptance and inclusion: We should realize that a misbehaving
child is only a discouraged child trying to find his place; he is acting on the faulty
logic that his misbehaviour will give him the social acceptance which he desires
He believes that all behaviour is purposeful and an important concept in working
with students. He believes that students are not bad or disruptive; they are
simply attempting to meet their needs using behaviours that are not in their best
interests or the best interests of others.
If the student's behaviour wins them positive acceptance, then they will continue
that behaviour. It is important as teachers to recognize and praise the students
that behave positively.

Dreikurs had 4 main beliefs


Humans are social beings and their basic motivation is to belong

All behaviour has a purpose
Humans are decision-making organisms
Humans only perceive reality and this perception may be mistaken or biased

He argues that power should be shared between students and teachers, within a
child centred view of discipline.
His model requires teachers to determine the student's goals for his/hers
behaviour, using an "if...then" analysis; (for example, if you act like this, how do
you think the other student may feel ) this analysis is to be spoken in a nonthreatening way when confronting a student with his/hers behaviour; and work
with the student to change the behaviour. However, the student is still
responsible for his behaviour and must accept well-defined consequences for
repeated misbehaviour. The teacher and the students can both come up with and
agree on a set consequences if the student behaves inappropriately.

This model promotes a democratic style, establishes and fosters mutural respect,
teachers are able to find out underlying resons for mis behaviour and address this issue,
encourage those students that are performing correctly not only focussing attention to
the students that are perfroming negatively. Facilitation whole classroom discussions on
rules and consquences.
Strengths about this model include:

It incorporates a preventative approach to discipline by addressing underlying


Helps students to understand why they misbehave and how they should behave
in a classroom

Promotes mutual respect between teachers and students

Relies on logical consequences

Weaknesses include:

Students may not be honest and commit to the consequences they have made for

Teachers may find it difficult to respond to students in a non-controlling autocratic