Peer Reviewed Articles - Conscious Discipline
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Training Teachers in Classroom Management: Evidence of Positive Effects on the Behavior of Difficult Children

by Dr. Lorrie Hoffman, Dr. Cynthia Hutchinson, and Dr. Elayne Reiss

Abstract: This study examined the impact of training elementary school teachers in a classroom management program titled Conscious Discipline. The workshops aid teacher in changing their perception and response to conflict. One of the goals of the program is to help teachers enhance social and emotional skills of those children identified as having behavior disorders. A survey, answered by teachers about their students, was administered on 12 (n=2 control and n=10 experimental) students prior to the teachers receiving workshop instruction and the second administration occurred afterwards. The targeted population consisted of students in grades Kindergarten through 6th. This group of children who were placed in a classroom where the teacher had been exposed to the Conscious Discipline program showed statistically significant improvement in behavior in a before versus after comparison to the control group. Children exhibited marked improvements in the areas of decreased hyperactivity, aggression, and conduct problems.

Hoffman, L.L., Hutchinson, C.J., Reiss, E. (2005). Training teachers in classroom management: evidence of positive effects on the behavior of difficult children. Strate Journal. 14(1) p. 36-43.


Training Teachers in Classroom Management: Evidence of Positive Effects on the Behavior of Difficult Children

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On Improving School Climate: Reducing Reliance on Rewards and Punishment

by Dr. Lorrie Hoffman, Dr. Cynthia Hutchinson, and Dr. Elayne Reiss

Abstract: The results of this study provide support for classroom management techniques that base themselves on intrinsic motivation for students to act responsibly, make adequate progress and excel. Conscious Discipline, with its relationship to emotional intelligence, results in a shift toward more positive classroom climates and provides inherent benefits to students and teachers. A three-group, two dimension discriminate analysis produced results showing significant positive changes in the way that teachers who used Conscious Discipline viewed their ability to create positive change in classroom climate.

Hoffman, L.L., Hutchinson, C.J., Reiss, E. (2009). On improving school climate: Reducing reliance on rewards and punishment. International Journal of Whole Schooling, 5(1).


On Improving School Climate: Reducing Reliance on Rewards and Punishment

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Early Childhood Educators’ Perceptions of Conscious Discipline

by Dr. Paul Caldarella, Nate W. Page and Leslie Gunter

Abstract: Classroom management is a significant challenge for school teachers and administrators, often rated as the primary area of concern for first-year teachers and the most common reason many choose to leave the profession. Recently there has been an increased interest in social and emotional learning and its’ relationship to improved student behavior, academic outcomes, and emotional health, particularly during the early childhood years. This study examined the social validity of Conscious Discipline, a classroom management program which incorporates social and emotional learning. Seventeen early childhood special educators rated the significance, appropriateness, and effects of the program in a preschool setting. Results indicated that the program had high social validity, with ratings positively correlated with both teaching experience and experience using the program. Limitations and implication of this study are discussed.

Caldarella, P., Page, N. W., & Gunter, L. (2012). Early childhood educators’ perceptions of Conscious Discipline. Education, 132(3), 589-599.


How Fern Creek is Beating Goliath

by Margaret Donovan, Patrick Galatowitsch, Keri Hefferin, and Shanita Highland

Abstract: The "David" is Fern Creek Elementary, a small urban school in Orlando, Florida, that serves an overwhelmingly disadvantaged student population. The "Goliaths" are the mountains of problems that many inner-city students face—poverty, homelessness, mobility, instability, limited parent involvement, and violent neighborhood surroundings. Although Fern Creek's "war" with these Goliaths is ongoing, the school has won some major battles. Several years ago, Fern Creek put into place a process of defeating its Goliaths by arming its slingshot with three big rocks. The first rock was creating a strong school family. The school implemented consistent routines, Conscious Discipline practices, and school family rituals. The second rock was increasing community involvement. Here, the school looked to important community partnerships; a 100-member-strong mentoring program; and a foundation created expressly to meet the needs of the school, its students, and their families. The third rock was implementing best practices in instruction and intervention. This required a focus on Response to Intervention, professional learning communities, and lesson study.

Donovan, M., Galatowitsch, P., Hefferin, K., & Highland, S. (2013). How Fern Creek is Beating Goliath. Educational Leadership, 70 (8) p. 66-70.

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