Crime and punishment – PP39

Paul Dix
Paul Dix
Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne

Our topic of the week is crime and punishment.

Paul isn’t a fan of heavy sanctions. The schools that Pivotal Education work with are on a trajectory towards just using restorative conversations and very small steps in sanctions but in many schools class teachers don’t have control over the policy and still have to operate the system which exists fairly and consistently.

PrisonThere are general principles which apply to using negative consequences in any system:

  • Make sure the distance between giving the sanction and the offence itself is as short as possible and also try not to separate the personnel involved – sanctions don’t work as well where responsibility is delegated to someone else to give them – the best sanctions are applied very soon after the incident
  • Sanctions which don’t involve some self-reflection are lose impact – make sure there is a conversation or maybe some reflective writing
  • Keep the application of negative consequences private
  • Make sure students know where they are on the ‘ladder’ or steps otherwise it could seem like they are being forced to miss out some steps – Paul mentions a great system in a primary PRU he has seen recently where students have velcro boards where they take ownership of recording where they are on the ‘ladder’ themselves
  • Avoid jumping up the ladder, missing out steps – this can be tempting where behaviour is particularly poor but you will lose your leverage in the conversation afterwards with the child if you haven’t applied the scheme consistently and fairly

Paul always uses the same 5 or 6 steps:

  1. Redirection – gently encourage the learner to start the lesson positively
  2. A reminder of the expectations…

Read the rest of the show notes on the Pivotal Education site.

What would you like to hear covered in forthcoming episodes? Let us know by emailing podcast@pivotaleducation.com

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