Conflict is part of life and this implies that it is part of the classroom. The video below explains different types of conflict and provides some types on how to deal each of them.
Brief History of Policing and Juveniles
This post will provide a brief overview of policing as found in England and the USA. There will also be a link to juvenile justice.
Early forms of Policing
Policing has changed a great deal over time in England. Some of the earliest forms of policing was the pledge system which took place before the Norman conquest. In the pledge system, neighbors would work together to protect each other’s property from thieves and other criminal threats. In addition, the pledge system was also supposed to deal with problems among neighbors which implies that people were expected to police themselves.
Naturally, the pledge system has its limitations. Its strength was dependent on the strength of the community which may not have been enough to deal with serious threats. In addition, the pledge system could be politically messy as self-polic9ing would be based on who had power and or charisma rather than right and wrong. However, the pledge system did allow for a great deal of autonomy for those involved.
The next system of policing that moved through England was the watch system. The watch system was designed for urban and densely populated areas. Men were organized in their parish to patrol their communities at night. Eventually, England turned away from citizen-led policing to professionals. The professionalization of law enforcement led to the development of such positions as the constable for policing and the justice of the peace for judicial matters.
With the continued development of the Industrial Revolution further development of law enforcement was also needed. The need for better policing led to the creation of the bobbies. However, this next step in crime fighting was not successful in stopping crime and was often influenced by money and politics.
In the US the sheriff was the equivalent of a constable or bobby. But in the mid-19th century, police departments were already being established. During this time juvenile offenders were treated just like adults if they were accused of committing a crime. With time reforms ended this practice but law enforcement professionals continued to share concerns about the lack of treatment of young people.
In many departments today, the police will have either a juvenile officer or a unit that focuses on dealing with youths. There is also an emphasis in some jurisdictions on community policing which involves reducing people’s fear of law enforcement through decentralization of decision-making and community involvement.
When dealing with juveniles there is a great deal of discretion in how to handle each child’s situation. The focus is always on treatment rather than punishment in many places. What this means is that the police officer can choose or not choose to “arrest” a juvenile in many different situations. The same idea applies to the probation officer and prosecutor who determine whether or not to pursue the arrest for punishment or disposition and this extends to the judge as well. The flexibility of discretion has led to accusations of unfairness and even racism.
Another problem with discretion is the inconsistencies in how police approach youth. There have been court cases over such matters as search and seizure, Miranda rights, habeas corpus, and other technical legal matters because law enforcement did not carefully consider the constitutional rights of children because it has often been assumed that children do not have these rights.
Policing has seen a great deal of growth and development over the years. Despite the flaws in the system law enforcement is still dedicated to helping keep people safe. Evidence for this can be seen in the reforms that have been made to maintain the trust of the communities in which they serve.
Data Analysis VIDEO
The purpose of data analysis is to actually generate the answers to your research questions. In the video below you will find insights in to data entry, statistical tools, and answering research questions.
During the 19th century in the United States that was a huge influx of people into urban areas in search of jobs and other opportunities. With this change in how people lived, there was a change in the family as well. Before the growth of urban centers, parents and children were all together in a rural setting in a farm-like community and this helped to monitor and control a child’s behavior. Now, parents often would have to leave their children unattended for long periods while they worked. Children who are left unattended tend to get into trouble. Over time and with years of neglect continuing some of these youth became delinquents. Once children began to turn to crime the local government began to step in and try and deal with this problem.
One solution that was tried was developed by a group of juvenile reformers from the Child Saving movement. In this post, we will look at the history and beliefs of the members of this movement.
Child Saving Movement
The Child Saving Movement wanted the government to monitor and control the activities of wayward youth. As mentioned before, this used to be a responsibility of the family but there was a breakdown in the family as a result of living in the new conditions of dense city life.
To help delinquent youths proponents of the Child Saving movement developed the House of Refuge, which was an early form of a reform school. Wayward youth were sent here for status offenses to major crimes. Before this youth were often sent to adult prisons for the offenses they committed.
The House of Refuge was funded primarily privately. However, the irony of the House of Refuge is that funding came from the state of New York, and this funding involved taxes collected from bars, theaters, and even circuses. In other words, venues that contributed to delinquency were used to reform students who were delinquents.
The House of Refuge was opened in 1825 with only 6 youths. Within the first ten years, the facility would serve 1600 youths. Both boys and girls were housed at the facility. Boys were taught blue-collar skills such as skills found in woodshop. Female residents were taught skills related to the home such as cooking and sewing.
The original location of the House of Refuge was in the city. However, with time the facility was moved to a rural location. In all, the House of Refuge would last about 100 years well into the early 20th century. Among the main criticism of this approach was that the facility was trying to play the role of the parent through the use of strict discipline and long work hours.
There are strengths and weaknesses to all forms of reform for young people who become delinquents. There is always something wrong and something that is done well by most movements. What all reform movements have in common is a desire to help young people and to make society safer. Sometimes it might be better to focus on this rather than on the failures of various movements such as the Child Savers.
Writing a Methodology VIDEO
The purpose of a methodology is to articulate how you will answer your research questions. The video below explains the various part of a methodology along with examples.
Group Size, Role, Effectiveness VIDEO
There are several concepts teachers need to be aware of when dealing with groups. In the video below, we will look at the roles and sizes of groups and how they relate to the effectiveness of the group as well.
Research Hypotheses & Objectives VIDEO
The video below explains the differences between research questions, hypotheses, and objectives. This is important to understand because these terms are so commonly used when conducting research.
Developing a Review of Literature VIDEO
A review of literature in a a research paper is an critical step in the discover process of academic writing. The video below will provide some types on structuring a review of literature.
Research Question Type VIDEO
There are several different ways that a research question can be developed. In this video we will look at three different types of research question that are commonly used in social science quantitative research.
School Failure and Delinquency
School failure is a big problem in education today. In addition, school failure has also been examined in the context of delinquency. In this post, we will look at school failure and delinquency.
School failure is the opposite of school success. Essentially, school failure is the inability of a student to have academic success in the classroom. The concern with school failure in this post is that it is often associated with delinquent behavior. In other words, kids who struggle academically are often kids who are struggling behaviorally as well.
There are several ways in which school failure and delinquency are related. For example, school failure may cause delinquency. As a young person becomes frustrated with their school they may choose to become delinquent to win praise and acceptance that they are unable to achieve through academics.
Another view of school failure and delinquency focuses on the emotional aspect. For some kids, school failure causes emotional distress and this may cause delinquency. As the student loses control of their emotions they make poor decisions in terms of behavior.
A final view on school failure point to a cause that is above school failure and delinquency. From this view, the real problem is socioeconomic issues such as poverty, family issues, or some other disruption to the student’s life. These instabilities make it difficult for the youth to function in an academic setting like a school.
Other Variables Associated with School Failure
There are also several other variables and concepts that have been linked with school failure. Tracking involves placing students in classes based on ability or test scores. For example, all of the high achievers are in one class and the struggling kids are in a different class. Such an approach is highly detrimental to the weaker students because they know when they are being tracked and this can lead to self-esteem issues and indifference.
Some students truly do not like school and or their teachers. Alienation is defined as the inability to see the relevance or importance of schools. Education pays dividends over time. For people who have a shorter vision of themselves, spending years in school learning various facts and figures is meaningless. Delinquent behavior provides the immediate results that young people often want.
The consequences of school failure can be tremendous. Dropouts make less money than peers who finish K12 and people who go to college. Furthermore, dropouts are often trapped in the lowest-earning jobs that are available. Therefore, it is not in a child’s best interest to fail in school.
School failure is a sign that a child needs help. The cause could be one that was explained here or a different one. Either way, teachers need to be willing to support students who are struggling academically as this can lead to delinquency.
Group Types VIDEO
Family Influences and Delinquency
Young people frequently make mistakes that can lead to legal encounters. However, poor behavior does not always happen in a vacuum. There are times when these choices are influenced by the context in which the child is found. Family can be a major influence on delinquent behavior. In this post, we will look at several family influences that can harm youths are their inclination towards delinquency. These four influences within the family are…
Conflict is part of life. However, too much strife can make the home unattractive for young people. When there is arguing and even violence within the home it can influence a youth’s behavior which can lead to delinquency. Youths who witness conflict and violence within the home often imitate this behavior as they grow older and experience similar relationship problems.
The same ideas apply in classroom settings. When students have conflicts at home it can make it difficult to focus on their studies. If the young person is angry about their family problems this can manifest itself in poor behavior in school.
Sometimes families fall apart. This could be due to conflict or other reasons. When parents separate it can have a strong influence on a young person. The frustration from one parent leaving their life and the reduced attention can lead youths to look for emotional support in other places such as gangs. Broken families may at times cause delinquency.
Within the classroom divorce and separation can have serious consequences in terms of academic performance and behavior. Students from broken families are at a greater risk of academic struggles and even dropping out.
Some parents have no real business being parents. They may struggle with setting boundaries and or enforcing those boundaries. Others may struggle with controlling their emotions when their children make mistakes. Whatever the case, parents who lack the efficacy to handle their children often create children who have no respect for authority and are inclined toward delinquent behavior.
In the classroom, it is sometimes left to the teacher to become a surrogate parent for a child in a home of parental incompetence. This is a highly challenging situation in that teachers often do not have the tools to support multiple children who are not being provided with appropriate instruction and discipline from their parents.
Another major influence of delinquency is the parent’s own criminal background. Parents who are criminals are delinquents can set an example that leads their children down the wrong path. There have been arguments that this could be genetic. Another way to look at this is from a social learning perspective in which the child adopts delinquent behavior from following the example of their own parent(s). In some cases, parents and or other relatives will teach children how to be delinquent.
Parental deviance is a difficult influence for a teacher to deal with. Most children want to be like their parents as this is generally natural. Therefore, the teacher may have to point out the result of the decisions that deviant parents have made and the ensuing consequences.
None of these influences described here appear in isolation. In other words, these influences work together to send youth down the wrong path. For teachers, it is important to be aware of these factors to provide students with the appropriate support that they need.
Definition and Traits of Research Questions VIDEO
Research questions are a key component of working methodically through the research process. The video below provides some introductory information on defining and explaining traits of research questions.
General Theory of Crime and the Classroom
The General Theory of Crime (GTC) was developed by Gottfredson and Hirschi. This theory attempts to explain criminal or delinquent behavior in terms of criminal offender traits, criminal opportunity, and the act of committing a crime. In this post, we will look at each of these components in terms of how they help to explain delinquent behavior within the context of teaching.
The ideas associated with criminal offenders focus on personality and social connections. Insights into personality play an important part in the GTC framework. Impulse control is one main component of GTC. Impulsive people are often more short-sighted and prone to risk-taking. What this means is that they may be more prone to delinquent behavior because they lack the foresight of the consequences of their actions. Impulsive behavior is also something teachers struggle with when dealing with children who frequently make poor choices due to impulsive actions.
Another component that is highly related to impulsiveness is self-control. In other words, individuals who struggle to control themselves may be more likely to commit a crime. The authors of GTC explain that low self-control can be caused by poor management and or criminal parent(s), lack of supervision, and or self-centeredness. Again, the ideas here are similar to the causes of misbehavior in the classroom. It appears that excellent parenting is a primary tool for alleviating delinquent behavior in the classroom.
Another main cause of low self-control is a weak or a lack of social bonds between a youth and friends and family. When youths are attached and committed to the people around them it discourages poor behavior because people generally don’t want to hurt the people they are close to. The same idea applies in the classroom and is one reason why developing relationships with students and parents is often emphasized. Students with strong relationships often do not want to misbehave.
Criminal opportunity is essentially the openings that a delinquent finds to commit a crime. Often, an individual is more likely to commit a crime when there is a lack of supervision and there are easy targets or potential victims around. Naturally, this is what happens in the classroom when students are always looking for opportunities when the teacher is not looking so they can make poor choices.
What this implies is that students need large amounts of attention to maintain proper behavior. Sadly, many students and delinquents come from homes that lack the one-on-one attention they need.
The criminal act is self-explanatory. Examples of criminal acts can be any action that breaks the law. Unlike adults, there are additional offenses that youths can commit and these are status offenses. Status offenses are acts that are legal for adults but illegal for minors such as smoking and drinking.
All of these criminal acts are the result of a combination of impulse control, self-control, social relationships, and opportunity in the context of GTC.
Of course, no single theory can explain everything about any behavior. There are differences in behavior based on race, gender, and other factors when it comes to crime. Despite this, the GTC provides a simplistic overview into what motives criminal behavior.
Learned Needs Theory VIDEO
Learned needs theory is an idea from the business world that will be applied in the educational setting. This theory looks primarily at motivation and more will be explained below.
Developmental theory was developed by Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck back in the 1930s. With this theory, the authors try to explain the dynamics, in terms of the activity level, of a youth in delinquent behaviors. In other words, developmental theory explains delinquent behavior over time rather than why a youth is misbehaving at a given moment. We will look at the concepts of this theory along with its application in the educational setting.
One of the core tenets of developmental theory is the idea that chaos leads to delinquency. When there is a breakdown in the home through divorce or there is death or loss of a job, any of these adverse childhood experiences can lead to delinquency. Even something as mundane as moving can lead to poor behavioral choices. All of the examples above are examples of problem behavior syndrome which is a term used to describe negative events in a young person’s life.
Naturally, this can spill over into the classroom when students are having negative experiences in their personal life it can lead to behavioral problems in school. One danger to be aware of is antisocial behavior. The danger with antisocial behavior is that it is of link with persistent delinquent behavior.
There are also life experiences that can reduce delinquent behavior. Often these are events associated with maturity such as marriage, having children, starting a career, etc. Essentially what happens is that as the youth matures and becomes invested in something or someone the payoff for delinquent behavior is not worth the risk. Another way to view this is that these life experiences are associated with maturity and impulsive behavior naturally declines with age.
Paths to Delinquency
Developmental theory also addresses various pathways to delinquency. There are at least three and they are authority conflict, covert, and overt. Authority conflict is when a youth defies and avoids authority. Most teachers have dealt with students who simply refuse to comply and or avoid dealing with the teacher altogether. In such instances, the youth is heading towards delinquency through conflict with authority.
The covert pathway involves passive-aggressive behavior that is delinquent in nature. By covert, it includes behavior in which the authority and or the victim is unaware of what happened. For example, a student steals something without the other person being aware. With time, covert actions can lead to more serious offenses like breaking into homes.
The overt pathway is minor aggressions that eventually become violent. For example, a youth starts out by pushing other students which could one day lead to assault.
Types of Delinquents
The overall pattern of delinquency of youth varies. Life course persisters start young and continue into adulthood. Adolescent-limited defenders start young and stop once they mature. Other kids do not begin to misbehave until their teen years and they either stop once they mature or continue with poor behavioral choices.
Teachers have also experienced all of these various types of delinquents. Some kids start young while others do not. Some kids stop while others do not. The age at which a youth begins delinquency and whether or not they stop is at least partially related to the tenets that were discussed above.
As educators, we need to be aware of problem behavior syndrome and the negative experiences that kids are having outside the classroom because this may partially explain their behavior in class. In addition, we also need to be aware of how long the child has been delinquent as this can provide insight into what to do to help them.
Differential Association Theory and the Classroom
Differential association theory was Developed by Edwin Sutherland in the 1930s. This particular theory is a part of the social learning school in which youth learn criminal behavior through interacting with others. A youth’s behavior is based on what they see as right and wrong as determined by the actions of others. In his context the focus was delinquency but some of these ideas apply in the classroom as well.
Sutherland explains his theory through several principles. We will look at each of these core principles and connect them to the classroom when appropriate
Principles of Differential Association Theory
Behavior is Learned
Negative behavior such as behaviors associated with criminal activities are learned just as any other behavior is learned. What this implies is that nobody is naturally a criminal but instead is a victim primarily of what they learn. In terms of nature vs nurture, this principle falls squarely in the camp of nurture.
Sutherland’s principle is not without merit. In most classrooms, students are often imitating the behavior of each other and even the teacher. When this happens it can be beneficial when the example provided is positive but can be detrimental when the example is negative.
Learning Happens through Interaction
People learn through interacting with others. What this means is that behavior, such as delinquency, cannot be learned in isolation it takes the support of others. Of course, this denies a person the ability to learn on their own in a self-directed manner. As individuals are socialized they acquire the ability to obey or break rules and laws.
In the classroom, it is common for students to teach each other things that may not be positive in nature. Youths can acquire questionable abilities through poor peer interactions. Therefore, teachers have to remain aware of the students who provide a poor example to others.
Learning is Personal
The closer a youth is to an individual the stronger the influence that person has on a youth’s delinquent behavior. In other words, a corrupt best friend will have more of an influence on a youth’s behavior for worse than a stranger who is an upstanding citizen. The level of intimacy in a relationship is a predictor of delinquent behavior.
In the classroom, children learn from children but they learn best from friends. What this means for the teacher is that they want students to have strong relationships with kids who act appropriately rather than with kids who are having behavioral issues.
Criminal Techniques Require Development
Delinquents are often mentored by a more experienced offender. For example, a youth would need someone to show them how to steal a car or how to sell drugs profitably. In addition, youths need to be socialized into how to deal with the police when interactions occur.
Bad students must also develop skills through mentoring or acceptance. Mentoring can involve how to steal or bully other students without getting caught. Acceptance can involve performing various disruptive behaviors to solicit laughs from other students while in the classroom. For students who need feedback isolation can stifle this process.
Rule Perception and a Child’s Perception
Rule perception is how others view rules. Some people are conscious of rules while others have no respect for rules and have an open disdain for them. For youth, seeing contrasting views on rules can be confusing and lead to internal conflict. The reason for this conflict is that young people haven’t formed their own posirion on following rules and are trying to decide whether or not to follow and take rules seriously.
Children in the classroom face a similar dilemma. They see the teacher stressing obedience, that some of the good kids obey, but that the other kids do not. The final decision a child makes during this conflict can be based on family values and or which peer group the child values more than the other.
Differential Association Varies
Submitting to authority can also depend on the dosage of the relationships a youth has. The dosage of a relationship can be measured in terms of duration, frequency, and intensity. Duration is the length of a relationship. In other words, a long-term friend has more influence on youth than a new friend. Frequency is a measure of how often the youths interact. Someone who sees the youth every day has more influence than someone who sees the youth once a year. Intensity is a measure of the amount of respect the youth has toward the influence. An example would be that a parent has more influence than a friend in most situations.
The same concept mentioned in the previous paragraph applies in the classroom. Long-term friends, who see each other frequently, and with the most respect will shape the behavior of a student the most. Relationships are critical to the formation of positive or negative behaviors.
Lastly, Sutherland claims that good and poor behavior does not have the same source. The only reason for delinquent behavior is what the youth has learned. Being rich or poor doesn’t matter. What really matters is what the youth has learned over time.
Sutherland’s work is highly influential in explaining delinquent behavior. His work provides one viewpoint on the way youth’s go down the wrong path. For teachers, watching the relationships students develop may be key to addressing challenges in the classroom.
Writing a Significance Statement VIDEO
The significance statement of a research paper two important ideas. The video below explains what these two ideas are and how to develop them when writing.
Deterrence and the Classroom
Deterrence theory is a theory found within criminology that states that policies that encourage fear, high risk, and punishment will discourage delinquent behavior. Without knowing it, many teachers support this view in their classroom management philosophy.
In this post, we will look at deterrence theory as defined in criminal justice while providing applications of this approach in the classroom with teachers. For our purpose, there is general deterrence, which is the heart of deterrence and then there are several variations of general deterrence.
General deterrence believes that harsh punishment will reduce crime in society or poor behavior in the classroom. Examples of general deterrence would be mandatory sentences, three-strike laws, etc. In schools, it is common to see zero-tolerance policies for specific behaviors such as drug use.
Despite the best efforts of advocates of general deterrence crime and poor behavior persists. This is due in part to the underlying assumption that delinquents and students are rational individuals who weigh the pros and cons of their actions before doing them. Frequently this is not the case students and people frequently do not think things throw before doing them and this is especially the case when emotions are involved or substance abuse.
In addition, people are often convinced that the odds of getting caught are low and thus they can get away with it. Statistical this is correct as the majority of crimes go unsolved. However, in the context of education, it is generally hard to get away with misbehavior because there are usually only 30-40 suspects when something happens in the classroom.
Lastly, general deterrence when it is working well can overwhelm the system as more and more people are arrested and or placed in a facility. As people are caught it simply strains the system rather than stops crime. In the school, if enough students are breaking strict rules it can strain the administration as they try to process all the kids who are causing problems. This simply moves the chaos from the classroom to the office.
Variations of Deterrence
There are several variations of the implementation of deterrence as well. Specific deterrence focuses on making punishment so horrible that the offenders change their behavior. As already mentioned this often does not work and can harden the youth to resist. In addition, if offenders or bad students are labeled because of their mistakes they may commit themselves to live up to the label or reputation that they have now.
Incapacitation is an implementation strategy that focuses on incarcerating delinquents. The thought is that if the youth is locked up they cannot terrorize the community. In schools, this strategy might manifest itself through suspending and or expelling rowdy students. Within the context of juvenile justice, this approach often does not work due to restrictions on resources and the problem that youth who are locked up are often corrupted within the facilities. For schools, students who are removed simply fall behind academically, and when this happens simply will continue to disrupt the learning experience.
Lastly, situational crime prevention involves removing opportunities and increasing the risk of committing a crime. For example, many homes now have cameras which naturally discourage crime because of the threat of being caught. Within schools, the use of cameras has become ubiquitous as well. This approach leads to the protection of potential victims, increases the effort to get away with delinquency, and prevents any excuses because of the silent witness of video recording.
Deterrence is a view that promotes a tough approach to dealing with disobedience. As with any approach, this style works in some cases and not in others. Since there is no single solution to the problem of delinquency deterrence should be viewed as one of many tools that can be used.
Physiological and Neurological Theories on Delinquency
This post will look at physical and mental reasons for delinquent behavior. The ideas presented here can be useful for teachers who also deal with youths who participate in delinquent behavior.
The biosocial theory of crime is in many ways a spin on the nature vs nurture debate. Supporters of biosocial theory believe that a combination of personality (nature) and environment (nurture) influence delinquent behavior. Such a premise seems reasonable as people have natural talent but they also develop skills and traits based on the environment in which they grow up as a child and beyond. Teachers are aware of this because of the classroom environment that they establish as they train children.
Concerning nurture, genetics have been studied to understand delinquent behavior. Researchers have found strong relationships between parents and children, twins, and siblings in terms of associating with delinquent behaviors. In other words, crime often runs in the family. Of course, there are many instances of people choosing to take their life in a different direction from the example that was set by relatives. Again, many teachers have seen good kids come from bad families and vice versa. Often it seems there is no way to know how a child will turn out when you meet them.
Several factors are related to biosocial theory in terms of the nurture aspects. For example, there have been biochemical arguments made that state that chemical imbalances brought on by a poor diet can contribute to delinquent behavior. These imbalances can cause hormonal issues as well and this can be critically important due to the natural hormonal changes of teenagers. However, it must be mentioned that many people suffer from biochemical imbalances and never commit crimes. Therefore, there must be something else going on to attribute delinquent behavior to.
Many of the ideas related to diet are also related to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If students are not getting enough to eat then studying is almost impossible. The need to provide for these biochemical concerns is perhaps one reason for the school meal programs that are ubiquitous today.
One other theory of delinquent behavior is arousal theory. This theory essentially states that some youth commit crimes for thrill-seeking reasons. In other words, they commit crimes for fun. Teenagers often are seeking new experiences as they push the boundaries of what they’re capable of. In addition, this would also help to explain why kids in stable, comfortable homes act out and make poor choices. Most young people want to have fun and the thrill of crime is one avenue for them to achieve this.
Another theory is tied to evolution. The evolutionary theory of delinquency states that impulsive men are often more successful in reproducing with multiple women due in part to their impulsive and often aggressive behavior. As such, these traits of aggression and unpredictability are passed on to the next generation and this process is repeated. Over time, this leads to a population becoming more and more willing to committ acts of violence and crime
The evolutionary theory is interesting but seems difficult to prove conclusively as there may be no known way to test this experimentally. In many ways, this is another variation of focusing on nature as the cause of delinquent behavior
The takeaway for teachers is that there are multiple reasons why a youth may become a delinquent. In addition, given the multitude of explanations, it appears that there is not a great deal of agreement on what motivates youth to participate in delinquent acts.
Student Behavioral Self-Modification VIDEO
Behavioral self-modification is about empowering students to understand what their problems are and allowing them to solve them. In the video below, we will look at how to guide students through the process of self-management.
Writing a Purpose Statement VIDEO
A purpose statement is a critical component of the introduction of a research paper. In the video below you will learn about how to write this statement for your own research
Focal Concerns and the Classroom
Focal concerns is a theory developed by Walter Miller in the late 1950s that tries to explain cultural deviance among criminals and delinquents. Miller’s work was focused specifically on cultural deviance among the poor. In his work, he found several cultural values of the poor that he believes contribute to violent and illegal behavior. Below is a list of the focal concerns he found
These concerns may not only explain criminal behavior but may be useful in understanding misbehavior in the classroom as well.
According to Miller, among the lower class, the ability to cause and deal with trouble is an important value or focal concern. Drug use, alcohol abuse, and promiscuity are all ways of making trouble. Dealing with trouble is also valued. For example, being able to handle one’s self in a physical altercation or deceive someone are ways of garnering respect.
Within the classroom, there are always students who pride themselves on causing trouble. TO frustrate the teacher and other students is a form of prestige and pride for the problem student. Therefore, what a teacher needs to do is remove the honor of causing trouble for a student who is seeking the prestige of causing trouble. For example, a teacher who does not get upset when a student’s poor behavior is denying that student the prestige of angering the teacher. In the field of behavioral psychology, this is called extinction.
Toughness is focused on physical prowess and emotional control. In general, this focal concern is focused on males. Male members of the lower class who can attain physical strength along with some degree of stoicism garner more respect than males who cannot do this.
The same idea applies in the classroom. At least on the surface, many disruptive male students want to show how strong and un-feminine they are. A student might demonstrate their toughness by how they respond to discipline. By laughing or appearing in different the student is exerting indifference and perhaps flippancy in the face of extreme punishment.
Smartness relates to knowing how to survive on the streets. This is more of a passive-aggressive skill in that it is defined as being able to outsmart or out-con an individual rather than face them head-on in a confrontation. For example, a delinquent might be tough but stupid, and vice versa. Smartness is a skill of deception rather than raw power.
Smartness in the classroom might be a student who is skilled at getting away with something or who knows how to do the minimum while still getting the grades they want. A student with smartness is annoying to a teacher, especially one who wants to teach the student a lesson.
Excitement, according to Miller, is a desire for fun. Excitement is not a focal concern of just the lower class but perhaps of people in general. It seems that everybody wants to have a good time. Perhaps the difference might be in how the lower class has fun compared to other socioeconomic groups.
All kids want to have fun but the difference for the disruptive student is how much fun they want to have. Often difficult students have a higher need for fun compared to other students which are why they are causing problems in the classroom. The problems and fights with the teacher are fun for some students.
Fate is a superstitious view of the world. For example, some are lucky and some are not. There is no rhyme or reason to the world in terms of success. There is little concern for fairness in this supposed fundamental belief of criminals and the poor.
Fate is an idea that students of users when they get caught doing something inappropriate. They will blame their downfall not on the evil act they committed but on the fact that the teacher got lucky when they caught the,. This is a way of excusing poor behavior as acceptable.
Autonomy is not independence from bad luck but rather an independence from those with authority. Autonomy essentially means not having to obey anybody especially individuals outside of the local hierarchy. Therefore, resisting the police is a way to protect one’s autonomy
In the classroom, students are frequently concerned with having some sort of autonomy. When students break rules it is because he or she wants to do something instead of following rules. One strategy to deal with this is to use reverse psychology on the student and respect their autonomy. Autonomy is not bad but misguided. Giving the student choice for good and bad behavior is a way to encourage cooperation while still respecting the need for autonomy.
Miller’s works are considered outdated today. This is because of the push and desire for racial and gender equality and that poverty cannot be attributed to socioeconomic status. Whatever the case focal concerns provide another avenue for encouraging childhood disobedience.
Behavior Modification and Students VIDEO
Students often have attitudes and demonstrate bad behavior. When teachers face this one strategy to solve this problem is behavior modification. In the video below several examples of behavior modification are shared along with other tips for supporting behavioral change if students
Types of Planning
Planning is a critical part of the educational process. Teachers plan every day what they will do. Administrators might actually do more planning than the teachers at times. Due to the nature of their position, leaders need to make many different types of plans to guide their institutions. In this post, we will look at some of the different types of plans that are used by institutions.
Hierarchical plans are plans that have levels to them. There are several types of hierarchical plans. Some of the hierarchical plans include strategic administrative and operating plans. Each of these plans serves a specific purpose within an institution.
Strategic plans explain the general position of the school in terms of mission and vision. The strategic plan may also include a philosophy statement of what the institution is about. This is perhaps the highest level at which planning can take place. In addition, most accreditation agencies expect some sort of mission and vision statement along with evidence of how these statements are communicated to shareholders.
The administrative plan is for determining the allocation of resources within an institution. Another way to see this is the administrative plan explains how resources are distributed for the achievement of the mission and vision statement of the strategic plan. The purpose behind this is that resources must be shared to achieve the mission statement of the institution and thus the strategic plan guides the administrative plan which is focused on implementation.
Lastly, the operating plan deals with the day-to-day running of the institution. After the vision is set, and the resources are distributed, the operating plan uses the resources daily. This can include salaries, lesson plan development, grade submission, activities for students, etc.
Frequency of use plans
There are of course other plans besides the hierarchical plans mentioned above. Another type is frequency of use plans. These are plans that are referred to often in the day-to-day of the institution. Standing plans include the rules, policies, and procedures of an organization. Policies guide decision-making and guide behavior. Examples can include policies and professional development which are often not rigid and can be negotiated with the school or committee in charge of this process.
Rules are stricter than policies and remove the interpretation that can happen under policies. For example, it might be a rule that teachers can only spend a certain amount of money on travel per year. Lastly, Procedures specify steps to take to complete a task, such as logging into the institution’s email system.
Some plans might only be used once. These can include budgets that are used once a year and then updated. Other examples can be plans for a project which has a specific start and end date. Once the project is over the plan will probably not be reused again.
There are also several other miscellaneous plans. Time-frame plans are plans based on the duration of the plan. Short plans are less than a year and an example would be most lesson planning. Medium plans last up to five years and are generally institutional-level plans to meet accreditation expectations. Lastly, long-term plans are over five years in length and are generally long-term development plans for an institution.
Plans can also be focused within a specific scope of the institution. There could be specific plans for various departments within a school. In addition, plans might only involve specific stakeholders. For example, there might be plans that only affect teachers or only affects students. Lastly, there are also contingency plans which are plans that usually deal with emergencies such as fires or natural disasters.
Planning is always going to be a major responsibility of institutions as they look for ways to support their stakeholders. The examples shared here are probably plans that many have made before but may not know the exact terminology involved. Therefore, hopefully, what was shared here is insightful.
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Brief History of Status Offenses in the US
Status offenses are behaviors and or conduct that is illegal for a child because they are considered underage. In this post, we will look at examples of status offenses as well as the history and development of the concept of status offenses.
Examples of status offenses in the US include alcohol and drug consumption, truancy, running away, curfew violations, sexual activity, profanity use, and disobedience to parents. These are all actions that are not illegal for adults to do. It is obvious that an adult can run away if they so choose, use profanity, and or disobey their parents.
However, even among adults, there can be consequences for these actions. For example, alcohol and drug consumption may be legal for adults but losing control can impact friends, family, and job performance which could lead to major problems. In addition, using profanity at the wrong time can lead to social consequences. Truancy from the job could also lead to termination. In other words, even though adults have free reign to perform status offenses there could be problems with these behaviors that may not involve the law.
History of Status Offenses
In the US, it was common at one time to place status offenders in orphanages or some other residential setting. Laws were even passed to deal with rebellious children. For example, Massachusetts passed a law in 1646 that could give a rebellious child the death penalty for defying their parents.
Status offenders normally are not petitioned to a juvenile court unless the parents are unable to deal with the child. This is in line with the state serving as a parental figure or parens patriae. Parents themselves can petition their own children to juvenile court if the behavior is out of control.
Children who are only status offenders are referred to by various names depending on the state. Some of the acronyms are “children in need of supervision” (CHINS), “minors in need of supervision” (MINS), or “youth in need of supervision” (YINS) among several others. The reason behind this labeling is so that status offenders are not associated with juvenile delinquents. In addition, status offenders are generally treated less harshly than juvenile delinquents due to the nature of the behaviors they are accused of committing.
There have been pushes to make changes to status offenses. Some do not believe that youths should have to obey laws that adults do not have to obey. Others have pushed for reform in the language that defines status offenses. At one time, there were demands that status offenders should not be placed in secure facilities given the nature of their crimes.
For the Teacher
As a teacher, it is important to know that most youths are guilty of status offenses. As such, those who are taken to juvenile court are probably in poor family situations in which the behavior attracts the police and or was in the wrong place at the wrong time. At most schools today you will find status offenses taking place. It would be difficult to find a school in which drug use, profanity, sexual activity, and more are not happening.
The general point is that for the teacher, status offenses may indicate an unstable home environment. If a student is in this situation the teacher needs to provide whatever support they can that is reasonable to help this student so that they do not drop out and or fall behind academically.
Mistakes are what people do. Children are no exception. However, due to their age and inexperience, young people have additional rules and laws they have to follow for their own safety. Status offenses are additional restraints placed on youth because of their youth. When children break the rules there is a chance that they can be brought before a juvenile court.
Historical Ways of Supporting Children
Today there is a huge industry that looks to support children from unfortunate backgrounds. These can be kids who come from broken homes, have learning disabilities, and or from a generally poor background. Whatever the case, these problems have been around in one way or another for a long time. In this post, we will look at how such unfortunate were supported in the past.
During the Middle Ages, families in Europe were primarily patriarchal in nature. The father had a great degree of authority over his family. Among the poor, most children had to endure harsh discipline and no real sense of childhood. As soon as possible a child was expected to work and help the family. Boys would learn blue-collar skills such as farming or blacksmith while girls would learn domestic skills such as cooking and caring for children.
Among the wealthy things were slightly better. Wealthy children received a superior education being able to study such things as the classics and Latin. Boys of the upper class would focus on warfare while girls would continue to develop domestic skills. One thing the rich had in common with the poor was harsh discipline.
Things Begin to Change
During the Enlightenment, there are some changes to the structure of the family. The extended family gave way to the nuclear family. Schools become more common and even higher education becomes something that the middle class can take advantage of.
Various thought leaders (could philosophers in those days) began to share new views on child-rearing. Rousseau, Lock, and Voltaire all spoke of “childhood” as a unique part of life and how there should be more leniency in disciplining children. The ideas of childhood being a separate part of life and the need for different methods of disciplining children would influence reforms in juvenile justice.
Supporting Unfortunate Children
During this same time of the Enlightenment, there were several efforts to support poor or disadvantaged children. England had poor laws which allowed a family to care for a neglected child and teach them a trade. The neglected child had no choice and had to work for this family. An entire industry sprang up to identify children who were neglected. Naturally, there were times when this system was abused by the family and even by the children at times.
Another similar way of supporting children was apprenticeships. It’s hard to tell the difference between poor laws and apprenticeships. The main difference may be that apprenticeships were available to anybody and not just poor children.
Both poor laws and apprenticeships were used in Europe and the USA. Such a system helps to keep kids off the street and gives them a skill by which they can support themselves and maybe a family one day. Eventually, this system of supporting young people would give way as many master craftsmen were put out of business by the rise of factories which negated the need for an apprentice. Children could skip this process and go straight to the factories to work and this is what happen for several decades before laws were passed to require school attendance.
Children will always make mistakes and challenge authority. However, the blatant disrespect of today was not found in the past. The harsh discipline that children experienced during the Middle Ages helped to temper disrespectful behavior. Of course, children were still found to commit crimes and hurt each other but the contempt for authority was not as strong as is found today.
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Planning Process of Managers
In this post, we will look at planning from the perspective of business managers. The five-step process below explains how managers plan. While considering this we will look at how teachers address planning in a slightly different way.
- Developing Awareness of Current Situation
Before plans can be made a manager must be aware of the current state of the context. Developing this knowledge of the current state of the situation is called developing awareness. It is hard to plan when one does not know what is already going on. Within education, a needs assessment is sometimes used to develop a map of the current challenges the institution is facing
Once a manager has an idea of what is going on within the setting for which they are needed for decision making they can now move to actually develop a plan.
2. Establishing Outcome(s)
Step two involves making outcome statements. Outcome statements explain where the team is trying to go or is heading. These statements are end statements that indicate how things should be different once the plan is over. An example of an outcome statement would be “improving customer retention by ten percent.” This statement clearly has something that can be measured and thus can be used as an outcome.
In education, it is common for teachers to have goals and objectives. Goals tend to be broader and unmeasurable but still serve the function of guiding a teacher. A simple example of a goal would be “be the best.” On the surface, this statement does not have meaning have much meaning but it does establish a general sense of direction. Objectives are much more narrow but easily measured. An example of an objective would be “after training, the salesmen in appliances will boost sales of appliances by 10% within 6 months. In this example, everything seems to be laid out. When planning is focused on goals and action it is called goal planning.
Premising involves analyzing the assumptions that managers have about the current plan. In addition, premising can be used to determine what resources and materials are needed to complete the plan.
For example, a manager is planning to place their kitchen supplies on sale. Obviously, the manager is assuming they have enough supply of kitchen supplies that a sale is warranted. In addition, the manager is also assuming they can advertise on the days they want. These assumptions need to be checked because assuming them could be disastrous.
In education premising is not as common in the middle of the context as it is in the very first step.
4. Course of Action
In step 4, a manager starts to determine how to move their team from the current state to the outcome state. This can involve creating action statements which are statements that indicate the way a goal will be achieved. For example, if an organization is trying to boost sales an action statement might involve sending people for training in new products. In other words, product training is the action for achieving the outcome of increased sales.
The ideas in this process are highly similar to what is done in education. Instead of an action statement. The main difference is terminology in which education is focused on objectives while management is focused on action statements.
5. Supportive Plans
Supportive plans are additional plans that help to achieve a larger plan. For example, it was mentioned how workers might need training to boost sales. Boosting sales is the main plan but it might be needed to make a supportive plan to get workers trained on new products.
Teachers might make supportive plans on accident and probably don’t see or consider them as supportive plans. For example, if a teacher is teaching math that is too difficult for the students, the teacher might make a supportive plan to provide remedial reteaching to help catch the students up.
Planning is a critical part of management. Teaching involves extensive planning. The goal here was simply to show a different way of planning as derived from the business world. The ideas presented here may be useful for some.
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Probation Services for Juveniles
Probation is a form of supervision for juveniles who are not required to stay in detention. When a youth is on probation they are supervised by an individual called a probation officer in most instances. The probation officer will do what is called a social history investigation in which they learn about the background of the youth who is on probation. The investigation can include such information as the crimes the youth committed, a list of friends and relatives, and demographic information.
Probation can serve many different purposes. For youths who did something wrong but it is not considered that serious by the local authorities, probation is the punishment for a crime committed. Probation is also for youths who may be facing a more serious punishment but are out on “bail” while they await their fate. Probation can also serve as a form of parole in some situations for youths who are being released from “prison” for whatever offense they committed. When a youth is released to a probation officer’s supervision this is also called aftercare.
While the youth is on probation certain rules have to be followed. Some of these rules include curfews, restrictions on travel, school attendance, and attending meetings with the probation officer. Failure to comply with these rules could lead to a warrant being issued for the arrest of the youth and possible placement in detention.
School is where teachers may be involved. It is not unheard of for probation officers to visit schools and talk to teachers. The probation officer may ask about attendance and or about academic progress as the are metrics for determining if the youth is cooperating or not.
Certain additional actions may be required as well. For example, at times youth are required to do community service, provide restitution to whoever was the victim of their crimes, and or undergo counseling. What forms of actions the youth has to perform really depends on the scope of the crimes they are accused of.
Philosophies on Supervision
Different states and people within juvenile justice have varying views on the role of probation. Some see probation as being a balanced approach between punishment and restorative views. In the minds of people who believe in a balanced approach, they are looking for probation to provide competency development, acountability, and community safety. An important function in a balanced approach would be community service as it holds a youth responsibility while also restoring community relationships.
Others hold to a punitive model, in this approach the goal is to punish the offender. Such a get-tough approach could involve the probation officer and even police coming to the youth’s home and explaining the rules of probation along with the consequences. The probation team may even search the home of the youth looking for violations of probation. Naturally, this approach often builds animosity between the youth and the probation officer.
Another view is called restorative justice. This approach involves a focus on repairing relationships within the community through mediation and meetings between the victim and perpetrator. The real goal of this approach is to empower the local community to deal with the inappropriate behavior of their youth. As such, this is often a team of probation and local community leaders who work together to help young people who have made mistakes. This approach sounds good on paper but the decline in community responsibility over the years makes it difficult to implement.
Probation has been around for over 100 years and is not going anywhere anytime soon. As such, there is a place for all of these approaches yet none have been consistently found to be superior to any other. Therefore, different approaches are appropriate for different situations.
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Teachers may have to deal with students who have made major mistakes and are sent away for breaking the law. This post will provide insights into youths who are sent to these training schools because of mistakes they have made. Teachers, who have to deal with this have to be aware of the challenges of this young person as their life is put on hold for several months if not years.
State Training Schools
State training schools are the juvenile name for prison. Essentially, delinquents are sent her after their petition is found true (found guilty) and their disposition (sentencing) calls for this. Often these schools are built like adult prisons but sometimes a cottage system approach is used in which there is a form of dormitory style of living. The approach depends on the philosophy of the state of incarceration.
Within training schools, there is often an emphasis on academic and or vocational training. Other programs available can be remedial academic skills, life skills, and behavioral subjects such as anger management, drug abuse, and other programs. The primary goal is always to empower the delinquent to not return to the system by breaking the law again.
Some schools also place a strong emphasis on behavior modification. This can involve some sort of point system for desired behaviors. Examples include lining up properly, getting out of bed on time, etc. These points can be used for various privileges such as phone calls, watching tv, or some other desirable opportunity.
Profile of Typical Resident
Delinquents who are placed in state training schools often have certain characteristics. For example, mental health is a major concern. Approximately 70% of youths in the juvenile justice system have mental health concerns. Examples include depression, anger, and anxiety, to name a few. These problems are further exacerbated for students placed in a training school as placement in such a facility is usually due to serious infractions of the law.
The challenges with mental health can lead to serious repercussions such as suicide. The majority of juvenile suicides in confinement happen inside training schools. The most common method is hanging.
Youths who experience residential placement are also at a higher risk of victimization from other youths in the facility. Youths in placement fear such things as being attacked by other youths or even by staff members. Sexual assault is another concern of youth that can be perpetrated by other youths or staff members. Victimization can be further complicated by racial tension. Youths from different ethnicities will target and attack one another.
A unique problem of training schools is a lack of heterosexual physical contact. Researchers have found that youths will temporarily switch to same-sex companionship while at the training school to deal with this situation. Naturally, this is a controversial topic but there is some evidence to support this has happened in the past.
There have been calls to close down training schools. The argument is that they are an outdated form of helping delinquents who need intervention. However, there is room in the system for a variety of ways to help delinquents learn from their mistakes. Training schools are one method that is appropriate in some situations. It is equally harmful to remove training schools just as it is to send every youth to one of these whose mistakes warrant such an intervention.