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New Book Releases in K-12 Discipline

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Contributed by guest blogger Ellen Wexler.

The fact that little girls behave better than little boys is now backed up by statistical evidence—but this finding isn't terribly surprising.

What is surprising is that elementary school girls are getting better grades than elementary school boys as a result of their good behavior, even when boys score higher on standardized tests.

This research comes from a study by Christopher Cornwell and David Mustard at the University of Georgia, and Jessica Van Parys at Columbia University, which is published in the Journal of Human Resources. The study analyzed 5,800 children from kindergarten through 5th grade, comparing their scores on standardized tests with assessments by their teachers. The researchers found that boys' grades were lower than their standardized test scores would predict in every subject area.

"It's human nature for teachers to reward those who make their lives easier in the classroom, even if it is subconscious," said American University professor David Sadker, an expert in gender and education issues who was quoted in a Reuters article about the study.

Perhaps more purposeful and practical strategies for dealing with students' unruly behavior are in order—and a number of new releases offer this type of advice. These authors instruct teachers on how to deal with students' behavioral problems and include activities to promote order and respect within the classroom.

New Releases in Discipline:

Bullying Interventions in Schools: Six Basic Approaches, by Ken Rigby (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) examines forms of bullying, possible methods of intervention, and both the strengths and limitations of various approaches.

Character Compass: How Powerful School Culture Can Point Students Toward Success, by Scott Seider, foreword by Howard Gardner (Harvard Education Press, 2012) profiles three schools in Boston and explains how each school took a different approach to character education, focusing on the development of moral, civic, or performance character.

In Elements of Discipline: Nine Principles for Teachers and Parents, by Stephen Greenspan, foreword by Arnold J. Sameroff (Temple University Press, 2013), the author presents his "ABC Theory of Discipline": a combination of an affective approach, behavioral approach, and cognitive approach to maintaining discipline. The book includes a chapter on each approach as well as a number of case studies.

More Than a Test Score: Strategies for Empowering Youth at Risk, by Melinda Strickland (Rowman and Littlefield, 2012) emphasizes that students are unique, complex individuals, and explains how teachers should treat them as such. Strickland encourages educators to empower their students and implement strategies to help them in their academic, behavioral, and social development.

No More "Us" and "Them": Classroom Lessons and Activities to Promote Peer Respect, by Lesley Roessing, foreword by Edward N. Brazee (R&L Education, 2012) provides a variety of lesson and activity ideas that will help teachers promote respect and acceptance in their classrooms. Brazee categorizes the ideas into subject areas such as social studies, math, and foreign languages.

Recognize and Respond to Emotional and Behavioral Issues in the Classroom: A Teacher's Guide, by Andrew Jonathan Cole and Aaron M. Shupp (Paul H. Brooks Publishing, 2012) addresses specific emotional and behavioral problems and instructs teachers on how to implement strategies to deal with each. For each behavioral problem, the authors provide a case study, a description of the problem, suggestions for how to respond, and a brief section on what to expect in the future.

Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education, by Peter Senge, Nelda Cambron-McCabe, Timothy Lucas, Bryan Smith, Janis Dutton, and Art Kleiner (Random House, 2012) is the revised edition of a 2000 book, focusing on issues that have arisen between then and now, such as increased diversity and expanding technology.

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