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Author: Dr. Ross W. Greene
Hardcover: 303 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Frequent visits to the principal's office. Detentions. Suspensions. Expulsions. These are the established tools of school discipline for kids who don't abide by school rules, have a hard time getting along with other kids, don't seem to respect authority, don't seem interested in learning, and are disrupting the learning of their classmates. But there's a big problem with these strategies: They are ineffective for most of the students to whom they are applied.
It's time for a change in course.
Here, Dr. Ross W. Greene presents an enlightened, clear-cut, and practical alternative. Relying on research from the neurosciences, Dr. Greene offers a new conceptual framework for understanding the difficulties of kids with behavioral challenges and explains why traditional discipline isn't effective at addressing these difficulties. Emphasizing the revolutionarily simple and positive notion that kids do well if they can, he persuasively argues that kids with behavioral challenges are not attention-seeking, manipulative, limit-testing, coercive, or unmotivated, but that they lack the skills to behave adaptively. And when adults recognize the true factors underlying difficult behavior and teach kids the skills in increments they can handle, the results are astounding: The kids overcome their obstacles; the frustration of teachers, parents, and classmates diminishes; and the well-being and learning of all students are enhanced.
In Lost at School, Dr. Greene describes how his road-tested, evidence-based approach -- called Collaborative Problem Solving -- can help challenging kids at school.
Backed by years of experience and research, and written with a powerful sense of hope and achievable change, Lost at School gives teachers and parents the realistic strategies and information to impact the classroom experience of every challenging kid.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Do you believe that kids do as well as they are able or as well as they want to? Dr. Ross Greene believes that kids do as well as they are able and oftentimes, adults treat the problem as if the kids are wanting to misbehave. The truth is that kids who have the most behavioral challenges do so because they lack the skills necessary to behave appropriately and the disciplinary actions most often taken -- suspension or detention for school, or grounding, loss of privileges, etc. for home -- don't make a difference because while they reinforce what kids are doing wrong, they're not showing kids how to change their behavior.
That is where collaborative problem solving, or Plan B comes in. It functions to address the concerns of both adult and child, teaches children problem solving skills, and allows both adult and child to be heard.
I really like what Greene is saying and he explains everything in a way that makes sense -- I think that schools and even parents can really benefit from reading this book and taking its advice to heart. I use the collaborative problem solving strategy with many of the students that I tutor, and I've seen great results from it. If nothing else, giving them a voice in the conversation and letting them tell you why they're acting the way they are is a powerful tool for building a relationship.
Lost at School is easy to follow and pretty much covers everything, from what Plan B is and the theory behind it, to addressing all sorts of common questions that may come up. I did find the "real-life" conversations and story annoying and tedious to get through -- they were too scripted and perfect to allow me to see how the theory actually worked in a real-life situation.
But I do suggest that you take a look at this if you work with kids and have to deal with discipline. I could see it being especially helpful for school personnel and parents.