NOTA Wales National Conference 25th March 2014
Siarad Da presented a work shop at NOTA Wales Conference. The conference was attended by probation and youth justice officers, social workers, therapists and risk management professionals. The workshop introduced communication components, signs and symptoms and strategies to help offenders better engage and benefit from interventions offered. Offenders with these support needs are disadvantaged in participation in prevention and rehabilitation programmes. Dr April May Kitchener is an Educationalist specialising in working with vulnerable offenders and those at risk of offending
Following a Red Top newspaper carrying a front page story about the practice of one primary school head teacher to hang a plaque around the neck of young boys going to the toilet as discipline for all those boys ‘missing the target’. Siarad Da were asked to take part in a discussion about this approach to ‘discipline’.
Many callers, to the Oliver Hines programme, claimed that ‘discipline’ in schools had disappeared. Retelling their experiences of ‘the dap’ or ‘the cane’ and how ‘…it didn’t do me any harm…’ Comments from callers included ‘…teachers should have more power to use discipline…’
Dr Kitchener, suggested we should consider using the term ‘behaviour management’ instead of discipline, describing how the word ‘discipline’ conjures up images that are aimed at causing pain and fear in students, as retold by many callers. Instead schools should be teaching children to manage their own behaviour and helping teachers to develop strategies that included working with parents and students to look at ways forward. She suggested that a change of vocabulary may also encourage those teachers who still discipline by bullying and ridiculing students to rethink their practice and discover positives strategies to help students learn to manage their behaviour.
This topic may need a wider discussion, what do you think?