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Haim Ginott - Congruent Communication

A summary of Haim Ginott's model of behaviour management and its application in the classroom.
by

Ellen O'Connor

on 1 April 2011

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Transcript of Haim Ginott - Congruent Communication

Haim Ginott
(1922-1973) Praise, like penicillin, must not be administered haphazardly. There are rules and cautions that govern the handling of potent medicines - rules about timing and dosage, cautions about possible allergic reactions. There are similar regulations about the administration of emotional medicine. (Ginott, 1965, p. 39) Congruent Communication The Perils of Praise Teachers have a choice... or like this: their class can look like this: "I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather... I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable of joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration."
Ginott, 1972, pp. 15-16 KEY IDEAS The Paradox of Classroom Management Sane Messages "At their best, teachers address themselves to a child's situation. At their worst, they judge his character and personality. This, in essence, is the difference between effective and ineffective communication" 1. address the situation, not the student
2. use 'I' messages
3. labelling is disabling Student wellbeing is fostered:
* autonomy
* self esteem
* communicative efficacy

Teachers are modelling self-discipline to students.

Encourages student self-direction and empowerment

Lures students into learning (rather than commanding) No negative consequences for disruptive behaviour.

Teachers need to master a whole new personality and language.

Relies on students being able to make reasoned judgements.

Won't work instantenously EXAMPLES Response: "It is too well done to be erased... My compliments to the talented caricaturist"
This teacher demonstrated maturity. He took no personal offense at the biting picture. He was not hurt by a child's prank. He did not look for the culprit, nor did he try to shame him. He avoided fruitless preaching and moralizing. Instead, he encouraged creativity and showed respect for art.
Ginott, 1972, p. 44 Situation: two students are fighting over a pencil in class Response: "I heard both of you. And I don't like what I heard. Let ME have this object of contention. Meantime, here is a pencil for you and a pencil for you. Please decide after class whose pencil it is. And now, back to work. Situation: the teacher enters the classroom to find a strikingly accurate caricature of himself drawn on the board by a student. Situation: two girls are passing notes to one another in class The teacher confiscated the note, read that it contained vulgar expletives directed at him, and lost his temper: "I want to see your parents and tell them what a disgusting daughter they brought up" Ginott's response: "[Note passing] may be disruptive, but it is not a crime... Intercepted notes can be destroyed without being read by the teacher... [it] is not intended for his eyes. A teacher should not demonstrate unseemly conduct." Situation: You notice a student has a book that the librarian has been asking about for weeks. Ginott's response: "Your book needs to be returned to the library. It's overdue"
(NOT: "Why are you so forgetful with books?) Situation: a student is repeatedly and loudly clicking their pen in class Response: "The noise is annoying. It needs to stop if we are to concentrate in this class"
(NOT: "You, stop clicking it") "Evaluative praise is destructive. Appreciative praise is constructive" Congruent Communication = "communication that is harmonious with students' feelings about situations and themselves"
(Charles, 2011, p. 68) CONCLUSION You can choose the type of classroom manager you want to be...
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