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Classroom Misbehavior: A Possible Explanation

Classroom Misbehavior: A Possible Explanation

Child abuse and neglect create serious abnormalities that can last into adulthood. This “rewiring” of the brain can foster aggression, poor emotional control, personality disorders, and/or memory and attention impairment (Martin Teicher, Cerebrum, 2000).

Poor development of the usually dominant left, verbal hemisphere may impair someone’s ability "to use language and reason to control their emotions.” The right hemisphere, "the more emotional one," is relied on more.

For millions of American children, the world they encounter is relentlessly menacing and hostile. So, with astounding speed and efficiency, their brains adapt in an effort to protect them by preparing them for battle. Cells rewire trillions of connections that create the chemical pathways to aggression (Ronald Kotulak, Science Writer Chicago Tribune, 1996).

There has been a revolution in parental attitudes towards teachers and schools. There is less respect for them. Parents are going to schools acting like lawyers or agents for their kids (William Damon, Director, Stanford University Center on Adolescence).

The "my kid" is right or wrong approach reflects a compensatory urge, prompted by guilt over long hours away from youngsters. Parents spend 11 fewer hours a week with kids than in 1960 (National Research Council 1999 report).

The changing legal climate is a key factor in encouraging parental activism (Marily Elias, USA 2000).

Good judgment has been thrown out the window. Now, schools either cave in to parental pressure or come down like a ton of bricks on the kid (with zero tolerance) and the big loser is the children (William Damon, 2000). Today’s students simply model their parents’ behavior by challenging authority, disrespecting teachers, or rationalizing misbehavior.

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