- Embracing a habit of mapping behavior can help educators adopt less punitive approaches to handling and correcting the actions of challenging students, an Edutopia article suggests.
- With mapping behavior, educators draw a map of their classroom and trace their paths during typical pedagogy, noting spots where they typically stop, where they speed up or pace, where they tend to raise their voice, the directions they glance, how they breathe, and any recurrent thoughts they have.
- Using the data from the map, educators can then evaluate their own behavior and compare it against student behavior when they give students an assignment that allows them to become an "invisible teacher," monitoring students as they work and observing what needs exist in that setting.
The idea here is that situations in which an educator is the center of attention provoke challenging students to engage in common attention-seeking behavior, and that mapping can help teachers manage their reactions and avoid those scenarios.
Nationwide, schools and districts are rethinking their approaches to discipline in an attempt to curb the school-to-prison pipeline, a phenomenon that has seen "zero-tolerance" policies push more students into the juvenile — and, later, adult — justice systems. All the more alarming is research showing that it has disproportionately impacted students of color and those with disabilities.
Also popular in those efforts have been approaches that include restorative justice, which seeks to have students talk out their actions with their peers, make apologies and resolve underlying issues rather than removing them from the classroom.