Non-Confrontational Classroom Technique
National Council for Staff, Program and Organizational Development
A Non-Confrontational Classroom Technique (Behavioral Modification)
Jim Ingles, Hawkeye Community College, IA
To provide an alternative method for handling classroom confrontation.
A tactful approach to classroom confrontations is simple and takes little practice to develop.
Simply validate the issue, concern, or defensive statement by the student.
Validating may be done in a number of ways:
Validation is critical. It breaks down, or eliminates the human defense mechanism and enhances acceptance of the viewpoint that you are providing. It is much more effective to allow individuals the opportunity to decide for themselves what is right or wrong. If your goal is to prove someone wrong, this method will likely be ineffective.
Present new information. Now that an individual's defensive notions are set aside, you will have more acceptance of what it is you are trying to achieve. Students are now able to think over the issue/situation with a more open mind. The likelihood of conversion to your view will be greater.
Note: This technique has been adapted from a First Offenders program for convicted drunk drivers. Using the behavior modification technique is the first time in history that we have been able to change the drinking behaviors of persons that have been drinking and then get in a vehicle and drive. It is more important to offer alternative solutions rather than defend or try to prove a point or issue, or prove another individual wrong. This technique is not new and it can be applied to numerous other situations. Again, the key is validation, and not confrontation. Assessment of this teaching technique becomes evident with use. The results show as behavioral changes in students.