The research basis of this article is all US-focussed, but it makes some interesting points. As alternatives to a punishment or ‘zero-tolerance’ approach, Russ Skiba recommends:
1. Talk to the student about the harm that his or her behavior has caused, rather than about the rules that were violated.
2. As a consequence of misbehavior, make students responsible for repairing the damage.
3.Use a non-threatening tone in private talks with the misbehaving student.
4. Build relationships with disruptive students by asking about their out-of-school interests and what things they like to do in school.
5. If bullying causes disruptions, watch Dr. Michele Borba’s 20-minute video, “Six R’s that Reduce Bullying.”
6. Provide students with specific feedback about their behaviors and social skills.
7. Find out what resources your state has for fostering Dignity in Schools.
8. Because misbehavior occurs in instances where students are bored or overwhelmed, differentiate instruction so that students feel appropriately challenged.
9. Teach students peer mediation so that they can constructively manage their own conflicts.