Post date: Aug 3, 2018 1:37:05 AM





Adolescence is considered the most crucial transition period in human development. According to Psychology Today, adolescence can be a time of both discovery and disorientation and this transition period can bring up issues of independence and self-identity. A dramatic increase in the amount of time spent with peers often occurs during adolescent stage. Thus, young people’s desire to be accepted by peers or to fit-in leads these teens in doing things that they know are wrong, dangerous and risky or on the contrary, it could inspire them to achieve goals that they might never aim for on their own.

Antisocial behaviors have been eminently observed among adolescents nowadays. At school, students’ behaviors can abruptly change because of negative peer influences. One of the top concerns faced by teachers day by day in the school is the increasing number of antisocial students. Some say that it must be an upshot of the changing society predominantly influenced by media and technological advancements. In many schools in the Philippines, there were several reported crimes committed by students inside and outside the school and it is unceasingly increasing. The situation even put anxiety among teachers because in some reported cases, teachers were harmed and worst, were killed by students.

According to Dr. Jose Rizal, the youths are the hope of the nation. They were perceived to be the generation who can uplift the weakening stability of the society. However, this powerful statement became confounded because youths today turned out to be highly vulnerable. They became susceptible to various detrimental factors that totally thwarts them from being what they were anticipated to be.

Schools specifically teachers and guidance counselors play a major role in helping the youth to realize their purpose and reach a holistic development so they can become the hope of the nation that they were envisioned to be. It is the role of every teacher and guidance advocates to determine the impediments in the process of achieving holistic development including academic and behavioral aspects among students. The school, as an agent of change, should distinctively act on addressing this concern regarding antisocial behaviors among young individuals. It has been the goal of the Department of Education to provide teachers who can help these students to become caring, capable and resilient adults. The question is how teachers ought to do it?

On November 2015, the Department of Education collaborated with E-Net Philippines and Save the Children Philippines to create a Primer for Filipino Teachers on Positive Discipline in Everyday Teaching. The goal of the primer is to help teachers apply a positive discipline approach in classroom management and handling encountered problems among students. Positive Discipline is an approach to teaching that helps students succeed by giving them the information they need to learn and supporting their holistic development. It respects students’ rights to healthy development, protection from violence, and active participation in their learning. It provides guidance on how to respond to common classroom situations especially dealing with problem behaviors using Positive Discipline. The primer also highlighted the prohibition of corporal punishment as mandated by Department Order 40, s.2012.

Here are excerpts from the Positive Discipline in Everyday Teaching (PDET) approach;

Ø IDENTIFYING LONG-TERM GOALS – to be able to help students to become compassionate, capable and resilient adults, the teacher must be considerate of the kind of people he or she wants his or her students to become, and to use everyday interactions with them in school to teach the values and skills that they will need to become strong and compassionate adults.

Ø PROVIDING WARMTH – one of the root causes why some students are becoming antisocial is the absence of warmth in their supposed to be comfort zones like their homes. If their home is not warm enough to make them compassionate, capable and resilient adults, the school as their second home ought to. Warmth means creating school and classroom environments that ensure students feeling of physical and emotional safety. It requires that teachers recognize and respect their developmental levels, are sensitive to their academic and social needs, and empathize with their emotions and the situations they may be facing. Children learn best and will cooperate more in a warm, safe and caring environment.

Ø PROVIDING STRUCTURE - STRUCTURE is the information students need in order to succeed academically and behaviorally. It gives students the tools they need to solve problems, work out conflicts, and succeed academically. Examples of providing structure are providing opportunities to fix their mistakes in a way that helps them to learn, hearing their point of view, controlling your anger, teaching them about the effects of their actions on other people, involving them in setting rules, explaining the reasons for rules, and being a good role model to them.

Ø UNDERSTANDING CHILD DEVELOPMENT – human life is a big series of changes. Students change as they grow and it is important that teachers recognize that their expectations and ways of teaching should also change as the students’ ways of thinking, needs, and interests change. The warmth and structure that a teacher should provide to students to reach the identified long-term goals must change depending on their stage of development.

Ø IDENTIFYING INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES – for the average student population, the stages of development that they are going through is normal but for some, it is not. Students are diverse. They come from different homes and cultural environment and have different personalities, talents, temperaments and abilities, which all affect their behavior and performance in school. A teacher who understands and respects students as individuals can make the difference between their success and failure in school.

It should be noted that Positive discipline ought to be practiced every day and not only when there are problems encountered. If all teachers will uphold the positive discipline in their everyday teaching, most if not all students can achieve their holistic development and possible conflicts will be avoided.