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Becoming a Great Inclusive Educator

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Edited By Scot Danforth

Inclusive education continues to grow in popularity and acceptance in the United States. However, most teachers – general and special educators – are poorly prepared to be successful in inclusive classrooms and schools. Undoubtedly, the challenge to professionals involves the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. But inclusion requires far more. It calls upon educators to trouble everything they think they know about disability, to question their deepest ethical commitments, to take up the work of the Disability Rights Movement in the public schools, and to leap headlong into the deepest waters of the rich craft tradition of inclusive teaching. This book offers educators the guidance and resources to become great inclusive educators by engaging in a powerful process of personal and professional transformation.
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Chapter 8: Encouraging Positive Behavior

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CHAPTER EIGHT

Encouraging Positive Behavior



Guiding Question

• How can you actively encourage positive student behavior?

If we stacked up all the current books giving teachers guidance and advice about classroom management, behavior management, behavior modification, and positive behavior support, the pile would undoubtedly reach the moon. There is no shortage of sage advice about how to prevent and resolve behavior issues in the classroom. There is also no paucity of resources about dealing with behavior problems of students with specific types of disabilities.

The challenge for the inclusive educator is not to find useful behavior improvement programs, systems, and interventions for use in the classroom. The task is to sort through it all in order to select the best practices for use given the ethical and practical priorities of inclusion. Which effective practices blend well with the values and goals of inclusive schooling?

Leslie Soodak (2003) advises inclusive teachers to develop classroom management practices “specifically aimed at promoting membership” (p. 328) in the democratic classroom community. She (2003) defines membership as:

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