Assertive Behavior Model By Lee And Marlene Canter

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The Assertive Behavior Model by Lee and Marlene Canter

[Verna B. Jordan]

[Tim Godfrey]

[VTE-ED 578 Classroom Management]

[February 12, 2010]

The Assertive Behavior Model by Lee and Marlene Canter

Thesis Statement

The discipline system known as Assertive Discipline was developed by Lee and Marlene Canter in 1976. In the first 12 years of distribution "Lee and Marlene Canter claim to have trained some 300,000 teachers in workshops in 48 states -- including half of the teachers in Oregon and California" (Crockenberg, 1982, p. 59). By 1989, some 500,000 teachers had been trained in Assertive Discipline. (Render, Padilla, and Krank, 1989) No other discipline system has made such claims of distribution and acceptance.


Assertive discipline was developed by Lee and Marlene Canter in 1976. They developed this system because they saw that teachers were often unable to get rid of unwanted behaviors in the classroom. They attributed this problem to a lack of training in behavior management. his company was founded by Lee and Marlene Canter in 1976. They used this company to market their assertive discipline program. Canter has expanded from merely selling the many books and other publications regarding discipline. They also market products aimed at education teachers on other topics like: motivation, violence prevention, conflict resolution, and instructional strategies. They provide professional development training for teachers, and materials that can be used by universities for degree programs and graduate level course.

Description Of The Model

Assertive Discipline teaches students to accept the consequences of their actions. It has "as its basic premise the reinforcement of appropriate behavior" (Render, Padilla, and Krank, 1989, p. 609). "Responsibility is exactly what Assertive Discipline is all about" (Canter, 1988, p. 24). Practitioners of Assertive Discipline are taught that they must learn to be assertive in taking control of the class. A system of rewards and punishments are devised by the teacher to let students know when they have acted correctly or incorrectly. Increasingly unpleasant penalties are incurred by students who continue to make improper choices. Canter expresses concern about teachers who "spend too much time punishing children. . . . This is the key to Assertive Discipline, positives and lots of praise" (Canter, 1988, p. 24).

Assertive Discipline is generally considered easy to learn. "Assertive Discipline provides an attractive, packaged, simple-to-understand, easy-to-implement alternative" (Curwin and Mendler, 1989, p. 83). Assertive Discipline seems to be the easiest discipline system to implement. (Emmer, 1986; Edwards, 1993) Teachers will often feel secure in implementing Assertive Discipline with only a few hours of training in a seminar behind them. (Curwin and Mendler, 1989; Emmer, 1986; Edwards, 1993)

There are many criticisms of Assertive Discipline. There has been limited research on the effectiveness of such a widely accepted discipline system. (Curwin and Mendler, 1989) "We found only 16 studies (10 dissertations, 3 journals, and 3 other reports) meeting our criteria. Equally surprising is the nature of the studies. Not one study systematically investigated the program's effectiveness compared with any other specific approach" (Render, Padilla, and Krank, 1989, p. ...
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