Lost at School
Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
Frequent visits to the principal's office. Detentions. Suspensions. Expulsions. These are the established tools of school discipline for kids who don't abide by school rules, have a hard time getting along with other kids, don't seem to respect authority, don't seem interested in learning, and are disrupting the learning of their classmates. But there's a big problem with these strategies: They are ineffective for most of the students to whom they are applied.
It's time for a change in course.
Here, Dr. Ross W. Greene presents an enlightened, clear-cut, and practical alternative. Relying on research from the neurosciences, Dr. Greene offers a new conceptual framework for understanding the difficulties of kids with behavioral challenges and explains why traditional discipline isn't effective at addressing these difficulties. Emphasizing the revolutionarily simple and positive notion that kids do well if they can, he persuasively argues that kids with behavioral challenges are not attention-seeking, manipulative, limit-testing, coercive, or unmotivated, but that they lack the skills to behave adaptively. And when adults recognize the true factors underlying difficult behavior and teach kids the skills in increments they can handle, the results are astounding: The kids overcome their obstacles; the frustration of teachers, parents, and classmates diminishes; and the well-being and learning of all students are enhanced.
In Lost at School, Dr. Greene describes how his road-tested, evidence-based approach -- called Collaborative Problem Solving -- can help challenging kids at school.
His lively, compelling narrative includes:
tools to identify the triggers and lagging skills underlying challenging behavior.
explicit guidance on how to radically improve interactions with challenging kids -- along with many examples showing how it's done.
dialogues, Q & A's, and the story, which runs through the book, of one child and his teachers, parents, and school.
practical guidance for successful planning and collaboration among teachers, parents, administrations, and kids.
Backed by years of experience and research, and written with a powerful sense of hope and achievable change, Lost at School gives teachers and parents the realistic strategies and information to impact the classroom experience of every challenging kid.
Reading Group Guide
Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges Are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
By Ross W. Greene (Scribner, 2008)
Book Group Questions from The Main Idea
The Story of Joey
1. What was your reaction to the incident involving Joey introduced in the first chapter? Who seems to be suffering in this narrative? Why?
Do you believe anyone was at fault for what happened? Do you think any of the staff members could have reacted differently to Joey?
The Basic Premise of the Book
2. What is the basic premise of the book – what does Dr. Greene believe to be the main problem facing kids with behavioral challenges? Why are they not behaving themselves according to Dr. Greene?
The Disciplinary System
3. What does the author say about the current state of our discipline system? How does it or doesn’t it serve students who behave well? What about students with behavioral challenges? Why or why not? Do you agree/disagree and why or why not? What do you think works and doesn’t work with your current disciplinary system?
Philosophy of Children
4. How is Dr. Greene’s philosophy of children (“Kids do well if they can”) different from the prevailing view (“Kids do well if they want to”)? How do these differing views affect the way adults approach behavioral issue see more