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Effective Discipline Policies
How to Create a System that Supports Young Children’s Social-Emotional Competence

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Effective Discipline Policies Excerpt


Effective Discipline Policies
How to Create a System that Supports Young Children’s Social-Emotional Competence



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Research has shown that preschool expulsion is not only harmful to young children, but young boys of color are more likely to be suspended or expelled than other children.

Challenging behaviors can derail an early childhood classroom, and punishment and exclusion aren’t the answer. Young children need support and instruction to help them learn how to cooperate, listen, share, interact positively with their peers and with adults. Where to start? Effective Discipline Policies will be your go-to resource.

  • Craft a developmentally appropriate, consistent, effective behavioral guidance policy
  • Create a system that supports young children’s social-emotional competence
  • Provide a healthy environment in which young children can learn and grow
  • Improve the quality of teacher-child interactions 

Follow Teaching and Guidance Policy Essentials Checklist on facebook for the latest and greatest from the authors: https://www.facebook.com/TAGPEC

Sascha Longstreth, PhD

Dr. Longstreth is chair and associate professor in the Department of Child and Family Development at San Diego State University. She began her career as a preschool teacher and has...

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Sarah Garrity, Ed.D

Sarah Garrity, EdD, is an associate professor in the Department of Child and Family Development at San Diego State University. Her research and policy interests focus on early childhood workforce development,...

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Effective Discipline Policies has won the Academics' Choice Awards™ 2018 Smart Book Award.

“If you believe in a humanistic approach, in that all young children should be respected of their individual strengths and reared in a manner with empathy, understanding and support, rather than punishment, then this book is a must read. The book covers the reasons why educators and caregivers need to develop a behavior-guidance policy for their educational setting and the steps to have a humanistic individualized education. It additionally goes in depth on the Teaching and Guidance Policy Essential Checklist (TAGPEC) research, role of the leadership, scoring, and much more. As a retired elementary school principal and educator of 38 years, I valued the information on the humanistic approach to child guidance and how culture and language plays into it; this information is critical for educators to be aware of, so that academic learning will not be interrupted when a young child has a challenging social emotional behavior. Educators currently have a call to action to teach appropriate social emotional skills and this book will assist in the development of a policy for their educational setting. I recommend in attaining the book and its practices.”

Rosalba Ponce
Retired School Principal

“For the last thirty years, professionally I have been working with programs and teaching staff who have a vested interest in doing what is right for young children. However, I have witnessed the changing needs of young children in many early childhood settings. I am thrilled that Sascha and Sarah have developed TAGPEC checklist, as result, of their research of program policies as it relates to child guidance and system building to support all children. The step by step outlined process will help guide ECE programs towards program improvement and enhanced behavior guidance policies which is highly needed. I am recommending Effective Discipline Policies for both ECE Administrators and teachers. This timely book is informative and will be valuable for teachers as they become mindful of their interactions and intentional teaching by shifting their thinking, actions and interactions on social-emotional competence of young children and preventative strategies.”

Michelle Soltero
Infant/Toddler Specialist

“Administrators, teacher leaders and district personnel can benefit from using this "handbook" for their behavior guidance policies in early childhood settings. This book covers the need for effective, high quality behavior guidance policy, humanistic approach to guiding children, address the need to understand culture and language, scoring your current behavior policy and a guide to improve your current policy. My favorite part of the book is the chapter that covers the topic of approaching each child with a humanistic approach. We often forget each child comes to the classroom with specific emotional needs and this book provides building blocks of teacher and child relationship. Longstreth and Garrity give specific examples and strategies of teaching pro-social behaviors. As a teacher of young children for 20 years, I highly recommend this book because it is easy to read and use.”

Carla Kriss
2nd Grade Teacher

“Sascha and Sarah have brilliantly tackled a tough issue facing early childhood settings across the country—working with children that exhibit behaviors that are challenging for teachers. As administrators of early childhood programs are faced with confronting challenging behaviors and there impact on children’s ability to learn, quality of services provided, and the added stress to teaching staff, this book can serve as a wonderful instructional manual on developing comprehensive behavior guidance policies.              Throughout the book, I was impressed with their ability to place the child at the center; reminding us that a child’s behavior is not intended to purposefully aggravate a teacher or to create havoc in a setting, but that behavior is a child’s form of communication. Sascha and Sarah challenge early childhood programs to create behavior guidance policies that look beyond the negative behavior by asking us to look at every child as a unique being, as well as to look deep within ourselves to identify implicit biases that may be triggering children. By imploring that teachers, caregivers and administrators use a “humanistic approach” to confronting challenging behaviors that may occur in the classrooms, early childhood settings can focus on teaching “children the skills they need to be their best possible selves and to provide classroom environments in which children can be successful.”         As an advocate for children who works with a variety of early childhood programs across the country, I will definitely introduce these programs to the Teaching and Guidance Policy Essentials Checklist (TAGPEC). The seven essential features, 30 items, and exemplar statements will definitely serve as a foundation for creating comprehensive discipline policies that benefit children and families. This book is a must have in early childhood settings seeking to create environments that help children become their best possible selves.”

Lucia Palacios
President of Breakwater Associates

“I have thoroughly enjoyed absorbing this book. To be perfectly open, I work closely with Sascha and Sarah through the Child and Family Development Department at San Diego State University. It has been so wonderful to see them put all of their passion, time, and energy in developing this book. That being said, I believe even if I did not know them personally, I would still enthusiastically recommend the book to others. I found the book to be extremely well put together and very useful. The opportunities to use it as a teaching tool with families and staff are limitless! It is so critical that all of the adults in a child s life understand how to communicate effectively. Children need to feel heard and important. As teachers of young children, we need to work hand in hand with families to create safe spaces to talk about the often difficult conversations regarding challenging behaviors. If every program working in the service of children and families took the time to read this book, and then determine how they might weave the information into their philosophy, it could be such a powerful and positive change. A solid behavior guidance policy is a clear indication that a program cares about quality. If we understand that all behavior is communication, we can work toward helping children learn to regulate themselves. Buy the book!”

Michelle Zamora, MA
Director San Diego State University Children's Center