Learning to Trust Attachment Theory and Classroom Management

Edition: 2nd
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2018-08-29
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
List Price: $45.81

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Learning to Trust describes a constructivist approach to classroom management and discipline that was developed by the Child Development Project, a multiyear research and development project that applied attachment theory, care, and self-determination theories to the elementary school classroom. In this book, Marilyn Watson provides an overview of the research on attachment theory and a detailed description of its implications for teaching and classroom management, while chronicling one teacher, Laura Ecken, and her second-third grade class in a high poverty school across two years as she implements the Child Development Project and manages the class, guided by attachment theory. Watson documents in detail Laura's day by day and week by week efforts to build caring, trusting relationships with and among her students and describes the many steps Laura takes to guide the class into becoming a caring, learning community while also meeting her students' individual needs for autonomy and competence.

Of course, not all goes well in this very real classroom and the ways Laura manages the pressures of competition and students' many misbehaviors, ordinary and serious, are clearly and sometimes humorously described. Such teaching is not easy, and is counter to more controlling management approaches common in many schools. The book concludes with a chapter on how teachers might find support in their current schools for this more collaborative approach to classroom management, as well as a chapter that includes reflections from a number of the students seven years after leaving the class.

Author Biography

Marilyn Watson retired in 2001 after 20 years with the Developmental Studies Center (DSC). As director of the center's Child Development Project, she guided the DSC's approach to professional development. Watson is author or coauthor of more than 40 articles and chapters and three books on social, moral or character education. She chaired the Character Education Partnership's teacher education project and served on the Association of Teacher Education's Commission on Character Education in Teacher Education. Prior to her work at DSC, Watson taught preschool, was a faculty member in the education department at Mills College in Oakland, California, and director of the Mills College Children's School.

Table of Contents

Foreword to First Edition
Alfie Kohn
Foreword to Second Edition
Alfie Kohn
Introduction: A Classroom Where Everyone Belongs

PART ONE: Attachment Theory and Laura Ecken's Class
1. Understanding Attachment Theory
2. Laura Ecken and Her Second-Third Grade Class

PART TWO: Building Trust
3. Building the Teacher-Student Relationship
4. Teaching Children How to Be Friends
5. Guilding the Community

PART THREE: Managing the Classroom
6. Meeting Students' Needs for Competence and Autonomy
7. Managing Mistakes and Misbehavior: Taking a Teaching Stance
8. Managing Mistakes and Misbehavior: When Teaching and Reminding Aren't Enough
9. Competition in the Classroom

PART FOUR: Putting It All Together
10. Showing Students How to Compose a Life
11. Finding the Conditions for Success

PART FIVE: Lasting Effects
12. Laura's Students 1 and 7 years later

Epilogue: Bringing it Back Home

Afterword to First Edition
Laura Ecken
Afterword to Second Edition
Laura Ecken

Appendix: Annotated List of References

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