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PROPOSED PROGRAM FOR AN ADJUSTMENT CLASS
A Project Presented to the Faculty of the School of Education University of Southern California
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Education
by Sidney Walter April 1950
UMI Number: EP46120
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T h is p r o je c t re p o r t, w r it t e n u n d e r the d ire c tio n o f the candidate’s adviser a n d a p p ro v e d by h i m , has been presented to and accepted by the F a c u lt y o f the S c h o o l o f E d u c a tio n in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t o f the require m en ts f o r the degree o f M a s t e r o f Science in E d u c a tio n .
A d v is e r
A PROPOSED PROGRAM FOR AN ADJUSTMENT CLASS
In the following pages is a proposed program for students who are having dif ficulty with their regular school classes. It is hoped that this plan as proposed may be put to use in generating a finer & personal and social adjustment for those students who need it.
One of these may be in need of educational adjustment
TABLE OP CONTENTS CHAPTER L. II.
INTRODUCTION . .............................
EDUCATIONAL FACTORS AND PURPOSES INVOLVED IN ESTABLISHING ADJUSTMENT CLASSES . . . .
SELECTED PROGRAM ...........................
. . .
Selection pf teachers
Cooperation with p a r e n t s .......... .. .
Methods of diagnosis • • • . • • • • . .
C u r r i c u l u m ...........
Keeping of records . . • • • . . . • •
A P P E N D I X ................................
LIST OP TABLES TABLE I.
PAGE Most Frequent Appearing Behavior Difficulties • • • • • . • • • • • • • • •
Partial List of Behavior Problems with Ratings by Mental Hygienists and Two Groups of T e a c h e r s .......................
Some Physical Corrections made of Mal adjusted Children at a Welfare Center
Classroom Behavior Problems as Reported by Teachers . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . .
INTRODUCTION For too long now students who cut up in classes, aggravate teachers, cause disturbances and generally con sidered as problem students have been sent to special schools, for boys, where in a short period of time, in the bad environment of these schools, they are hardened into delinquents and future troublemakers*
must be done# Persons responsible for the education of youth have realized that emotionalized action effects all that we think or do*
It can change our speech, alter study habits,
affect school progress or interefere with those physiolog ical functions which are essential to a sound body* The children must develop as a whole; as a person ality he must maintain unity, integrated equilibrium while acquiring knowledge, skills, reasoning ability, and value attitudes# When adolescents fail to acquire ways and means of solving their many problems in our complex society, they manifest certain symptoms of maladjustment*
symptoms are usually attempts to escape from reality through the most convient channels*
This does not mean
that these adolescents are neurotics; there are many stages of mental health from temporary emotional upset to the worst kinds and types of mental disorganization. These temporary emotional upsets are usually what our teachers consider their so named "problem children.11 Children who have been overprotected and undertaught at home, children of broken homes, children of strict homes, often find it difficult to adjust to reality when they confront problems on the outside.
Many of these upsets
are caused by schools; comptetition in the routine of class work, grades, marks, promotions, and honors all prove actual problems to many students.
They are not
satisfied in merely being average; they want to, must, excel in order to gain recognition, or go to the bottom of the class to receive special attention even in some pity.
Parents also magnify and contribute to childrens
emotional strain by stressing the importance of special honors, school marks and the like. Teachers and parents must, by all means, co-operate in the promotion of a more uniform program of schooling. They must agree upon major objectives of the school, be more concerned on total adjustment of child, and not be
content merely with obedience* But the schools of today are still consistent in turning out or creating more and more emotionally upset students.
Teachers are not prepared to take the time
and the effort, to put aside their duties to the majority group and work on the minority of special cases.
then is to be done? Educators must face this immediate problem as quickly as they can, even as a sort of an emergency measure* This problem can be eased by the programing of an adjustment class t
containing all those important problem
children of the school. The greatest responsibility of this class is the prevention of more serious disorders.
It must contain
a positive program whereby the students are well grounded in wholesome information, beliefs, convictions, attitudes, ideals and social usages condusive to a well balanced group.
Take these problem children, put them into this
type of program and at the very least it will neutralize their so called bad characteristics, and allow them to return to full time regular school activity*
EDUCATIONAL FACTORS AND PURPOSES INVOLVED IN ESTABLISHING ADJUSTMENT CLASSES . It has long been recognized by educators that certain youngsters seemed unable or unwilling to meet the demands of the standarized curriculum and class.
j cases, in an attempt at self-adjustment, these boys and girls have resorted to misbehavior, agressiveness, Indo lence, defiance, indifference and truancy.
feature of this condition was the lack of correlation between conformity- to the school program and innate telligence.^
High intelligence quotients were not necessar
ily associated with scholatic conformity and low intelligence quotients, were not necessarily associated with nonconformity Terman, Raubenheimer and others exploded the belief that
2 deficient mentality was the cause of delinquency.
assumption could be made that certain extraneous factors, other than the mental ability of the student, should be considered in determining the causes and possible solution
1 George Nagel, "The Organization and Administration of Special Adjustment Schools." (unpublished Master’s thesis The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 19^4-) * P. 27. 2
John Down? "An Investigation of State School and
5 to the vital problem of scholastic maladjustment, tru ancy and potential delinquency• Recognizing, then, that maladjustment and truancy by school children were symptoms, it became the function of the school to study the causes of such actions, if poss ible, and attempt some form of remedial measure *
criminologists, sociologists, and educators have admitted to the premise that the beginnings of criminal behavior began in childhood and during the early school years. Reckless
cited a study made of 1
male offenders in
penal institutions in New York State.
He concluded that:
"The majority of these men began their delinquent careers as children.
They presented behavior problems in school
and later became truants."
In order to share in the so
cial responsibility for treatment of pre-delinquency, the public school should attempt to find the solution to four phases of the problem, as follows: delinquent?
(1) Who is the pre
(2) What treatment is necessary to combat
(3) How should the treatment
Community Provisions for the Treatment of Delinquents. (Unpublished Masterfs thesis, the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, I9I4-I), p. 20.
^ Walter Reckless, Criminal Behavior McGraw-Hill Company, 19)4.0 ), P* lij.2.
program be made to be effective? (I4.)
How should the pro
gram be evaluated? Educators must ask themselves these questions: (1)
Who are the pre-delinquents? (2)
of pre-delinquency? (3) maladjustments? (I4.) in school? (5)
What are the symtoms
What are the methods of discovering
What are the causes of maladjustment
What is philosophy of prevention? (6 )
the adjustment class be a method of treatment? (7) What are objectives of the adjustment class? It is important to recognize the following: What have been the symptoms of pre-delinquent behavior? Simple definition has maintained that a pre-delinquent was any minor who, by his actions, has shown symptoms of becoming delin quent.
A pre-delinquent was normally considered a problem
However, more progressive and scientific thinkers
considered the pre-delinquent a child with a problem.
a sociologist, revealed the importance of singling out such children for special attention once they had been established as potential delinquents.
He listed .the. following criteria
to be utilized in discovering the symptoms of pre-delinquent behavior, as follows: needs.
Children may have basic unmet
Children may have queer personality traits affect
ing immediately or ultimately the attitude of other children toward them and hence their status in various groups.
these may be symptomatic of later neurotic or psychotic states. (3 )
Children may lack normal interests or have abnormal or
Similarly, children may show con
duct deviations early in life.
finally, children may
not show any marked personality deviations, yet they may be living under conditions believed to be conducive to maladjust ment and delinquency.^* Using these criteria for the establishment of basic symptoms of pre-delinquency, such overt behavior, such as abnormal lying, stealing, swearing, laziness, indifference, fighting, selfishness, destructiveness, cruelty, slovenliness, obsceneity, habitual disobedience etc. reveal themselves as of secondary significance.
The school should do its part by
offering special classes, good child guidance, clinics, visit ing teachers and among these comes the special adjustment, class• The school and the maladjusted child.
It is estimated
that the number of problem cases and maladjustments equaled approximately five per cent of any given school enrollment. But five per cent of a school of two thousand students would mean roughly one hundred students would need special instruc tion and help, not taking in consideration the schools on the east side of Los Angeles where it would probably run more
i|. Donald Taft, Criminology (New York: Company, 19Ij.2), p. 636. 5
closely to twenty-five per cent* The schools, have taken individuals of varied given personalities and mental abilities, who were conditioned by their environment, and have attempted to adjust them to a standardized curriculum developed for the tfaverage” student. It was natural, then to assume that many youngsters simply have not responded in the desired manner, and have mani fested a spiit of rebellion in misbehavior, indifference or truancy. , Causes of ma1adjustment In school. Admittedly, the themselves were often the source of maladjustment.
standerized curriculum with its emphasis upon mass-education, majority rules, competition and failure, overlooks the fact that these featureswere disatrous to the non-academic child, the mentally deficient, or the emotionally unstable young ster.
Individual differences are overlooked, rapport in
teacher pupil relationships cannot be overemphasized because of the crowded conditions of mass-education.
maladjustment might not have been, because of the inability to provide facilities to cope with the situation.
present, some special classes and adjustment schools have been provided by some school administrators. The Adjustment class as one method of prevention and treatment.
Numerous public school systems have attempted
to face the challenge of the maladjusted and unstable boy by devious methods.
Many of them have been tried and failed,
a few have hung on and are established.
But the difficulty
comes in the idea accepted that the adjustment school is a type of a reform school.
This we would like to do away with.
Objectives of the adjustment class.
objectives have formed the basis for the establishment of this distinct type of class.
It will be the future success
or failure of such goals that may provide the important ans wers to the problem of pre-delinquency and our future citizen ship.
Some of the objectives are as follows:
students of serious behavior problems.
by working out
with the individual boys the causes of difficulties and help ing them find a way to overcome them.
the types of boys who will need future permanent social s supervision, psychological help, and referring them to social agencies.
(]\.) To provide scholastic stability for boys unable
to adjsut in regular schools.
Help keep such maladjust
ments cases away from juvenile courts, institutions, and special detentions as long as such a procedure remained feasible and practical in the best interests of the child. Within its scope, then, the special adjustment class can serve the schools in a very effective manner.
will it take a severe load off the regular classroom teacher
who has very little time for specialized attention but will aid and benefit the needy student, which is the prime consideration* The adjustment class with its emphasis upon in dividual attention and activity program, and with its effort to understand the atypical child, seems to be an important step to the answer* There is no claim made that the adjustment class is the only solution to the problem*
This would be fool
ish in the light of the few facts we have today* students simply cannot adjust.
Nevertheless, the adjust
ment class is a step, an important step.
SELECTED PROGRAM After careful study, the following plan was adapted because of its practability and long term usefulness. Furthermore, the plan as stated can be used as
iate measure and be put to use today.
Not so very long ago and even today, there were those views that misbehavior and abnormal conduct are motivated by an evil nature and the intervention of animate spirits, respectively, have now in most cases, given way to a realization that socially maladjustive actions are frequentally the result of frustration of fundamental organic and psychological needs. It is also believed that so called deviate be havior, performs the functions
for the personconcerned
of stopping some threat to his
people would rather develop face saving ailments than show incompetency and inadequacy. Problem children, are often the products of problem parents, maladjusted teachers, and other in adequate adults.
Physical disabilities add to the
toll of maladjustment.
But frustrations, disappoint
ments, and defeats are to a great extent responsible for the emotional and nervous symptoms so prevalent in our problem children, those children annoying to teacher and class. An adequate mental program for these children can go a long way in short cutting their possible maladjustments.
The teachers lack time, patience
and a great deal of psychological knowledge.
gram set up in each Junior high with a specially trained teacher, open to candidates classified as problem children, can help immensely.
This would not be a
means to an end but a helpful preventative short cut that may do some good.
If this class can help just one maladjusted child it is doing a helpful job.
Parents and teachers can cause maladjustment.
The program of the adjustment class has one para mount criteria in the Junior high:
To take the child out
of its tension causing environment and to observe and assist toward better adjustment of the child* The program as proposed has three important phases, to understand the individual, to remove if possible, the causes of frustration and to provide a positive program of experiences; they are further explained as follows: Understand the individual* a unique personality*
Each student must be considered
It is not possible to standardize
people and expect them to be alike or to conform to identical emotional patterns*
The teacher must try to discover
emotional tendencies so that suppressed conflicts may be avoided*
To do this, there must be intimate association
day by day*
The program proposed allows two full days
and one hour per day the other three.
of one’s thoughts in a conflict to a trusted friend, in this case, the teacher, is a good tonic and frequently brings relief to the problem.
6 Carl Witherington, Educational Psychology, Ginn and Company, 191*6.
15 The childs point of view must be understood.
desires may seem trivial to an adult, but to him they are vital.
He may feel that he has failed in something which
seems unimportant to an adult. causes of frustration.
Removef if possible, the
Mental health depends in a large
measure upon physical soundness.
The childs health must
be carefully checked and guarded, this is taken care of in the diagnostic part of proposed program.
If there are
handicaps such as poor vision, hearing, or deformity, they must be noted and relieved if possible. If a physical handicap is not surmountable some compensatory activity must be provided.
Children must be
taught to be good losers so that undue emphasis may not be placed upon failure.
Explain that one is never a failure
who does his very best, because we are responsible only for our efforts and attitudes, not for the results. Social causes of frustration must be removed.
a child is unable to engage in activities with others int a normal way this may be occasion for a serious conflict. Such a condition may arise anywhere from poor parental care to lack of clothing for activity.
Stern measures often em
ployed by parents regarding social affairs and teachers regarding classroom management are apt to bring on a crisis. This is not to say that discipline is unnecessary; quite
the contrary. the right kind.
There is probably not enough discipline of It must come by wise counseling with the
students by the adjustment teacher.
The child must be taught how to accept criticism from others.
A bit of self-analysis will help.
This is brought
out in the proposed program by group and self analysis. Undesirable tendencies to compensation must be observed and treated early in life*
A child may pretend
superiority because he is actually feeling ingerior.
attitude easily leads to bullying and picking on children smaller than self.
Provide a positive program of experiences.
Group rivalry may be substituded for individual rivalry to offset a feeling of inferiority.
Even though many students
of these special adjustment classes belong in group gangs there is some basis for a good type of group activity. A home in which parents are grouchy, pessimistic, cynical, and generally unhappy is no place to rear children. Children cannot do well in school If they have these types of problems at home.
In the proposed program a talk with
the parents, and home visits may aid in clarifying this. There must be numerous outlets for successful activi ties, and ways and means of the outletting of emotions.
The success achieved by the child should be re cognized with appropriate praise and rewards.
understood and appreciated bolsters anyone’s courage and self-esteem.
A reasonable amount of affection and appro
priate praise is always unsurpassable. It is to be understood that no one program can be followed by any one teacher to the letter, but to have an understanding of the program and all that could and should be done is more beneficial than to set up the minimum and attempt to follow it.
Appropriate praise and reward can be beneficial.
The proposed purpose of the program is as follows: (a)
To assist in the adjustment of the student to
regular school life, (b) to aid child in adjustment toward his problems, (c)
to prevent and cure if possible pregnant
mental disorders, (d)
to help student meet and acquire
certain desires, and needs, (e)
to help Establish a social
ly and mentally adjusted child in some of the characteristics that follows (taken from Carl Witherington) child i
playing, (3 ) (i|.)
is free from unnecessary fears, (2 )
is agreeable in company with other children,
sleeps well, (5 )
day dreaming, (6 )
is free from temper tantrums and
finds some pleasure in schoolwork, (7 )
laughs wholeheartedly, (8 ) or regular work, (9 )
enjoys working as for some hobby
is independent, can do things for him
self * The following should also be included:
able and open-minded, (2 ) feels secure at school and at home, social security, (3 )
a feeling of importance, self respect,
social recognition, (Ij.)
ability to adjust and be free from
annoying circumstances• With these purposes in mind, or the immediate school purpose must not be forgotten.
To quickly assist in the
adjustment of the child so that he may get along in the regular school classes.
In this case the stress would be
on the social side of the chiIds problems.
The special organization for dealing with the special problem children of the school may well include, (a)
the tying in of the school practices with the special
adjustment class program, (b)
provisions for the services
of a trained adjustment class teacher; and, (c)
planned program. Examples of the first category may be listed as: (a)
the utilization for mental hygiene , ends of pupil
record folders, (b)
evaluating and using teachers co
operation in terms of the promotion of mental health for special adjustment pupils, (c)
the able use of school
nurse and doctor for special health problems and tests, (d)
the assistance of school counselors for tests and
measurements when needed; and, (e)
the full co-operation
of school administrators. A trained adjustment class teacher is further ex plained in the chapter on selection of teacher.
planned program is always important, just as a well planned
study plan for a class day*
Not to be followed to the
flnth degree,” but to be flexible as needed.
SELECTION OP TEACHERS
The achievement goals of any one class could only be met by a competent teacher.
This not only hints of
adequate training and background but also of a highly proven personality, and a proven ability to guide and control this type of atypical child.
A tremendous wealth
of material and ideas, coupled with an almost inexhaustible supply of patience, appears to be the most important qualifi cations of the teacher for the special class.
training even though not the most important step for a good adjustment class teacher, is nevertheless, desired. A few of the courses that should be required of all adjustment class teachers as a base are as follows:
Child Psychology, (b) Educational Psychology (advanced preferred also), (c)
Clinical Psychology (some kind), (d)
Abnormal Psychology, (e)
Tests and measurements, (f)
differences and educational adjustments, (g) guidance, including some field work, (h) ren, (i) (j) Note:
Preferred (directed teaching of mentally retarded),
At least one year of teaching experience. these courses are in no way complete but are desired
for the beginning teacher.
Education of an adjustment
class instructor must never end. In addition to the academic background of the teacher, he must be physically sound in order to carry on the strenuous activities of an adjustment class.
much more than physical soundness is the condition of mental soundness. It seems if these requirements were all to be met we would have a sort of superman teacher.
But if we were
to start to train this type of teacher, in time, we would have teachers to meet these standards.
There is a decided
need for the training of teachers interested in working with maladjusted children. Carmelite Janiver, Director of Special Services, of New Orleans summarized this opinion as follows: After five years of experimenting, we still feel there is great value in the basic idea, if we can ever succeed in overcoming some of the diffi culties in the administration. One of the worst of these is getting a faculty interested in work ing in this field and with the proper preparation, the understanding of social and emotional problems and the personality made to cope with them .' Much can be recommended for the requirements of the teacher of the special adjustment class but to summar ize, the most important are as follows 2
George Nagel, p. l\.
(1 ) interest in
type of work and in students, (2) patience, (i^.)
academic background, (£) physical and
SELECTION OP ADJUSTMENT CLASS CANDIDATES The pupils of these special adjustment classes
should be taken from a waiting list which should be made out through the cooperation of the adjustment class teacher, vice principal, and parents* Any child who is having difficulty adjusting to school in a manner that is injurious to himself and to those around him is eligible for consideration.
should be made out at the beginning of each new term, but should be flexible enough to allow new candidates to come in even during the term* Pupils can be selected from observing their ob servation records that are placed in their cumulative records*
These annotations should be studied very care
fully, and great care must be taken in order to exclude those who received unfavorable reports due to poor teacher wisdom.
Teachers have continuously placed children on
poor reports because of their type of class room discipline* Most parents and conservative teachers mean by order, a
a situation free from annoyance to themselves*
place great faith in rules and regulations and in punishr ments, demanding respect for authority.^
It is clear
that many common and recurrent classroom disturbances are simple and easily handled.
The cases owing to hidden
personality difficulties are complex and subtle.
in the past have had no training whatever in dealing with these cases and in turn neglected them only to turn in the names of the so-called trouble makers and noisy kids*
study in this field which had become famous and which 11 should be included here, is the Wiekman study. ■** He under took to discover the types of behavior which were regarded by teachers as evidence of present social or emotional maladjustment; the types of behavior which were regarded by teachers as possibly foreshadowing more serious mal adjustments later in life.
He compared these with facts
as obtained by competent psychiatrists and mental hygienists in the actual study.
The differences were amazing.
10 William H. Burton, The Guidance of Learning Activities, Appleton Century Crofts ^nc. 1955* 11 E. K. Wiekman, Children1s Behavior and Teachers 1 Attitudes (New York, The Commonwealth £\md, 1928).
2k But recently a follow up study by Ellis and Miller
has shown that if definite attention is given to training teachers in recognition of significant behavior problems, no matter how subtle, the teachers so trained can meet the problem satisfactorily.
This is clearly shown in
Table I. Again, it must be emphasized that the candidates must not be those chosen by teachers because of classroom management and discipline problems, but rather those who exhibit definite or impending signs of maladjustment. Symptoms of impending maladjustment.
There are a
number of physical signs, social attitudes, and deviations in behavior on the part of children which, when unduly con tinued, constitute danger of impending maladjustment.
course, the school cannot go too deeply into individual cases.
The more serious cases must be referred to clinics
for a more thorough treatment.
Those cases which are re
ferred to the special classes are those which usually cause school difficulties. Physical signs of maladjustment. fidgeting,
(1) Twitching and
stuttering and any queer breathing,
D. B. Ellis and L. W. Miller, ^Teachers Attitudes and Child Behavior Problems,” Journal of Educational Psy chology, Vol. 27, October, 1936 ," PP* 501-11.
25 continual drumming with feet and fingers, (i^) constantly making faces, (5 ) lying awake at night, (6 ) nightmares, dreaming often, (7 ) tossing and turning at night, (8 ) bit ing fingernails, (9 ) frequent vomiting, (10 ) other nervous mannerisms *
These are but a few of the noticeable symptoms
one can watch out for*
There are many more symptoms, in
cluding those of a social nature, such as inferiority, withdrawal, regression, etc., but they are too numerous 1*5 to include. Luton Acherson J has made an interesting study on behavior difficulties, as reported in Table II. No attempt should be made to include all types of abnormal behavior in the special class.
Only those who
interfere with school progress should be included, as follows;
poor adjustment to school,
with those around him in a poor way, (3 ) unexplainable teacher difficulty, (i|) symptoms of impending maladjustment. These candidates are chosen by:
class teacher, (2 ) school counselor, (3 ) teachers, (I|_) vice principal, (5 ) school nurse or doctor, and (6 ) principal. The selection of candidates is made with the aid- of tests, and cumulative records, including annotation records.
Luton Acherson, Children1s Behavior Problems. Chicago University Press, 1931, pp. 162-203.
26 TABLE I THE MOST FREQUENTLY APPEARING BEHAVIOR DIFFICULTIES
Noted in following-. per cent of c a s e s ^
1 . Nervousness, restlessness, irritable temperament
2 . Disobedience, incorrigibility, stub bornness, defiant attitude
Retardation in school
Question of feeble mindedness or inadequate I. Q.
Temper display, tantrums, irritable temperament
6 . Dull, slow manner, listlessness, lack of ambition or interest
Immature, childish manner or judgment, impaired judgment
Fighting, quarrelsome, violence, threatening violence Enuresis or bed wetting beyond third birthday
Lying, marked untruthfulness
Advise replacement, commitment, or ins tituti onali zati on
Poor work in school
THE MOST FREQUENTLY APPEARING BEHAVIOR DIFFICULTIES
Noted in following per cent of cases
Crying spells, crying easily
Truancy from school
16 . Masturbation
Truancy from home
• CO H
Sensitiveness, worrisomeness (general) sensitiveness or worry over some specific fact or episode
TABLE II A PARTIAL LIST OP BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS WITH RATINGS, BY MENTAL HYGIENISTS AND TWO GROUPS OP TEACHERS*
Overcritical of others
29 TABLE II
A PARTIAL LIST OP BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS WITH RATINGS, BY MENTAL HYGIENISTS AND TWO GROUPS OP TEACHERS*
Obscene notes, talks pictures
Destroying school property
Prom Luton Acherson, op. cit., p. 26.
30 Cooperation with parent.
The facilities that the
schools have for adjusting the students are limited and depend chiefly upon the cooperation of the home.
the parents have an indifferent attitude, or exhibit host ility toward the school, which they blame for the child’s misdeeds.
This type of parent feels that the teachers
have an endless amount of time to devote to their child, but are eager to oppose any sort of correction at school. Before placing the student in the adjustment class the parent or parents of the child should be called to the school and explained the reason for the class, the idea that it is not like a special school such as a reformatory type, and that it may benefit the child, and that he has a good chance of being sent back to the regular classes.
prospect of trouble or embarrassment in a potent force in securing home aid from indifferent parents, so suggestions for home discipline must be kept at a minimum. VII.
METHODS OP DIAGNOSIS
To have a successful adjustment of a problem child one must first have an accurate diagnosis.
what is bothering the child or causing difficulties towards adjustment is a waste of time and effort.
To have a good
diagnosis is being able to identify the trouble, this can be done a number of ways, but the best method is using a system of tests, measurements and investigations*
more comprehensive and widely accepted of these include: (1 )
case history, (2 )
a mental examination, (3 )
and neurological examination, (Ij.)
the administration of
personality tests* Case history,
Involves a comprehensive understand
ing of the patient, including his past experiences, family background, environmental conditions, and other factors that may have influenced his personality developement* Information is gathered from every possible source:
student, parents, relatives, friends, family or school physician, teachers, and school records* Mental examination, •This would be very difficult to do for an adjustment teacher but for the adjustment class this mental examination would include the total observation, evaluation, and recording of all important data pertaining to student, during his stay in the adjust ment class* . Physical and neurological examination.
cooperation of the school nurse and if possible the school doctor, the matter of the physical condition of the child
should come under close scrutiny.
Volumes could be
written on cases of maladjusted children due to causes which are physical In nature.
Any corrective measures
which seem advisable should be undertaken immediately. Correction of defective vision, auditory defects, tonsil lectomy and dental attention are the most common
to be found. The neurological examination must be given by a competent doctor only.
This should be administered in
all cases which would seem to indicate this type of exam ination .
Diagnosis should be well planned.
Physical defects leading to adjustment*
shows that over two-thirds of all the problem boys who usually are examined in special classes or schools or welfare centers are suffering from some physical defect which undoubtedly could be one of the major causes of their maladjustment* Usually later, in the class room or playground or in repeated absences from school, the child begins to indicate a physicial maladjustment*
Sometimes this is
shown by a restlessness in the classroom or an inability to concentrate on the subject, or a general dissatisfaction with the whole school setup, which the child cannot analyze himself* Educators only just now beginning to realize the very close connection between social and physical maladjustment.
Many times a child is a misfit in the classroom and?
becomes a discipline problem because of some physical de fect, that could have been more easily corrected had it been found earlier.
314TABLE III SOME PHYSICAL CORRECTIONS MADE OF MALADJUSTED CHILDREN AT WELFARE CENTER
Diseases of the eye
Diseases of the ear
Defective teeth Diseases of the nose and throat
Skin and Hair
Cases reported are from a total of 2,665 entered during a seven-year study.
These studies were made before World War II. It Is estimated by John Down that the increase in nervous diseases, speech defects and diseases of any nervous origin has been well over one hundred per cent.
35 TABLE III
SOME PHYSICAL CORRECTIONS MADE OP MALADJUSTED CHILDREN AT WELFARE CENTER
Contageous diseases (virus) Contageous diseases (ring-worm, Glandular disorder
The administration of personality tests.
inventories of personality have been developed in an effort to identify and diagnose important factors in personal and social adjustment*
There are numerous tests and inventories
that can be used. -They fall in four categories:
scales, paper and pencil devices for rating individuals on a sliding scale.
personality inventories, standardized
instruments on which subject checks his personal reactions to a variety of specific responses, (3 ) projection methods: in which the individuals personality as a whole, as well as his fantasy life are assumed from his interpretation of pictures, ink blots, clouds, word lists etc.
measurement of overt behavior; subjects actions are observed in desirable and undesirable conditions. Naturally the adjustment class teacher will not be able to cover all these tests even though it would be the best thing.
The adjustment class teacher will first use
the ”Broad Coverage,” personality tests, which are able to measure a number of traits or dimensions of adjustment. A few of these are as named: (1) The Humm Wadsworth 15 Temperament Scale (not too often). (2) The Mental
15 E* C. Humm and G. W. Wadsworth. ”The Humm Wadsworth Temperament Scale,” American Journal of Psychiatry,
92 :163-200, 1935.
(to be used whenever possible).
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory1^ can be used quite often. An expert teacher could use some of the easier projection methods but it is not advisable unless the teacher has had experience.
It is hoped that through the
use of special diagnostic tests, methods and procedures, time can be saved and a more effective program of adjust ment can be administered.
L. P. Thorpe and W. W. ■.Clark, "Mental Health Analysis," Los Angeles: California Test Bureau, 1946, 17
So R. Hathaway and J. C. McKinley, in Journal of Psychology, 1940, pp. 10, 249, 254.
On© can easily understand that actual academic subjects should be kept at a minimum, and social train ing and proper guidance toward a better school adjustment should be kept at the maximum. In order for the adjustment teacher to set up the class curriculum, he must first attempt to meet the foll owing:
(a) seek to understand the child, (b) remove, if
possible, the causes of the frustration, (c) provide a positive program of wholesome experiences, (d) encourage wholesome attitudes, (e) meet and discuss personal prob lems, (f) bestow appropriate praise and affection when needed. The teacher must also realize some of the school factors that have aroused the unusually overt behavior of adjustment students, before the curriculum can be set up. A few of these school-caused factors can be listed as follows:
(a) the effect of over-competition in school, (b)
unsuitable curriculum, or curriculum that has little rela tion to the needs and problems of the child, and is thus harmful, (c) over-restriction in classroom— pin-drop quiet, restrictions which choke childfs freedom of expression, (d) handling of class in a grouchy, nagging, sarcastic manner,
39 unreasonable, unfair, teachers are very detrimental to the mental health of the students, of behavior problem children.
(e) teachers* reports
The Wiekman studies clearly
demonstrated that teachers tended to consider violations of classroom order more serious than recessive, withdraw ing personality traits, as is shown in Table IV,
treatment of behavior problems in the classroom puts an undue strain on the students, as is shown in the same Table.
The above are but a few of the mental hazards
set up by the classroom situation, and must be considered before a successful curriculum can be set up. Again, it should be emphasized that it is essential that the curriculum, as set up, must be varied and flex ible, and capable of fluctuations and amendments to meet changing demands.
The setting up and amending of courses
must be left wholly up to the adjustment teacher, who should make use of such devices as play therapy, finger painting and other means of self-expression*
materials should be used in preference to bool*: work.
listing of these will be found in the bibliography of games and materials. The adjustment classroom must be attractively decorated with interesting and colorful posters, pictures, and a few (the more the better) green plants, to lend an atmosphere of cheerful hominess.
ko TABLE IV CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS AS REPORTED BY TEACHERS*
No. of times observed
Per cent of total problems
Difficulties in application to work (inattention, untidiness, tardiness, lack of preparation)
Aggression toward other children
Nature of Problem
Violation of classroom order (disturbing others, making noises, talking, attracting attention)
2 . Difficulties with authorities or rules (disobedience, chewing gum, passing notes, rudeness) 3.
6 . Withdrawing and recessive personality traits
TREATMENT OP CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS BY TEACHERS
Treatment Techniques 1.
Censure (scolding, sarcasm, ridicule, threats)
No. .of times used
Per cent of times used
1*1 TABLE IV
TREATMENT OP CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS BY TEACHERS
No. of times used
Per cent of times used
Verbal appeal or reasoning
Reward through social approval
Assistance in meeting situation
Reward through privilege
* Prom N. M. Campbell, The Elementary School Teachers Treatment of Classroom Behavior Problems.
i+2 Actual curricula.
The adjustment class should
be sep up to occupy two full school days of the child’s time and two hours a day in the other three.
This is done
so that the student is still in the regular school atmos phere that he has been accustomed to.
In this way the
child will learn to adjust much more quickly and complete ly.
Taking a child out of the regular school atmosphere
and then sending him back to it after there is an adjust ment seems to be inefficient*
The two days chosen are
Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the two hours per day the English Social studies periods.
These periods will vary.
This is easily arranged, as there are fewer children to counsel.
To give a better explanation of the suggested
school week, the following has been constructed: PER 1
L _ . . . C L A S S
(SPECIAL CLASS) C
(SPECIAL CLASS) ) (SPECIAL CLASS)
A brief school week’s scheduling, and a few of the special classes are listed on the following Chart I:
CHART I — - T H E
S C H O O L
Regular classes up to period five . . .
Individual Games Project Therapy
Regular classes up to period five • . .
Individual Individ. Project Project
Regular classes up to period five • .