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Rethinking Theories!

Awhile back I was working with a child that was diagnosed with autism. He would lie on the floor or try to run out of the classroom when we were working in a group. During the first few sessions, I was at a loss at what to do. I spent most of the session running after him and trying to coax him to return with a reinforcer as motivation. This didn’t work too well. I then noticed that he liked to sing the song “Tonight's gonna be a good good night” by the Black Eyed Peas. So I tried singing to him in my out of tune voice and ,"Voila!" he responded. He was willing to listen ,engage and interact. The song was became our connection.

This experience demonstrated that what I had learnt about behaviour management was theoretical; you need to go with your gut feel sometimes to understand the child. This experience changed how I viewed my role as a teacher and proved to me that I need to continuously try to connect with the child and listen with all my senses to gain an understanding of the child irrespective of the diagnosis or the symptoms that the child demonstrates. It is important to leave behind any prejudices and preconceived ideas to improve and enrich my practice.

In short, there is no black and white when it comes to ethical practice. It is highly dependent on circumstances, cultural context, social construction, values and beliefs. However, it is vital that teachers are open to different perspectives and able to apply them to different contexts.



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