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Rudolph Dreikurs. 1897-1972. Rudolph Dreikurs Concepts of Classroom Management. Background Democratic Teaching Mistaken Goals Logical Consequences Encouragement. Dreikurs: Background Information. Born in Vienna, Austria in 1897 Emigrated to U.S. in 1937

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Rudolph dreikurs

Rudolph Dreikurs


Rudolph dreikurs concepts of classroom management

Rudolph DreikursConcepts of Classroom Management

  • Background

  • Democratic Teaching

  • Mistaken Goals

  • Logical Consequences

  • Encouragement

Dreikurs background information

Dreikurs: Background Information

  • Born in Vienna, Austria in 1897

  • Emigrated to U.S. in 1937

  • Became director of Alfred Adler Institute in Chicago

  • Founder & medical director of Community Child Guidance Center of Chicago

Rudolph dreikurs

Fundamentals of Adlerian Psychology

Establishing connection to self and community

Creating unique long term goals

All behavior has social meaning and purpose

Social interpretation of defense mechanisms

Democratic teaching

Democratic Teaching

  • What is Democratic Teaching?

  • Characteristics

  • Autocrat vs. Democrat

What is democratic teaching

What is Democratic Teaching?

  • Democratic teaching is a teaching style where:

    • The teacher acts as a responsible guide

    • The teacher believes quiet action is more effective than words

    • The teacher’s way of disciplining is based on mutual respect



  • Friendly but firm

  • Work is well planned

  • Respect by listening

  • Always encouraging

  • Encourages group work

  • Involve students in classroom responsibilities

  • Sincere but have a natural sense of humor

Democrat vs autocrat





Sell Ideas







Impose Ideas


One person

Democrat Vs. Autocrat

Rudolph dreikurs

4 Mistaken Goals

  • Attention Getting

  • Power Seeking

  • Revenge

  • Feelings of Inadequacy

Rudolph dreikurs

Attention Getting

  • Student Feels Insignificant

  • Misbehaves for Attention

  • Teacher’s Emotion = Annoyed

Rudolph dreikurs

Power Seeking

  • Student Feels Powerless

  • Defies the Teacher

  • Teacher’s Emotion = Threatened

Rudolph dreikurs


  • Student Feels Wrongly Disciplined or Embarrassed

  • Becomes Outwardly Hostile

  • May Intentionally Hurt Others

  • Teacher’s Emotion = Hurt

Rudolph dreikurs

Feelings of Inadequacy

  • Student Feels Hopeless and Inferior

  • Gives Up and Avoids Others

  • Teacher’s Emotion = Discouraged

Logical consequences

Logical Consequences

Key Tenet:

Children should be given a choice rather than forced to behave as directed.

  • Logical consequences must be explained, understood, and agreed upon by the students.

  • Logical consequences are contrived and then applied as necessary to influence students’ behavior.

Logical consequences punishment

Logical Consequences ≠ Punishment

Logical consequences natural consequences

Logical Consequences ≠ Natural Consequences



  • Encouragement boosts self-esteem and confidence

  • Express faith, promote “security”

  • High expectations enhance encouragement

Encouragement more than praise


You are always on time.

I'm so proud of your artwork.

You are the best helper I ever had.


You sure make an effort to be on time.

It is nice to see that you enjoy art.

The room looks very neat since you straightened the bookshelves.

Encouragement more than praise

  • Praise can become source of self-worth

  • Use encouragement to recognize effort, rather than praise to reward accomplishment.

Methods of encouragement

Methods of Encouragement

  • Show faith in the child

    • Teacher’s faith will promote child’s faith in self

  • Create self-confidence, build self-respect

    • Challenging tasks: “I know you can do it”

  • Utilize and integrate the group

    • Address individual differences to find place for each child in group

  • Recognize strengths and assets

    • Avoid focusing on mistakes, seek out strengths to build relationship



 Promotes trust, respect, and communication among teachers and students

 Fair discipline through logical consequences helps students understand their behavior and teaches correct behavior

 Understanding student behavior contributes to safer schools and a caring classroom environment

  • Promotes autonomy



 Difficulty determining motives of students

  • Difficult to come up with logical consequences on the spot

  • Autocratic or permissive teachers may not accept democratic perspectives

  • Students may not understand goals and rules as the teacher does

  • Problems communicating desired outcomes with students



  • Alfred Adler Institute of San Francisco. Basic Principles of Classical Adlerian Psychology. Retrieved on Jan 22, 2004 from <>

  • Carson, R. N. 1996. Reaction to Presidential Address of Ronald Butchart. American Educational Studies, 27:207-216.

  • Dinkmeyer, D. and Dreikurs, R. 1963. Encouraging children to learn: the encouragement process. Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Prentice-Hall.

  • Dreikurs, R. 1957. Psychology in the classroom: a manual for teachers. New York , NY. Harper & Row.

  • Dreikurs, R. and Cassel, P. 1972. Discipline without tears. New York, NY. Hawthorn Books.

  • Dreikurs, R., Grunwald, B. B. and Pepper, F. C. 1971. Maintaining sanity in the classroom. New York , NY. Harper & Row. Retrieved on Jan 24, 2004 from <>

  • Edwards, C. H. 1993. Classroom Discipline and Management. New York , NY. Macmillan.

  • Jones, V. F. 1995. Comprehensive Classroom Management. Boston, MA. Allyn & Bacon.

  • Manning, M. L. and Bucher, K. T. 2003. Classroom management: models, applications, and cases. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Prentice Hall.

  • Wolfgang, C. H. 1986. Solving Discipline Problems. Boston, MA. Allyn & Bacon.

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