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How the Brain Influences Behavior: Management Strategies for Every Classroom

$69  Softcover
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David A Sousa

  • How the Brain Influences Behavior
  • How the Brain Influences Behavior
    Combining theory and practice, best-selling author David Sousa helps educators understand what is happening in the brains of students with behaviour problems.

264 pages
Interest Age: 5 to 18
ISBN: 9781412958707

Use research-based strategies to improve behaviour in the K–12 classroom! Combining theory and practice, best-selling author David A. Sousa helps educators understand what is happening in the brains of students with behaviour problems and offers practical, effective intervention strategies compatible with current findings in neuroscience.

In easy-to-understand language, the author presents current information on brain development and function and highlights factors that affect social and emotional decision making and negative behaviours like impulsivity, defiance, and violence. Comprehensive yet concise, this guide for K–12 teachers and counsellors provides methods for teaching self-control and fostering positive relationships with troubled students and provides case studies that match effective strategies with specific behaviours. Educators will find answers to critical questions such as:

  • How does the rate of brain development explain the erratic behaviour of adolescents?
  • What type of data collection can help teachers manage misbehaviour?
  • Can peer influence help curb misbehaviour rather than encourage it?
  • Why are boys more likely to misbehave than girls and what can teachers do about it?
  • How do school and classroom climates affect student behaviour?

This invaluable handbook also features reproducible forms, worksheets, checklists, additional references, and an expanded list of primary research sources to help teachers understand and apply research-based principles for classroom and behaviour management.

Table of Contents

About the Author



  • Are Behavior Problems on the Rise?
  • Can Neuroscience Help?
  • About This Book
  • Questions This Book Will Answer
  • Chapter Contents
  • Other Helpful Tools
  1. Handling Social Misbehavior
    • The Social and Emotional Brain
    • Emotional Processing
    • Pathways of Emotional Signals
    • What Leads to Social Misbehavior?
    • The Teacher Is the Key
    • Interventions for Handling Social Misbehavior
    • Dealing With Social Anxieties
    • Using Social Stories to Modify Behavior
    • A Case Study: Using a Social Story for a Verbally Aggressive Student
    • A Social Story for Angry Students
    • Summary
  2. Dealing With Impulsive Behavior
    • What Leads to Impulsivity and Violent Behavior?
    • Genetic Variations
    • Prenatal Exposure to Cocaine
    • Cerebral Lesions
    • An Important Word About Testosterone
    • Ignorance of Rules of Behavior
    • Some Strategies for Controlling Impulsive Behavior
    • Cognitive and Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions
    • Putting Impulsive Problem Behavior in a Social Context
    • Using Picture Books to Curb Impulsive Anger or Anxiety
    • Other Suggested Strategies
    • Summary
  3. Teaching Self-Control Through Self-Verbalization
    • Examining Self-Control
    • What Is Self-Control?
    • Are Children Learning Self-Control?
    • Brain Structures for Self-Control
    • Do Mirror Neurons Play a Role in Self-Control?
    • Losing Self-Control
    • Helping Students Regain Self-Control
    • Verbal Self-Contol of Aggressive, Defiant, or Other Behavior
    • The Power of Self-Talk
    • The ZIPPER Strategy
    • "Say No and Walk Away" to Resist Peer Pressure
    • Self-Control Through Self-Talk and Self-Monitoring
    • The Nature of Attention
    • Self-Monitoring for Other Problem Behaviors
    • Self-Control Through Self-Rating of Emotional Intensity
    • The Anger Thermometer
    • Summary
  4. Managing the Behavior of Boys
    • Why a Concern With Boys?
    • Gender Differences in Behavior
    • Genetic and Environmental Factors
    • Impact of Biology
    • Some Research Findings on Behavioral Differences
    • Using Research-Based Strategies
    • Movement-Based Instruction and Classroom Management
    • Boy-Friendly Instruction and Discipline
    • The Responsibility Strategy
    • And What About Girls?
    • The Rise of Cyberbullying
    • Bullying Versus Cyberbullying
    • Dealing With Cyberbullying
    • Summary
  5. Building Positive Relationships With Troubled Students
    • Relationships and Research
    • Insights From Neuroscience
    • Some Research Findings
    • Developing Teacher-Student Relationships
    • The Importance of Positive Relationships With and for Students
    • Reaching Unreachable Students With Dialogue Journals
    • The Lunch Bunch: An Educator's Idea
    • Managing Serious Behavior Problems Through Adult Mentoring
    • Summary
  6. Using Peer Relationships to Modify Behavior
    • Examining Peer Relationships
    • Dealing With Peer Influence: A Two-Edged Sword
    • The Desire to Be Liked
    • Peer-Mediated Behavior Management Strategies
    • Peer-Mediated Anger Management
    • Factors to Consider in Peer Mediation
    • Peer Confrontation to Curb Misbehavior
    • The Mystery Motivator/Mystery Character Intervention to Decrease Inappropriate Behavior
    • Group Contingency Interventions
    • Summary
  7. Managing Oppositional Behavior
    • What Is Oppositional Behavior?
    • Causes of Oppositional Behavior
    • Students With Oppositional Behavior in the Classroom
    • Teacher Knowledge of Oppositional Behavior
    • Teacher Frustration and Countercontrol
    • Defiant Students: Explosions Waiting to Happen
    • Avoiding Triggers for Misbehavior in the Classroom
    • Teaching Students to Relax
    • Other Strategies
    • What About Oppositional Defiant Disorder? (ODD)
    • Development of ODD
    • Treatment of ODD
    • Summary
  8. Developing Positive Self-Esteem
    • The Nature of Self-Esteem
    • The Power of Self-Esteem
    • Research on Self-Esteem
    • Guidelines for Building Self-Esteem
    • Building a New Perspective on the Troubled Student: The Strength-Based Assessment
    • What Is Strength-Based Assessment?
    • Motivation and Attribution Retraining
    • Motivation Research and Attribution Theory
    • The "Shine My Light" Strategy
    • Summary
  9. Putting It All Together
    • Educational Climate: Are We Happy Here?
    • What Is Classroom Climate?
    • The Biology of Happiness
    • Successful Behavior Management in the Classroom
    • Assessing Classroom Climate
    • Classrom Management and Cultural Diversity
    • Guidelines for Managing Diverse Classes
    • Positive Behavioral Supports in the Classroom
    • What Are Positive Behavioral Supports?
    • The Functional Assessment of Behavior
    • The Behavioral Improvement Plan
    • Multitiered Interventions and the Student Support Team
    • Summary