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Second Edition of Award-Winning CD-ROM Released

The second edition of the award-winning "The 101's: A Guide to Positive Discipline," a multimedia/interactive program produced by Katharine Kersey and Old Dominion University's Office of Academic Technology Services, has been released.

Based on research by Kersey, professor of early childhood education and chair of ODU's Department of Early Childhood, Speech Language Pathology and Special Education, the guide is a user-friendly training tool offering solutions to child care providers, teachers and parents to help children become happier, better equipped to settle differences peaceably and more self-directed.

The original CD-ROM set, which showed the "101's" used with children 8 weeks to 6 years of age, came out in 2004 and has since had a wide distribution. The winner of a 2005 Videographer Award, a Bronze Telly Award and the Aegis Video & Film Production Award (Training and Education), it has been translated into Chinese and a Spanish Langauge version is forthcoming. The new guide focuses on children ages 5 to 12.

Available in CD-ROM for individual use, and DVD and VHS formats for groups, the second edition of the "101's" costs $40, compared to the $250 price tag for other training programs offered to schools to help train teachers in classroom management. The sets can be purchased online at www.dl.odu.edu/101s.

The new edition is an easy-to-use training tool that provides teachers, parents and caregivers with techniques to help children believe in themselves and to turn them on to learning, Kersey says. It is designed for use by small groups of teachers, parents and virtually anyone interested in making positives strides in their interactions with students and others. Each video offers an activity list for implementation of the principles, including a new "Facilitator's Guide" for teachers.

As opposed to those programs that are usually filmed lectures, Kersey's videos feature real-life examples from live classrooms as teachers implement each of the 101 techniques. Filmed over two years (2006-07) in nine classrooms, the new videos show the 101 principles being used with children in a Title I inner-city school, Newsome Park Elementary in Newport News, Va.

"We were anxious to show that the '101's' work with all children and circumstances - not just the controlled conditions of a university child study center," said Kersey. "So, we worked with Newsome Park faculty and children." The teachers were trained to use the techniques and principles in order to support optimal pro-social skills and academic development, and the new guide features video of real and compelling K-5 classroom scenarios that illustrate the techniques in action.

The "101's" support authentic, respectful relationships, and effectively prevent discipline problems before they occur by helping children to be self-disciplined, caring and empathetic, Kersey said. The principles build a strong sense of personal responsibility and place a high value on each child's contribution to the classroom community.

Newsome Park Elementary offers evidence of the guide's success. In 2004, the school did not make the grade in what the state terms "Adequate Yearly Progress" in academic areas. That evaluation changed in the years of implementation (2005-06) of the "101's" to "Made AYP."

"Children in classrooms that use the '101's' assume accountability for themselves and act responsibly toward others. They have developed skills, hobbies, talents and interests and feel a genuine sense of control over what happens in their lives," writes Kersey in discussing resources that help children develop important characteristics, including confidence in their ability to overcome challenges and frustrations.

Among the critical factors she highlights are the positive influence of caring, committed adults, children's emotional, mental, spiritual and physical inner resources, and supportive environments that are welcoming, encouraging, safe, and provide a sense of belonging: "Positive teacher behaviors that show compassion and respect involve knowing all children by name, encouraging the participation of those who may not easily join in, making extra efforts to connect and bond with every child, and helping children learn how to problem solve when they are having difficulties."

Kersey, a nationally known children's education authority, is the author of three books, "The Art of Sensitive Parenting," "Helping Your Child Handle Stress" and "Don't Take It Out on Your Kids", and has co-authored a fourth book, "The First Year Teacher," published by the National Education Association. She has devoted her career to finding ways to promote the use of positive discipline techniques with children.

This article was posted on: March 31, 2008

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