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An oral history of school problematic behavior interventions by elementary and middle level principals; 1966--1996

Linda Sue Hix, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Although it has been established that part of a principal's role is to work with student discipline, a lack of historical data exists on principals' interventions with students who have behavior problems. The purpose of this study was to provide an oral history of school behavior interventions by elementary and middle level school principals. A qualitative study was presented based upon interviews with ten principals with a minimum of 25 years of experience working in six metropolitan school districts in a Midwestern state between 1966–1996. ^ The focus of this study was on practices principals used when working with the students most frequently asked to report to the office because of problematic behaviors. Records of state and federal legislation and time period literature relating to student discipline are also a part of this study. ^ The central question of the study was how have elementary and middle level principals intervened with students who displayed problematic behavior during the years 1966–1996? Principals' interventions, preventive measures, and the principal's role in teacher support of student problematic behavior issues were explored. Four major change themes were identified: an increase in collaboration with other professionals and the use of a counseling or problem solving approach; a move away from out-of-school suspension to more frequent use of in-school suspension; a change in subjects' work with parents; and a move away from corporal punishment. ^ Information about the historic practices of ten principals' attempts to encourage appropriate student behaviors was documented. Information gained from this study adds to the knowledge base about the historical role of principals. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Hix, Linda Sue, "An oral history of school problematic behavior interventions by elementary and middle level principals; 1966--1996" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9967377.