Publication Date

Fall 9-20-2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Pat Moran


This paper examines the relationship between two approaches to disruptive behavior used at the Buffalo Mountain School, where the author works as a Special Education Provider for behaviorally and developmentally challenged students. These are the Normative Approach, established by the Northeastern Family Institute, and the Candid Approach, which is defined by the author based on his observations of practitioners at Buffalo Mountain. Each of these are used in an alternative school setting to redirect anti-social or disruptive behavior. The purpose of this paper is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches along with the parameters of their efficacy. It will also examine their relationship to each other with the intention of establishing a complementary synthesis of the two. It will show that the Normative Approach is broadly effective, but that when a disruptive student is not invested in the normative culture of a community, the Candid Approach is required to reach the individual on a more psychologically fundamental level. This document will be of particular interest to educators working at an alternative school, but will also be of relevance to any educators with disruptive or anti-social students in their classroom.


Special Education and Teaching