Serving Art Educators
and Students Since 1994


Classroom Discipline

Transactional Analysis

As mentioned in the previous document, this program by Dr. Eric Berne, is based on the premise that every human has a child, adult, and parent psyche. Students and teachers are encouraged to stay in the adult domain and avoid a parent/child relationship. The use of contracts form collaborations between teachers and students.  Problems are dealt with by cooperation and goodwill. Like Discipline With Dignity, there is a strong focus on self esteem and motivation.

There are seven components to TA. These components are summarized as follows:

"I'm OK, You're OK" - Teachers treat students as being OK, in spite of any discipline problems. Assume that students are capable of change in the right circumstances.

Strokes - All people need recognition and positive feedback, or "strokes." TA works on eliminating unhealthy patterns of stroking and understanding how people give and receive both positive and negative strokes.

Ego States - Dr. Berne believes that there are three ego states humans have. They are the Parent, the Adult, and the Child. Each ego state determines the type of interaction between two people. For example, if a teacher is in a parent mode and the student is in a child mode, conflict is sure to result. Teacher communication can control the mode of conversation.

I'm OK, You're OKTransactions - This refers to communication between two people. Teachers should recognize which ego states students are communicating from and follow a sequence to move students into a different mode.

Games People Play - This refers to dysfunctional behavior. Much of this has been learned in dysfunctional families. These dysfunctional games are played to obtain strokes, but instead reinforce negative self-concepts. The TA manual identifies these games and tells how to terminate these games. Some of the games include, "Yes, but...," "Why don't you...," and "I'm Only Trying to Help." Dr. Berne's book, "Games People Play, " goes into detail on this subject and was very popular in the 1960's.

Life Script - Dr. Berne proposes that dysfunctional behavior is the result of decisions made in childhood in order to survive. This is the "life script" a student plays and is difficult to break. TA strategies aim to break this behavior by changing the child's script to cooperation.

Contracts - Student change is brought about through contracts. These contracts are developed through a collaboration between the teacher and the student. This assumes that students are capable of deciding what they want for their lives.

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