The Redl and Wattenberg Model
Created by: Fritz Redl and William W. Wattenberg

Key Ideas:
  1. People, when placed in group situations such as a classroom, behave differently than they do individually. Group expectations influence individual behavior and individual behavior in turn affects the group.
  2. Groups create their own psychological forces that influence individual behavior. In order for classroom control the teacher must be aware of group dynamics.
  3. Group behavior in the classroom is influenced by how students perceive the teacher.

How teachers may aid students:

Teachers must have diagnostic thinking:
    • forming a first hunch
    • gathering facts
    • applying hidden factors
    • taking action
    • being flexible
Maintaining group control:
    • supporting self control
    • offering situational assistance
    • appraising reality
    • invoking pleasure and pain
Self- control techniques (addressing the problem before it becomes serious):
    • eye contact
    • moving closer
    • humor
    • encouragement
    • ignoring
Situational assistance techniques:
    • helping students over a hurdle
    • restructuring the schedule
    • establishing routines
    • removing the student from a situation
    • removing seductive objects
    • physical restraints
Reality Techniques (understanding problems and foreseeing situations):
    • offer encouragement
    • set limits
    • clarify situations with follow-up
Pleasure-pain techniques:
    • involve rewarding good behavior/ punishing bad behavior
    • punishment should only be a last resort

In conclusion, Redl and Wattenberg found that students behavior is gravely effected when they are placed into a group setting and that one persons individual behavior may affect the entire group. Teachers may use several techniques to aid students in maintaining group control, with a few of these including: supporting- self control, situational assistance, appraising reality, and invoking pleasure and pain. When educators let students know what the rules of the classroom are then students are able to develop their own values and sense of reality that will in turn govern their behavior.

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