Workshop (13)

Recognizing and Nurturing the Talent of Lost Prizes
Ken McCluskey
University of Winnipeg, Canada.
If we expect students to communicate and behave positively there obviously must be rules, order, and organization. And certainly, educational environments should be physically and emotionally safe for all children and adolescents. However, when overly rigid, punitive codes of discipline are put in place, many young people – who cannot adapt to inflexible reactions and responses – may be harmed instead of helped. Indeed, under certain conditions, teachers, administrators, and support staff may inadvertently say and do things that essentially drive nonconforming, difficult youth from our system. Even with the best will in the world, educational caregivers can sometimes make unfortunate choices, draw lines in the sand, and push marginalized students over and out. This session will identify some pitfalls to avoid and review several projects that have used Creative Problem Solving and mentoring to identify and develop the talents of troubled children and youth at risk for alienation, school failure, and gang involvement.