Constructive Guidance and Discipline Birth to Age Eight

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-01-03
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Fields, Meritt, and Fields have written one of the most respected texts in the field, Constructive Guidance and Discipline: Early Childhood Education,and in the Sixth Edition, the authors provide information about helping children become confident, caring, responsible, and productive people in a strong and thoughtful way. This edition now includes content and examples on infants and toddlers, making the book relevant to teachers of children from birth through age eight. All of the authors' recommendations about guidance approaches are based on the sound research of Jean Piaget, Alfred Adler and Carl Roger. These insightful recommendations, for novice and seasoned educators alike, further acknowledge the uniqueness of each child, including how individual temperaments and experiences affect behavior. The authors encourage their readers to treat the root cause of behavior problems rather than just the symptoms in order to obtain lasting results. In doing so, they continually present a clear discussion of child development and developmentally appropriate practices as they relate to the causes of children's behavior. Unique in providing a unified theory base for analyzing guidance and discipline, the text offers a consistent view of external versus internal motivation, explaining why rewards are as damaging as punishment, and why evaluative praise undermines children's learning as well as their self-confidence. Keenly focused on developmental theory and constructivism, this celebrated resource explains underlying causes for child behavior, weaves numerous infant/toddler, preschool and primary classroom examples throughout, includes two full chapters devoted to challenges stemming from children with special physical or emotional needs, learning disabilities, or risk factors due to poverty, violence, or loss, and many summary boxes and graphic aids to prepare students in becoming experts in guiding young children.

Author Biography

Marjorie Fields Dr. Marjorie Fields has recently retired after teaching in the field of

early childhood education for more than 30 years. She first taught kindergarten, then

first grade, and then began teaching teachers. Thanks to her own children, she also

had experience in cooperative preschools and various types of childcare.


Marjorie has a Doctorate in Early Childhood Education with Research in Parent

Involvement. She has been active in early childhood professional organizations at

the national and local levels; she recently served as president of the National Association

of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE) and has also served as

vice president of that association. She has served on the national governing board

for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). She has

published extensively in the field of emergent literacy, including the textbook Let’s

Begin Reading Right (Merrill/Prentice Hall), as well as in the field of child guidance.


This book is the result of more than 30 years of reading and thinking in conjunction

with developing and teaching early childhood discipline courses. Dr. Fields

credits her two sons with initially helping her learn what is most important about

child guidance and discipline. She now continues to learn from her grandchildren.


Patty Meritt Patty currently serves as a Professor of Early Childhood Education for

the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. The newest author, Patty used this book for

several years in classes for both teachers and parents. She teaches Child Guidance

in several formats, including workshops, on the web and as an intensive and compressed

course, and says the book is the backbone of every presentation. In addition

to teaching at the university, Patty has worked as a classroom teacher, owner and

administrator in childcare, private preschool, and a parent coop. Patty’s academic

degrees began with an AA in Nursery School and include a BA in Child Development

and a Masters in Teaching. Her research has been primarily in the field of gender

differences in early childhood. First as a parent and continuing as a grandparent, she

delights in continually learning, sharing, and improving her respectful responses to

all children.


Deborah M. Fields Debby is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and the Director of

Social Services for Agape Adoptions, an international adoption agency. She assesses

and helps prepare families who wish to adopt children in normal health and with special

needs from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Debby also provides post-adoption

support services, assisting parents with the process of adjustment, attachment, and

developing sensitive discipline practices. Debby is particularly interested in the role of

primary relationships and is continually impressed by the powerful effect that loving

and sensitive caregivers have on children’s behavior and emotional development.

Debby is also the mother of two preteen daughters and continues to learn a great deal

about emotional development in her family life. Her children attend a cooperative

public school, where Debby enjoys working regularly in their classrooms.


Debby has a Master’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling. She

presented her Master’s thesis on Multicultural Counseling at a national convention

for the American Psychological Association. In addition to her training in attachment

issues, she has focused on developing culturally sensitive practices in her work with

children and families. She has also worked with teen parents and in an elementary

school counseling center.

Table of Contents


Discipline Foundations

CHAPTER 1Thinking About Guidance and Discipline

CHAPTER 2 Physical and Emotional Development Affect Child Behavior

CHAPTER 3 Intellectual and Social Development Affect Discipline

PART 2 Discipline Approaches

CHAPTER 4 Creating Environments That Prevent Discipline Problems

CHAPTER 5 Planning Programs That Prevent Discipline Problems

CHAPTER 6 Teaching Desirable Behavior Through Example

CHAPTER 7 Effective Discipline Through Effective Communication

CHAPTER 8 Helping Children Understand and Accept Limits

CHAPTER 9 Beyond Behaviorism

CHAPTER 10 Punishment versus Discipline

PART 3 Matching Discipline Causes to Discipline Approaches

CHAPTER 11 Childlike Behaviors

CHAPTER 12 Unmet Needs

CHAPTER 13 Meeting Diverse Needs: Academic, Social, Cultural, & Linguistic

CHAPTER 14 Stress and Vulnerabilities

CHAPTER 15 Analyzing Discipline Problems

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