Social Goals

Alfred Adler’s theory of psychology proposed that when children feel accepted and capable, they function in more connected ways and that when children feel that they aren’t successfully a part of the group, they will “misbehave.” Rudolf Dreikurs expanded on Adler’s work in a variety of publications, including Encouraging Children to Learn and Maintaining Sanity in the Classroom: Classroom Management Techniques. He proposed that children’s behavior is purposeful, that they are motivated to belong to the social group, that they are decision-makers and goal-directed, and that their perceptions of the world may be skewed in such a way as to negatively impact their successful belonging. Logical and natural consequences are two common concepts that have a foundation in Adler and Dreikur’s contributions.

Click here to go to a summary of Adlerian child guidance techniques from the Adler Institute.

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