School ‘no place’ for Supernanny techniques

The Press Last 04 April 2009

Television’s Supernanny has been sent to the naughty step. Behaviour-control techniques popularised by the TV disciplinarian have spread to preschools despite being in breach of the United Nations (UN) Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the national curriculum Te Whariki, an Auckland academic says. Pauline Bishop, a Unitec lecturer with 20 years experience in early childhood education, this week told the Early Intervention Association conference in Auckland that Supernanny techniques were unprofessional for teachers.

“What you’re really doing is you’re punishing the child for doing something that is not appropriate, instead of teaching them, which is our mandate,” Bishop said. “It could be quite traumatic for children they might have hit somebody because they didn’t understand or they couldn’t communicate so they lashed out. Instead of teaching them a way of communicating, we’re punishing them by putting them on a naughty chair and giving them time out.” Bishop said the Supernanny techniques were OK in the home but did not belong at early childhood centres.
READ Anti-Correction Movement Pushes Boundaries of Good Practice by Family First’s Sue Reid The use of time-out is questioned in its use within early childhood centres, yet it is a simple, effective method and there are times when a child must be removed from other children as they can be a danger to others.”