Benson, Galbraith, and Espeland, (1995) defines love and logic as a philosophy concerned with raising children in such a way that makes both the teachers and students more satisfied and contented, empowered, skilled and able to relate in a mutually beneficial manner that allows for the students to learn in a free environment. The philosophy ensures that, adults demonstrate enough love to children which in turn makes the children to feel freer and at ease in the learning process. This is very important to a learning environment. Benson, Galbraith, and Espeland, (1995) notes that, a learning environment should be devoid of barriers such as noise barrier, communication barriers and also psychological barriers such as the negative relations between teachers and children.
The incidences of disruptive behaviour from school children has been on the increase for the past few decades yet the education system has either been unresponsive to the emerging challenges or the educators and policy makers have been totally aloof to the situation. This has led to a lot of children dropping out of schools and therefore disrupting their lives. This has had other far reaching consequences such as that; the children who discontinue studies may end up engaging in criminal activities. For the teachers, the above trends have led to special challenges in that, the public expects them to deliver oblivious of the unique classroom difficulties. As Benson, Galbraith, and Espeland, (1995) notes, indiscipline negatively affects the learning environment and therefore an undisciplined class is more likely to perform poorly than a disciplined class.
According to (Cline, & Fay, 1990), America has experienced a significant increase in disruptive behaviour in school going children such as; violence, intolerable behavior, as well as substance misuse. In a study carried out by (Benson, Galbraith, & Espelland, 1995), it was found out that punishment, does not actually reduce cases of classroom indiscipline but on the contrary, it causes an increase in indiscipline incidences. All the above led to combined efforts to find a solution for the increasing cases of indiscipline and ultimately resulted in the experimentation of the love and logic philosophy which was rather correctional approach as opposed to a punitive one (Finn, 1989). The love and logic philosophy holds that, children can succeed in the classroom for as long as the teacher shows compassion, demonstrates tolerance. This leads to the children to connect compassion and love to logical consequences (Finn, 1989).
In a study of 270,000 students carried out by Benson, Galbraith, and Espeland, (1995) found out that criminal behaviour, academic failure and substance abuse are easily avoidable by applying the principles of love and logic. Such principles include, supportive and loving family and school environment, a positive relationship between children and adults, high achievement and motivation, good communication between parents and children as well as decision making skills and optimism about the world and the children’s future. All the above are developmental concerns which a teacher can address in the classroom.
In another study by (Weir, 1997) which involved the implementation of love and logic program in an elementary level, the results overwhelmingly pointed to the effectiveness of the love and logic philosophy. After implementation teachers were required to give feedback on some variables. It was reported that, 87% of teachers experienced an improvement in student behavior, 84% noted experiencing improved relationships with students, 68% reported that as a result of the love and logic program, student disruptions had significantly decreased, 71% noted getting time for more teaching as a result of decreased disruptions, while 82% noted that, discipline had improved and they felt that they were in charge of the classroom.
When adults demonstrate love, the children feel less threatened and are therefore more likely to learn in unthreatening environment whereby the children are not afraid of making mistakes (Cline, & Fay, 1990). Through logic, children are empowered to accept the consequences of their actions as well as decisions and are therefore more likely to cope with consequences arising out of the choices the children make.
According to (Cline, & Fay, 1990), love and logic are a prerequisite for a working relationship amongst teachers, children and parents in which the parents and teachers take control over the children and their actions. Love and logic are very important to teachers in that, they give the teacher the necessary control needed in classroom environment for learning to take place effectively. The logic and love philosophy instills in children a sense of responsibility which is crucial especially when it comes to learning activities which teachers assign to children such as assignments and homework.
With a more disciplined class, the teacher is more likely to gain control over the class and therefore become more efficient in delivery of the subject content. Love and logic, are important for teachers in that, besides passing knowledge, teachers act as caregivers and are mandated to ensure that the students learn life’s skills such as social skills and decision making which are important in bringing up responsible and disciplined children.
This goes a long way in making sure that, when the children come out of school, they do not have difficulties in coping with the outside world. (Benson, Galbraith, & Espelland, 1995) notes that, logic and love is a good alternative for counselling with the added advantages such as the fact that; logic and love approaches are realistic, simple and easy for the children to learn (Bandura, 1977). Logic and love has been noted as one of the few philosophies which do not depend on age in that, children of all ages can learn important life skills even at a very tender age.
Therefore teaching using the logic and love approach allows a learner to gain in the maximum way possible due to the usually close ties with the teacher. The teachers as well benefit mutually in that, the self direction the student demonstrates is an empowerment in the classroom and it allows the learner to grow up into better citizen ready to face the future challenges which lie ahead of the students once they leave the classrooms.
Love and logic takes into consideration teacher and student relations by encouraging the two parties to connect easily. By enforcing the concept of self, shared control, shared thinking as well as empathy and consequences, logic and love as a philosophical approach of teaching results into a well rounded child who proceed to the outside world ready to meet the numerous challenges and able are to overcome (Bandura, 1977).
Love and logic, results into a classroom environment in which the culture is that of; self determination, self dedication, self discipline as well as self empowerment for the children. On the other side, the teachers are able to execute their professional duties with zeal and in total confidence that the objectives and goals of learning will be achieved.
Love and logic philosophy is grounded in the belief that every child has positive traits and has the potential to grow and develop into useful and resourceful members of the society. The children learn in a non-confrontational environment and are able to relate well to the teacher. It saves time which otherwise goes into solving indiscipline cases.
For the school, logic and love saves valuable time and it is easy for the school to improve on performance. Love and logic is a very effective approach in dealing with disruptive students who threaten the smooth learning in the classroom. When such children are shown love, care, concern and patience, they easily transform and are capable of reforming and are very likely to become some of the best and cooperative students in the classroom.
Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Eaglewood Cliffs, NJ. Prentice-Hall.
Benson, P, Galbraith, J, & Espelland, P. (1995). What kids need to succeed: Proven, practical
ways to raise good kids? Minneapolis, MN. Free Spirit Publishing.
Cline, F & Fay, J (1990). Parenting with love and logic. Colorado Springs, CO: Pirion Press.
Finn, J (1989). Withdrawing from school. Review of educational research, 59.
Weir, B (1997). An evaluation of the effects of love and logic at McCullough Elementary School.
Unpublished outcome study.