[semester equivalent = 1.33 credits]



Mary Ann Johnson



Mainstream teachers who have struggled in attempts to accommodate the needs of oppositional and defiant students and felt overwhelmed in those efforts will find out why your training and instincts aren’t working with your student.  The authors will show you the causes and misconceptions that surround the development and treatment of this disorder.  

In the first half of the book you will learn what has been discovered to help mainstream an ODD student by engineering classroom environments, routines, and tasks to maximize positive results.  You will find information on how to use a plan to temporarily remove a student in crisis from the classroom. It will help you know what to do if you become part of a team working with an oppositional and defiant student.

This is not the book you might have expected and hoped for because there is no silver bullet to guarantee your ability to successfully work with these students in mainstream classrooms.  The information and insights will not end your search for professional competence in your work with these students because this whole area is in its beginning stages of analysis and understanding. Much training and time may be the final solution to working successfully with oppositional students.        

The audiences for the second half of the book are really special education teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, and the broader counseling community.   Choose this book if you are vitally interested in knowing about the time, the training and the temperament of a team that would be needed to successfully accommodate the educational needs of these students. While the authors have great empathy and hopes for these troubled students, they acknowledge that the inherent problems of the disorder require the teamwork of many.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. Learned to identify what are often triggers for oppositional and defiant behaviors.
  2. Learned why the usual methods for dealing with classroom misbehavior usually only make things worse.
  3. Learned how a school team can work to help determine an accurate diagnosis and engineer classroom environments to minimize outbursts.
  4. Learned how to set up learning tasks to facilitate ongoing academic experiences for ODD students.
  5. Learned how to work as partners with parents.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

The use of artificial intelligence is not permitted. Assignment responses found to be generated by AI will not be accepted.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



You will need to obtain the text Educating Oppositional and Defiant Children, written by Philip S. Hall and Nancy D. Hall.  This 205 page, 6” x 9” book (Stock #103053560; ISBN 978-0-87120-761-6)

None. All reading is online.


Text starts at $12 from



Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Introduction.

Please briefly introduce yourself and tell why you chose this course. From “Chapter 1:  Understanding Oppositional Children” Within this chapter are many statistics about ODD. Cite at least 3 statistics that clarify the existence or causes of the rise in Oppositional Defiant Disorder that struck you as important.

Assignment #2: 3 Risk Factors.

What are three risk factors for developing a pattern of ODD behaviors? Include a sentence or two to elaborate on each.

Assignment #3: Common Approaches.

From “Chapter 2:   "What commonly-used approaches usually fail to work with Oppositional and Defiant Children?"  What relationship has been found between parental stressors and the high levels of oppositional and defiant children?  In light of this fact, why do you believe the Key Concept in Chapter 1 said, ironically, “Don’t blame the parent for the child’s behavior?” 

Assignment #4: 3 Levels of Communication.

From “Chapter 3:  Engineering the Child’s Environment for Success”  What are the three levels of communication that can be used for the daily schedule, and what are the pros and cons of each?

Assignment #5: Noncompliance.

Answer one (1) of the following questions:  What are the three major triggers of noncompliance and defiance caused by tasks assigned in class?  OR In the Case Studies, each showed both a different grade level AND a different kind of problem to deal with.  What were 3 important learnings you gained from these case studies?

Assignment #6: Trust.

From “Chapter 4:  Managing the Daily Antecedents” One of the Key Concepts of this chapter related to trust.  It may be unclear who must earn trust. 
From what you are reading, do you think it is the student or the teacher?  Explain.

Assignment #7: Antecedents.

Answer one (1) of the following questions:  What are antecedents and what typically should be avoided?  And what are some unique antecedents that can trigger noncompliance and defiance?  OR  What are antecedents, and what are some antecedents to enhance behaviors?

Assignment #8: Key Ideas.

What were 3 key ideas from these three case studies In this chapter?

Assignment #9: Removal From the Class.

From “Chapter 5:  Removing the Child From the Classroom”  Answer one (1) of the following questions:  What steps constitute the groundwork needed to provide a method to have a defiant student leave a classroom with a win-win dynamic?  OR  What are the three Teachable Moments associated with implementation of the plan for removal?

Assignment #10: Exit Plans.

Answer one (1) of the following questions:  In the section about Training the Educators, you will see the realities that this program is basically one employing special education training.  In that training what was suggested as the strategies for a good exit plan?  OR  What are four probable reasons why the exit model and advice of this chapter might be rejected by teachers?

Assignment #11: Providing Services.

From “Chapter 6: Providing Services at School”  Answer one (1) of the following questions:  In the process of determining the qualification for Special Education Services, there is a process undertaken by a Multidisciplinary Assessment Meeting.  Describe who are the participants and their roles in the assessment process.
OR  What are 3 key ideas you learned in this chapter?

Assignment #12: Training For Parents.

From “Chapter 7:  Training for Parents”  Answer one (1) of the following questions:  What are five important ideas you found about “training for parents”?
OR  Briefly describe the focus goals of each of the 9 sessions of Behavior Parent Training.

Assignment #13: ADHD.

From “Chapter 8:  Treating the Child”  Answer one (1) of the following questions:  What were some flaws that should be avoided in the determination of a diagnosis of ADHD in a student? OR   What are some reasons, besides ADHD, why children may have problems paying attention, and what assessment is used to determine if ADHD is really the cause?

Assignment #14: Conduct Problems.

Answer one (1) of the following questions:  What are the suggestions for long-term idealized treatment of severe child conduct problems?  OR  What are some evidences that children with conduct problems seem resistant to change?

Assignment #15: Positive School Culture.

From “Chapter 9:  Developing a Positive School Culture”  How can a principal develop a positive school culture?

Assignment #16: COURSE FORUM.

From the “Epilogue”
After reading the Epilogue and thinking back over this entire book, who do you think would most benefit from reading this book?
If you could mandate one change in the educational system that would positively affect these students, their parents and you, what would it be?
If others have already left comments, please respond to the one(s) that caught you interest.



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #17: Lesson Development.

Assignment #17:   (Required for 400 and 500 Level)
Assignment #17-A:
  • Adapt a lesson reflecting what you’ve learned in this course.
  • Implement your lesson with students or share with a colleague to gain feedback.
  • Write a 250-500 word commentary on what worked well and what could be improved.
  • Include any student feedback on your lesson if you were able to try it.
  • Share what you’ve learned with other teachers taking our courses by adding your Lesson to The Heritage Institute Lesson Library here.
  • For a sample lesson plan template click here.
  • Submit your modified lesson to your instructor via the online response box or file upload.
Assignment #17-B:
  • Adapt a lesson reflecting what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
  • Share your learning with other teachers by contributing your Lesson to The Heritage Institute Lesson Library here.
  • Write a 500+ word article about a noteworthy teaching success you’ve had with one or more students. especially those whose behavior was originally somewhat oppositional or defiant.  This success doesn't have to be with a very formally diagnosed student with Oppositional or Defiant Disorder.
  • Please refer to the guidelines on our blog What Works: Teaching at its Best prior to writing your article.
  • When you submit your article to your instructor, please also email a copy to Renee Leon THI blog curator and media specialist.
  • Indicate whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for publishing on our website. 
  • Submit your lesson to your instructor via the response box or file upload.

Assignment #18: (500 Level ONLY)

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete one (1) of the following assignment options:
Option A)  Create a PowerPoint presentation for a group of colleagues. Focus on key ideas and inspiring innovations to augment current practices.
Option B)  Compare and contrast this book with another related book or online research of articles.  For online research be sure to include URLs.


Assignment #19: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Mary Ann Johnson, M.Ed Adm. has worked with students of all levels, from alternative high school to gifted classes. She has also been a junior high vice principal and is now working with teachers for continuing education in classes, distance learning and building leadership groups. She is a teacher emeritus who has led seminars for educators which focus on developing a quality learner environment for students and for teachers. Her courses are research-based and resonate with user-friendly and energizing content.



Bernstein, Jeffrey. 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child, The Breakthrough Program for Overcoming Your Child’s Difficult Behavior, newly revised 2nd Ed, DaCapo Press, 2015, pb, 295 pages. The program in this book, created with a focus on family dynamics, includes something the other resources do not:  a section on defiance stemming from dealing with excessive technology use, something often accompanying ODD preferences
Greene, Ross W. The Explosive Child:  A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children, Harper Collins, 2014, pb, 280 pages. This book would be useful for teachers and parents who would like to find out how to prepare a pro-active program to deal with the disruptive behaviors that are likely to occur in typical situations otherwise.  The focus is on realities that can trigger antisocial behavior, as well as ways to avoid antagonistic personal responses to normal requests.
Huebner, Dawn. What Do You Do When Your Temper Flares:  A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Problems with Anger (What to Do Guides for Kids), Magination Press, 2007, pb, 96 pages.  With whimsical illustrations and twelve chapters, kids from 6 to 12 can learn how to calm themselves and reduce their uncontrolled anger.  This esteemed author has written a whole series of self-help books for children, and parents confirm that they are highly effective.  (Not for clinically identified ODD children, perhaps, but helpful for children who are too angry for everyday functioning.)
Meiners, Cheri J. Cool Down and Work Through Anger, Free Spirit Publishing, 2010, pb, 40 pages.  Another in a series of highly acclaimed books for children ages pre-school to 8 years old, Often used in the classroom, teachers can help children learn that feeling angry is normal, but people should never hurt someone else when they are angry.
Stenson, Joseph. Oppositional Defiant Disorder:  How to Manage and Treat a Child with ODD, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015, pb, 68 pages.
The focus of this book is on parent encouragement and information.  It recognizes the natural sadness, resentment, and anger generated in the parent by the difficult realities of working with an ODD child, and brings hope and insight into the program for coping.  The reality for the child is a life of difficulty and conflict, so the job of the parent is to make the most of the possibilities for helping both their child and the family itself deal with the realities.