Development of Kevin Miller

Read the following case below and write a 5-8 page research essay
responding to the questions below the case.
Kevin Miller, a White fifth-grade student at Greentree elementary
School, is in the principal’s office with his parents. Mr. Dolan, the
school principal, has just informed Mr. and Mrs. Miller that Kevin’s
fifth-grade trip privilege will be revoked because of an accumulation of
disciplinary offenses. Kevin’s behavior in fifth grade has become
progressively more disruptive. This time, he has managed to create
enough problems for his teachers to prevent his participation in the
end-of-the-year event, which was planned as a reward for the
students’ effort and achievement.
Kevin is a very intelligent and physically attractive youngster with
particular interests and abilities in sports and computer games. In
second grade, he was identified as a candidate for the school’s gifted
student program, yet he invests little energy in schoolwork. He tells
his teachers that he finds the assignments boring and can find no
reason to involve himself in the learning process. He does little
studying, but he manages to get by with a C+ average. In class, he
talks to other students when he should be working, makes
disrespectful comments to his teachers, and tries to get away with
doing what he pleases most of the time. Kevin relishes his position of
power in the group.
Many students in the class look up to Kevin because of his engaging
bravado. They like him because he is often funny and provides a
diversion from class work. Other students find him a nuisance who
distracts the teachers from their instruction. Students know that if
they work with Kevin on a group project, they may have a good time,
but it will come with a price: getting in trouble with their teachers.
Kevin’s parents have a long history of conferencing with the school
principal and counselor. Over the years, problems have increased
from some concerns about his attention span in the early grades to
1 / 4
more issues that are serious. In fourth grade, Kevin was caught
cheating on a test proctored by a substitute teacher. Kevin claimed
that he was falsely accused because the teacher “didn’t like him.” At
the beginning of fifth grade, Kevin responded to his English teacher,
who was trying to get him to focus on a classroom writing
assignment, with a profane comment. When confronted about his
behavior, Kevin was convinced that he did not do anything seriously
wrong. His explanation was that he was joking, and he suggested that
the adults should “lighten up.”
Kevin’s parents believe it is their job to stand up for their only son
and support him, even though they are unhappy about his frequent
problems at school. The Millers describe their son as “lively and
creative” and “smarter than they are” in some areas, such as
computer literacy, encouraged by the school counselor, they initiated
private counseling for Kevin at the end of fourth grade. Kevin has
seen his counselor sporadically for almost a year. Both parents
believe that Kevin is a good boy whose irrepressible spirit and
intellect get him into trouble with those who misunderstand him.
Faced with this new consequence, Kevin is quite upset. He was
looking forward to the class trip and believes that the punishment is
The Millers understand the principal’s reasoning, but they also
disagree with the punishment. They indicate that they will request a
meeting with the superintendent to have the decision changed. They
express the view that most kids behave like Kevin sometimes. From
their perspective, Kevin should be allowed to express himself and to
have the autonomy to make choices about what he does. They
emphasize his persistence and interest in activities that engage his
attention. They come close to faulting Kevin’s teachers for failing to
motivate him.
The district superintendent, after considering the case, decides that
depriving Kevin of the trip would jeopardize any relationship teachers
would be able to develop with him in the future. Kevin’s consequence
is changed to an in-school suspension; he is allowed to participate in
2 / 4
the class trip.
Utilize concepts and terminology learned to respond to the following
questions in your essay:
What are the issues involved in Kevin’s case?
What assessment can you make of his development bringing
into your discussion the concepts of Piaget and Vygotsky?
If you were his counselor, how would you promote prosocial
What information would you give to the parents about
attachment theory and parenting styles?




Sample Solution

find the cost of your paper