The mindset of current educational approaches regarding student behavior focuses unfortunately on obedience, the source too often of reluctance, resistance, resentment, and even rebellion. Simply stated, OBEDIENCE DOES NOT CREATE DESIRE. However, when the focus is on promoting responsibility, obedience follows as a natural by-product.
The reason is that motivation to be responsible requires a DESIRE to do so. The motivation must be INTERNAL. Many schools use EXTERNAL motivation in the form of rewards, threats, and punishments. However, these approaches (a) foster compliance rather than commitment, (b) require an adult presence for monitoring, (c) set up students to be dependent upon external agents, and (d) do not foster long-term motivation for responsibility.
In addition, when students start collecting rewards—as in Positive Behavior Support approaches—they start competing to see who can receive the most number of rewards. Since rewards change motivation, one will never know whether people are acting responsibly to get the reward or whether their motivation is to do right because doing right is the right thing to do.
My continuing efforts are devoted to changing the educational mindset away from using external and manipulative approaches. A less stressful and more effective approach is to motivate young people so that they WANT to behave responsibly and WANT to put forth effort to learn. That’s exactly what the Discipline Without Stress methodology is all about.