Control versus Discipline

If you want to become a more effective teacher, then give up the need to control students. In other words, hand over to the students the responsibility of LEARNING TO CONTROL THEMSELVES. This is important for every child but especially important for those children who have repeated discipline challenges.

The key is to use the Raise Responsibility hierarchy ALL the time so that it isn’t associated with corrective discipline. In fact, the more you use the hierarchy, the more that students will become open to using the understandings of the hierarchy to help themselves make better choices. The more you discuss the hierarchy in a variety of situations, the more it seems to become a natural tool that children begin to use independently. They start to evaluate their own choices, actions, and behaviors on an everyday basis.

One of the main principles of this approach is to ask questions that will promote serious reflection. Those children who have out-of-the-ordinary discipline issues are the ones who especially benefit from these questions. You can’t force children to change their behavior, but as the teacher, you can ask questions that will challenge them to think about where their own behavior is leading them—somewhere they really want to go or not.

Learning to ask more effective questions is the main way in which many teachers can improve their use of the hierarchy and thus become a better teacher. The child’s INNER RESPONSE TO THESE QUESTIONS IS WHAT WILL MOTIVATE THE OUTER CHANGE you are hoping to eventually see. The better the questions, the more likely the child will respond.

Ultimately, the most effective teacher gets across the message that behavior is a choice and all choices naturally have consequences. Some are positive, some are negative, and some are neutral. Regardless, behavior is a choice, and people are free to choose responses to much of what happens to them. If you can get a child to start contemplating these ideas, then you have planted some very valuable seeds. You can empower them with the realization that life is a never-ending series of decisions and help them to notice that it feels pretty good to be able to look after yourself by consciously taking charge of the process.

1 Comment
  1. This is a very effective technique no doubt but sometimes I am out of a pool of reflective questions.What to do at that time?
    Can you suggest a list of commonly asked questions through your experience? Thanks a lot.