Discipline Goals

Many teachers who use the Discipline Without Stress methodology comment on how getting children to act on Level D of the Levels of Development is their goal. In reality, having all students operate on Level D should not be the goal of this discipline system. Rather, the teacher’s goal is to have the motivation at least on Level C so that a civil and productive learning environment is created in the classroom. So Level C is the goal for the teacher, not Level D.

Some students will certainly CHOOSE to set their sights higher (Level D), and of course this is what you hope, but it is not something over which you have direct control. You cannot force any student to operate at a higher level, but by implementing the approach and introducing young people to the Levels of Development you can encourage and inspire young people to WANT to act at the highest level, which is reflected in a desire to be SELF-motivated. By definition, Level D behavior is a voluntary choice.

It’s worth noting, too, that you can never judge another person’s motivation with complete accuracy. Within a classroom—where all the students look as if they are doing the same thing—perhaps quietly and cooperatively completing their assignments, some will be operating on Level C and some will be operating on Level D. The teacher may have guesses about the motivation level of each student, but they are only guesses.

A person’s motivation can be accurately determined ONLY by the person him/herself. That is why it is important that you ask questions to promote self-reflection in students. With this discipline approach, you are not TELLING the student what YOU think of their actions and their motivations. Ideally, you are striving to help them evaluate what THEY think about their own actions and motivations.

The more attention given to concretely providing specific examples of Level D and discussing the benefits of acting on this level, the more likely that young people will be motivated to aspire to this level.

More on the topic of motivation is at WithoutStress.com/