Volume 13 Number 10
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Promoting Responsibility
- Increasing Effectiveness
- Improving Relationships
- Promoting Learning
- Discipline without Stress (DWS)
- Reviews and Testimonials
Leadership is the art of getting other people to do something you want done because they want to do it. —Dwight Eisenhower
I was asked if the approach employed to build quality into Japanese products is different from what NCLB (No Child Left Behind in the USA) is trying to accomplish by all of its testing.
My response follows:
The Japanese approach is to build quality INTO the process. In contrast, NCLB uses tests to measure AFTER the process, which is an antiquated approach in manufacturing.
The modern process is to build quality into a product rather than relying on inspection at the end and trashing the items that do not pass quality control.
Countries that are much more educationally successful, like Finland, build motivation and responsibility into the process; visit my blog to learn more about Finland’s system. The Japanese approach gives constant feedback to improve. NCLB gives no feedback during the teaching and learning process. Neither students nor teachers receive information in a timely way to improve either teaching or learning.
As an aside, as I have written many times, the use of standardized tests is totally inappropriate to improve quality learning. It just reports scores on tests that are neither valid nor reliable for the purpose for which they are being used.
2. PROMOTING RESPONSIBILITY
As I walked to my high school as a student, I viewed the marquee every day for three years: “Achieve the Honorable.” Obviously, I still remember my Hollywood High school message and often reflect on the impression it made on my me.
Following are two reflections that teachers may consider posting in the classroom and parents consider asking at appropriate times:
“Are you true to the best in you?” “
Will I be better, or a better person, if I chose to do this?”
3. INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS
Alfred Hitchcock related his story about fear.
When I was five years old my father wanted to punish me for a minor misdemeanor, a very minor misdemeanor. So he sent me with a note to the police station. The police put me in jail for five minutes. I was so scared that I have a fear of policemen to this day.
Mental health practioners claim that once you know the cause of your fear, you will be on your way to becoming free of it. Not true!
Knowing the cause of something is interesting but does not create new neural connections to respond to the emotion in more effective ways. You cannot change feelings directly.
Reducing negative feelings only occurs with changing thinking because feelings always follows cognition. In short, what you feel is prompted by what you think, hear, see, smell, taste, or teach.
To reduce negative feelings, change your thoughts. Feelings follow.
4. IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS
A number of experts in sales emphasize the importance of relationships for achieving success.
Here is a classic from Ed Oakley’s “Enlightened Leadership.”
There is a famous story about a life insurance company. The people went through the training program and were very successful for about 18 months. After 18 months, their sales dropped off.
The company made quite an intensive investigation as to the reason. They found that the people followed the training approach of the company, which was to ask questions. Using this approach, the sales people not only got to know financial problems and concerns, but also something about the people themselves. The questioning approach led to relationship building.
After about 1.5 years, the sales people had heard almost all the answers they were going to hear, and so they moved into a telling mode–asking less and telling more. That’s when sales plummeted because the salesmen did not bind with the prospective client, and when sales dropped, they became discouraged. They were focusing on fear of failure, and the downward spiral of their performance was in full gear.
Telling, by its very nature, carries a message that what you are doing needs to be changed–that what you are doing is not good enough. People do not mind changing as much as they mind being changed, meaning someone else’s telling them what to do.
You should be aware that telling carries this underlying message. Sharing information and asking reflective questions are much more effective approaches to accomplish what President Eisenhower stated at the beginning of this newsletter.
5. PROMOTING LEARNING
Dear Dr. Marshall,
I am still learning about Common Core through various readings. Much is said about various restrictions or limitations associated with their curricula and standards. What is your opinion?
I started at the beginning with the kindergarten level. Reading what is expected from this age group was a turn-off for me.
Teaching academics in kindergarten is counterproductive. At this age, young people should be learning how to socialize, play, and be creative. This is especially important today when so many young people engage in passive activities of watching television and playing games using technology–both of which are generally lone activities.
Due to their later cognitive development as compared to girls, boys develop negative self-esteem when challenged but without having constant individual attention.
An exception would be someone like Marva Collins who was successful in teaching Shakespeare and Greek classics to youngsters. However, Marva Collins constantly emphasized phonics and taught life lessons in character development by the materials she used and the discussions she had.
Generally, however, making Kindergarten into first grade is a mistake. Schools in Scandinavian countries teach reading at much older ages and are more successful.
I believe Common Core as it exists today will prove to be another approach with good intentions but another “silver bullet” lost to history. See others at http://marvinmarshall.com/teaching/counterproductive-approaches/
As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, no two children (or adults for that matter) are the same. Each individual, young or old, views the world differently, interacts with others in a distinctive way, and processes information uniquely.
Differences are good. It would be boring if everyone acted, behaved, and thought the same way. But sometimes, interacting with people who are vastly different from you (as with many parent/child relationships) can be stressful.
Noticing behavioral styles among people is nothing new. The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung was the first to categorize behavioral styles. Jung postulated that every individual develops a primacy in one of four major behavioral functions: intuiting, thinking, feeling, and sensing. If you and your child operate from different behavioral styles, friction can easily result.
Realize, though, that no style is good or bad, right or wrong. There is not one style that is better or worse than another; they are simply different.
You can discern children’s styles by watching them and examining how they process experiences. In the PARENTING WITHOUT STRESS PERSONALITY BEHAVIOR STYLES ASSESSMENT, we use the four style descriptions of Thinker, Feeler, Doer, and Relater. Visualize a directional scale with a thinker in the north, a feeler in the south, a doer in the west, and a relater in the east.
A thinker (north) analyzes and processes using a great deal of thought. A feeler (south) is directed through emotions more than through cognition. A doer (west) is orientated toward results, while a relater (east) is into relationships. Since directions are not limited to north, south, east, and west, think in terms of general areas or neighborhoods, such as the north and west, south and east, etc.
A parent who is aware of styles has a decided advantage in relating to and communicating with the child. The same holds true for a husband and wife. For example, just knowing that your spouse wants time to relate can prompt you to redirect an impulse to “get on with a task.” Such knowledge can help you take time to listen.
In short, being aware of styles enhances communications. When you observe a youth’s style and start relating with this understanding, you will experience less stress and more joy in your parenting and other relationships.
For more information about the four styles, and to take an online assessment that will help you determine your own style, see http://marvinmarshall.com/assessment/
7. DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS (DWS)
I was recently asked to write a summary of the DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS TEACHING MODEL. You will find it worth reading the short synopsis of how the program was designed to be implemented.
The following is from a recent testimonial:
My inclusion teacher partner and I have been using your approach for 2 years now and absolutely love it. Fifth graders from our class who are safety patrols were teaching it to their younger grade classrooms when they went to pick them up at the close of the day to walk them out of the building. They have even written and recorded several messages we have aired on our school’s closed circuit TV morning broadcasts. —Brian Edgerton – Maplewood, New Jersey
The EDUCATION book:
This fascinating, insightful book is more than technique; it has very practical suggestions on 100+ common issues most parents and educators face. It breathes a sound philosophy and way of thinking that empowers us, instead of our constantly looking to others for solutions. —Stephen R. Covey, Ph.D. Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The PARENTING book:
I am looking forward to recommending this book. It provides fresh and compelling wisdom for parents. It inspires, and the ideas and recommendations will become part of those who read it. —Donna Gawell – Westerville, Ohio