Is Discipline without Stress ever implemented in high school?


Does anyone know if Discipline without Stress is ever implemented in high school? I teach high school Leadership classes and I think high schoolers need these things even more immediately than little ones. The real world is going to require self-discipline of them, real soon! Raising their responsibility is exactly what high school kids need. Most of the discussions I hear about the system seemed aimed at younger children, though presumably they should be applicable to older students as well. I would like any tips, or even encouragement for using this discipline approach in high school.


Discipline without Stress was developed when the author, Dr. Marvin Marshall, was teaching in a high school setting. It’s been adapted for primary , not the other way around. Often primary teachers initially have the opposite question. Knowing that this system has been originally developed for use in high schools, they wonder if it can be used with younger students!

Part One of the article, USING A DISCIPLINE SYSTEM TO PROMOTE LEARNING discusses how Dr. Marshall came to develop his approach.

The truth is that the approach can be implemented across the grade levels in almost an identical way. Many times, a high school teacher can benefit from discussions among primary teachers and vice versa too! A leadership class in particular is very much suited to ongoing discussions of the DWS Hierarchy.

You’re absolutely right in thinking that it’s very important for young adults to have information about self-discipline, simply because they’re soon to be entering the world at large. Ideas from Discipline without Stress can be of immediate and very real use to them. Look at this “alarm clock hierarchy” created by high school teacher, Jim Mann:

I use the levels to teach the importance of establishing a procedure each morning to get to school on time. I use an alarm clock analogy:

Level D – You set your alarm clock, wake up, and get to school on time.

Level C – You depend on your parents to wake you up so you get to school on time.

Level B – You ignore the alarm clock and come to school late.

Level A – You don’t even set your alarm clock because you are only interested in what you want and do not consider how your actions affect others.

I tell my high school students that to succeed in college, they must have motivation on Level D. Their motivation must come from within.

This is the type of down-to-earth, very practical discussions that can take place in high school. All students can benefit from understandings like this one–simple in one way, yet leading to a much larger message of something that separates successful college students from others. To be successful in life/college, one needs to be motivated from within.

You’re on the right track!  If you see the value of internal motivation for your students and understand that the difference between Levels C and D is one of the key points in the Discipline without Stress approach, then you can use it to show your students how importantly it relates to their everyday lives.

If you’ve experienced the power of internal motivation in your own life, share your stories with students. Look for opportunities to discuss how internal motivation helps people lead more satisfying lives, regardless of their age. Speak with passion so that the kids see that there’s a reason to take Discipline without Stress ideas to heart!