I am confused about the specifics of the Discipline without Stress Hierarchy. I need concrete examples of behaviors for each level so that I can correctly explain them to my students.
Below are some examples of behaviors on each of the four levels as well as the most important understandings to convey to your students.
Level A – Anarchy
• displaying out-of-control behavior of any type
• showing a complete lack of concern for the feelings of others
• destroying or vandalizing property intentionally
• putting oneself or others in danger
Behavior on this lowest level is always unacceptable. Students should understand that by choosing to act on Level A, they are automatically inviting the use of authority by the teacher.
Level B – Bullying/Bothering
• disrupting the group or preventing others from doing their tasks
• acting irresponsibly with personal belongings
• coming to class unprepared with supplies or completed home tasks
• breaking the standards of the classroom
• using class time irresponsibly
• acting with poor sportsmanship
• behaving in a way that is inconsiderate of, or disrespectful to others
Behavior on Level B is also always unacceptable. For this reason, operation on this level also results in the use of authority by the teacher.
Level C – Cooperation/Conformity
• cooperating with the teacher, when the teacher is present in the room
• fulfilling requirements, but doing little more
• being kind to others only when an authority figure is present
• relying on a parent to give reminders to complete home tasks, return library books, etc.
• doing something helpful, but specifically to impress others
• basing decisions (good or bad) on an outside influence
• being cooperative and compliant but showing little initiative
Level C is an acceptable level of operation but it is important for students to understand that it is not the highest level to which a person can aspire. At Level C, the motivation for acting appropriately is external. In other words, the young person does the correct or right thing, motivated from a desire to please, impress or avoid the disapproval of an external authority figure.
Level D – Democracy
• acting with self-control and discipline whether or not an adult is present
• participating within the group in an appropriate manner out of respect for others
• choosing to be responsible by fulfilling obligations willingly
• including a peer because he/she seems lonely
• volunteering to help simply because it’s obvious that help is needed
• showing initiative in one’s learning
• choosing to come to class well prepared
• independently seeking help when necessary
• deciding to speak up in defense of another
• seeking to be of service to others, out of a genuine desire to do so.
• relying on one’s own judgement
• taking responsibility for some unkind words by choosing to apologize
• sincerely thanking someone
At this highest level of operation, the motivation is internal. The student does what he/she knows to be the correct, right, kind or responsible thing. The young person does so out of a genuine desire to do the right thing–the right thing is done whether or not an adult is present. In other words, the student disciplines him/herself.
Notice that the longest list of examples is given for Level D. This is done deliberately with the intention of encouraging teachers to focus on this highest level of the hierarchy in their discipline discussions with students. Although the students should understand the key points of every level, dwelling on the lower levels is counterproductive.
The more attention given to concretely providing specific examples of Level D and discussing the benefits of acting with discipline (the essence of this level,) the more likely that young people will be internally motivated to aspire to these types of behavior.