I teach Marvin Marshall’s Discipline without Stress levels but I’m a bit put off by the “reverse A-D system.” D being the best goes so opposite to how we usually think of grades or levels.
Although it’s true that school letter grades and the Discipline without Stress Hierarchy levels are arranged in opposite orders, at my K-6 school we have never experienced any confusion with this. I think that’s because we purposely do everything we can to keep grades separate from discussion of the Discipline without Stress Hierarchy. The two are not connected. Certainly, both provide tools of evaluation, but one is a tool of EXternal evaluation and one is a tool of INternal evaluation.
The Hierarchy is a tool meant for use by students to evaluate THEIR OWN behavior. (INternal evaluation) It’s not a tool for teachers to evaluate students. Teachers use reflective questioning to help students to evaluate THEIR OWN INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS with reference to the Hierarchy. No person operates solely on one level. Minute by minute we make individual choices. Each choice can be assessed by using the Hierarchy and thinking to oneself.
Report card grades on the other hand, are a tool that the teacher uses to assess a student. (EXternal evaluation) Over time, grades are compiled and report card marks are issued. It’s part of our teaching job description to evaluate student performance in school.
Because these tools are for meant for expressly different purposes, the teachers at my school find it counterproductive to have students think about report card grades in conjunction with Marshall’s Hierarchy. We teach that the two evaluation tools are separate and should not be confused. As I said, we have never had any students confuse the two because we start by explaining that the Discipline without Stress Hierarchy is quite different than letter grades.