Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – April 2010

Volume 10 Number 4


  1. Welcome
  2. Promoting Responsibility
  3. Increasing Effectiveness
  4. Improving Relationships
  5. Promoting Learning
  6. Parenting
  7. Discipline without Stress (DWS)
  8. Testimonials and Research



People who get their own way most often are the people doing a lot more listening than talking.
–Dan Kennedy


The Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE) of the U.S.
Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement, offers support to private and religious schools.

This department offers programs for “equitable participation” authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (currently referred to as “No Child Left Behind”). Title II, Part A of the act offers financial assistant for “preparing, training, and recruiting high quality teachers.” Supported activities include professional development for effective instructional teaching strategies, for involving parents more effectively, and for leadership development.

Under this funding, on April 15, I will have the privilege of presenting to parents and on April 16 conducting a staff development with teachers at St. Patrick School in Dallas, Texas.

If you are affiliated with a private school in the United States, share this funding source with your administration.


Recently posted at YouTube:

To view videos for the EDUCATION book,
search “Marvin Marshall” or link to

To view a video for the PARENTING book,
search “Parenting Without Stress” or link to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=parenting+without+stress&aq=f


A SPANISH version of “Parenting Without Stress: How to Raise Responsible Kids While Keeping a Life of Your Own” will soon be available in a paperback edition at $19.97.

If you are interested in being notified when the SPANISH version is available, mailto:Marv@MarvinMarshall.com.
In the subject area, insert SPANISH EDITION.


For those in Southern Califonra, the Los Angles Times Festival of Books, the largest book fair in the USA, will take place on the University of California, Los Angles
(UCLA) campus on April 24 and 25 beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Admission is free. I will be in booth 818 on both days.


Thanks to Kerry in Canada for a few additional examples of hierarchies. They have been added to the list at http://marvinmarshall.com/visuals.html

Hallway Behavior-

Dealing with a Misbehaving Peer

Playing with Others

Rough Play

Field Trips

Young People Cleaning Up

Hometasks (homework)

Using Computers



Suggestions and recommendations for additional examples are alwsys welcome.


Here are some key ideas from Daniel Pink’s book, “DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.”

INTRINSIC MOTIVATION promotes AUTONOMY (no one is dictating to you), MASTERY (the desire to improve) and PURPOSE (the desire to do something meaningful).

EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION promotes use of carrots and sticks (rewards and punishment).

Carrots and sticks aren’t all bad. They can be effective for routine tasks because there is little intrinsic motivation to undermine and not much creativity to crush.

20th century motivators (carrots and sticks) work in a small number of circumstances where the labor is repetitive and requires little thinking.

The secret to high performance is not rewards and punishments but that unseen intrinsic drive to do things for their own sake–the drive to do things because they matter.

There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business and education do.

If we bring what we know about motivation into the 21st century and get past the carrot and stick mentality, we can do so much better.


You will be as successful as your ability to create and maintain positive human relationships.

A prime reason is that people may forget what you said, and even may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you prompted their feelings (“made” them feel).



I have a student in my high school class who continues to do her Latin homework in my English class. Her Latin class follows mine. Any suggestion would be appreciated.


Have a conversation sharing the idea that you are teaching because you enjoy having young people learn and that when a student is doing something else in your class, she is depriving herself of learning what you are teaching and ALSO depriving you of your joy of teaching.

Ask her how she would feel if she were the teacher and you were the student doing what she is doing in HER class. Then ELICIT from her a PROCEDURE to help her to refain her impulse in the future.

Review for her that she is acting on Level B, making her own standards and that a person on this level only follows a greater authority. Let her know that behavior on this level means that she has given you the authority to make a decision for her. Inform her that your decision will be for her to go to her Latin teacher’s classroom and complete her Latin homework in that teacher’s classroom–not in yours.


Notice the approach. You have given her the opportunity to see the situation from your standpoint. You have given HER THE OPPORTUNITY to resolve her acting on an unacceptable level (Leve B – where authority, but without punishment, is necessary). You would do so–but have also given her the opportunity to be on a more acceptable level (C or D).


Psychologist Linda Pagani of the University of Montreal thinks that kindergarten is a time when the prefrontal lobes–the seat of whats known as executive function, or what some researchers call effortful control–are just developing. The more training the brain receives at this stage for impulse control, the better it will function later in life. (Time December 2, 2009 p.58)

An impulse control approach is described in the parenting book at http://parentingwithoutstress.org/ and at http://marvinmarshall.com/impulsemanagement.html.


A comment was made regarding “giving young people a meaningful voice in their education” at the mailring:

Kerry made an interesting point, as follows:

Giving kids “a meaningful voice in their education” is not my goal when I use ideas from DWS in my teaching or parenting. Perhaps I misunderstand what you are seeking but to me it sounds as if you want kids to have more choices and more say in their education in general. I’m thinking that you have a different goal than I have in mind. Maybe you seek to have more autonomy for kids with what they study and how they learn and how the school is run.

I use DWS to help kids understand more about their personal behaviour. I use it to teach them the difference between external and internal motivation so that they can make informed and conscious decisions about their own behaviour.
I want them to understand that they always have the choice in any situation; they can choose to be externally driven or internally driven. Level D can accurately be described as “freely chosen autonomous behaviour.”

A person who is conscious about their personal behaviour then has the opportunity to choose autonomous behaviors consciously. I use DWS as a tool to help make this understandable to students at all the various grade levels.

I endeavor to make Level D attractive to them so that they will hopefully choose autonomous behaviour with more frequency. Once experienced, autonomous behaviour then drives itself because it creates such powerful inner feelings of mastery, purpose, and competence.

Kerry in British Columbia, Canada

More of Kerry’s posts are available at


“Dr. Marvin Marshall’s program, “Discipline Without Stress,”
is an excellent example of a classroom management approach that is built on personal responsibility, an interactive sense of community, mutual respect, and noncoercive intervention.”
–Dr. James Sutton, “Working Effectively With Difficult, Defiant, and Noncompliant Students,” Bureau of Education & Research Resource Handbook, page 9.

Dr. Sutton is one of the nation’s leading authorities on teaching and dealing with oppositional and defiant behavior.
His website: http://www.docspeak.com/