Volume 10 Number 10
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Promoting Responsibility
- Increasing Effectiveness
- Improving Relationships
- Promoting Learning
- Discipline without Stress (DWS)
- Reviews and Testimonials
PARENTS KNOW THAT ALL THESE DEBATES BOIL DOWN TO A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A CHILD AND A TEACHER.
–Davis Guggenheim, director of “Waiting for Superman,”
a film about the American educational system, Newsweek
Magazine, September 20, 2010, (p. 60.)
Free education books have now been distributed to 19 of the United States from the charity at http://www.disciplinewithoutstress.org/
Two changes to the procedure are that (1) the principal needs to submit the proposal and (2) not all teachers need to commit to using the Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model. The Phi Delta Kappna article http://www.disciplinewithoutstress.org/Phi_Delta_Kappan.pdf
still needs to be distributed and discussed, but only those teachers who WANT to use the approach will receive free books. The entire staff no longer needs to commit.
Dr. James Sutton is one of America’s top experts on the oppositional/defiant (passive/aggressive) child. Jim has given me permission to place his mini e-book on my website for reference. The e-book is the 6th chapter of his newest work-in-progress, “THE CHANGING BEHAVIOR BOOK.”
In giving me permission to share his ideas, Jim wrote me, “The premise of the whole book is one you would agree with:
The best change we can create in any young person comes from the change we create in ourselves.”
Page 7 particularly articulates a prime concept that anyone who uses manipulative approaches should consider: “It (behavior modification) addresses behavior, not thought.”
The mini e-book is available free at
You can subscribe to Dr. Sutton’s free ODD Management Digest (Oppositional Defiant Disorder Newsletter) at http://www.trafficwave.net/lcp/docspeak/digest.
Suggestion to middle and high school teachers:
Read section 8, Testimonials and Research, carefully.
2. PROMOTING RESPONSIBILITY
The following is from a post by Kerry at the mailring:
To enlighten kids, I explain that in some situations Level C can be described as the “level of babysitting.” In other words, at Level D you take care of yourself by making your own good choices, but at Level C you need some external influence to help you manage in an appropriate manner. With this discussion, it becomes obvious that Level D is the more mature choice.
For example, early in the year before we go out into the hallway, we review expectations. I ask volunteers to describe the procedures we have learned for hallway walking, and I ask the kids to picture the situation in their minds.
If previously I have noticed some lower level behaviour in the hall, I might ask students to silently assess their own levels in the past. After a pause, I then ask if there is anyone who feels the need for babysitting–for me to stay close beside them in order to help them operate in a mature manner in the hall. I just ask matter of factly. Most kids, when spoken to respectfully (but in a straightforward and honest manner), will independently choose to behave appropriately.
If a child wants to act silly and puts up a hand to announce the need for babysitting (thinking to get a rise out of others), I offer my hand. I say that I am very willing to hold one of their hands if that is what they feel they need to get them where they are walking in an appropriate manner.
Typically, the child decides to do it without assistance.
Either way is fine with me.
In another case, I had to have one child stay in repeatedly to practice operating at Level C. Although she knew and understood our procedures, she frequently and deliberately chose not to follow them. I explained the goal that she learn to operate like everyone else in the class. I was able to get her to comply finally–not by imposing consequences –but by simply having her practice until she could demonstrate DURING CLASS TIME that she could adhere to our routine procedures. It took some time, but she finally realized I wasn’t going to accept poor behaviour.
Eventually, she got tired of practicing all on her own in free time; she decided it made more sense to operate at Level C just like the rest of the kids.
More of Kerry’s posts are categorized at http://www.DisciplineAnswers.com.
3. INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS
BE SPECIFIC TO CLARIFY.
Allow me to give an example from education. The September 10, 2010 issue of Newsweek Magazine states, “US Education reform has made more PROGRESS (caps added) in the last year than in the previous 10.” (p. 59)
PROGRESS IN WHAT?
The author was referring to PROGRESS ON TEST SCORES. Is that what education is about?
Diane Ravitch, in her new best-selling education book, “THE DEATH AND LIFE OF THE GREAT AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM,”
denounces the U.S. Congress’s “No Child Left Behind (NCLB)”
legislation along with merit pay and standardized tests as the sole measurement of progress.*
The assumption of current political thinking is that all learning can be boiled down to something that can be measured. Because the arts and humanities are not easily measured or quantified, they are not relevant since they don’t fit this narrow idea of what learning is about.
Think for a moment: If you can measure art, then it wouldn’t be art–much the same way that teaching is an art and cannot be measured. NOTE: We are NOT referring to accountability.
The most important aspects of life and character development cannot be quantified–unless you are a poet or lyricist, e.g., “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. . . .”
While on this topic, the Los Angeles Times (September 14, 2010, page A2) featured a series of articles on using test scores to evaluate teacher effectiveness. A teacher, now retired, had generations of former students visit her on her retirement after 45 years with the district.
She even had a reputation for being successful with the most challenging kids on campus. Yet, according to the criterion established by the researchers, she was branded “least effective” based on progress in standardized tests (which were never designed for this purpose) to measure her effectiveness.
She asked, “But 10 years from now, somebody will see my name with ‘least effective’ beside it and wonder, what was this person doing in the classroom?”
She related remembering her classes that had only five English speaking students one year, and she wanted to get them into regular English classes before they went to middle school. She knew that if they took English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in middle school that they would have fewer chances to take academic challenging courses.
By the end of that school year, every one of her students was fluent in English, and that’s what she set out to do.
She has a red binder crammed with letters that former students sent over the years along with many other indications of her successes–including a college professor who attended her retirement to thank her.
The point is–aside from the misdirection politicians are taking education in America–BE SPECIFIC IN ORDER TO CLARIFY. In this case, LEAST EFFECTIVE IN WHAT? RAISING STUDENTS TEST SCORES?
* Some of the other highlights in Diane Ravitch’s book is that policy makers have proven to know very little about education and how children learn. She maintains that the business model is not appropriate for education (the topic of the Epilogue in my book
http://www.DisciplineWithoutStress.com) and that a data driven model is so inappropriate for measuring effectiveness that even businesses don’t use this approach that is being thrust on education.
4. IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS
In any relationship struggle, the biggest problem of all is to think that you are not a part of the problem.
–Dr. Mardy Grothe
5. PROMOTING LEARNING
I would like to ask a question.
I work at an “alternative education” school where almost all the students are at the school due to behavior violations which got them removed from their original school.
FIRST, REALIZE THAT THE STUDENTS ARE IN YOUR SCHOOL BECAUSE TRADITIONAL APPROACHES HAVE FAILED THEM.
This is my first year teaching, and I am already being
(suggested) told I have to reward students to motivate them.
ANYONE WHO SUGGESTS THIS TO YOU IS REPEATING A MYTH. THESE PEOPLE ARE SIMPLY UNSOPHISTICATED REGARDING WHAT MOTIVATES HUMANS TO BEHAVE RESPONSIBLY.
IF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE WORKS OF STEPHEN COVEY, W.
EDWARDS DEMING, WILLIAM GLASSER, AND OTHER EXPERTS IN THE AREA OF MOTIVATION, YOU KNOW THAT THEY DO NOT RECOMMEND EXTERNAL APPROACHES TO MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO BE RESPONSIBLE.
While I disagree I feel there are two problems: first, the students are used to penalty and reward systems–that’s what got them where they are.
CORRECT! BUT YOUR STATEMENT IMPLIES THAT THEY CANNOT LEARN ANOTHER WAY. IF PEOPLE STOP USING MANIPULATION AND COERCIVE APPROACHES, ARE YOU SUGGESTING THAT THESE STUDENTS CAN’T LEARN?
Second, I have a hard time figuring out how to retrain them while still teaching them the core. (This is high school.)
THE ANSWER IS IN THE DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS TEACHING MODEL AT http://marvinmarshall.com/teaching_model.html
A MINOR POINT BUT AN IMPORTANT ONE: YOU ARE NOT RETRAINING THEM. YOU ARE EDUCATING THEM. IF YOU WERE TEACHING SEX EDUCATION, FOR EXAMPLE, WOULD YOU TRAIN YOUR STUDENTS OR EDUCATE THEM.
I couldn’t tell you if they lack motivation,
NO ONE LACKS MOTIVATION. IF PEOPLE WERE NOT MOTIVATED THEY WOULD NEVER GET OUT OF BED. THE QUESTION IS HOW DO YOU INFLUENCE PEOPLE TO WANT TO BEHAVE RESPONSIBLY AND PUT FORTH EFFORT IN LEARNING. HOW TO DO IT IS DESCRIBED IN THE BOOK AT http://www.DisciplineWithoutStress.com/ AND GENERALLY OUTLINED IN THE TEACHING MODEL:
but they are hard pressed to admit to their behavior issues.
DON’T ASK THEM TO. PEOPLE HAVE A NATURAL TENDENCY TO DEFEND THEMSELVES. BOYS ESPECIALLY HAVE A VERY DIFFICULT TIME ADMITTING THEY ARE WRONG. TAKE A MORE PROACTIVE APPROACH BY TEACHING THEM THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL MOTIVATION–THE CORE OF THE “RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM”
PART III OF THE TEACHING MODEL.
What do you recommend? (PS. I have 5 preps, or 5 different classes I teach). Thanks
THE ONLY THING YOU NEED TO TEACH FROM THE MODEL IS THE HIERARCHY OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT. SOME EXAMPLES ARE AT http://marvinmarshall.com/visuals.html.
EVERYTHING ELSE RELATES TO YOUR BEHAVIOR WITH YOUR STUDENTS.
YOU HAVE JOINED A WONDERFUL PROFESSION. DON’T RUIN IT FOR YOURSELF OR FOR YOUR STUDENTS BY USING DOG TRAINING TECHNIQUES. YOUR SUCCESS WILL DEPEND ON YOUR RELATIONSHIPS AND MARKETING–MARKETING THE INFORMATION YOU WANT YOUR STUDENTS TO LEARN. DON’T ASSUME THEY WILL LEARN BY JUST GIVING THEM INFORMATION. BUILD CURIOSITY AND INTEREST. AND BUILD RELATIONSHIPS BY USING THE THREE PRACTICES. NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE BUY FROM SOMEONE THE DON’T LIKE.
I think I may finally have gotten it! Now I understand the magic of teaching myself. ASK QUESTIONS instead of barking out commands. It works beautifully in many different conflicts to diffuse the tension and allows teaching points to sink in. It literally seems to be changing my life as a parent.
Sent to me by my physician after he read the parenting book and commented how it helped him with a challenging daughter.
Available in English as a hard cover, an e-book, and as a paperback in Spanish.
7. DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS (DWS)
I am a kindergarten teacher and I wanted to let you know what I do sometimes if I can’t find the books to read to the class for all the levels. I use puppets! My kids love to watch the puppets role play/act out various scenarios then they have to raise their hand and tell me what level of behavior they think the puppets were on. If the puppets are behaving on Level A or Level B, we discuss what would be better choices for them. If the puppets are at Level C or Level D, we discuss how the puppets would probably feel about their choices. Some times the puppets get pretty silly, but it seems to really help explain the levels.
A New Teacher’s Experience
by Lori Bradner Science Teacher
Kathleen High School
I am a second year secondary teacher at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy of Kathleen High School located in Lakeland, Florida.
No doubt, when I was offered the position, it was shrouded with the understandable skepticism that surrounds most first year teachers. Could this “rookie” really handle a predominately male academy offering a notoriously male dominated curriculum? The answer was and is ABSOLUTELY YES!
What my administrators did not know at the time was the finely tuned instrument I had tucked away in my “classroom bag of tools,” namely, Dr. Marvin Marshall’s RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM.
Dr. Marshall’s plan allowed/allows me the freedom to focus my efforts toward truly differentiated instruction and creative teaching methods without having to stumble over the “first year teaching” potholes and pitfalls of classroom discipline. My first year teaching was AWESOME and I managed to run my classroom truly “WITHOUT STRESS, PUNISHMENTS OR REWARDS.”
Interestingly, I was summoned to the office after the first term and asked if anything was wrong. I did not understand the origin of my administrator’s question and inquired as to the source of his concern. He was worried that I had not sent ONE referral to his office the entire semester.
Something, obviously, had to be wrong. This was not possible. On the contrary, everything was absolutely right!
Not only did/does the plan promote responsibility in my students, it encourages self-discipline that leads to accountability in and out of my classroom. Because of Dr.
Marshall’s tangible plan I was/am able to open my classroom and take 120-150 students into the field for scientific research with confidence, knowing I have empowered them to raise responsibility.
Thank you, Dr. Marshall, for allowing me to take science education to a new level!
With your Raise Responsibility System all systems are Go for a GREAT year…EVERY year!