Volume 1 Number 5
IN THIS ISSUE:
2. Promoting Responsibility
3. Increasing Effectiveness
4. Improving Relationships
5. Your Questions Answered
7. Public Seminars
8. What Others Are Saying About The Book
“DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS, PUNISHMENTS or REWARDS
How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning”
year draws to a close (already!), it seems fitting to
conclude this “decade of the brain” — or was that the
last decade? — with some thoughts that promote
Diamond is an internationally known neuroscientist who
has studied mammalian brains for decades. Dr. Diamond is
the author of “Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture
Your Child’s Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy
Emotions from Birth through Adolescence.”
for enriching the brain to increase academic success
heavily relies on nurturing the uniqueness of each brain
in a caring environment.
studies have shown that an enriched environment
the stage for enriching the cortex by first providing a
steady source of positive emotional support — which
includes encouragement and tender loving care. (The
emotional brain is older than the analytical brain.)
2. Providing a nutritious diet with enough proteins,
vitamins, minerals, and calories.
3. Stimulating all the senses — but not necessarily all at
the same time.
an atmosphere free of undue pressure and stress but
suffused with a degree of pleasurable intensity.
5. Presenting a series of novel challenges that are neither
too easy nor too difficult for the young person at his
or her stage of development.
6. Allowing for social interaction for a significant
percentage of the activities. There is no doubt that
peers are intrigued with and enjoy each other.
7. Promoting the development of a broad range of skills and
interests that are mental, physical, aesthetic, social,
8. Giving opportunities to choose many of his or her own
activities. Each brain is unique. Allow that uniqueness
9. Offering opportunities to assess the results of his or
her efforts and to modify them. As a child builds a
sandcastle and admires its construction before a big
wave destroys it, the youngster needs to learn to start
over and resculpt.
10. Providing an enjoyable atmosphere that promotes
exploration and fun of learning.
11. Promoting active participation, rather than passive
As studies of learning have shown, the brain needs
time to relate new information to existing associations.
Students need time to reflect — to think about what is
As we reflect upon this fading year, may you look
upon it as a positive one, a year where good choices
were made, and reflect — so that next year will
continue and/or improve upon what we have learned during
people know little of the travails that their parents
once faced as everyday experiences — be it the two-mile
walk to school, the shoveling out of the ashes from the
apartment buildingÕs furnace, or spending a summer
painting the longest picket fence ever built. Their idea
of a hard time is when their parents aren’t home to
provide dinner, and they have to make their own.
worried about their perspective until someone told me
that you can never make your kids truly appreciate your
experiences. They will never know what your experiences
really were like. Don’t even try to make that happen.
really is no need to remind young people of how much
harder it may have been for us. They only know their own
And if we
stop to reflect, we probably had it easier than our
Long ago I
stopped saying, “When I was young,” and “You do not
realize how easy you have it.” What my wife and I did
instead was to concentrate on providing the values that
we hold dear, values that would stand in good times or
referring to values reminiscent of the classical
virtues, namely, qualities of character. The four
classical virtues of prudence, temperance, justice, and
fortitude — as old as Aristotle — are just as
is practical wisdom — recognizing and making the right
involves much more than moderation in all things. It is
the control of human passions and emotions, especially
anger and frustration.
Fortitude is courage in pursuit of the right path,
despite the risks. It is the strength of mind and
courage to persevere in the face of adversity.
in the classical sense, includes fairness, honesty, and
come to the conclusion that the best we can do is pass
on the wisdom of former generations. Our children will
then be in a position to take care of themselves — as
you and I have.
are not conscious of the power of our communications.
and phrases we use in our daily interactions have three
influence how we think and experience the world,
shape the way others see us, and
determine how much cooperation and success we have with
reason is that what we say doesn’t just go out of our
mouths to others’ ears; we hear them, too.
We can use
words which are landmines and which will blow up our
odds of getting cooperation, or we can be persuasive in
a positive way. For example, if I introduce a phrase
with the word, “unfortunately,” it conjures up that
something bad will follow. I have communicated in such a
way that it prompts you to set up a negative mindset.
What I say after, “unfortunately,” will support your
The key is
to accentuate the positive. When thoughts are guided to
focus on the positive and constructive, then the self is
nourished and enriched. A monkey is smart enough to eat
only the nourishing banana and throw away the bitter
peel. Yet, humans often “chew on the peel” of negatives.
Negative thoughts and words affect us in the ways listed
following short tale will help you focus on the positive
so that you will think this way, will shape how others
see you, and will influence how much cooperation and
success you have with other people.
salesgirl in a candy store always had customers lined up
waiting while other salesgirls stood around. The owner
of the store noted her popularity and asked for her
secret. “It’s easy,” she said. “The other girls scoop up
more than a pound of candy and then start subtracting
continued, “I always scoop up less than a pound and then
add to it.”
People are like magnets. They are drawn to the
positive and are repelled by the negative.
4. IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS
Capell, a teacher-friend of mine in Italy, forwarded the
following to me. It seems appropriate to share it at
this time of the year — as she suggested.
want to make a difference, recall the following:
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America
4. Name five people who have won a Nobel or Pulitzer
5. Name the last half-dozen Academy Award winners
for best actor (female and male)
6. Name five of the last decade’s World Series
is that none of us remembers the headliners of
yesterday. Notice that these are not second-rate
achievers. They’re the best in their fields. But the
applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are
forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with
is another quiz. See how you do on this one.
five teachers who aided your journey through your formal
2. Name five people who have helped you through
3. Name five people who have taught you something
4. Think of five people who have prompted you to
feel appreciated or special.
5. Think of five people with whom you enjoy spending
6. Name five people whose experiences have inspired
who make a difference in your life aren’t the ones with
the most credentials, the most money, or the most
awards. They’re the ones who care.
with someone you care about.
5. YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
teacher at a suburban Atlanta charter high school. As a
member of the Discipline Committee for the high school,
I am involved in the rethinking/restructuring of our
discipline system and, of course, you and your program
have come to our attention.
perused the “Quick Explanation” on your “Summary” link
of your webs site and have ordered your book. We are
very interested in the “Raise Responsibility System.”
considered having posters with the A, B, C, D concepts
printed for every classroom. However, several of us are
concerned that these may come across as too juvenile for
high school students. We suspect that these concerns
will be addressed in your book when it arrives, but in
the meantime can you allay these concerns or clarify how
we might present the concepts to older students?
RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM is the subject of the third
chapter. It shows how the A, B, C, D levels separate the
student from behavior — thereby negating the need for a
student to self-defend, which so often is the start of
an adversarial dialogue.
high school students are attracted to the idea of
anarchy, level A needs to be made personal. Discussions
are the key. First, have students describe some
situations which would occur when there is no law or
order. The discussion will conjure up examples where
some would steal and bully others. Anarchy generally
suggests doing what you want without regard to others.
it personal. Ask how students would like it if there
were no laws, no judicial system, and no executive
department. “If someone stole something from you or
bullied you and there were no laws against it, no system
of justice, and no police to protect you, how would you
anarchy is personalized it quickly loses its appeal.
B, Bullying/Bothering — making one’s own rules —
discuss how people feel when others push them around.
C, talk about peer pressure and why we do things because
we want to belong — even though we know that sometimes
what the group is doing is neither good for them nor for
Understanding external motivation, level C — and being
able to recognize when peer pressure stimulates them to
do something — is empowering. Having a way to
articulate the concept allows young people to resist the
power and persuasiveness of peer pressure.
D, discuss what has given them the greatest satisfaction
of anything they have ever done. The answer will always
come to some personal satisfaction through effort,
rather than someoneÕs telling them to do something.
Understanding internal motivation, level D, and taking
the initiative to do the right thing brings feelings of
satisfaction and internal rewards that level C can never
It is the
teaching of these concepts of levels of social
development that is the basis and sets the foundation
for the “Raise Responsibility System.”
In terms of the direction, maturation, and
satisfaction of your students’ lives, their having a way
to recognize and differentiate differences between
internal and “external” motivation may be one of the
more important learnings your students will ever be
bulletin boards for your high school students: (1) Post
the vocabulary in a hierarchical order with “Anarchy” at
the bottom and “Democracy” on top. On a personal note to
show the effect of daily viewing, I am a graduate of
Hollywood High School where every day I saw the school’s
motto, “Achieve the Honorable.” How does one forget
something seen every day for three years? (2) Post
questions which are reflective and self-evaluative,
e.g., “Is what you are doing helping get your task
done?” “Are you pleased with your effort?” “Is what you
have done quality work?”
If you are a teacher, read the Gazettte at
teachers.net, and bookmark this website:
7. PUBLIC SEMINARS
Educators, Youth Workers, and Parents
WITHOUT STRESS, PUNISHMENTS or REWARDS
Promote Responsibility and Learning
Staff Development Resources.
brochure for complete information. Call 800.678.8908.
CA March 14
Ontario, CA March 15
Sacramento, CA March 19
So. San Francisco, CA March 20
8. WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE BOOK:
“DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS, PUNISHMENTS OR REWARDS
How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning”
comprehensive book is an excellent resource that should
be made priority reading.”
Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services
of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National School Boards Association
Phi Delta Kappa International
Performance Learning Systems
The Brain Store