Volume 5 Number 6
IN THIS ISSUE:
2. Promoting Responsibility
3. Increasing Effectiveness
4. Improving Relationships
5. Promoting Learning
6. Implementing The Raise Responsibility System:
How Your School Can Implement the System
Your Questions Answered
Free Mailring/User Group
Impulse Management Posters and Cards
A Comment about the RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM
About the Book: DISCIPLINE Without STRESS
It’s nice to travel; it’s
good to return home.
My speaking at a private school and at two teacher training universities in
Beijing and Kunming, China last month was as
culturally informative as my previous presentations in Japan, Korea, and
Construction in Beijing is
explosive in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games. The mix of an emerging
economic system with a communist political system challenges traditional
As a former teacher of
comparative religions, I was also interested in the practices of Buddhism,
Confucianism, and Doaism/Toasim. All three originated as philosophies to
practice but are now observed as religions. Many temples
have statues devoted to all three founders (Siddhartha Gautama, Confucius, and
Lao Zi, respectively) side by side,
and it is not uncommon to see all three religions practiced by the same person.
Two factoids may be of
interest to Westerners. Chinese temples and other buildings have a step or stair
entrances. This emanates from the belief that “evil spirits” cannot climb or
walk up stairs, and a reason that buildings
have curled up corners on their rooftops is to reflect “evil spirits” off and
The People’s Republic of
China is the world’s most populist nation with 1.2 billion people and more than
groups. About 80 percent live in rural areas. Mandarin is the official
dialect–but with many others spoken, such as
Cantonese in Hong Kong. Although the written language is universal throughout
the country, the spoken language is
“tonal.” Meanings are conveyed by voice inflection, so people in different parts
of the country have a challenging
time conversing. English is taught as a second language.
Chinese education emphasizes
– learning to know
– learning to do
– learning to live together
– learning to be
Decorum, politeness, and hygiene are emphasized.
The Chinese government is
making a concerted attempt to upgrade and improve both its teacher training
universities and public schools. A major problem is that, after being exposed to
urban life during college training, very few graduates want to return to their
On a personal note, during
dinner with the Beijing publisher of my book, I learned that in only five months
the book had
become their second best seller. The Chinese translation of 8000 copies of the
book is now in its second printing.
I presume that the Raise
Responsibility System complements Chinese society because the hierarchy explains
of level C (following expectations for a civil society), yet has level D as a
higher motivational level. Level D indicates the DESIRE to do what is
expected–rather than to fit in or to please others.
The following communication
may be of interest:
I’m Chinese. I’m a teacher
of English in a key school in
Beijing, China. Besides teaching English, I’m also the
home teacher of a class. It has always been a headache to
keep the class in a good order every day before I used
your social behavior hierarchy. After studying the
hierarchy, my students have changed a lot. They are eager
to reach Level D. They evaluate their behavior every day.
Even the naughtiest boy in class is now trying his best to
make progress. Although there are still some problems with
students, I can see hope now. I know they are making a
great effort to improve themselves. Being a home teacher
is not so hard as before. Thank you for your great idea,
which has brought happiness to my teaching career.
Linda Nan Lee
Beijing No.80 Middle School
Recommended summer reading
“The Queen of Education: Rules for Making School Work” by LouAnne Johnson–whose
real life story was the source for
“Dangerous Minds,” the 1995 box office hit starring Michelle Pfeiffer.
2. PROMOTING RESPONSIBILITY
Acknowledgments encourage and motivate. They serve to give recognition
without the disadvantages to giving praise.
Praise has a price. It implies a lack of acceptance and worth when the youth
does not behave as the adult wishes.
Using a phrase which starts with, “I like . . .” encourages a young person to
behave IN ORDER TO PLEASE THE ADULT (level
C). By contrast, acknowledgments affirm while fostering self-satisfaction for
future level D motivation.
Notice the difference in the following examples: “I am so pleased with the
way you treated your brother,” versus “You
treated your brother with real consideration.” “I like the way you are working,”
versus “Your working shows good
effort.” “I’m so proud of you for your grades,” versus “Your grades show you are
Two characteristics usually determine whether the comment is one of praise or
one of acknowledgment. The first is that
praise often starts with a reference to oneself: “I am so proud of you for . . .
.” or “I like the way . . . .” The
second is that praise is patronizing. If you would not make the comment to an
adult, then think twice before making it
to a youth–unless you want to promote obedience rather than responsibility.
The point is not that praise should never be used but that an acknowledgment
engenders more positive feelings than
praise and, therefore, is a more effective motivator for influencing future
Practicing something new may be simple–but often not easy. The reason is
that any change feels different and,
therefore, a little uncomfortable. We usually do those things which feel
comfortable–rather than uncomfortable.
We know that practice makes perfect–assuming the practice is practiced
correctly, and we know that visualizations
assist in increasing effectiveness. However, a third approach complements both
practice and visualization for even greater effectiveness. I am referring to
incantations that engage not only your physiology and neurology but also engage
For example, assume you are in the habit of TELLING your child (student,
spouse, employee) what to do. You would like
to start posing reflective questions so that ownership will belong to the other
person you want to influence. To assist you in forming and using the new habit
of ASKING, you will find yourself more effective and comfortable in achieving
your objective if you first articulate it out loud to yourself and rehearse it
by moving your arms in an outstretched, open gesture–smiling as you ask and
hearing yourself asking instead of telling. Engaging your mind, mouth, tongue,
vocal chords, body, and emotions more
effectively activates new neural connections.
Remember that consistency empowers. Use the incantation regularly until it
becomes your default approach–which will
become more comfortable.
4. IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS
Think us rather than me.
5. PROMOTING LEARNING
“LEADERSHIP” is the journal of the Association of California School
Administrators (ACSA), the U.S.A.’s largest
association of school administrators for any state. The theme of the May/June
issue is, “HOW TO CHAMPION A POSITIVE
My article in LEADERSHIP is entitled, “PROMOTING POSITIVITY, CHOICE, AND
These Three Simple Practices Can Make School A Place Where Teachers and Students
Want To Be.”
6. Implementing the RAISE
How a school can conduct its own in-house staff development is described at
Details for implementation are described on the next link at
Topics include differences between classroom management and
discipline, three principles to practice, the three parts of
the RRSystem, and how the RRSystem can be used to
raise academic achievement.
I have recently been researching your system and it sounds pretty impressive. I
was looking for studies that prove your
system works, but unfortunately I have found none. The only thing I can find is
testimonies from teachers posted on your
web site. Would you be able to tell me where I can find some other sources that
prove your system works (if there are
Testimonials themselves are validations that the system works:
The increasing number of subscribers to the monthly newsletter–archived at
http://marvinmarshall.com/newsletter/index.htm, the increasing number of
Raise Responsibility System mailring users at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RaiseResponsibilitySystem, and the fact that
this month the book is going into its fourth 10,000 printing should give
sufficient indication that something must be working.
The first question that needs to be addressed is whether or not what I advocate
is being implemented. If the practices
below are not implemented (in a classroom or school), the assessment would not
1. Teaching procedures, practicing them, and then reinforcing them. In other
words, does the teacher practice good classroom management–or are rules and
assuming students know how and what to do the prime sources of reliance?
THREE PRINCIPLES TO PRACTICE
2. Does the teacher communicate in POSITIVE terms to encourage students–or are
forthcoming in a way that immediately prompts negative feelings and becomes
counterproductive to success?
3. Does the teacher always give the student CHOICES–preferably three?
4. Does the teacher ask questions that prompt REFLECTION and self-evaluation?
RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM (Teaching, Asking, Eliciting)
5. Have the students learned the ABCD levels of social development? (TEACHING)
6. Has the teacher prompted reflection in a NONCOERCIVE manner to have students
identify the level of chosen behavior using the ABCD hierarchy? (ASKING)
7. If disruptions continue, did the teacher ELICIT a procedure or consequence to
assist in redirecting
future impulsive behaviors–or does the teacher impose punishment, which
immediately engenders adversarial relationships?
MOTIVATION FOR LEARNING
8. Does the teacher use the hierarchy to promote a DESIRE to have students put
forth effort for learning?
According to the 2003 American Association of Retired Persons’ Education
Community Study, “Exodus: A Study of Teacher Retention in America,” the biggest
challenges facing current teachers are: (1) motivating students to learn and (2)
keeping classroom discipline.
I guarantee that these two areas are most effectively accomplished by following
what is described above and at
You can post questions and learn more about the system at the free user group
(mailring support) at:
IMPULSE MANAGEMENT POSTERS and CARDS
Learning a procedure for responding appropriately to impulses is described on
the Impulse Management link at
A Comment about THE RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM
“We use your program to accurately evaluate the school’s
hallways, cafeteria, transition times, and recesses. My
students are incredibly empowered at the young age of five.”
Kindergarten Teacher and New Teacher Mentor
Verde Elementary School, Richmond, CA
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE BOOK:
“DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS, PUNISHMENTS OR REWARDS
How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning”
DESCRIPTIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS AND THREE SECTIONS ONLINE –
A descriptive Table of Contents, three sections (Classroom Meetings,
Collaboration for Quality Learning, and Reducing Perfectionism),
plus additional items of interest are posted at: