Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – May 2005

Volume 5 Number 5


 1. Welcome

 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



As a leader, teacher, or

parent, one never knows how far one’s influence extends.

Susan Taylor stopped me at a recent national conference and thanked me. She is

principal at Franklin School of the Newark Public Schools in New Jersey. I had

presented at her school on September 1, 2001. Ten days later the twin World

Trade Towers in New York City across the river from New Jersey were destroyed.

Susan told me that by the end of that school day only 50 of her 500 students

were left in school. It was understandable that panic reigned on the east coast

of the United States that dreadful morning.

She then told me that having the Raise Responsibility System in the school’s

knowledge bank assisted the school to better bear the tragedy of the event. “The

children moved from chaos and anarchy into a collective community, thanks to the


Three integral practices of the Raise Responsibility System are to communicate

in POSITIVE terms, to be aware that we CHOOSE our reactions, and to REFLECT on

our choices.

I had the pleasure late last

month of speaking at the 50th anniversary of Phi Delta Kappa’s chapter at

Southern Illinois

University at Carbondale. Phi Delta Kappa is an international association

devoted to leadership, service, and research in support of public education. The

association publishes the PHI DELTA KAPPAN, the most widely quoted journal in

education. In-depth, well-worth reading articles are its specialty.

Dr. Doug Bedient, Phi Delta Kappa International president in the mid 1990’s was

my host. At his invitation, I spent two days with faculty members interviewing

prospective teachers. They shared their portfolios addressing the State of

Illinois 11 Professional Teaching Standards. The experience was truly inspiring.

It was a pleasure to witness the proficiency and competence of those soon to

join the education profession.

I also had the pleasure of addressing students who are using the book as their

text. Dr. Gary Willhite, the current coordinator of their “methods” courses,

introduced me with the comment that “Discipline without Stress, Punishments, or

Rewards” was chosen as the text because it does not rely on punitive or

manipulative approaches.

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale is one of the increasing numbers of

schools of education who are using the book as a college text. The book is also

used for distance learning courses–such as by Performance Learning Systems

described below.

Online Graduate Course

offered by Performance Learning Systems (PLS):

Effective Classroom Management Online

Evaluate expectations for student behavior and learn practical strategies to

increase student responsibility, self-control, and self-management. Teachers

learn how to create a proactive classroom environment that will allow them to

spend the major part of their contact time in instructional activities, thus

resulting in increased student learning.

  • Create a positive

    classroom climate.

  • Deal with

    misbehavior and consequences.

  • Utilize reflective

    practices to adjust classroom management strategies.

  • Examine teacher and

    parent roles in promoting responsibility.

  • Graduate Credit: 3

    Semester Hours of Graduate Credit.

Primary text for this


Marshall, M. (2004). Discipline without Stress®

Punishments or Rewards. Los Alamitos, CA: Piper Press.

I received the following

request related to Northern California:

Dear Dr. Marshall:

I’m a student teacher in the Calstate TEACH program. I have read your book

and have been reading the online mail ring about Raising Responsibility all

year. I really like the concepts in your discipline model. I try to keep them in

mind as much as I can, but as a student teacher and a part-time pull-out science

teacher, I don’t have that much control over the classroom management systems I

work within.

I would really like to observe a classroom that implements your model. But

finding one feels a bit like hunting for a needle in a haystack! It is really

depressing how negative most discipline systems are.

I was wondering if you knew of any California elementary school principals or

teachers in the San Francisco East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, San Leandro,

San Lorenzo, Richmond, Fremont) who may be using your system? Then I could

contact them and see about arranging observations.

I greatly appreciate your help!

Thank you!

After receiving e-mail from

China, Columbia, Jamaica, Korea, Mexico, and Sri Lanka last month, I thought it

might be of interest to list locations around the world where the Raise

Responsibility System is employed. They are listed on the MarvinMarshall.com

homepage. Following are the first two paragraphs of the site:

This site provides

information about the RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM–a discipline and learning

system that employs concepts of Stephen Covey (proaction), William Glasser

(noncoercion), W. Edwards Deming (collaboration and empowerment), and Abraham

Maslow (hierarchy and autonomy).

Join the increasing numbers

of leaders, teachers, and parents in the United States, Canada, Mexico,

Australia, New Zealand, Bermuda, and in several countries in the Caribbean,

Asia, Africa, Central America, Europe, and South America who have found a way to

have young people WANT to behave responsibly and WANT to put forward effort to

learn–without resorting to external approaches of control, coercion,

punishment, retaliation, or manipulation.

Incidentally, the cartoon immediately below the above two paragraphs at

http://www.MarvinMarshall.com can be dragged to your desktop and printed.

Sharing it with others may prompt them to reflect on their practices.


A post from the mailring:

Although I have been using the RRSystem in my small group setting, I had

never presented it to an entire class before today. I am co-teaching (inclusion

style) in a fourth grade class this year and have been frustrated with the

students’ level of behavior. I finally decided that we needed to take the time

to present the RRSystem levels so that off-track behavior could be more quickly


I began by reminding the students of their study in third grade of the life

cycle of a butterfly. They recalled that there were four stages of development

in the life cycle of a butterfly: egg, caterpillar, pupa, and butterfly. We

talked about how all butterflies are in some stage of this process, but they

have no control over their movement through this process.

We then moved on to comparing the butterfly’s life cycle to that of the

human’s. We decided that humans go through four basic stages as well. We called

them: baby/infant, child/youth, adolescence/teen, and adult/grown-up. Again we

agreed that humans had little control over the stage of physical development in

which they found themselves.

Then we began to look at the four stages of social development in which one

human and/or a society could operate. We talked about what a human and a society

in anarchy would look like and how such a situation was so hopeless. Then we

talked about what would likely occur to remedy the problems of an anarchy-based

society. We decided that someone would rise up and take control of the situation

(thereby becoming a boss) and that this may or may not be a good thing. We

looked at countries around the world where we thought this might have happened.

Next we moved on to looking at the level of control or power in a group of

friends. We decided that a group of friends works together to share control

based on what they agree is their mission and that oftentimes this mission and

the group control is not ever discussed; it is more or less just understood

among the group members. From here a discussion of blind conformity developed

and how this type of cooperation is not necessarily good. We went on to look at

how being considerate of others and cooperating for the right reasons resulted

in a democratic society like the United States.

We decided that doing what is right because we know it is the best thing to

do is a much higher level of development than doing what is right as a result of

peer pressure. Finally, we talked about how we had more control over our stage

of social development than we did over our stage of physical development. THE


their interest in the RRSystem.

I know that we will have to revisit the levels in other ways as follow up.

Then we’ll just see if their regular classroom teacher and I can carry the

enthusiasm over to the effective use of the other components of the RRSystem.


How are you multiplying your effect on others? Take the practice of

positivity, for example.

Are you making it a practice to self-talk in positive ways–always attempting to

make any lemon into lemonade?

With friends talking about others, are you focusing on good traits of

others–rather than always focusing on negative ones?

When conversing with parents, are you helping them redirect negative, coercive

thoughts by prompting them to reflect?

With your children, do you communicate in ways so that they perceive

conversations in a noncoercive, encouraging manner?

With fellow employees, are you acknowledging their contributions?

You can extend your effectiveness by practicing your skills in as many

situations as you can find.


Use a Pyrex shield.

When you hear someone communicating negativity, imagine being surrounded by a

Pyrex glass shield. It rebuffs all negativity–allowing only positivity to flow

through. You will find that you can continue to converse and stay involved with

those around you, but you won’t be affected by their negativity.

As silly as this sounds, it works.

To slightly rephrase how the poet, Anonymous, put it:

People may be illogical and self-centered. Treat them with

positivity anyway.

If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do

positive things anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Honesty may make you vulnerable. Be honest anyway.

People favor top dogs. Fight for some underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you help them. Help then


Give the world the best you have and you may get kicked for it. Give the

best you’ve got anyway.

Remember that “getters” don’t get; givers get.

Let only positivity flow out. The Pyrex shield will protect you.


In my presentation last month at the National Council for Teachers of

Mathematics (NCTM) conference, I shared the newly posted “The Hierarchy as it

relates to MATHEMATICS” to promote learning in that area.

The procedure of having students paint verbal pictures of the level chosen

BEFORE engaging in any subject area and then their reflecting on the level acted

on AFTER the activity prompts and challenges–two natural motivators.

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 love what I have read so far on the websites and have ordered the book. My

question is about the levels. Has there been any thought given to structuring

the levels in the reverse order so that A is the highest level. I’m struggling a

little with the students seeing that level D is higher than level A. It seems

odd to strive for A work and D behavior in the school system.

I thought of A-actualization, B- beneficial, C-coercion D- Disorder.

Thanks for a great website! I look forward to reading the book.


Just announce that someone is operating on level B–that no one will be

punished–that your only goal is for the person

to accept responsibility.

Ask whether the class has enough confidence in itself that whoever did it will

pick it up after everyone exits (challenge and empowerment). Get a commitment by

having students raise hands. If a student does not raise a hand, ask the

student, “Since you do not have confidence in the class, what would you

suggest?” The student will either give another suggestion or will go along with

your positive, empowering, and nonembarrassing approach.

Your concern is a natural one. It is the most common challenge for any adult

first using the system. But it’s just not a problem for students. Many teachers

have shared their experience on the mailring indicating the validity of this

statement, viz., “This is not a problem for students.”

The structure and advantage of the hierarchy is that it prompts and challenges

people–regardless of age–to achieve at the highest level.

A simple way to make it clear is to put it in context–since any meaning is

always within a specific context. When do you use “to,” “two,” or “too”? It

depends on the context. Once this is explained to students, they have no problem

realizing that although A,B,C,D may be associated with grades, these same letter

grades have nothing to do with a hieararchy of social development.

Experience has shown that no other terminology has been nearly so successful in

having students understand the differences between EXternal motivation (level C)

and INternal motivation (level D). It is also important to remember that both

level C and level D are acceptable. All procedures–the key to effective

classroom management–are on level C. Society’s expectations for a civil society

also fall in this level.

A prime difference between the levels is that level C indicates EXternal

motivation. It refers to cooperation and following expectations and procedures

with younger students; with older students it refers to “caution”–as on a

flashing yellow traffic signal. This understanding is especially important for

teenagers striving to be accepted and liked by a peer group when the behavior

about to be undertaken is not a responsible one–either socially or personally.

Anarchy (without rule) is the lowest level of social development. In such

situations, someone starts to make the rules and often becomes bossy or starts

bullying others.

One reason that “bullying” is used is to give students the awareness of calling

attention to such behavior.

Level D is so labled because democracy and responsibility are inseparable. As

former president John F. Kennedy wrote in his Pulitzer Prize winning book,

“Profiles in Courage”:

“For, in a democracy, every citizen, regardless of his interest in

politics,’holds office’; every one of us is in a position of responsibility.”

(p. 255)

Thanks for your interest. You will enjoy the book.


Learning a procedure for responding appropriately to impulses is described on

the Impulse Management link at



“Your ideas on rewards and punishments, extrinsic/intrinsic motivation, social

responsibility, and strategies for effective discipline were valuable

information and very relevant for my teachers who are grappling over their

discipline programs.”

Patricia Murakami, Principal Arco Iris Primary Center,

Los Angeles Unified School District, CA




How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning”


of Contents, three sections (Classroom Meetings, Collaboration for Quality

Learning, and Reducing Perfectionism), plus additional items of interest are on line from the education book.