Volume 5 Number 5
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
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
I had the pleasure late last
month of speaking at the 50th anniversary of Phi Delta Kappa’s chapter at
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
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
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
- 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
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!
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
THOUGHT OF BEING IN CONTROL OVER SOMETHING ABOUT THEMSELVES seemed to heighten
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.
4. IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS
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
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.
5. PROMOTING LEARNING
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
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.”
Thanks for your interest. You will enjoy the book.
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
“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
Patricia Murakami, Principal Arco Iris Primary Center,
Los Angeles Unified School District, CA
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 on line from the education book.