Overview of the Responsibility Sytem

The Raise Responsibility System is a total discipline system, rather than a series of techniques.

1. The discipline and learning program is proactive by setting the stage for dealing with disruptive behaviors and apathy towards learning before they occur. This is in contrast to the reactive strategy of dealing with disruptive behaviors after they occur.

 2. The discipline system aims at promoting responsibility—rather than obedience, which does not  create desire and so often results in reluctance, resistance, resentment, and even rebellion. However, when responsibility is promoted, obedience becomes a natural by-product.

3. When handling irresponsible behaviors, a stress-reducing mode is used , in contrast to the usual stress-inducing mode. In addition, the system can be used with youth of any age, in any grade level, with any subject matter, in any classroom, in any school, and in any home or youth setting.

4. The discipline approach is entirely noncoercive, thereby eliminating power struggles and adversarial relationships; however, it is not permissive.

 5. The discipline approach uses a comprehensive teaching model—rather than a philosophy, list of techniques, strategies, or tactics. It also uses a constructivist approach because it is the most effective when emphasizing thinking, understanding, emotions, and self-control.

 6. When the discipline system is implemented in an individual classroom, a learning culture is established. When implemented school-wide, a learning community is created.

 7. The discipline strategy separates the person from the person’s behavior (the deed from the doer, the act from the actor), thereby eliminating the natural tendency to self-defend, which is a major block for acknowledging responsibility of one’s behavior.

 8. Motivation is engendered so young people develop a desire to be responsible and a desire to put forth effort to learn.

 9. The system empowers youth to resist victimhood thinking.

 10. The system promotes character development without using external approaches, such as adult monitoring.

 11. Young people gain an understanding of the differences between internal and external motivation, when each is appropriate, and ways to resist irresponsible peer influence.

12. The discipline approach systematically prompts reflection and evaluation of one’s choices.

13. Impulse management to redirect inappropriate behavior is an integral part of the discipline and learning approach.

14. Inappropriate behavior is dealt with immediately with the short guiding and empowering approach—in contrast to the more common overpowering approach that takes time and prompts adversarial relationships.

 15. The noncoercive and authoritative approach can be used with an individual or with large groups—in private or in public—without loss of dignity.

16. A positive learning environment is maintained at all times—even when irresponsible behavior is demonstrated

 17. Inappropriate behavior is viewed as a response to an impulse, rather than as a deliberate disruption. The situation becomes a teachable moment—as when a young person makes a mistake, commits an error, or does poorly in a subject area.

18. The discipline system promotes quality learning because it sets the stage for evaluation before instruction begins.

 19. Brain compatible strategies that actuate desired behaviors are implemented.

20. Since our choices direct our lives, choice-response thinking is continually employed.

21. A clear understanding is made and practiced between classroom management (procedures) and discipline (behavior).

22. A deductive approach is used. Four hierarchical concepts are taught at the outset. This is in contrast to the more common inductive approach of first teaching specifics in order to arrive at general concepts.

23. A guiding and empowering approach is employed, in contrast to a more common overpowering approach.

 24. The system fosters internal motivation to be responsible and act appropriately. External approaches of giving rewards for expected standards of behavior and using threats and punishments are not necessary or used because they (a) foster obedience rather than commitment, (b) require an adult presence for monitoring, (c) prompt young people to be dependent upon external agents, and (d) do not foster long-term motivation for responsibility.

 25. The principles are universal in that they can be used in one’s personal life as well as in one’s professional life to increase effectiveness and enhance relationships.

The following principles are incorporated:

  1. Positivity is a more constructive teacher than negativity.
  2. Choice empowers.
  3. Self-evaluation is essential for lasting improvement.
  4. People choose their own behaviors.
  5. Self-correction is the most effective approach to change behaviors.
  6. Acting responsibly is the most satisfying of rewards.
  7. Growth is greater when authority is used without punishment.