Using the Levels of Development to Promote Learning

PART IV of the
Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model

“With the Levels of Development and the TWO ACCEPTABLE LEVELS, we have a tool for inspiring young people to WANT to do their best. I find that if you present students of any age with these options, many are then motivated internally—without the incentive of a higher grade (a reward) or the threat of a lower grade (a punishment). That’s the beauty of the Levels of Development. Many teachers underestimate the power of internal motivation simply because they don’t know how to promote it.” —Kerry Weisner, British Columbia, Canada

BEFORE students engage in a lesson or activity, portray visuals  of each level. AFTER the lesson, ask students to take just a moment to REFLECT on the level of their choice. Using hierarchies in this way—BEFORE and AFTER a lesson or activity—promotes a desire to reach the HIGHEST LEVEL.

The more the Levels of Development is discussed IN A VARIETY OF SITUATIONS, the more it becomes a tool that students use to evaluate their own choices to develop self-reliance and self-discipline.

An example from Jim Mann, a high school teacher

I use the levels to teach the importance of establishing a procedure each morning to get to school on time. I use an alarm clock analogy:

Level D –  You set your alarm clock, wake up, and get to school on time.

Level C –  You depend on your parents to wake you up so you get to school on time.

Level B – You ignore the alarm clock and come to school late.

Level A –  You don’t even set your alarm clock because you are only interested in what you want and do not consider how your actions affect others.

I tell my high school students to succeed in college, they must have Level D motivation. The motivation must come from within.