Posts Tagged Level D

How can I explain the difference between Level C and D of this discipline system?


What is the best way to explain to children the difference between internal and external motivation––in other words, the difference between DWS Levels C and D?  I am having trouble with this.


Initially I use very concrete examples connected directly to the classroom.

I describe Level C as the level where students do the right thing––what’s expected of them by the teacher––because the teacher is clearly expecting them to do it.

Some simple examples:

  • The student will pick up toys off the floor when they are asked.
  • The student will walk quietly in the hallway when a teacher is supervising.
  • The student will clean up a mess he/she has made when
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How can I let those Level D “wonders” know they are wonderful?


I have 5 kids in my second grade class who take most of my attention because of their misbehavior.  I feel so badly for the other students who are on task and listening, because honestly, they don’t get very much of my attention.  I try to point out what Level D looks like and give these great students more freedom but still I don’t feel that’s enough.  How can let these wonders know that they are being wonderful?


We often had discussions about this on my staff years ago.  Some of us were starting to feel uncomfortable with rewards, awards and trophies etc.,  but our principal at the time felt that the “good kids never got anything.” He … >>>


High School/Adult Book- “Everyday Greatness”

I recently came across a book from the public library and thought that I’d pass along the title for those who enjoy reading about Level D!

The book is called “Everyday Greatness–Inspiration for a Meaningful Life.”  It’s actually a book of excerpts from Reader’s Digest that have been organized into various themes.  The Table of Contents looks like a list of virtues.  In each theme there is commentary by Stephen Covey and then some related quotes.

I find that I can more easily motivate my students when I feel motivated myself!  Reading stories about individuals who have acted from a place of internal motivation encourages me to think deeply about the value of such behavior.  In turn, this … >>>


Primary/Intermediate Book – “Snowflake Bentley”

I’d like to share a picture book by Jacqueline Briggs Martin that connects wonderfully to many different types of lessons.

Cover illustration

Snowflake Bentley won the Caldecott Medal in 1999.  It could be integrated into science, literature, a snow and winter theme, a study of biographies, symmetry, art and beauty, and in addition could be used to highlight Level D of the DWS Hierarchy.

Martin’s award-winning book tells the story of Wilson Bentley, who is sometimes referred to as “The Snowflake Man.”

By learning about the life of Wilson Bentley, students have the opportunity to think about someone operating at a very high level of autonomy.  This is always an inspiring thing to do!  Being a picture book, it is best … >>>


High School/Adult Book – “The Paradoxical Commandments”

I just got a book out of the public library titled, ANYWAY – The Paradoxical Commandments; Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World by Kent M. Keith.

In this book, the author tells the story of how the Paradoxical Commandments came to be written. They are sometimes attributed to Mother Teresa but were in fact written by an American, Kent Keith. As a 19 year old in 1968, he wrote them to inspire young people to leave their mark on the world by making it a better place.

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.>>>


How do students benefit from operating on Level C or D?

Dr. Marshall says that we should teach students that in this system of discipline, operation on Levels A and B “automatically invites the use of authority” by the teacher. My students understand that continued operation on the lower levels will result in the use of authority. They see this as a good reason for raising the level of their behavior to something higher.

Now I’m wondering: Is there anything that “automatically” accompanies behavior on Levels C and D?

Yes! Firstly, it should be understood that operation on any one of the four levels of the Hierarchy is accompanied by logical and predictable results related to:

• self-esteem and;
• the quality of relationships that are created with authority … >>>


Is Discipline without Stress ever implemented in high school?


Does anyone know if Discipline without Stress is ever implemented in high school? I teach high school Leadership classes and I think high schoolers need these things even more immediately than little ones. The real world is going to require self-discipline of them, real soon! Raising their responsibility is exactly what high school kids need. Most of the discussions I hear about the system seemed aimed at younger children, though presumably they should be applicable to older students as well. I would like any tips, or even encouragement for using this discipline approach in high school.


Discipline without Stress was developed when the author, Dr. Marvin Marshall, was teaching in a high school setting. It’s been adapted for >>>


How can I make the Discipline without Stress levels meaningful to students?


I am still waiting for my Discipline without Stress book to arrive, but this morning I introduced the system to my class anyway. Even though it’s almost the end of the year, I have such big behavior problems that I decided I had nothing to lose and everything to gain! However, I must have done something wrong because the very students who need this system most, were the ones who didn’t pay attention to the discussion and mocked the levels right from the very start. Any suggestions for making this system real to kids who don’t pay much attention to things like this?


Here is an example of just one small discussion I have had with my own >>>


Using the Discipline without Stress Principle of Reflection to improve spelling.

Through our use of the Discipline without Stress approach, my teaching partner and I have come to understand that positive changes in behavior are more likely to occur when we prompt students to think about how they choose to operate in their lives. More and more often, we now practice the Discipline without Stress Principle of Reflection–not only in behavior and discipline situations, but in academics too.

Dr. Marshall’s Hierarchy of Social Development is a wonderful tool for encouraging students to look honestly at choices in all areas of their lives. With an understanding of choice-response thinking, young people become aware that a conscious choice to operate at the higher levels is always an option—an option that results in powerful … >>>


How can I get all my students to Level D?

I’ve been using Discipline without Stress for a few months now and my students seem to understand about the four levels of behavior. Generally their behavior is acceptable, but they aren’t operating on Level D all the time yet. What can I do about this?

Surprising as it might seem, having all students operate on Level D is not the goal for the teacher in this discipline system. Although the world would certainly be a better place if everyone chose to operate at Level D, it’s probably not realistic to expect that students will be able to reach that high level of conduct on a consistent basis. Rather, the teacher’s goal is to have all students operating at … >>>