Rather than reacting after a behavior problem appears, you can use the Levels of Development to be proactive. As soon as your child can talk, you begin with the easy teaching of four (4) concepts of the Levels of Development. These four concepts are the foundation of the system that handles all behavior problems while promoting responsibility.
The first two concepts (Level A and Level B) refer to behavior and are both unacceptable. Level C and D refer to motivation and are both acceptable.
Note: Having young people learn the concepts is critical because reference is never made directly to a child’s behavior; reference is always referred to the level the youngster has chosen.
This understanding … >>> READ MORE >>> →
More and more people who want to discipline without coercion are learning about the Discipline Without Stress methodology and the Raise Responsibility System every day.
Step 1: TEACHING – (Students learn four levels of development) Being proactive by TEACHING AT THE OUTSET is in contrast to the usual approach of just responding to inappropriate behavior.
Step 2: ASKING – (Checking for Understanding) When a disruption occurs, have the student identify the unacceptable level chosen. Note: A major reason for the success of the system is that by identifying something OUTSIDE of oneself, the deed is separated from the doer. The person is not prompted to self-defend, which is one’s natural and usual approach.
Step 3: ELICITING – (Guided … >>> READ MORE >>> →
The following was written by my friend Kerry Weisner. She offers some excellent advice and observations on the topic acknowledging appropriate and acceptable behavior.
Reflection and self-evaluation are key attributes of the Raise Responsibility System. By referring to the Hierarchy, adults can encourage reflection on the higher, desirable levels. After explaining/teaching the Hierarchy, the procedure is for the adult to ask the young person to identify the chosen level.
It is unnecessary and even counterproductive to attempt to evaluate the motivation levels of C (external) or D (internal). However, it can be very empowering for young people themselves to assess their own level in various situations. By becoming consciously aware of the powerful inner feelings of satisfaction arising … >>> READ MORE >>> →
One of the most challenging things about moving to the Raise Responsibility System is remembering to use the three principles of being positive, asking (rather than telling), and empowering by giving choices.
It doesn’t happen overnight, and no one will tell you that you can be an expert when first starting. We’re all struggling to change previous mindsets, to pause before we blurt out automatic phrases that are negative, to get rid of those “old teacher stares,” and to be proactive instead of reactive. It’s not easy, so just try to take the pressure off yourself by not expecting perfection. That route leads to discouragement.
Instead, just set little goals for yourself. For instance, try for an hour to always … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Here are some advanced concepts for using the Raise Responsibility System (RRSystem) for discipline, for encouragement, and for promoting learning and academic achievement.
RRSystem for Discipline:
After teachers are well into the mode of ASKING students (instead of telling them) to identify a level of chosen behavior, asking for a response may seem coercive. At this point, teachers can then shift to SUGGESTING that students SIMPLY REFLECT on their chosen level.
Remember that the hierarchy is NOT an assessment tool for someone on the outside looking in. Also understand that no one can know the motivation of another person with complete accuracy, and since rewards can change motivation, rewarding Level D behavior can be counterproductive. The reward-giver will never know … >>> READ MORE >>> →
No matter how long you’ve been teaching, you simply cannot judge a student’s motivation with complete accuracy. Within a classroom, where all the children look as if they are doing the same thing, perhaps cooperating with the teacher and quietly doing their assignments, some will be operating on Level C and some will be operating on Level D (for details of the four Levels of Social Development, click here). While you may have few discipline challenges in such a classroom, you’ll never know for sure whether these children are internally or externally motivated.
A person’s motivation can only be accurately determined by that person himself/herself. That is why it’s important for teachers to ask questions that promote self-reflection in … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Sometimes teachers contact me explaining that they have one student (or more) who will not respond to the Raise Responsibility System (which is detailed in the Discipline Without Stress book) and who often have repeated discipline challenges They wonder if there is something different they should do to encourage that student to understand the system or if they need to change how they implement the strategies in the Discipline Without Stress methodology.
I believe the answer to this dilemma is very much tied to expectations about what it means to have a child “respond” to the Raise Responsibility System. I notice that sometimes when people say they are having difficulty in getting certain kids “to respond,” what they mean is … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Which would you rather have: a child who does what you ask but only when you ask (an obedient child) … or a child who does the right thing even when no one is looking simply because it’s the right thing to do (a responsible child)?
Most parents and teachers choose the latter. But if that’s what we want, why are so many adults still using outdated discipline techniques that promote obedience rather than responsibility? Such techniques include telling young people what to do, punishing them if they do not, and rewarding them if they do. These approaches teach only one thing: obedience. The shortcomings of obedience appear when teachers and parents are not around to use these external motivators. … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Dr. Marshall recently brought teacher attention to a youtube lecture highlighting the third part of his Discipline without Stress Teaching Model, The Raise Responsibility System.
As many university instructors do these days, Joe Jerles posted this classroom management lecture online so that his own students could access his teaching easily and repeatedly for study purposes.
Jerles is teaching from the textbook, Effective Classroom Management by Carlette Jackson Hardin. Chapter 9 of the book deals specifically with Dr. Marshall’s Discipline without Stress approach.
Joe Jerles’ youtube presentation may be of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about the Discipline without Stress approach.
Dr. Marshall points out a few things to notice while viewing the video:
- Even kindergarten students
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
Practitioners of the Raise Responsibility System move into a stress reducing mode, and young people become more responsible because:
- The youngster self-evaluates
- The youngster acknowledges inappropriate behavior
- The youngster takes ownership
- The youngster develops a plan
- The youngster develops a procedure to implement the plan
The system is so effective because:
- Positivity is a more constructive teacher than negativity.
- Choice empowers.
- Self-evaluation is essential for lasting improvement.
- People choose their own behaviors.
- Self-correction is the most effective approach for changing behavior.
- Acting responsibly is the most satisfying of rewards.
- Growth is greater when authority is used without punishment.
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
The nature of childhood has dramatically changed in the last few generations. Young people spend time in front of the television, a passive activity that robs them of playtime and imagination. Hours are also spent in front of computers. These types of activities—relying on technology—are often lone activities in that people generally engage in them by themselves. As a result, learning about personal relationship skills and developing social intelligences are largely ignored. In contrast to former generations, young people today are more independent, more anxious, more impulsive, more disruptive, and more disobedient. To many parents, youth today seem like a real pain.
Although the young today are different, they aren’t worse.
Current generations are not like any other in history. … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Parents often ask me what the Raise Responsibility System is all about. While this website has much information about the system, here are a few key points to help explain it:
- As the name states, the Raise Responsibility System aims at promoting responsibility. This is in contrast to approaches that aim at fostering obedience. When parents aim toward obedience with young people today, they often get resistance, resentment, and even rebellion. The result is stress for both parent and child. As children grow, the more we try to force obedience the more they resist. However, when responsibility is promoted, obedience becomes a natural by-product.
- The Raise Responsibility System is proactive rather than reactive. Instead of waiting until an
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
If a behavioral change is necessary, the stress should be on the student—not the teacher.
A LETTER FROM A TEACHER
Without what I have learned from you I would never have made it in the long-term sub job in the Special Education Department here at school.
At times I was alone with children who were constantly punished and rewarded. I started by not doing any of it but asking questions and having them reflect. They learned that no matter what they did I would not react to their behaviors—except to ask if what they were doing was appropriate and responsible.
Before long, I could predict their behaviors with others and with me. I was stress free and wondered how … >>> READ MORE >>> →
The strategy used in the Raise Responsibility System differs from other approaches in a number of significant ways. First, the system starts with Stephen Covey’s first habit of highly effective people: Be proactive. The idea is to set the stage for dealing with disruptive behaviors before they occur. This is in contrast to the usual reactive strategy of dealing with disruptive behaviors after they occur.
Second, neither rewards nor punishments (or “consequences,” which also are viewed as negative) are used. Authority, when necessary, is used without punishment.
Third, a guiding approach, rather than a telling approach, is used, because the most effective way to change behavior is to provide conditions under which behavior change is self-motivated. Self-evaluation is the most … >>> READ MORE >>> →
External motivators are used extensively in schools. This includes telling young people what to do, punishing them if they do not, and rewarding them if they do. These approaches teach young people obedience. The shortcomings of obedience appear when teachers and parents are not around to use these external motivators.
The Raise Responsibility System focuses on internal motivation, which builds the vision to act with responsible, autonomous behavior—whether or not anyone else is around.
If America is to continue the civil democracy that has been our heritage, we must do more than just talk about civil democracy and responsibility; we must actively foster it. We can do this in a classroom by providing opportunities for students to take responsibility and … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I received the following communication:
“I’m a retired electrical engineer. I recently began working as a substitute teacher handling any subject from grade 3 up through grade 12.
“The biggest challenge is to keep the noise level down and the smart alecks from disrupting the class. Things have sure changed since I went to school!
“So I have approached the challenge by being strict. Smart alecks, mainly 12-year-old boys, end up standing facing the wall until they apologize for disrupting the class. I knew there had to be a better way, so I spent some time in the local library and discovered your book. I am going to teach 6th grade tomorrow and I plan to implement your suggestions in … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I had the pleasure of hearing you speak in New Orleans. Thank you for your encouraging words.
I am a fourth grade teacher who desperately wants to move away from students only working for rewards, which is the nature of “behavior plans” at my school. After implementing a few of your strategies in my classroom, I am pleased with the way my students have responded. Because I, and all their previous teachers, have used rewards, I am unsure how the students will react if I do away with all tangible rewards.
Use principle two, CHOICE, of the THREE PRINCIPLES TO PRACTICE of the Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model.
Rather than stopping the use of rewards, give … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Working in Harlem under contract for three years with the New York City Board of Education taught me an invaluable lesson: Having a teaching SYSTEM is superior to talent when a teacher faces challenging behaviors in the classroom.
The assistant superintendent and I were very impressed while observing a teacher one year. We agreed that the teacher was a “natural.” However, when I visited the teacher the following year, she told me three boys were such challenges that she could use some assistance.
Even teachers with a “natural talent” are challenged by student behaviors that teachers in former generations did not confront. To retain the joy that the teaching profession offers and to reduce one’s stress, a SYSTEM to rely … >>> READ MORE >>> →