The Raise Responsibilty System Explained


We have been discussing how to use the Raise Responsibility System in our classrooms and have a  question. When checking for understanding, if the student identifies the level correctly, do you still give a referral to fill out or do you only use a referral if the student does not give appropriate responses to the teacher questions?


A prime reason why the levels are taught (phase 1) is to create a benchmark or reference frame. Checking for Understanding (phase 2) is the second step of simple cognitive learning theory. First we teach (levels); then we test (check that the student understands the levels).

In Checking for Understanding, the student acknowledges the level of chosen behavior. By identifying a level—rather than the specific behavior—the student does not have to self-defend. By separating the two, it is easy for the student to accept responsibility for a poor behavioral choice.

Once the student acknowledges an unacceptable level of behavior by identifying level A or B, Checking for Understanding is completed. The teacher immediately returns to the lesson.

If the student does not give an appropriate response (acknowledging  level A or B), just ask the class. By asking the short, simple question, “On what level is that behavior?” the levels of social development are being reinforced to the entire class. And class members will answer the question. Do not spend more than 30 seconds on this procedure. Remember, the purpose of phase 2 is to have the student become aware of inappropriate behavior and take ownership of it.

The third part of the Raise Responsibility System (phase 3) is employed when the student has already acknowledged inappropriate behavior and continues it.

In using phase 3 of Guided Choices, whenever possible ELICIT a consequence (or even better a procedure to redirect future impulses)—rather than imposing one. In this way, the student has more ownership of the consequence.