Using Levels of Development with Kindergarten – High School Students

The Levels of Development (the first part of the discipline program of the Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model) can be used with Kindergarten to high school students.

The following comments come from a kindergarten and a high school teacher, respectively.

I had a particularly challenging Kindergarten class and taught the hierarchy. I was surprised how quickly my youngsters were able to pick up the language and were able to label situations as ‘Anarchy’ and ‘Bullying.’

We used the ‘Happy Face’ poster and discussed how Level A and Level B usually result in tears. We talked about what Level C and Level D are like in the hallway, in the bathroom, etc.

It was very effective. Kindergarten students were certainly able to reflect on their behavior and discuss how to change it. It works; it’s great!


The following is an example from a high school teacher. Using an alarm clock analogy, he refers to the hierarchy to teach the importance of establishing a procedure each morning to get to school on time. He emphasizes to his students that the more the hierarchy is used 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.

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 to get to school on time.
Level B – You ignore your 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

He emphasizes to his students that to succeed in college, they must have motivation on Level D. Their motivation must come from within.