Discipline to Promote Responsibility & Learning

Dr. Marvin Marshall’s Blog

Rewards and Behavior

Is public recognition for good behavior or attitudes a good practice? Not in my opinion! I expect good behavior, and I don’t know how to assess one’s attitude aside from one’s behavior. As I have stated in many times in the past, the problem with rewards is that the reward-giver will never know in the future whether the person is acting on Level D because it is the right thing to do OR simply to get the … [Read more...]

Dealing with Homework Resistance

Teachers often ask me how they can convince students to do their homework. Many reveal that they have several students who don’t care about homework and refuse to do it. When it comes to homework, remember that you cannot force learning. In fact, there are thousands of capable, mature, responsible adults who rarely did their homework in school. As I mention in my book Discipline Without Stress, I do not use the term, … [Read more...]

Discipline and Decision Making

Just as young children don’t want to be carried while they are learning to walk, adolescents don’t want adults making decisions for them. In fact, the more the adult tries to exert control over the youth, the more the adolescent will resist, resulting in increased discipline challenges. Remember, the only way a child can learn to walk is to practice walking. Similarly, the only way to help youth develop responsible … [Read more...]

Motivating Students to Learn

If you want students to take an interest in what you’re teaching, begin each lesson by giving students a problem to solve. Grappling with a problem creates interest and curiosity, both of which are great motivators. Students can then share how they solved or attempted to solve the problem. After this discussion, use direct instruction followed by guided practice. This approach follows the Japanese model of teaching. It’s … [Read more...]

Handling Interruptions

All teachers and parents have had children interrupt them while they are talking or doing something important. How you handle the interruption will prompt either positive or negative feelings in the child. If someone interrupts you while you are working on something and have that mental momentum where you are in a state of flow, take just a moment to write down some key words that later will bring you back to your … [Read more...]

Make Youth Feel Important

Admired people are adept at making others (even youth) feel important. When you interact with someone—whether for 30 seconds or for 30 minutes—the test is, “When the person walks away, does that person feel better or worse?” If you see the person walking away feeling down or depressed, walk after the person and ask, “How about trying that again so that you feel better than when we started the conversation?” The … [Read more...]

Classroom Discipline with a Student

I was asked by a third/fourth grade teacher, "What do you say to a student who thinks his answers are ALWAYS correct even when I prove he is wrong by giving examples of the correct math solutions and by other students demonstrating the correct answers by their methods?" I responded: ALWAYS keep in mind that the person who asks the question controls the situation. The only way this child will change is by having him … [Read more...]

Fundamental Truths about the Discipline Without Stress Approach

Over the years I’ve done much research into discipline, classroom management, and the education field in general. As such, I know of no other discipline program that is proactive, creates a DESIRE for change, and places total responsibility on the other person—rather than on the teacher or parent. There are a few underlying, fundamental truths to my approach. • A person can be controlled, but only temporarily, and no … [Read more...]

Change Behavior by Changing Perceptions

The opening paragraph of my book, Discipline Without Stress, deals with mindsets. It sets the stage for the entire book because my purpose is to influence young people to have mindsets where they WANT to be responsible and WANT to learn. The following exercise (shared with me by Jack Canfield– coauthor with Mark Victor Hansen of The Aladdin Factor and the Chicken Soup series) gives students an experience of the power of … [Read more...]

Say “No” Positively

In my books, speeches, and professional work, I always stress the importance of positivity. But sometimes you simply have to tell people “No,” even though it’s not a positive word. So how can you say “No” without actually saying “No”? Here’s a simple four-step process: 1. Acknowledge the importance of the request. “I understand why that’s important to you.” 2. Inform the person that you have a problem with it.“But I … [Read more...]