Discipline to Promote Responsibility & Learning

Dr. Marvin Marshall’s Blog

School Discipline Testimonial about Stress and Coercion

I’m a 9th grade high school teacher in Long Beach, California. Most of us grew up with the old "rules and consequences" model, so I naturally followed it when I became a teacher 21 years ago. I don’t know whether our culture changed, or the kids changed, or I changed. But apparently no one ever told my students that bad behavior should be punished.It's like many of them are totally foreign to the concept. Why? I don’t … [Read more...]

Restorative Justice in Schools

Restorative Justice is a discipline program that is gaining support in urban schools across the nation. The reason it is gaining acceptance is that a disproportionate number of minority students are being punished for inappropriate and irresponsible school behaviors—and federal guidelines are attempting to reduce the problem. Although the approach has good intentions, significant problems have developed because teachers … [Read more...]

Criticism versus Positivity

We are all guilty of offering criticism to others, even if we disguise it as “constructive” criticism. But think about it: Why would people want to hear criticism from someone else? Criticism promotes negativity, rather than positivity. Criticism puts a person on the defensive and usually prompts the person to justify the actions. It is also dangerous because it wounds a person’s precious pride, impinges on one’s sense of … [Read more...]

Classroom Management Procedures

Classroom management procedures make instruction efficient. Here are some from the Discipline Without Stress Resource Guide:How to enter the classroom and then what to do (Students should always have something that raises curiosity, interest, or reinforces/reviews as soon they enter the classroom. Dead time is deadly time.)How to get attention and what students should do How to quiet the class when it gets too noisyHow to … [Read more...]

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports vs. Internal Motivation

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) is based on external motivation. It asks adults to find some behavior that they wish young people to do and then rewards them for doing it. The theory is that, if a reward is given, the person will repeat what the addult desires. In essence, the purpose is to use rewards to control behavior.The concept of behaviorism originated with Ivan Pavlov and is referred to as … [Read more...]

Striving for Perfection

We’ve all heard the expression, “Practice makes perfect.” It’s something many teachers and parents have touted to children for decades. However, the problem with that thinking is that perfection is often not possible. And striving for something unattainable sets people up for failure.Of course, this does not mean we shouldn’t have high standards for ourselves and others. Therefore, think about it like this: Pursuing … [Read more...]

John Dewey on Education and Pragmatism

A little history about John Dewey, known for his approaches that promoted responsibility: Dewey died in 1957 at age 92 in New York City. At his death, he was one of America's most influential philosophers and educational theorists. He taught for three years but struggled with the expectation that he should be a knuckle-rapping disciplinarian.After posts at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago, he … [Read more...]

Classroom Discipline Is Not Classroom Management

Discipline is often confused with classroom management. Many textbooks used in teacher education courses discuss classroom management as if it were synonymous with classroom discipline.This confusion muddles understanding so much that the vast majority of new teachers walk into their classroom unprepared to that which is required of excellent teaching, namely, commend respect of their students and establish relationships … [Read more...]

Parenting a Teenager

Social scientists have determined that teeagers accept responsibility for a behavior when they believe that they have chosen to perform it in the absence of outside pressures.Giving rewards for what you want is external pressure—really a bribe—because it is used to control. It may get teenagers to perform a certain action, but it won't get them to except responsibility for the act. Consequently, they  won't feel committed … [Read more...]

The Discipline of Classroom Collaboration

Rather than having students work in isolation on a project or problem, instill learning and working communities that collaborate.To foster the discipline of collaboration, here is a simple technique to try: Have students volunteer to relate something that SOMEONE ELSE has done successfully. Then decide on how often this activity should be conducted, such as weekly or monthly.You’ll find that trust and a collaborative … [Read more...]