Marvin Marshall

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5 Classroom Tips

5 invaluable tips to get the new school year off to a good start with positive ways to establish effective classroom management!
by Dr. Marvin Marshall
www.MarvinMarshall.com
Regular contributor to the Gazette
August 1, 2008
  1. Teach procedures, rather than rely on rules. Rules are necessary in games. Between people, however, rules result in adversarial relationships because rules require enforcement. In addition, rules are often stated in negative terms and imply an imposed consequence. Rules place the teacher in the position of the enforcer, a cop--rather than that of a teacher, mentor, or facilitator of learning. Enforcing rules often results in power struggles that rarely result in win-win situations or in good relationships. Instead, they often result in reluctance, resistance, and resentment. Upon analysis, you will see that rules are either procedures or expectations. Rather than relying on rules, therefore, you will be much more effective if you teach procedures, which is the essence of good classroom management. Rules are "left-hemisphere" oriented. They work with people who are orderly and structured. "Right-hemisphere" dominant students act randomly and spontaneously. Teaching procedures, rather than relying on rules, is significantly more effective with this type of student.
  2. Communicate in positive terms. The brain thinks in pictures, not in words. We often want to assist people by telling them what to avoid. So often, however when you tell a person what not to do, the opposite results. The reason is that the brain does not envision "don’t" or any other negative-type word. The brain envisions pictures, illusions, visions, and images. Here is an example: Don’t think of the color blue. What color did you envision? The teacher who tells the student not to look at his neighbor’s paper is having the student’s brain envision looking at his neighbor’s paper. When people tell others what not to do, the "don't" is what the brain images. Always communicate in positive terms of what you do want. Examples: "Keep your eyes on your own paper." Instead of "Don't run," say "We walk in the hallways at our school."
  3. Rather than aiming at obedience, promote responsibility. Obedience does not create desire. A more effective approach is to promote responsibility; obedience then follows as a natural by-product. Focusing on obedience prompts using coercion, which is the least effective approach for changing behavior. Although teachers can control students temporarily, teachers cannot change students. People change themselves, and the most effective approach for actuating students to change is to eliminate coercion, which is not to be confused with permissiveness or not using authority. The approach for the teacher is to hone the skill of asking reflective questions. As long as the teacher does the asking, rather than the telling, the teacher controls the conversation. Use questions such as, "Are you willing to try something different if it would help you?" and "What would an extraordinary person do in this situation?"
  4. Encourage reflection. This step is critical and is very often overlooked. Students cannot be exposed to something once and then expect the learning to go into long-term memory. Having students share and reflect reinforces the learning.
  5. Rather than impose, elicit. When a consequence is imposed, students are deprived of ownership in the decision. A more effective and fairer approach is to elicit a consequence or a procedure to redirect impulses that will help each student become more responsible. This can easily be accomplished and still be consistent in terms of fairness by asking students if they would rather be treated as a group or as individuals. They will readily have a preference to be treated as individuals and have ownership in the decision that will help them. Use questions such as, "What procedure can we develop so that in the future you will not be a victim of your impulses?"

Copyright © 2008 Marvin Marshall.

Additional information is available at
www.MarvinMarshall.com



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About Marvin Marshall...

His approach is the only system that is proactive, totally noncoercive, and does not use external manipulatives or threats. He INDUCES students to WANT to act responsibly and WANT to put forth effort to learn.

His book, "Discipline without Stress® Punishments or Rewards - How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning" is used in schools, universities, and homes around the world. The book clearly and concisely demonstrates how external approaches of relying on rules, imposing consequences, rewarding students for appropriate behavior, and punishing students to make them obey are all counterproductive. His approach reduces stress and is more effective than traditional approaches that focus on obedience because obedience does not create desire.

A prime reason that the approach is the fastest growing discipline and learning system in the country and is taught in so many universities is that it teaches students to understand differences between internal and external motivation. A second reason is that the focus is on promoting responsibility; obedience then follows as a natural by-product. A third reason is that the system separates the deed from the doer, the act from the actor, a good kid from irresponsible behavior, thereby eliminating the natural tendency for a student to self-defend.

Dr. Marshall gives permission to download and reproduce anything from his websites as long as www.MarvinMarshall.com is included. Visit his teaching model at http://www.marvinmarshall.com/in-housedetails.html.

He offers the following resources to learn and support his approach:

http://www.marvinmarshall.com This is the foundational site that links to the teaching model, shares how a school can conduct its own in-house staff development, and contains free information for implementation. For a quick understanding of his approach, link to "THE HIERARCHY" and "IMPULSE MANAGEMENT."

http://www.disciplinewithoutstress.com This is the website for the best-selling book on discipline and learning. Three sections of the book are online: Classroom Meetings, Collaboration for Quality Learning, and Reducing Perfectionism.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisciplineWithoutStress.com is used to post questions, share ideas, and give assistance.

http://www.DisciplineAnswers.com has a compilation of previously asked and posted answers categorized from the above Yahoo site.

http://www.AboutDiscipline.com explains reasons that external approaches - such as rewarding appropriate behavior, telling students what to do, and punishing them if they don’t - are not used to promote responsible behavior.

http://disciplineforsmartpeople.com This web log (blog) contains short posts to help implement the totally noncoercive - but not permissive - approach.

NEW! Discipline Without Stress, Inc.- a nonprofit public charitable devoted to teaching the Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model, now being offered to low economic schools in the U.S.A.

Free books at http://www.disciplinewithoutstress.com, free In-House Staff Development at http://www.marvinmarshall.com/In_House_Package.html and, depending upon location, free personal presentations by Marv Marshall. For more information: http://www.marvinmarshall.com/in-housedetails.html

The requirements for application can be found at http://www.DisciplineWithoutStress.org



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