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Volume 4 Number 8
New teacher induction . . . what does that have to do with me, a veteran educator?
It Takes a Community
to Induct a Teacher
How to Start a Lesson Plan Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Business: A Poor Model for Learning Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
A "To Do" List for the New School Year 4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Bridging the Gap Between School and Home - Using Children's Literature Postcard from Planet Esme - News from the world of children's books by Esmé Codell
Speak with Poise, Power and Pizzazz!!! Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
It Takes a Community to Induct a Teacher Teachers As Learners by Hal Portner
There's A Book Inside of You! - You Have To Think Out of Both Sides of Your Brain eBook Authoring by Glenn F. Dietzel
Ginny's List for Going Back to School The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
Why Do Children Naturally Like Computer Class? Ed-Tech Talk by Dr. Rob Reilly
Back to School Sites The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
August Articles
August Regular Features
August Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

About Marvin Marshall...
Marvin Marshall is a professional speaker and seminar leader who presents his program, "Discipline without Stress, Punishments, or Rewards - Raise Responsibility and Promote Learning," to schools across the world.

His program was developed upon his returning to full-time teaching after 24 years of counseling, supervision, and administration. He has taught primary and upper elementary grades and has been an elementary school principal. He has taught all middle grades and has been a middle school counselor and assistant principal. He has taught all high school grades and has been a high school counselor, assistant principal of supervision and control, assistant principal of curriculum and instruction, and high school principal. He has also served as a district director of education.

Dr. Marshall, who is certified by the William Glasser Institute, presents for Phi Delta Kappa International, for several leading seminar companies, and for schools and school districts. His presentation schedule is on the calendar of his website.

In his book Discipline without Stress, Punishments, or Rewards - How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning, he clearly and concisely demonstrates how the external approaches of relying on rules, imposing consequences, rewarding students for appropriate behavior, and punishing students to make them obey are all counterproductive.

The book can be purchased from the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National School Boards Association, Phi Delta Kappa, at local bookstores, or from his website

Chapter 1, REDUCING STRESS, shows how to reduce stress and increase effectiveness in influencing others. The chapter concludes with an exercise which teaches that life is more successful and has greater satisfaction when attention is given to the positive, when the option of choice is recognized, and when reflection is practiced.

Chapter 2, MOTIVATING, discusses how people attempt to change others and explains the differences between external and internal motivation. External motivators of telling, rewarding, and punishing (and how the latter two are different sides of the same motivational coin) are explored. The chapter concludes with a discussion of mindsets - those perceptions which drive motivation.

Chapter 3, RAISING RESPONSIBILITY, describes The Raise Responsibility System. The simple-to-implement program raises responsibility and can be used in any pre-kindergarten to 12th grade classroom and is currently used in rural schools in Texas to urban schools in New York City and in small child care centers to large high schools. The strategy also can be used in any home or youth setting. The approach is noncoercive and neither rewards nor punishments are used. The approach employs internal motivation so that young people develop a desire to want to behave responsibly. A skill is taught which improves relationships between any two people - parent and child, teacher and student, employer and employee, husband and wife. If the use of authority becomes necessary, it is used without being punitive. Imposed consequences are not used because they engender avoidance, resistance, victimhood thinking, and alienated feelings - sometimes on the part of both the adult and young person. However, if a consequence is appropriate, it is elicited, thereby ensuring ownership and responsibility by the young person, where it belongs.

Chapter 4, PROMOTING LEARNING, begins with a discussion of learning climate. Suggestions are given for improving relationships between the teacher and the class as a whole, among students themselves, and between a teacher and an individual student. Strategies are shared which promote empathy and respect, quality learning, and reduce the unhealthy striving for perfection. The chapter concludes with specific strategies for anger and impulse management, resolving conflicts, and dealing with difficult students.

Chapter 5, TEACHING, describes left and right brain hemisphericity, multiple intelligences, modalities of learning, emotions, styles, lesson planning, levels of intellect, instructional questions, group questioning strategy, choosing key words to frame questions, imaging, stories, mindsets, metacognition, the senses, suggestions for aiding recall and memory, laser learning, and three seminal shifts. A separate section is devoted to classroom management and another to homework.

Chapter 6, PARENTING, includes suggestions for practicing positivity, offering choices, encouraging reflection, using effective questions, listening to learn, limiting lecturing and telling, checking assumptions, focusing on the important, asking for assistance, recognizing implicit messages, fostering responsibility, exhibiting personal responsibility, recognizing desired behaviors, maintaining standards, using authority without being punitive, letting the youngster lead, teaching procedures to deal with impulses, intervening in sibling squabbles, being aware of sex differences, using acknowledgments more than praise, honoring homework, working smarter rather than harder, nurturing your child's nature, and reaping the joy of parenthood.

The Epilogue argues that business is a poor model for learning. Using a performance model of accountability for young people's learning is a false equation. It is one of those practices which has been described by the comic strip character Dagwood Bumpstead, who said, "You know, that makes a lot of sense if you don't think about it."

Visit Marvin Marshall's Homepage to read more.

To read about the failings of punishments and rewards, go to

Promoting Learning...
by Dr. Marvin Marshall
Business: A Poor Model for Learning

Using business as a model for learning is disastrous.

I received the following in a recent e-mail.

Imagine what schools would be like if every single school in our country were trained and empowered to use the Raise Responsibility System. Wow! I'm just so confused as to why President Bush, who started "No Child Left Behind," pushes school ratings.

You are not the only one confused. Government, business, and even education leaders often make the gross mistake of comparing schooling to business and using a business metaphor for learning.

Schools are referred to as workplaces, students as customers, and performance is measured in terms of accountability. Equating young people's learning processes with what adults do to make money is a false equation. Using a business model for learning is a practice which has been described by the comic strip character Dagwood Bumstead: "You know, that makes a lot of sense if you don't think about it."

The Purposes of School and Business are Different

The basic purpose of business is to survive. Even in graduate business courses which teach that one purpose of business is to serve, the fact remains that if there is no profit, the business will eventually fail.

Survival is not a factor in schooling. Society finds ways--be they public, private, or a combination thereof--to educate its young. The purpose of schooling is to promote understanding, make meaning, and perpetuate and improve society. Preparing students to live successful lives certainly includes some of the necessary skills and characteristics essential in business. However, the fact that some of the same skills are used does not mean that the skills taught in school are taught for purposes of business.

The Product is Different

Businesses produce products. The product may be tangible or intangible and in the form of information, services, or goods.

Learning is a process, not a product. Even if students were to be considered products, the product would be their education. Schools educate and businesses train. The term "training" is not often used when referring to K-12 education. Schools do not train for specific information dissemination as do businesses, nor are students trained to provide services to others, nor are they trained to produce goods for use or for consumption. Training is used for areas that are vocational in nature.

In a business transaction, the customer is clearly identified. This is not the case in education. The customer consists of parents (especially in this age of school choice), the society at large (since students are members), other institutions of learning (where students often need to qualify), and future employers. In business, only the customer need live with the product; however, the people who live with the results of schooling are the parents and others with whom the learner interacts.

Business can control the components of its product--what will go into making a product. Schools do not have this luxury; they (at least the public schools) have no discretionary power to determine or control the "raw materials." Besides, students are not assembled according to well-established specifications. Schools must individualize education for many students.

Business has the opportunity and even the obligation for recalls. No such possibility exists for schools. Clearly, comparing the building of people to building products is a faulty comparison.

The People are Different

Students are young people and, as such, are different from adults. When juvenile courts were established, the legal system acknowledged that childhood is different from adulthood. Vast amounts of psychological, social, developmental, medical, and brain research have demonstrated that children and youth are different from adults. Few parents--whether in government, business, or education--would ever consider treating their own eight-year-old old as an eighteen-year-old.

The Tasks are Different

The nature of the work differs. Business has to do with providing a product or service to others. Schooling has to do with personal and social growth.

The Funding and Compensation Factors are Different

In business, the person who pays derives the benefit. This is not the case in education. The person who is most directly involved--the learner--does not pay for education. In addition, even though businesses and other agencies contribute to the support of schools, the primary source of public education is the general society--not private funds.

Also, and this may not be apparent to those who equate learning with business, money is a satisfier--not a motivator. Giving a person more money rarely produces more work. Money does not usually make a person work harder. Take yourself as an example. If you were given more money, would you work harder than you are now? If a chief executive officer (CEO) of a business were given more compensation, do you think he or she would work harder? Money is compensation, and unless a person is being paid by piecework or is on commission, money will not often motivate him to work harder.

Students do not receive money for learning. Besides, giving money for learning would be a mistake. External rewards alter motivation and diminish creativity, two of the most powerful incentives for learning.

In business, if a worker does not perform satisfactorily, the employment, along with the compensation, is removed. Public schools do not fire students or prevent their continued attendance.

The Success Factor is Different

In business, success on the job often requires initiative, flexibility, and teamwork. No defense is given here for not employing similar approaches in schools. However, that is not currently the case in most schools. Schooling is administered in a competitive manner. Grades, rankings, and other evaluation techniques are largely based on pitting students against each other and militate against initiative, flexibility, and teamwork.

Outcomes in the business world can be objectively measured. Units manufactured and sold, the number of customers returning, and the number of retained clients can all be objectively measured. This is not the case in learning; outcomes cannot be objectively measured. Even if they could be, the evaluation instruments currently available could indicate only an insignificant amount of learning that had been acquired--either in quality or quantity.

In this regard, businesses do not set up evaluation instruments that mandate only a fifty percent (50%) success factor. It is interesting to note that educational leaders follow the ideas of business and government leaders. But these leaders would never consider evaluating the success of workers on any kind of an instrument where, by design, half would fall below the average. Yet, this is what schools do when standardized tests are administered. Not only do half of the students fall below the average, so do half of the schools. No other institution would operate in this way--a poignant, but unfortunate, further differentiation.

The Procedures and Time Factors are Different

A manager who oversees employees, an administrator who is accountable for a project or department, or a business executive who is responsible for the success and survival of the business operate differently from a teacher. The teacher's charge is to impart information, foster comprehension, develop communication skills, and build behavior to promote a civil society. Therefore, a slow learner is treated differently from a fast learner. Various activities are assigned according to the students' skills and abilities. Because schools aim at attending to students' needs, flexibility of time is incorporated. In contrast to schools, business uses procedures which focus on production and are usually under strict time constraints.

Finally, business primarily deals in the present. Schools deal primarily with the future.


Learning is learning; it is not business. Comparing learning to business is not only a poor metaphor, it is a false one. Just because business and learning share attributes of efforts and skills, it is unwise to compare them for the reasons listed. We would be well served to call attention to and refute the comparison whenever made.

A much more effective approach than using ratings, rankings, and competition would be to use collaboration. This approach could still allow accountability but without the disadvantages inherent in competition. One such approach is described in the article, "How to Achieve 100 Per Cent Student Participation" at

Learn how to use internal motivation to promote both responsibility and learning by using concepts of Stephen Covey (proaction), William Glasser (noncoercion), W. Edwards Deming (collaboration and empowerment), and Abraham Maslow (hierarchy and autonomy) as described at

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© Dr. Marvin Marshall, 2003.

Questions submitted to Kathleen Carpenter at will be considered by Marv Marshall for responses in future monthly columns in the Teachers.Net Gazette.

Gazette Articles by Dr. Marshall:

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