December 2008
Vol 5 No 12

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.5 No.12 December 2008

Cover Story by Bill Page
At-Risk Students: A Point of Viewing

“At-Risk Students: Children who are expected to fail because teachers cannot motivate, control, teach, or interest them using traditional methods and prescribed curriculum.” ~ At-Risk Students: Understanding Their Defensive Ploys

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
The Sounds of Students
Learning and Performing

»Teacher's Inquiry ProcessHal Portner
»December Survival GuideSue Gruber
»Words Can InspireLeah Davies
»Windy City Top TenTodd R. Nelson
»Tapping Into Internal MotivationMarvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac
»Dear Barbara - Advice for SubsBarbara Pressman
»The 2 W’s and a H: Finding the Main Idea in Students’ Behavior Kioni Carter

»A World of ZippersTim Newlin
»Recipes - Cinnamon Applesauce Dough Ornaments, Gingerbread Playdough, Gingerbread, Rudolph Sandwiches
»The End of the D and F Grade: Welcome to Lake WobegonAlan Haskvitz
»December 2008 Writing PromptsJames Wayne
»Education Accountability Version 2.0: A Letter to the Next PresidentTony Wagner
»Sometimes It’s Easier to Just Suck It UpMrs. Mimi
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing IIHank Kellner
»Parents and FailureBruce J. Gevirtzman

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring QuotesBarb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily CommemorationRon Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»This is why we do it…
»The Kelly Bear C.A.R.E.S. Program
»Printable Worksheets & Teaching Aids
»The Economy Is Not A Morality Play
»School Photographs for December 2008
»Lessons, Resources and Theme Activities: December 2008
»Video Bytes: The Benefits of Student Blogging; Unbelievable Water Fountain; George Washington Inauguration; Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke; Flight Physics; & Claymation Surrealism a la Magritte!
»Live on Teachers.Net: December 2008
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


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Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
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Cover Story by Bill Page

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Sue Gruber, Kioni Carter, Marvin Marshall, , Marjan Glavac, Todd R. Nelson, Hal Portner, Leah Davies, Barbara Pressman, Tim Newlin, Bill Page, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, Magoo, Bruce J. Gevirtzman, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Tony Wagner, Alan Haskvitz,Mrs. Mimi, and YENDOR.

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Marvin Marshall

Promoting Discipline & Learning
Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

Tapping Into Internal Motivation

The foundation of The Raise Responsibility System* is teaching before problems occur.
by Dr. Marvin Marshall
Regular contributor to the Gazette
December 1, 2008

When I first came upon the system, it was the concept of motivation featured in the hierarchy that initially grabbed my attention. The hierarchy was the first time that I had ever seen anyone explain that high level behaviour is actually all about personal motivation.The contrast between the higher levels points this out perfectly.To me, the hierarchy is absolutely brilliant, especially because of its simplicity.When something is simple enough that even children can understand it and yet so striking that many adults are stopped in their tracks by it, it's got to be something worthwhile. —Kerry Weisner, British Columbia, Canada

The foundation of The Raise Responsibility System* is teaching before problems occur. How young people mature after learning the hierarchy is what makes teaching it so valuable. Rather than focusing on discipline, think of the hierarchy as an OPPORTUNITY for young people to have a rubric for making decisions in life.

* The Raise Responsibility System is Part III of the Discipline Without Stress Teaching Modeldescribed at

The following are Significant Points about the Hierarchy of Social Development described at

  1. Some adults may feel uncomfortable with the vocabulary, but these specific terms are the most effective in empowering students to resist bullying, resist negative peer influence, and make responsible decisions. After the concepts have been explained, reference is made only to the letter. For example, the lowest level, Anarchy, is referred to as Level A.
  2. Occasionally, an adult thinks that youngsters may confuse the letters of a grading scale with the letters of the hierarchy. Since language has meaning in context (e.g., when to spell to, too, two), students do not confuse the hierarchy of D, C, B, A with the reverse order of letters in grading systems.
  3. Two significant advantages in referring to the levels are: (a) the deed is separated from the doer so students never feel a need to defend themselves—which often leads to arguments, and (b) the vocabulary can be used in every grade level and by every staff member.
  4. The hierarchy is NOT an assessment tool for someone on the outside looking in. The motivation of some students during an activity will be at Level C while others will be at Level D. Only individuals themselves can accurately assess their own level of motivation.
  5. As we live, we experience various levels. If you have experienced great anger, chances are that you had little concern for the effect your behavior had on others (Level A).If you ever drove faster than the speed limit, you made your own rules of the road (Level B). If you were courteous and considerate of others, your motivation could have been to do what others were doing (Level C), or your motivation could have been to be courteous and considerate of others because that was the right thing to do (Level D).
  6. To perpetuate a civil society, motivation at Level C is essential, and this is the motivational level at which most of us live our lives most of the time. However, since obedience does not create desire, when working with young people the GOAL is to promote motivation at Level D. The reason is that motivation at this level actuates the greatest desire for responsible behavior and for putting forth effort in learning. Learning requires motivation.
  7. Since rewards change motivation, once a reward is given the reward becomes the focus. Rewarding Level D is both counterproductive and guesswork because no one can know the motivation of another with complete accuracy.
  8. The hierarchy becomes significantly more effective when the FOCUS is on the DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MOTIVATIONAL LEVELS OF C and D. The more you have students reflect on their motivational level, the more effectively the system serves both you and young people.
  9. Copyright © 2008 Marvin Marshall.

    Additional information is available at

    » More Gazette articles...

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 is included. Visit his teaching model at

He offers the following resources to learn and support his approach: 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." 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. is used to post questions, share ideas, and give assistance. has a compilation of previously asked and posted answers categorized from the above Yahoo site. 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. 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, free In-House Staff Development at and, depending upon location, free personal presentations by Marv Marshall. For more information:

The requirements for application can be found at

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