Dr. Marvin Marshall
Promoting Discipline & Learning
Whereas good relationships are important to girls, success is more important to boys.
|by Dr. Marvin Marshall
Regular contributor to the Gazette
January 1, 2008
Hopefully, society is well past the "politically correct" theory (an oxymoron in a democratic society) that the ONLY difference between a male and a female is in socialization, that aside from reproductive organs there is no difference between the sexes neurologically, psychologically, or emotionally.
A boy measures everything he does or says by a single yardstick: “Does this make me look weak?” If it does, he isn't going to do it. That's part of the reason that videogames have such a powerful hold on boys. The action is constant; boys can calibrate just how hard the challenges will be; and when they lose, the defeat is private.
With this in mind, it's important to remember that PUBLIC competition improves performance, but NOT LEARNING. Some students will practice for hours spurred on by the competitive spirit in music competition, athletics, or speech contests. These students are motivated to compete. Competition can be fun, as witnessed by the hours that young people invest in such activities. However, competition is devastating for the youngster---especially the boy---who NEVER FINDS HIMSELF IN THE WINNER'S CIRCLE. Rather than compete, that student drops out by giving up.
As an elementary school principal and the elementary committee chair for one of the regions of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), I recommended that the entry age to kindergarten be raised, not lowered. I had seen first hand how so many young boys were not developed enough to handle some of the academic challenges thrust on them.
More and more young boys will become "at-risk" as early as kindergarten because the feeling associated with weakness in the academic skills negatively impinges on their self-talk and self-esteem. I repeat a recurrent theme in my presentations: "People do good when they feel good---not when they feel bad."
Boys would rather drop out by losing interest and misbehaving than show that they can't perform. Weakness does not motivate them to want to participate.
Boys need continual encouragement for them to persevere. Also, having them collaborate with each other, rather than compete against each other, can be a significant step in preserving young boys’ positive feelings about their successes.
The three principles to practice of (1) communicating in positive language, (2) reducing coercion by prompting choice-response thinking, and (3) sharing how to act reflectively, rather than reflexively, can also be of significant assistance when dealing with young boys. See the teaching model at http://www.marvinmarshall.com.
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About Marvin Marshall...|
Dr. Marvin Marshall is an international staff developer whose program "Discipline without Stress® - How to Handle Every Discipline Problem"is used around the world. He has presented in 43 of the United States and in 14 countries on five continents.
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.
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