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TEACHERS.NET GAZETTE
Volume 4 Number 7
COVER STORY
I feel we have to approach education with the determination to affect each and every one of our students. The mentality of achieving "success" after reaching one child isn't enough.
The Essential 55 Rules - Discovering the Successful Student In Every Child...
COLUMNS
Applying for a Teaching Job in a Tight Market, Part 2 (June-July) Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Descartes' Error: I think; therefore, I am Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
It's Riveting! 4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
This Summer's Coolest Classroom Idea: Cinema Club Postcard from Planet Esme - News from the world of children's books by Esmé Codell
Summer---the Best Time to Reflect, Gain New Ideas, Get Organized and Re-energize! Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
With a Little Help From Your Friends (Putting Reflection to Work) Teachers As Learners by Hal Portner
There's A Book Inside of You! - You Have To Visualize the Big Picture eBook Authoring by Glenn F. Dietzel
Summertime Income -- Ginny's Summer List of 35+ The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
Looking for an Electronic Grade Book--Try This Ed-Tech Talk by Dr. Rob Reilly
Language Arts Sites Part 3 The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
July Articles
July Regular Features
July 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 www.MarvinMarshall.com. Visit Marvin Marshall's Homepage to read more.

To read about the failings of punishments and rewards, go to www.AboutDiscipline.com


Promoting Learning...
by Dr. Marvin Marshall
Descartes' Error:
I think; therefore, I am

"I think; therefore, I am" is perhaps the most famous statement in the history of philosophy. The statement by Rene Descartes, first written in 1637, still has a significant influence on our thinking in the 21st century.

The statement is the foundation of Cartesian dualism that separates the brain from the body. In his book, Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, Antonio Damasio challenges Descartes' pronouncement.

Damasio, a Portugese-born M.D. and Ph.D., professor of and head of the department of neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine and adjunct professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, is the recipient of scores of scientific honors and prizes. He is internationally recognized for his research on the neurology of vision, memory, and language along with his contributions to the understanding of Alzheimer's disease.

He contrasts the brain (neurological) with the mind (psychological) and postulates that the brain, body, and mind are so interwoven by collections of systems that they cannot be separated.

Contrary to traditional scientific opinion, Damasio provides convincing evidence that feelings cannot be separated from cognition. In fact, our emotions significantly affect our thinking. If you stop to reflect on this concept, it becomes rather obvious. Do you do better when you feel good or when you feel badly?

The same holds true when we punish students. Punishments engender negative feelings that immediately create poor teacher-student relationships. A significantly more effective approach is to help the student establish a procedure that would redirect impulsive behaviors. An example can be found at http://www.MarvinMarshall.com/
impulsemanagement.html
.

Damasio also postulates that internal communications are image-based. This is especially dear to me since my approach is based on communicating positive images. An example of this is the Primary Poster for elementary teachers at http://www.MarvinMarshall.com/aquickstart.htm.

Damasio gives the example that many people fear flying more than driving in spite of the fact that a rational calculation of risk unequivocally demonstrates that we are far more likely to survive a flight between two given cities than a car ride between the same two cities. The difference, by several orders of magnitude, favors flying over driving. And yet most people FEEL safer driving than flying. The reason may be that we allow the image of a plane crash, with its emotional drama, to dominate the landscape of our reasoning and to generate a negative bias against the correct choice.

Using neurology, Damasio supports two basic foundations of my Raise Responsibility System that promotes both learning and responsible behavior:

  1. Principle: A change in behavior is as much emotion-based as it is cognition-based.
    Practice: Speak to students in positive terms--rather than using approaches that prompt negative feelings.
  2. Principle: The human mind thinks in pictures, images, and visions.
    Practice: To influence people to change behavior, empower them with positive images--rather than overpowering them with negative ones.

Ideas for implementing the discipline system that promotes both responsibility and learning using concepts of proaction (Stephen Covey), noncoercion (William Glasser), collaboration and empowerment (W. Edwards Deming) and hierarchy and autonomy (Abraham Maslow) is described at http://www.MarvinMarshall.com

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For a printable version of this article click here.

Dr. Marshall's website: http://www.MarvinMarshall.com
Email Dr. Marshall: marvmarshall@teachers.net
© Dr. Marvin Marshall, 2003.

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


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