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Volume 4 Number 3

Happy 7th Anniversary Teachers.Net...
A First Day of School Script Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Using A Discipline Approach to Promote Learning Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
My Poor Teacher Can't Spell! 4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Testing, 1-2-3! Postcard from Planet Esme - News from the world of children's books by Esmé Codell
March ~ The Perfect Time for a Fresh Start! Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Need Something? Ask! Teachers As Learners by Hal Portner
There's a Book Inside of You Waiting To Come Out! eBook Authoring by Glenn F. Dietzel
Stop Underage Drinking Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Debates in the Classroom---A List of Ten! The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
Saving Drowning Babies is Not Always the Best Policy! Ed-Tech Talk by Dr. Rob Reilly
Art Sites The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
March Articles
March Regular Features
March Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

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.

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
Using a Discipline Approach to Promote Learning

(continued from page 1)

The Letter Continues
(How using the Raise Responsibility System improves skills)

Just this week we had a discussion with our students about how they could use their understanding of the four levels of development to help themselves become better readers. We talked about our 30-minute "Whole School Read" time that we participate in each morning. We had the children come up with scenarios of what it would look like if someone were operating at each of the four levels. Students were able to clearly describe conduct at each level.

At the lowest level, A, students wouldn't be practicing reading at all. They could be deliberately misbehaving and causing a disturbance. At the next higher level, B, the students explained that the person wouldn't be doing much reading either. At this level, students might be annoying others by poking them or talking to them. They probably would flip through the pages of a book but wouldn't put in the effort to actually read. We reviewed that at Levels A and B a teacher must step in and use authority with those individuals because neither Level A nor B conduct is acceptable.

Then we discussed the higher and acceptable levels of development, C and D. Students operating on Level C would be practicing reading--but more or less only when an adult (the teacher or a parent) was directly watching or working with them. When an adult was not with them or supervising in their area, they may not disturb anyone but wouldn't put in much effort either. Their motivation for reading would be based on an external factor, and an adult is required to keep them on task.

It's also important for them to understand another aspect of Level C. At this level, students sometime simply try to impress someone else with their conduct. In other words, the reason for reading is EXTERNAL; they are trying to be noticed when reading so as to "look good" in someone else's eyes. It's important for students to understand that at this level they are doing what is appropriate, but it is not at the highest level of development--Level D, the level of personal power and autonomy.

At Level D, the students described that a person would be using reading time each morning to really practice reading. They wouldn't have to have an adult directly with them at all times; they would keep on task simply because they know what is expected of them. They would read and re-read sections of their book because they know that by doing so they will become better readers. The motivation would be INTERNAL. They wouldn't be wasting any time watching the teacher in hopes of being specially noticed as "someone who was reading," and they wouldn't rely on an adult to keep then on task. Instead they would be reading in an effort to become the best reader that they could be.

Having run through examples of all the levels of development in this particular situation, we then discussed the benefits of operating at the two higher levels of the hierarchy. We talked about which of those hypothetical students would learn to read. We talked about how at Levels A and B it wouldn't be likely that anyone would learn to read very well. Their choices were leading them in the opposite direction.

We discussed that students at Level C would probably learn to read all right but they probably wouldn't ever get a lot of pleasure from reading or become really proficient readers because they were ONLY reading when directly supervised. They would comply with the class expectation of reading, but their hearts wouldn't be in it 100%. With only a so-so effort at practicing, they would only get so-so results.

Then we discussed Level D--which is always the goal in Marshall's hierarchy. This is the level at which people take the initiative to do things that are truly going to pay off for them--what is right or appropriate. People at this level MOTIVATE THEMSELVES to work and achieve. The results are long lasting and powerful. These people put in the necessary effort to become good readers and therefore can get a lot of enjoyment from reading. Because they get enjoyment, they keep reading and therefore become even better readers. People at this level feel good about themselves because they experience improvement and are aware that it is a result of choices that they have consciously made.

After these discussions, it was time for prompting some inner reflection by simply asking the students to analyze their own level in the reading session that had just passed and giving them a moment to think. These reflections are made in their heads. That's when they have time to honestly evaluate their own choices and think about whether or not their choices are leading them in a positive direction. Nothing more was said out loud by either myself or the students. They were left to simply think for a minute, and then we moved on to a poetry lesson.

It is amazing to see the results of discussions such as these. That night, without any suggestion or prompting on my part, our poorest reader in the class went home and read his reader over and over again. Although his parents are kind people, they haven't understood the importance of nightly reading for their child despite many conversations with us. That night they watched as their little boy independently read and re-read his reader. Both the parents and little boy could see the dramatic improvement in his ability to read. They experienced the powerful impact that internal desire, coupled with one night of true effort, could have on someone's skill at reading. He came back to school the next day bursting with pride and determination to practice more and more so that he could move on to a new, more difficult reader. It only took one more night of practice, and he was able to do that.

This youngster learned a powerful lesson that will no doubt influence him in the months to come. He clearly sees the connection between his own choices and the results from them. We could never have bribed him into such a learning experience by offering a sticker for having read a certain number of pages.

I love this approach! It allows us to really inspire our students.

Good luck!
Kerry in British Columbia, Canada

Ideas for implementing the proactive (Covey), noncoercive (Glasser), collaborative and empowering (Deming) approach to reducing behavior problems is 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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