Control Theory

     My fundamental beliefs are that adults and children should have respect for one
another treating people as individuals. I believe that we should model a sense
of understanding, encouragement, trust, teamwork, and perseverance in all who we
come in contact with. I believe that everyone has should have the opportunity to
learn in a environment that is positive and encouraging. Recognizing my
fundamental beliefs I know that in the Skinner-Rogersí dichotomy that I fall
on the Rogerian side of the scale. My beliefs are consistent with that of

Rogers. I am also in favor of referent power and I would like to work with the
students as an interactionalist. With all of these frameworks in mind I looked
at a program that most fit my beliefs and frameworks. I believe that I can
initiate the program of Glasser and use it effectively in my teaching situation.

Many schools and programs regularly go through a process whereby they attempt to
develop a new philosophical base and a different practical approach to working
with students. Jones (1987) estimated that 80% of disruptive behavior is talking
to each other, 15% out of seat, the remaining 5% is spent on note passing,
playing with pencils or objects. The cost of student failure is absorbed. If we
are losing 30 to 50% of our time keeping on task as a result of small
disruptions, I would say to you that no other problem costs you 30 to 50% of
your entire school budget. In keeping this in mind, I would propose that our
middle school take a look at a program developed by Dr. William Glasser, M.D.

His model is consistent with my own beliefs and would fulfill the vision that
our school has developed. Integrated in Dr. Glasserís model are Choice Theory
(previously termed Control Theory), Reality Therapy, and the Quality School.

Choice Therapy is an explanation of behavior, Reality Therapy is a process
allowing Choice Therapy principles to be operationalized, and the Quality

Schools represent the application of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy ideas in

Education. William Glasserís model involves the initiation of what he calls
quality schools. Glasser (1992) contends that we must offer students an
education that they can see will satisfy both their immediate and future needs.

Students can only learn if they view their schools as a place that is at least
potentially need satisfying. If students do not perceive what we are offering in
school to be related to one or more of basic needs, they struggle against and or
withdraw from any or all of a curriculum that is not satisfying. Discipline
program after program fails, believes Glasser, while educators blame, complain
and search desperately for new Stimulus-Response program. He adds that the
temptation is always to increase the studentsí pain by using more detentions,
suspensions, and maybe even corporal punishment. The only thing that educators
are teaching students is that working hard and following rules will get them
what they want. Glasser believes schools must concern themselves with the
psychological needs for belonging, freedom, fun, and power. In an orderly class,
students are being taught in a way that is psychologically satisfying to them at
the same time. Learning must be satisfying at the time it is taught. Any school
can provide warmth and human care (belonging). This should be done with the
students and not to them or for them. Educators need to emphasize the power
inherent in a good education rather than grades and encourage creative thinking
because rote learning offers little power. School supervised work programs,
beginning at age ten and continuing until graduation, can also give power,
suggests Glasser. Team academic competitions also meet the need for power.

Glasser also proposes educators provide students with more freedom, by allowing
and encouraging students to pick instructors, classes and testing procedures.

This can also be accomplished by having students involved in the rule structure
of the classroom and the school. Quality schools eliminate coercion and use lead
management (Glasser, 1986). The emphasis is always on the quality of the work
done or the quality of the interaction among people. Quantity takes a back seat.

Quality work is the best that a student can do at this time. It is their best
effort and shows continuous improvement. It is useful, feels good, is never
destructive, and offers flexibility (ex. Authentic assessment). This would fit
in well with the concept of portfolio assessment that we are currently using in
the middle school. Quality schools use social contracts asking if you had what
you want in your classroom regarding the way your students interact with you and
with each other. Having students write down beliefs and list how they and the
teacher would behave to one another develops social contracts. There is also a
commitment and the social contract is posted. Glasser does not believe any
school will be able to complete the move to a quality school until all
administrators and a majority of the teachers have at least two one-week
training sessions in these basic concepts. They need to have a working knowledge
of Choice theory and Reality Therapy. It can then be taught to the students. A
quality school is developed through a four phase program based on lead
management principles and takes at least four to five years to complete (Glasser,

1992). Sullo(1997) claims teachers and administrators need to take time and
effort to learn the theory. They must practice it in their own life and then
they can use it in their professional one. Choice Theory must come into a school
not as an outside program, but from those in the school who have learned and
realize the worth. Significant progress takes place when a whole faculty of a
school begins to get involved. Sullo added the important role of building
principal in creating a quality school but most important is you actively
working toward inspiring quality in your school in a way consistent with your
role in the building. Teachers need to develop their notion of what makes up
quality schools and how they would conduct themselves in such an environment.

Teachers will recognize what needs that they satisy at work/In lead management,
the leader shows you and helps each worker to contribute as much as possible and
is primarily interested in helping the organization pursue quality. I would
recommend that we engage our middle school staff and students to collectively
forge a clear vision of quality. In initiating this program within our school I
would anticipate that we could have problems if the training is mandated from
the top down, not letting participants exercise their basic need for freedom.

With the program being presented from the teachers to administration I would
think that teachers would have an ownership of the program if were to be
approved within our school. Another problem that I would anticipate is the
perception of a couple of teachers that "this wonít work" developing the
self-fulfilling prophecy. Martin (1988) helped students work toward common
goals, helping one another learn, gaining self-esteem, assuming responsibility
for learning and respect for classmates while retaining positive
interdependence. Coats (1991) reported 82% strong positive effects and the staff
generally felt more comfortable having a clear and systematic plan with strong
administrative support behind it. 64% staff felt confidence using this program
and the average staff had approximately 20 hours of in-service training per
school year. They had a clear set of expectations and consequences. Another
problem that I might anticipate would be in the area of training. The Glasser
model of training is first 28 hours of intensive training, followed by 6 months
of a practicum, followed by a repeat of the same schedule. People might not
personalize the training and reach a comfort level. A lot of teachers are more
familiar and comfortable with other management systems. Teachers need a good
solid knowledge base of the program and appropriate amounts of training combined
with practice to be successful. Welch and Dolly (1979) Study found that there
was little significant difference between the affective behaviors of teachers on
student behavior in the classroom of those teachers who received the training
and those who did not. This was a six-week training module and the experimental
teachers did "not" use the Glasser techniques extensively. As a result of
training, teacher affective behaviors did "not" change significantly,
student on-task behaviors did "not" increase significantly, discipline
referrals did "not" decrease significantly, and student absences did"not" decrease significantly. I believe that if all persons involved with
this implementing this model received the appropriate "Glasser training
techniques" that training issues would have positive effects on the school
climate. Other problems can arise if there werenít a shared vision along with
a self-evaluation of current policies and procedures. We need to continually
engage in the three step process of developing our shared vision, evaluating our
current policies and procedures, and aligning new policies and procedures with
the shared vision. With reliable data and the three step process this will help
us with the self-evaluation process. The last problem that I would foresee is
that at least one of our teachers would say that this program "conflicts with
her religious beliefs, saying that God provides us with all of our needs,
therefore he makes all choices." They may also say that the program infringes
on peopleís values and appears to be a self-centered philosophy. Along with
this they may think that it encourages being accountable for oneself but not
accountable to each other. Purl and Dawson(1973) found that students have become
more responsible for their own behaviors, and have to express themselves better
and to listen and respect the opinions of others. Communications between
teachers had improved and teachers had become more aware of studentís needs
and were better able to handle their won discipline problems. I would encourage
these teachers to look at the positive results and "many" references that
back up the program. I would also be sure that teachers received appropriate
training that would deal with this issue. In looking at the current shared
vision of our school and our beliefs of how people should be treated, and the
program that Glasser offers, I would encourage you to take a look at this
program and consider training staff and faculty working toward a Quality School
environment. My fundamental beliefs are that adults and children should have
respect for one another treating people as individuals. I believe that we should
model a sense of understanding, encouragement, trust, teamwork, and perseverance
in all who we come in contact with. I believe that everyone has should have the
opportunity to learn in a environment that is positive and encouraging.

Recognizing my fundamental beliefs I know that in the Skinner-Rogersí
dichotomy that I fall on the Rogerian side of the scale. My beliefs are
consistent with that of Rogers. I am also in favor of referent power and I would
like to work with the students as an interactionalist. With all of these
frameworks in mind I looked at a program that most fit my beliefs and
frameworks. I believe that I can initiate the program of Glasser and use it
effectively in my teaching situation. Many schools and programs regularly go
through a process whereby they attempt to develop a new philosophical base and a
different practical approach to working with students. Jones (1987) estimated
that 80% of disruptive behavior is talking to each other, 15% out of seat, the
remaining 5% is spent on note passing, playing with pencils or objects. The cost
of student failure is absorbed. If we are losing 30 to 50% of our time keeping
on task as a result of small disruptions, I would say to you that no other
problem costs you 30 to 50% of your entire school budget. In keeping this in
mind, I would propose that our middle school take a look at a program developed
by Dr. William Glasser, M.D. His model is consistent with my own beliefs and
would fulfill the vision that our school has developed. Integrated in Dr.

Glasserís model are Choice Theory (previously termed Control Theory), Reality

Therapy, and the Quality School. Choice Therapy is an explanation of behavior,

Reality Therapy is a process allowing Choice Therapy principles to be
operationalized, and the Quality Schools represent the application of Choice

Theory and Reality Therapy ideas in Education. William Glasserís model
involves the initiation of what he calls quality schools. Glasser (1992)
contends that we must offer students an education that they can see will satisfy
both their immediate and future needs. Students can only learn if they view
their schools as a place that is at least potentially need satisfying. If
students do not perceive what we are offering in school to be related to one or
more of basic needs, they struggle against and or withdraw from any or all of a
curriculum that is not satisfying. Discipline program after program fails,
believes Glasser, while educators blame, complain and search desperately for new

Stimulus-Response program. He adds that the temptation is always to increase the
studentsí pain by using more detentions, suspensions, and maybe even corporal
punishment. The only thing that educators are teaching students is that working
hard and following rules will get them what they want. Glasser believes schools
must concern themselves with the psychological needs for belonging, freedom,
fun, and power. In an orderly class, students are being taught in a way that is
psychologically satisfying to them at the same time. Learning must be satisfying
at the time it is taught. Any school can provide warmth and human care
(belonging). This should be done with the students and not to them or for them.

Educators need to emphasize the power inherent in a good education rather than
grades and encourage creative thinking because rote learning offers little
power. School supervised work programs, beginning at age ten and continuing
until graduation, can also give power, suggests Glasser. Team academic
competitions also meet the need for power. Glasser also proposes educators
provide students with more freedom, by allowing and encouraging students to pick
instructors, classes and testing procedures. This can also be accomplished by
having students involved in the rule structure of the classroom and the school.

Quality schools eliminate coercion and use lead management (Glasser, 1986). The
emphasis is always on the quality of the work done or the quality of the
interaction among people. Quantity takes a back seat. Quality work is the best
that a student can do at this time. It is their best effort and shows continuous
improvement. It is useful, feels good, is never destructive, and offers
flexibility (ex. Authentic assessment). This would fit in well with the concept
of portfolio assessment that we are currently using in the middle school.

Quality schools use social contracts asking if you had what you want in your
classroom regarding the way your students interact with you.