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“You cannot teach self-control if you are totally in control


At a private psychiatric residential treatment center in the Texas hill country, a new child-care worker experienced a valuable lesson. It was lunchtime and he was responsible for walking his group of adolescent boys from the bunkhouse to the dining room. All of the boys began walking except one that sat on the ground and refused to go. So, the child-care worker pulled, pushed, and carried him most of the way. When he arrived at the door of the dining room, the head psychiatrist stood a few feet away laughing.

He asked the child-care worker to come over and said he had two words for him:“Forget them”. He went on to explain that if we did everything for these kids, they would never learn to take any responsibility . If the boy missed lunch, he missed lunch. If he lost the afternoon privileges, he lost the privileges. He further asked“Are you going to carry him around for the rest of his life?”He told the worker to just tell him that you expected him to be at lunch and walk away; just forget him. Later that week, he tried it, and the boy followed with the group (although the last one to go) to the dining room.

In most countries in the world, if students disrupt in class or school, they embarrass themselves and their family. In the U.S., the principal and the teacher are embarrassed. This is because the principal and the teacher in the U.S. are held responsible for student behavior . In other countries, the student is held responsible. Why do we do this to ourselves?

Most students are led to believe that if they obey adults, things will go well for them. So, if things do not go well for them, the adults are at fault. They get angry with principals and teachers (and parents) because they do as they were told and their lives are far from wonderful. Why should principals and teachers, who give their lives for their students, receive criticism and blame for trying to teach and assist them? The rewards for being totally in control are not worth it.

The goal of student self-control and being responsible is an impossible dream if students have no control or responsibility to work with. Many educators believe that students who turn all their homework in, come to school regularly, and get to class on time are being responsible. In truth, they are only obeying. Unless a student takes an active part in developing the program, choosing assignments, or anything else, he/she has no responsibility for it. Giving students new or increased control or freedom requires that they accept new or increased responsibility . Likewise, asking students to accept new or increased responsibility demands giving them more freedom or control . It is crucial to give both some control and some responsibility . There is no other way.

Although this is a valuable thing to do for students, it is also valuable for principals and teachers. They do not deserve the weight of all the responsibility and the criticism and blame that accompanies it. They deserve to have good days, despite some students having bad ones. Students have their youth and all the energy needed to work hard in school. The educators should not have to do all of the work. It is time to shift more of the work and responsibility to the students. It is time to enjoy the students and assist in their efforts at being responsible, solving problems, and making good decisions.

Practical application

This task is more of a change of perspective than much work to do. It is also a guide or philosophy for future planning and use. It is part of the rationale for quitting disciplining and just teach. Be sure to review the role you defined for yourself and the students. Ensure that responsibility was given to the student for learning, learning from mistakes, and taking responsibility for their actions.

It is also recommended that you review all of the procedures and expectations that you currently have in light of who is responsible? Who is doing all of the pulling, pushing, and carrying? Ensure that student responsibility is at the challenge level, not at a primary level. You will be surprised at how quickly the 80% of the students accept and meet higher levels of responsibility . And, after the vast majority of students are demonstrating this responsibility , they have a tremendous positive impact on the other 20% of the students.

If you review what we have said so far, we have asked that students accept responsibility for their actions, solving their own problems, and meeting higher positive expectations . In return, we have given them input into the process, a greater degree of choice in their decisions, and the freedom to make mistakes. We are also ending all punishments . I would say they have gained a lot for the responsibility that we are now requiring them to take.

Expected outcomes

  • Principal and teacher stress is greatly reduced.
  • Responsibility is placed where it is needed–on the student.
  • Student self-esteem is increased.
  • Students learn and mature at a faster rate.
  • A healthier and more natural relationship between the teacher and the students is formed.
  • Disruptive behavior is greatly reduced.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, A learning approach to school discipline: problem solving instead of punishing. OpenStax CNX. Sep 07, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10443/1.5
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