Glassers Noncoercive Discipline
Psychologist William Glassers work discusses
teaching strategies promoting student involvement through motivation
rather than coercion. He highlights how quality teaching, learning and curriculum meet
student needs providing intrinsic motivation.
Low test scores, lack of student interest, behavior problems
and police on school campuses illustrate the importance of Glassers
focus on developing student interest and a reevaluation of traditional
Like any other bureaucracy, the influence of industry on
school institutions corrupts their original goal:
an educated populace.
Ideally schools increase success, self-worth, relationships
and meaningful education for all students.
Focus on standardized curriculum and mechanized views of
students as cogs in an efficient factory create school environments
no more than 15 percent of high school
students do quality work (Glasser, Control Theory in
the Classroom, 1986). Students view their schoolwork as meaningless,
boring and to no surprise feel content doing minimal work. Frustrated teachers set more tasks, standards
and rigid structures for what it is students must learn neglecting
their basic needs.
education increases student survival, belonging, power, fun and
freedom. Students learn skills necessary to earn a living
and obtain food, shelter and a safe environment. They develop individual roles in modern society
beginning with involvement (or lack of it) in classroom activities.
Students feel important when other individuals value their
opinions or abilities. They desire interesting intellectual and social
activities with opportunities for sharing their accomplishments. Students as individuals need freedom of choice,
self-direction and responsibility.
Effective teaching addresses these student needs directly
utilizing their intrinsic motivation.
curriculum overemphasizes memorization of irrelevant facts, fragmented
information, and standardized tests.
Quality curriculum provides enjoyable, meaningful
experiences and greater depth of understanding in the context
of daily student life. Supportive classrooms value individual student feelings and opinions,
allowing students choices concerning their education. Teachers require memorization only when it
relates directly to meaningful, necessary, or desirable skills. Teachers reduce the focus on grades and the
idea of finished assignments allowing continual student progress
towards higher quality work and personal satisfaction.
Students evaluate, improve and share their work. They suggest possible consequences for poor
student behavior focusing on solving problems instead of punishment
or blame. These techniques
encourage greater student value for curriculum.
suggestions require minimal changes in curriculum and major changes
in methods of teaching. Lead
teachers discuss interesting topics, utilizing every opportunity
to engage students. They emphasize quality teaching and learning
through exploration and demonstration of interesting student topics
and actively seeking answers to student questions.
Quality teachers demonstrate rather than dictate, ask questions
rather than give commands, focus on meaningful ideas rather than
insignificant facts and provide flexible learning environments
necessary for curriculum driven by students needs.
They act as problem solver instead of adversary when faced
with student misbehavior. Lead teachers consistently work
to provide a quality education for all students.
advocates quality teaching, curriculum, and student
work with intrinsic value for students instead of traditional
dictation of standard curriculum decided by society.
The current political environment, with its demands for
teacher and student accountability, compounds difficulties in
initiating Glassers Noncoercive Discipline. Teachers struggle to survive in todays
overcrowded classrooms without proper materials and support. Surviving teachers eventually learn and utilize
student motivation creating more enjoyable and educational environments