A Negative Feedback Model of RTP

[From Bruce Gregory 9980707.1150 EDT)]

Here I begin outlining a proposed model of the RTP process based on negative
feedback principles (NFP). First, I consider the classroom teacher. Adoption
of the RTP process involves a change in strategies for dealing with
disruptive students. ("Adopting a new strategy" is a way of describing
controlling the perception that one is executing a new program.) The new
strategy is described in several works by Ed Ford, most recently,
_Discipline for Home and School_. Presumably the strategy that is replaced
(i.e., the reference level for perceiving oneself as carrying out this
strategy is set zero) involves attempting to control the behavior of the
student. This strategy typically leads to continuous conflict. The change of
strategies implies that higher level goals formerly pursued by employing the
old strategy are now pursued by employing the new strategy (i.e., the higher
level goal, not modeled, resets the reference levels associated with the two
strategies).

Disruptive students can be modeled in one of two ways. The first category is
students who have a high reference level for perceiving themselves as
disruptive. This category has been described in great detail by Rick and
Bill. I will therefore consider it no further here but refer the reader to
the CSGnet Archives for endlessly fascinating conflict-filled exchanges on
the topic of conflict. Instead, I will turn to the second category, students
whose disruption is an unintended side-effect of controlling for a
perception other than being disruptive. This behavior persists because
students have not yet developed a strategy that will allow them to meet
their goals _and_ not to disrupt other students who are meeting their goals
(and become involved in conflict with the teacher). In the RTP process,
students are given the assignment of developing such strategies and work
one-on-one with coaches to develop a written plan. (A model for coaching is
currently under development and will be described.) The student's plan is
subsequently negotiated with the classroom teacher. Successful negotiation
means that both classroom teacher and student can see, in the imagination
mode, that the negotiated plan would lead to reduced error for both.

Bruce Gregory