Applications, Conscience, Social Control

[From Rick Marken (950814.1130)]

Ed Ford (950813.late evening) --

My guess it will be at about a 3.5, but then again it might be a 8.3er.

It was an 8.3. Very moving:-)

Avery Andrews (9508014) --

For example, one feature of the traditional approach to discpline is the
idea that you should be able to get conformance to rules just by announcing
them and the schedule of penalties for breaking them.

I think the traditional approach gets off track as soon as it calls itself an
"approach to discpline". Right off the bat we are focussed on the behavior
of another person from OUR perspective: we look at their behavior in terms of
what it means to US (it's annoying, it's bad, etc). I think the essense of
the PCT perspective is that it gets us to look at behavior from the point of
view of the behaving system. PCT says that we MUST empathize with the others
if we want to understand their behavior.

"Discipline" implies that we want to see the "right behavior" and that we
will use whatever means are necessary (discipline) in order to see it. PCT
says that the "wrong" behavior (from an observer's perspective) is occurring
as part of a person's efforts to produce the right perception. The best way
to get the "right" behavior (from the observer's perspective) is not through
"discipline" (which ignores the other person's controlling while implementing
one's own) but through something more like "cooperation", where the observer
and the "problem" person try to find ways that both can control their
perceptions without interfering with the other.

On approach to achieving this kind of non-disciplinary, cooperative control
is implemented in Ed Ford's (misnamed, I think) "discipline" program.

Joel Judd (950814.0745 CST) --

Rick or Bill (or anyone):

Don't think I or anyone else has ever asked: what do YOU think about
the concept of "conscience"? Just curious.

I think the term "conscience" refers to perceptions that are controlled at
certain levels (people are said to have a "conscience" if they control for
helping others who appear to be in pain, for example). I think "conscience"
also might refer to conflicts that result from controlling inconsistent
perceptions: the "conscientious" behavior is just immobility resulting from
the conflict.

Bruce Nevin (950814 10:15 EDT) --

I am beginning to be quite impressed that you are putting your rejection of
hate talk into practice! :slight_smile:

Well, I was always really just a pussy cat. But, thanks:-)

how does a cell within a perceptual input functionn (PIF) of an elementary
control system (ECS) perceive what is going on during reorganization of that

According to the PCT model of reorganization, I don't think the cell does
know what's going on during reorganization. It just gets it's
connections to other cells changed.

On the human scale, I think evidence of reorganization abounds.

The stability of social variables (mores, rules, fashions) does suggest that
these variables are under control. But can you show that this apparent
control is real control? And if these variables are actually controlled, can
you show that the means of control cannot be traced to the controlling done
by indiviual members of the society?

I think the first thing you might want to do to show us how to detect the
existence of your hypothetical "higher order" control system (that is made
up of individual members of society as its components) is simulate it; the
simulation would show what we (as components of this system) could look for
as evidence of the controlling done by the higher order system. I think such a
simulation would help me understand your notion of a "higher order" control
much better than reading Margaret Mead.



At the residential treatment center where I work, in the school, we have a
version of Ed Ford's discipline program.

Children are sent to the "SIS" room when they are misbehaving or they can choose
to go to the SIS room. In the SIS room are located: a nurse, a psychologist,
a social worker, a youth worker supervisor.

The child can "take five" which means that they sit in a chair and do not talk
to others. And/or he/she can talk to one of the adults there about what is
bothering/upsettin him/her.

Only the psychologist at this point may follow a discussion format similar to Ed
Ford's program.

For children who cannot or do not want to return to the classroom they came
from, but want to resume educational activities, there is a tutoring room they
can go to and do this.

For children who are very out of control, usually aggressive, there is the
isolation room. They may be taken to this room using approved escort techniques
which require hands-on. They may have to be physically restrained using
approved restraint techniques when they are in the isolation room. The youth
worker is the one who does this.

From the isolation room, they may be brought to the SIS room for counseling or

may be returned to the regular classroom or may be taken to the tutoring room.

The above described system is working better than any we have had before but it
is not a miracle cure. We have also modified the curriculum. Our students
cannot tolerate a full day of academics. The morning is academics, the
afternoon is recreational/vocational.

Why does it work better? It allows a teacher to remove a disturbing student
from the classroom. This gives the teacher a fighting chance of continuing some
kind of academic program for the other students.

It provides the disturbing student with a change of scenery. Sometimes he/she
just wants to sit and be left alone for a few minutes. Sometimes he/she wants
to talk about something which is upsetting. Sometimes, he/she wants more
individualized attention when engaged in educational activities. Finally, it
provides a limit for the aggressive student. " You will not be allowed to hurt
others or destroy property. You will be restrained from doing this. "

Basically, it provides some alternatives to the student who cannot /does not
want to stay in a particular classroom for whatever reasons. Would it work even
better if we used Ed Ford's discussion format? If the student were willing to
accept the stucture of the discussion, I think it can be helpful, especially in
fostering problem solving in the long run. The student is helped to understand
that there were some other ways of getting want they wanted which don't carry
the penalties. Or, they may learn something about the way they were
interpreting things. Or, they may learn something about what they were wanting.

The psychologists offer Post-Critical Incident Counseling to students who want
to get rid of some of the penalties they acquire during the day from a
documented incident. The students ask for the opportunity to do a "Post
Critical." I know that you cannot force our students to do a Post Critical
Incident Counseling session if they don't want to.

In summary, I think that Ed Ford's program works because it provides some
alternatives to the teacher and the student within the school setting. The
specific discussion format can be helpful in the long run, but cannot be
productively forced on every student every time.