[From Bruce Nevin (2001.01.07 13:20 EST)]
Rick Marken (01.05.06.1800)--
I have never [claimed] that RTP teachers
[tell students "I see that you have chosen to go to the RTC"].
What I have said is 1) the RTP literature says that RTP teachers
should use the "I see you have chosen.." tactic 2) people who
use this tactic are being disrespectful and 3) people have
_reported_ that some RTP teachers _do_ use this tactic (Bourbon,
MSOB, p. 155).
If, in the above paragraph, you can find where I "draw empirical
conclusions from a claim that RTP teachers tell students "I see
that you have chosen to go to the RTC"" I would like to see where
Of course it's not in the above paragraph, which was carefully constructed to support your argument in Rick Marken (01.05.06.1800). However, it is in many prior things that you have written.
One counterexample should suffice (and without even getting into comparisons with Nazis, etc.). I turned this up in a quick scan of a couple of months' archives from 1998:
Rick Marken (980911.1415)--
> I am not a RTP person, but i see no reason why the child could
> not intend to leave the class.
Of course they could intend to leave class; they could even intend
to go to the RTC room (the "frequent flyers" apparently do intend
to get to the RTC rather often). My point was that it seems rather
unlikely (as unlikely [as] intending to get a ticket) that _all_
(even most) kids disrupt in order to get to the RTC room, as the
phrase "I see you've chosen to go to the RTC room" -- the phrase
said to all disrupting kids -- implies.
> Of course, there are some children that do not intend to go to
> the RT[C]; RT[C] is a unintended consequence. I have no say as to
> whether this is good or bad.
Do you have any "say" in whether it's _truthful_ to say to _every_
kid who disrupts that they _do_ intend to go to the RTC room?
> But I do think you should not prima facia assume what the
> students' intentions are or ever could be. I think that
> would be naive and wrong.
OK. If I shouldn't "prima facia" assume what the students'
intentions are, shouldn't the RTP teacher also not "prima
facia" assume what the students intentions are? When the
teacher says "I see you have chosen to go to the RTC room"
the teacher is "prima facia" assuming that the student intends
to go to the RTP room? Isn't this a clear _mistake_ in the
RTP program that could easily be fixed by simply eliminating
the requirement that teachers say "I see you have chosen to
go to the RTC room"?
Here, you are not saying that others report that some RTP teachers say this, etc., you are saying that use of this phrase is a requirement, and that it is said to all disrupting kids, that the RTP teacher is assuming what the student's intentions are. Seems to me there is no question that you are assuming that it actually is used. These are empirical conclusions, that is, conclusions that could be verified or refuted by empirical observation in an RTP school.
There are many other examples in the archives.
You are perfectly free to draw empirical conclusions like this. When you do I and others might point out that you have no empirical basis for doing so.
> [...] your advice to Stefan that it would be fruitless for him
> to visit an RTP school in order to learn by example how to be an
> RTP teacher.
What? My advice to Stefan was precisely the opposite. I said that
apparently the _only_ way to learn RTP is by going to an RTP
Yes. And you also said "Of course, if your school _is_ an RTP school then I think you're up a creek without a paddle." And clearly Stefan thinks that his school is an RTP school, so you are telling him that following your advice won't work for him. But this was never serious advice, was it. It was a vehicle to counterattack those "defenders of RTP" whom you believe are attacking you. You don't believe what you told Stefan, that the only way to learn RTP is by going to observe an RTP school, and you're not seriously recommending that he do so.
And in this mock advice to Stefan you are confounding two distinct learning processes, the process of learning skills and references for teaching in or administering an RTP school on the one hand (which requires a trainer) and the process of identifying controlled variables and constructing and testing models (which cannot be done without observing interactions in an RTP school). You objected to my saying this:
> Now you are claiming that the process of a practitioner learning
> [...] is the same as the process of a scientist obtaining
> observational data and drawing conclusions from it.
What? I never made this claim either. Your nose is growing, Bruce.
(1) In coming to "know" RTP a teacher or administrator learns skills and above all new ways of being in relationship with students. (Tom and Tim and Bill and others have repeatedly said that this "secret" -- Tom's quotation marks -- is an important key to the success of RTP.) In this learning process, a teacher surely can benefit from spending time in a successful RTP school, but obviously that is not required -- obviously because successful RTP schools have been developed without every teacher and administrator visiting a successful RTP school, and some (notably, the first) have been developed without any such visits.
(2) The process of identifying controlled variables, constructing models, and testing them, requires data that can only be obtained by direct observation. Even if some report available to you did present PCT-relevant data (data that can be modelled and tested, including verification of which variables are controlled and data about disturbances and disturbance-resisting actions), follow-up observation is required for verification and further testing. If there's any other way of doing PCT research, I'd sure like to understand how it's done.
Since you are (2) a PCT researcher, and you haven't undertaken to become (1) an RTP teacher or administrator, I take it that only (2) applies to you. So any "requirement" that you, (2) a PCT researcher, must visit RTP schools in order to know what you're talking about refers only to (2) PCT research. You are saying "the same rules must apply to everyone." By saying that the "rule" about (2) researchers obtaining data (a requirement for doing science) applies to Stefan who is (1) trying to institute an RTP school, you are saying that (1) is the same as (2). By telling Stefan that the only way he can (1) learn how to be an RTP teacher or administrator is by (2) complying with a PCT researcher's need for data and therefore observing an RTP school, you are saying that (1) is in this respect the same as (2).
> The closest thing to a report of observations about the
> use of the "I see you have chosen" phrase in RTP schools is
> that it doesn't actually occur.
Yes. That is a report of observations. Another report of
observations is found in MSOB, p. 155 where Tom says teachers
_do_ use this phrase.
I believe that Tom has distanced himself from this and that this paragraph was not his report of observing teachers say these words but rather an uncritical paraphrase, for purposes of this summary presentation, of the way Ed had presented the program. I believe that words to that effect are somewhere in the archives, but I have not searched for it. Tom can clear this up; we should ask him. (I don't have his email address since my email setup got blitzed last August.)
But suppose that Tom's summary in MSOB is in fact a true report of observations in RTP schools, and that when Tom "heard teachers ask 'the questions' calmly and inquisitively" (MSOB p. 159) he also heard them say the statement "I see that you have chosen to go to the RTC." If this is all true, then that particular part of the process should change. End of story. The only conclusion to be drawn from it is this recommendation that the RTP literature should change. And since that recommendation has been given, and heard, that particular reason for discussing it here no longer exists. So you must have had some other reason for saying to Bruce Gregory
Rick Marken (2000.12.24.1250)--
>If teacher's are controlling for respect for the children
>then I think you would agree that asking a teacher to tell a
>child "I see you have chosen" when the teacher has seen no such
>thing would act as a disturbance to this perception.
Clearly, your reason for saying this was not to recommend to Ed Ford that he rewrite his RTP texts. What was the reason?
But you (and many others) said that reports
are no good; that I have to see for myself. When I asked for
Gary Cziko's report of what goes on in an RTP school all hell
broke lose. I think reports are fine; it's the RTP people who
Depends on the report. There are lots of reports of behavior of rats in mazes. How many of them are useful for PCT research? How many of these do you accept as a basis for drawing PCT conclusions without further observation and test?
> you continue to talk about it [the "I see you have chosen"
> phrase"] as though it did [get used by RTP teachers].
This is another lie, Bruce. I have never talked as though it
was actually used by RTP teachers.
In addition to the above there are many more examples in the archives.
Tom was telling me that I was making false claims about what
goes on in RTP, I took that to mean that the literature cannot be
trusted. It's in that sense that Tom told me that the only way
for anyone to be trained in RTP is to see an RTP school in action.
OK, so Tom did not literally tell you this. It was your inference. To say that Tom told you this is ... let us say, an overstatement. Drawing an opponent's argument to an absurd conclusion is a common debating tactic. Here, this tactic relies upon an either/or choice between "read the literature" and "observe a school".
But there is a third choice, and surely Tom had it in mind. Qualified trainers play a crucial role and training is a requirement for developing an RTP school. This is clearly stated in many places. I recall that Ed says that you can't get it from just reading the books, you have to have a qualified trainer spend an extended period working intensively with everyone in the school, there has to be full commitment from at least a majority of administrators, faculty, and parents, and so on. I'm sure Tim can elaborate on this.
I said it is recommended in
the literature and that some people (like Tom) say that it is
used. But I have no idea whether it's used; it's fine with me
if it's not. But it's still recommended in the RTP literature
so I still feel free to criticize that recommendation.
I have no idea whether it's
actually used by RTP teachers or not; and I don't care. I would
just like to see the recommendation for its use be removed from
the RTP literature.
I don't think anyone disagrees with such criticism. But beyond criticizing it, it is important to understand what purposes were behind Ed's recommendation of this phrase, and to suggest better ways to accomplish those purposes. Tim and others have asked for help with this. And a good substitute that serves the same purposes would help hasten its removal.
> Are you saying that we get to criticize (or compliment) RTP
> as it is _described_, even if we haven't visited an actual RTP
You said I did not answer this question. I'll answer it again. Of course you can write whatever you wish about whatever you wish. How could it be otherwise?
There are no prohibitions. Nor are there any guarantees protecting your credibility and your relationships with others. In order to control the latter you yourself might vary the way in which you control what you write and how you write it. Or you might not perceive any connection between them.
At 06:03 PM 01/06/2001 -0800, Rick Marken wrote: