Joe's & Ed's Stuff

from Ed Ford (950823.evening)

Rick Marken
I asked - Is it not the place of schools to teach rules?

Rick said _ I don't think so. Teaching a rule is like teaching a person to
have a particular goal.

Any environment has rules. Rules are found in marriages (I'm sure, Rick,
your lovely bride has all kinds of rules which, if you don't follow, will
cause some kind of a disturbance). There are rules of conduct at our CSG
meetings, unspoken by there. There are rules for where we can drive (in
this country on the right side of the road). Where ever we go, even when
alone, there are rules. Try not respecting the rules of nature. I'm not
creating goals but teaching rules, but rather helping them think through how
they're going to achieve their own individual goals within the prevailing
standards or rules that exist in the environment in which they find
themselves.

you said - it sounds like you are describing a behavior modification
program.

I think you and Bill have to leave your computers and come to Clarendon. We
don't reward, we don't punish, everyone is free to make whatever choice they
want. The choices are limited to where the rights of other living control
systems are not violated. The social skills room is the only place we have
in school where they can choose to go if they don't want to be wherever they
are. They are treated with respect, we don't try to convince them and push
them in any way, they are given all the time they want (not past June cause
that's when we close), they are only required to sit quietly so as not to
disturb others, they are there for only the time they have the person for
whom they were disrupting, if they aren't satisfied there they may choose to
go home. That is more than will happen in real life. Breaking the rules in
a theater, a restaurant, on the streets, in a public building, wherever
other humans are, there are consequences, not modification programs. The
police are called and you are hauled away. The reason you are hauled away
is that you have violated the rights of others by not respecting the rules.
Everyone has to learn how to get along IF THEY ARE TO SUCCEED IN LIFE, BOTH
AT WORK AND IN RELATIONSHIPS. Teaching them to make a plan is very
consistent with teaching them how to use their internal loop of imagining,
assessing, planning, evaluating, and commiting. Teaching them how to set up
a chart or monitor sheet to help them to control their variable more
efficiently so they can, for example, learn the discipline of study. (see
what Joe did on p. 58 of my discipline book)

Rick, someone recently asked you how you use this at home, at work, etc. I
did not catch your response. I suggest you spend a few days with us,
sitting in the classrooms, watching us work with kids, watching contented
kids functioning surprisingly well in a very touch urban setting. I am now
working in other very difficult settings, including lock-up correctional
facilities, very tough inner city (90% poverty, highly transit area)
schools, both middle and high school. These are not easy. But gradually
things are getting better, cause the basis of the way we work with kids is
based on PCT, not behavior mod.

We don't know anything about their reference signals or controlled
variables. BUT THEY DO. I don't know anything about their personal worlds,
most of which are full of chaos and misery. BUT THEY DO. All I can do is
teach them through questioning, if they are willing to work with us, is to
look at their world as we know it is created ( program, which I call
choices; principles, which I call rules, standards, criteria; and systems
concepts, which I call values and beliefs). I ask the kind of questions in
which they are asked to compare their various reference signals to their
various controlled variables and the actions they are using to satisfy what
they are doing. You've designed and built your computer models. I'm doing
something you haven't done to my knowledge. I'm working with a PCT living
control system about which I know precious little. Through the way I've
designed the questions, I'm watching, yes watching, this child, this human
being, reconstruct his life. I'm watching miracles happen every day.
Behavior mod doesn't create miracles, it manipulates people. I'm watching
kids take hold of their own life and improve themselves, and I'm using my
understanding of PCT to create my model. Perhaps your difficulty is in
moving from a computer to living control systems. I'm teaching children to
manage their lives in the real world. There is nothing different in school
than the rest of their environment, except we have teachers (and everyone is
really a teacher) willing to help them learn how to use their internal
systems, which are designed as living control systems. If you insist is
this behavior mod or operant conditioning, so be it. I think you are very
wrong. However, there is no use repeating and repeating what we've already
said.

Powers (950823.0900 MDT)

Bill said - I think it is the place of schools to teach ABOUT rules, so a
child can do something other than simply repeat back the words.

Bill, have you really understood what I'm doing. I KNOW THE CHILD KNOWS THE
RULES. The purpose of asking what are the rules, is to get them to compare
in their worlds with whether what they're doing is compatible with the rules
and if not, eventually learn a better way of satisfying a reference signal.
I TRYING TO TEACH THEM TO THINK BY ASKING QUESTIONS. THE WAY I ASK
QUESTIONS ASKS AND IN THE PROCESS OF ASKING TEACHES THEM HOW TO REFLECT ON
THE SPECIFIC RELATED AREAS, COMPARING AS NEEDED, AND AT THE SAME TIME THEY
ARE REFLECTING ON HOW THEY'VE ORGANIZED THEIR THOUGHTS TO MANY OTHER
INTERRELATED AREAS, ABOUT WHICH, IN MOSTLY ALL CASES, I KNOW ABOUT. Bill,
it seems to me you are looking at the words, rather than reflecting on the
process and how the child is learning through being asked specific questions

to think through, reorganize if you will, and deal with their goals,
perceptual variables, actions, environment in such a way that greater
harmony is restored to their life.

Powers said - If what you're teaching is working, it's not because of the
attitude "I don't want any excuses, I don't care why you did it." Your
system is working not BECAUSE of taking an authoritarian, power-based
approach, but IN SPITE of the fact that such elements inevitably creep in.

WE ARE NOT TAKING AN AUTHORITARIAN, POWER-BASED APPROACH. Bill, we don't
ask why initially because that leads to excuses and absolving of
responsibility. It takes them away from what I initially want them to
reflect on. You have a tremendous urge to ask why initially, as you've
demonstrated many times. In my computer lab of human beings, it leads to
excuses and more excuses. It isn't the time yet to deal with why. The
first concern with maintaining harmony with other control systems within
their environment, otherwise the excuse you are asking for contributes to
their justifying their right to violate the rights of others. ONCE THEY'VE
ESTABLISH THE REFERENCE LEVEL TO GET ALONG WHEREVER THEY ARE AND RESPECT THE
RIGHTS OF OTHER LIVING CONTROL SYSTEMS, THEN AND THEN ONLY IS IT HELPFUL TO
DEAL WITH WHY AND THAT OCCURS DURING THE MAKING OF A PLAN. It just doesn't
seem you understand what I am doing and how I came about doing it. It's as
if I somehow developed these ideas with Geroge and LeEdna and somehow tied
them to PCT. PCT WAS THE BASIS OF EVERYTHING WE DID, IT IS THE HEART OR
GUIDING LIGHT, IF YOU WILL, OF THE ENTIRE PROCESS. Please, look at the
process, see within it the elements of PCT.

I'm tired, I'm going to bed. Best, Ed.