[From Rick Marken (2003.12.29.1015)]
Stefan Balke (2003.12.29.0030)
Hi Stefan. Nice to hear from you. Happy New Year!
The authors introduce some pct-phrases and bowdlerized pct-figures as the
basis of the program. Their book is published by the Beltz-Verlag, which is
leading in the educational domain in Germany. So, a lot of teachers and
educators will now read about pct in a "pop" version. I can`t estimate
whether this is good or not.
I think it's probably both good and bad.
They also introduce the rubberband-demo by the means of Dag Forsells figures
and descriptions. Unfortunately the insights from the rubberband-demo are
not transfered to the topic of the book.
That's disappointing but not, I'm afraid, surprising. I've rarely seen what
I think are the insights from that demo transferred to many discussions of
Would you think that it could be helpful to ask the students more or less
directly concerning their wishes:
"What disturbs you so much...
Since you ask "would it be helpful", I would first ask who you are trying to
help by saying these words, the disruptive student or the teacher who is
being disrupted. If you are trying to help the disruptive student, then your
aim should be that this student achieve all his or her goals. The MOL helps
a person achieve these goals when what has been preventing their achievement
is internal conflict. If the disruptive student has no internal conflict
then MOL will be of no help.
If you are trying to help the teacher then, again, MOL with the disruptive
student is of no use since you've already helped the teacher by removing the
If your aim is to help both student and teacher then you may have a problem
since the goals of the disruptive student and those of the teacher may be in
Based on my reading about discipline programs, it seems to me that the
people running the programs do want to help both teachers and disruptive
students. But the bias is clearly in favor of the teacher -- as I think it
should be. The disruptive student is helped only to the extent that this
helping is consistent with the goals of the teacher. So a disruptive student
who achieves his or her goals by returning cooperatively to class is
considered to have been helped. A disruptive student who solves his or her
problem by continuing to be disruptive is considered not to have been
helped, even if the student is happily achieving all his or her goals.
I suggested doing MOL with disruptive kids under the assumption that the
disruptive kid's disruptiveness is actually a side effect of an internal
conflict that can be resolved by MOL. Often this will be the case but
sometimes it won't. But whatever the student's problem is, I think it should
certainly be worked on outside the classroom.
I think the main benefit of the discipline programs I've read about is that
they suggest ways for teachers to control the behavior of disruptive kids
(an inherently conflict producing activity) with a minimum of disruption to
the class. I think this can be a great help to teachers and students. The
only thing I don't like about some of these programs is the attempt to
present them as if they involved no behavior control at all. This is
particularly annoying when the program says its based on PCT since, if there
is anything PCT tells us, it's what control _is_.
Richard S. Marken
Home: 310 474 0313
Cell: 310 729 1400