from Ed Ford (920827:1015)
I'm leaving early tomorrow morning for my son's in California and I'll
be back Sunday afternoon. I'm still overwhelmed from last week's
absence and will address Mark's thoughts and David's request early next
week. Below, David, is part of what I was doing.
(Powers 920826) No, Ed, you are not a Republican. You are a a control
And proud of it.
Concerning control theory and modeling......
I am not a scientist and I don't build models in computers. However,
as Bill mentioned, I am a control theorist. When I work in any
setting, be it counseling, a residential treatment center, with
organizations, individuals, especially schools, when I try to address
the problems presented I do so as a control theorist. That means I
perceive a whole bunch of living control systems (or one individual
control system) trying to get along with other living control systems,
whether it be a home, school, or whatever. When a friend meets and
talks with my wife, Hester, he perceives her as a woman, mother of
eight, and my wife. When I perceive Hester, it is quite different
because there are different factors that go into making her a
perception which are used by me to create the concept Hester in my
mind. I think the same is true no matter how we address any social
problem. Obviously, to think as a control theorist you have to
understand the basics of the theory, not to the extent that Bill and
most other members of the CSG do. But it is critical to understand the
I found this control theory way of perceiving things very helpful last
week when I was working with teachers and parents in the Yakima School
District. As Bill mentioned elsewhere in his post, the Outcomes driven
model is nothing other than controling input or, controling perception.
All the individuals set their own goals and the system is driven by the
outcomes (perceptual variable). Jack Champlin, who conceived the
model, obviously didn't make the connection between that and control
theory because he didn't understand PCT (although he is getting there).
As a control theorist, once I understood what he was saying and doing,
I was able to help him take his model further.
For example, one of the problems he has been thinking of is how do you
statistically keep the system honest. I suggested that you have to set
very specific reference signals or goals, then you set up a chart and
measure over time how you presently perceive how you are doing with
relation to what your specific goal is. Everyone in the system, from
the school board, superintendent, on down through the school
administrators and teachers to the students; everyone should have their
own individual chart for measuring how they are doing. That is the
only way I can figure how all these individual control systems, all
with their own ways of perceiving things, with their own sets of
priorities, standards, and values, can possibly work together. They
have to all agree to a common over all goal, then define their own
individual goals that, if achieved, would move the organization to
achieving it's goal. It keeps the whole system honest. This has
another benefit, by making use of a visual chart that reflects the
historical progress, the actions are being driven more precisely, and
the system can deal with it's goals more easily and, more importantly,
will continually know how it is doing. If you are driving a car and
the speed sign says "drive safely", what speed do you go. Or, if the
sign says 55 MPH and your speedometer isn't working, you'll still have
problems because you'll know what you want but you will have difficulty
comparing it to how you are doing. Thus the need for specifics.
Thinking as a control theorist gives this advantage.
Ed Ford ATEDF@ASUVM.INRE.ASU.EDU
10209 N. 56th St., Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 Ph.602 991-4860