RTP is based on Coercion, Hooray!

[From Ken Kitzke (980516.0900)]

Tim Carey (980516.1230) said:

It's just occurred to me that central to the long thread about RTP and
coercion is controlling student's actions.

I remain perplexed why you simply can't admit that RTP is a coercive system
operating in a coercive public school system. I suspect you don't like the
thought of coercion because you don't like being coerced and don't want to
promote a process of coercion in RTP.

Both systems are designed to control student action within limits. You are
correct that the student has choices within the limits. The student has
freedom to do what they want within the limits. However, when a student
exceeds a school system behavioral limit, such as disruption of the class,
the coercion designed into the RTP system is available for use by the
coercer (the teacher).

Within the limits, a student has a great deal of freedom to do what he
wants. RTP is designed to enhance the ability of students who want to
learn to learn by mimimizing disruption in the class. This is commendable.

Further, RTP is designed to help those who disrupt the class to change
their behavior and still get what they want using PCT and an improvement
plan. This is wonderful!

This is in sharp contrast to the coercive school system *without* RTP.
Here, disrupters are also removed from the class at the whim of the
coercer, the teacher. They are sent to "detention" as punishment. They
get no help. Soon they dislike detention so much, they quit coming to
school. Then they hate the truancy officer so much, they run away from
home. Then they hate their parents or the police hunting them down so
much, they either kill them or kill themselves.

All this behavior is easily understoond to be the student trying to control
their perceptions. All behavior is the visible evidence that the person is
controlling their perceptions. When force or authority is used to compel,
restrict or control another person's behavior, we call it coercion.

So, is coercion always wrong? PCT can't tell you right from wrong. It can
only explain behavior whether good or bad or indeterminate. PCT cannot put
a value on coercion. But, people can using their reference values for
controlled variables.

Coercing a child to look both ways before crossing a busy street (whether
by a kindly grandpa, a concerned parent, a gruff school crossing guard or a
dictatorial police sargeant) are still coercive. It matters not whether
the child accepts or resists the coercion. But, many would percieve this
to be beneficial to the child (who knows no better).

The limits on behavior in RTP (expressed in written and unwritten rules or
norms) are set by those in authority in the system over others. This is
eminent coercion. It is done for the "good of the student" in the eyes of
the coercer. Obviously, coercion is not perceived favorably at the time to
the student. They may try to resist but are eventually overwhelmed by

<This may make no difference to anyone out there except me, but I think
<important to realise that in RTP there is NO specification about what a
<must do.

How can you say that? The kid must do no disrupting behavior in class! We
keep playing with words to avoid or mitigate the blatant fact that Bill and
Rick have been trying to make about being truthful about the coercive
nature of RTP. RTP is inherently coercive upon students.

That does not make RTP wrong. It seems to me to be much better than,
"Kenny, I'm calling the Assistant Principal, to tell him to expect you to
sign-in at the detention center to chill out there until the AP allows you
back into my class."

Much coercion can be eliminated very easily in public schools. We simply
allow students who do not want to be in class to leave. We repeal the law
and make education a choice. Having a choice makes school valuable to
those who want to learn this way. This would really advance education and
save enormous amounts of taxes.

There is certainly a specification about what they can't do ... they can't

Apart from that, though they are welcome to do whatever they like. They
_don't_ have to sit in class and do work. They can stare out the window,
put their head down on the desk and nap, doodle in their books ... they


really do whatever they like as long as it doesn't prevent others in the
class from the core business of classrooms - learning.

Now you put your finger on why RTP is a baby step in applying PCT to
education. RTP allows in its coercive limits a student to stare out the
window or sleep in class.

Under a non-coercive, freedom filled school system, that boy could go to
the beach and build sand castles, if thats what he wants. It would be
inherently better for the class and for the boy! It would really enable
responsible thinking far more than the RTP system does!

So when will coercion be taken out of schools? When everyone in authority
learns PCT. When they accept that they cannot control others with coercion
and expect the world to be a better place (environment) in which to live.
But, don't hold your breath until it happens! 8=)

Again, if this is how you define coercion ... not only do I admit that


part of RTP ... I'm actually in favor of it :wink:

You have come a long way baby! :sunglasses: Now that you admit that coercion and
limited choice is in RTP (and is good in your own perception), we can deal
with whether it is good for the student and for society. We can expand the
limits and encourage greater personal responsibility. We can get better
agreement about how the limits are set and by whom. Who knows, we might
even make progess on the goal of a school system - learning - by reducing
the coercion concerning "teaching."

Sorry for the dissertation. You can probably tell I have some strong
reference values concerning the goals and merits of the public school
system. 8=)

Thanks again for this whole thread, Tim. Without application, the theory
of PCT has little value to humanity. Ed Ford, and all the RTP people, have
my respect and admiration for taking an important first step in what I
believe to be the Achilles heel of Western civilization - the forced public
school system that trys to control the ideas and behavior of autonomous
living beings.