RTP spin, Specifying actions

[From Rick Marken (980519.1800)]

Bruce Gregory (980519.1430 EDT) --

I am beginning to suspect that Rick and Bill have so little useful
to say about RTP because PCT is seriously deficient when it comes
to modeling learning.

Talk about angry;-)

I guess you didn't find our comments [Rick Marken (80518.1100),
Bill Powers (980519.0143 MDT)] about RTP useful. I still don't
know why not. What's not "useful" about showing that an educational
program reduces conflict in the classroom?

PCT is, indeed, seriously deficient when it comes to modeling
learning. But this is because no one is studying how organisms
learn to control. There is no modeling of learning becuase there
is no data to model.

Me:

Indeed, a PCT analysis shows that it is probably impossible for
_any_ program to achieve the goal of "helping the disrupting
student accomplish his or her goals"

Bruce Gregory (9980519.1425 EDT) --

Rick, Rick. You're trying to annoy me by playing dumb. But I'm wise
to you. (Nobody could be _that_ dumb.)

No. I really was that dumb; I wasn't trying to annoy you. I took
your comment about "helping" to mean actually adding one's efforts
to those of the student in an attempt to help control the variable
the student is presumed to be controlling. Of course, coaches more
often help by trying to verbally describe (or show by example) the
perceptions the student should try to control.

Do you know of a less coercive system [than RTP] that works as well?

No.

Please provide a model of coaching. It will be a great application
of PCT.

I agree that it would be a great application of PCT. Why don't
_you_ (the educator) provide the model?

I'll wait for your model of coaching.

That will be a long wait. I hope much longer than mine for yours;-)

Me:

We have listened to presentations on RTP from Ed and his people
_every year_ since 1985.

Tim Carey (980520.0630)--

This must be a typo Rick. Ed didn't start RTP until 1994 when he
created the program at Clarendon and Solano. Did you mean 1995?

I've known Ed since 1983 and we've been at CSG meetings together
every year since 1985. I think Ed has discussed programs that were
very similar to what is now called RTP at every CSG meeting since
1985. Anyway, I mentioned it because Bruce Gregory was saying that
Bill and I were talking through our hats because we had no
experience with RTP. In fact, we've had at least three years of
experience with it (including "role plays" to illustrate the
technique) at CSG meetings.

Best

Rick

···

--

Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken/

[From Chris Cherpas (980520.0011 PT)]

Bruce Gregory (980519.1430 EDT) --

I am beginning to suspect that Rick and Bill have so little useful
to say about RTP because PCT is seriously deficient when it comes
to modeling learning.

From what I've read about RTP on this list, I would say that RTP
has little to do with learning, per se. RTP addresses the problem
of managing conflicts in school settings, not with how a student
acquires fluency in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Best regards,
cc

[From Bruce Gregory (980520.0952 EDT)]

Chris Cherpas (980520.0011 PT)

Bruce Gregory (980519.1430 EDT) --
> I am beginning to suspect that Rick and Bill have so little useful
> to say about RTP because PCT is seriously deficient when it comes
> to modeling learning.

From what I've read about RTP on this list, I would say that RTP
has little to do with learning, per se. RTP addresses the problem
of managing conflicts in school settings, not with how a student
acquires fluency in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

You might consider broadening your view of learning slightly. Students in
RTP are learning how to achieve their own goals without interfering with the
efforts of others to achieve their goals. I personally find this more
important than learning reading, writing, or arithmetic, although you may
not.

Best Offer

[From Bruce Gregory (980520.1010 EDT)]

Rick Marken (980519.1800)

Bruce Gregory (980519.1430 EDT) --

> I am beginning to suspect that Rick and Bill have so little useful
> to say about RTP because PCT is seriously deficient when it comes
> to modeling learning.

Talk about angry;-)

If I was angry with anyone, it was with myself for taking so long to figure
this out. The entire exchange makes much more sense to me now.

I guess you didn't find our comments [Rick Marken (80518.1100),
Bill Powers (980519.0143 MDT)] about RTP useful. I still don't
know why not. What's not "useful" about showing that an educational
program reduces conflict in the classroom?

I think most of us suspected that RTP reduces conflict in the classroom. But
then again, so does throwing disrupting students out of the window.

PCT is, indeed, seriously deficient when it comes to modeling
learning. But this is because no one is studying how organisms
learn to control. There is no modeling of learning because there
is no data to model.

me:

> Please provide a model of coaching. It will be a great application
> of PCT.

thee:

I agree that it would be a great application of PCT. Why don't
_you_ (the educator) provide the model?

As you point out, there is no data to model.

Best Offer

[From Rick Marken (980520.0950)]

Me:

I guess you didn't find our comments [Rick Marken (80518.1100),
Bill Powers (980519.0143 MDT)] about RTP useful. I still don't
know why not. What's not "useful" about showing that an educational
program reduces conflict in the classroom?

Bruce Gregory (980520.1010 EDT)

I think most of us suspected that RTP reduces conflict in the
classroom.

Then why didn't most of you come up with the analysis Bill and I
came up with? Why has this analysis never been presented and/ or
explored by RTP practitioners?

But then again, so does throwing disrupting students out of the
window.

My guess is that you are saying this to show that the conclusions
of our PCT analysis of RTP are trivial. I think your comment
actually shows that you didn't fully understand (or didn't want to
understand) our analysis.

First, the value of removing disruptive kids from class so that
the teacher can teach may be obvious to you but it is apparently
not obvious to many people in the school system. Many teachers
are required to, or feel it's their responsibility to, control the
behavior of disruptive kids in class. So teachers are spending a
_lot_ of time trying to _make Johnny behave_ rather than trying
to teach Johnny to read. According to Tom Bourbon, this "obvious"
mistake (trying to control the behaviorof a control system) is one
of the main reasons for the educational problems that exist in
schools prior to the introduction RTP.

Second, we were careful to point out in our analysis of RTP that
one of the clever aspects of the program is that disruptive students
are removed "gently"; they are not summarily sent to detention or
thrown out the window. This is clever because it reflects the PCT
insight that big disturbances to a controlled variable [and the
disruptive student is controlling for a variable (being in class,
perhaps) that the teacher wants in a different state (not
in class); the teacher's efforts to get this variable into a different
state are a disturbance to that variable] lead to big reactions .

In RTP, rather than throwing the kid out the window (which would
increase the level of teacher/student conflict and interfere with
the class considerably) the teacher_gently_ encourages the kid to
leave. The teacher _reduces_ the gain on his or her side of the
conflict so that you don't get an exponential rise in counteracting
forces that is bound to last some time and deprive the other kids
of learning time.

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken

[From Bruce Gregory 99805.1310 EDT)]

Rick Marken (980520.0950)

Me:

> I guess you didn't find our comments [Rick Marken (80518.1100),
> Bill Powers (980519.0143 MDT)] about RTP useful. I still don't
> know why not. What's not "useful" about showing that an educational
> program reduces conflict in the classroom?

Bruce Gregory (980520.1010 EDT)

> I think most of us suspected that RTP reduces conflict in the
> classroom.

Then why didn't most of you come up with the analysis Bill and I
came up with? Why has this analysis never been presented and/ or
explored by RTP practitioners?

Not smart enough, I guess.

> But then again, so does throwing disrupting students out of the
> window.

My guess is that you are saying this to show that the conclusions
of our PCT analysis of RTP are trivial.

Not trivial, just not very illuminating.

I think your comment
actually shows that you didn't fully understand (or didn't want to
understand) our analysis.

I'm sure that's true. What about this nonsense involving the plan to get
back into the classroom without disrupting. This seems to play no role in
either your analysis or Bill's. Or did I miss something?

First, the value of removing disruptive kids from class so that
the teacher can teach may be obvious to you but it is apparently
not obvious to many people in the school system.

Many people in the school system know nothing about PCT, I agree.

Many teachers
are required to, or feel it's their responsibility to, control the
behavior of disruptive kids in class. So teachers are spending a
_lot_ of time trying to _make Johnny behave_ rather than trying
to teach Johnny to read. According to Tom Bourbon, this "obvious"
mistake (trying to control the behavior of a control system) is one
of the main reasons for the educational problems that exist in
schools prior to the introduction RTP.

I'm not sure it _is_ a mistake. It depends on what the school authorities
are trying to accomplish. I agree that it suggests strongly that "teaching"
(whatever that is--it is not modeled by PCT) is not the most important goal.

Second, we were careful to point out in our analysis of RTP that
one of the clever aspects of the program is that disruptive students
are removed "gently"; they are not summarily sent to detention or
thrown out the window. This is clever because it reflects the PCT
insight that big disturbances to a controlled variable [and the
disruptive student is controlling for a variable (being in class,
perhaps) that the teacher wants in a different state (not
in class); the teacher's efforts to get this variable into a different
state are a disturbance to that variable] lead to big reactions .

Is gentle coercion to be preferred to non-gentle coercion? Or does it just
make the outcome more predictable?

In RTP, rather than throwing the kid out the window (which would
increase the level of teacher/student conflict and interfere with
the class considerably) the teacher_gently_ encourages the kid to
leave. The teacher _reduces_ the gain on his or her side of the
conflict so that you don't get an exponential rise in counteracting
forces that is bound to last some time and deprive the other kids
of learning time.

I'm not sure why you object to throwing kids out the window. I'll bet that
with younger kids at least it reduces disruptions _very_ quickly. The
remaining kids might be upset, but they will get over it. I don't see how
the teacher in your model "reduces the gain on his or her side of the
conflict" since the teacher prevails. He or she simply adopts a different
strategy to the same end, no?

Best Offer

[From Chris Cherpas (9980520.1023 PT)]

Chris Cherpas (980520.0011 PT)--

From what I've read about RTP on this list, I would say that RTP
has little to do with learning, per se. RTP addresses the problem
of managing conflicts in school settings, not with how a student
acquires fluency in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Bruce Gregory (980520.0952 EDT)--

You might consider broadening your view of learning slightly. Students in
RTP are learning how to achieve their own goals without interfering with the
efforts of others to achieve their goals. I personally find this more
important than learning reading, writing, or arithmetic, although you may
not.

I think we can measure a student's learning to read, write,
and do arithmetic with a fair amount of precision and
reliability. Are the practitioners of RTP measuring
their students' learning to "achieve their own
goals without interfering with the efforts of others
to achieve their goals?" How can you tell this is
what they are learning in RTP?

Language arts, science, and math are domains of knowledge
that have been built up through centuries of struggling
and thousands of refinements. You think education should
be more concerned with "teaching" some vaguely defined
pop technique of self-management? I thought the point of
RTP was to be a _means_ of providing the opportunity for
more students to learn more math, language, science, etc.

I do hope you take a little break in your busy teaching
schedule to get around to some time-tested content,
not just speculative fluff. But, hey, let's all just
feel good about ourselves, and call that education, OK?
Teach peace, man. Groovy.

Best regards,
cc

[From Bruce Gregory (980520.1416 EDT)]

Chris Cherpas (9980520.1023 PT)

I do hope you take a little break in your busy teaching
schedule to get around to some time-tested content,
not just speculative fluff. But, hey, let's all just
feel good about ourselves, and call that education, OK?
Teach peace, man. Groovy.

Chill out, man. You are _way_ over the top.

Best Offer

[From Chris Cherpas (980520.1152 PT)]

Chris Cherpas (9980520.1023 PT)--

I do hope you take a little break in your busy teaching
schedule to get around to some time-tested content,
not just speculative fluff. But, hey, let's all just
feel good about ourselves, and call that education, OK?
Teach peace, man. Groovy.

Bruce Gregory (980520.1416 EDT)--

Chill out, man. You are _way_ over the top.

Hit a sore spot, did I? See yourself as a good teacher,
do you? Sounds like another teacher with delusions of
adequacy. Don't worry, the system is set up so that
your teaching practices are not really evaluated anyway.
You've earned the privilege to do whatever you want,
whether students are learning or not.

_Way_ over the top,
cc

[From Rick Marken (980520.1220)]

Bruce Gregory (9805.1310 EDT)

What about this nonsense involving the plan to get back into the
classroom without disrupting. This seems to play no role in
either your analysis or Bill's. Or did I miss something?

It's difficult to know what to say about this without having a
description of a particular case; it could either be a nice
opportunity for the student to try to figure out how to get what he
wants while living "within the system" or it could be an insulting
con. How it goes apparently depends very much on the skill of the
person manning the RTC room. It probably also depends on the goals
and skills of the student who is asked to "make a plan".

If someone had asked me to "make a plan" after I was asked to leave
class when I was in high school I would see it as a con but I'd do
it anyway since I didn't care to fight much. If one of the Sisters
of St Mary's had asked my (at the time) enthusiastically Catholic
wife to "make a plan" when she misbehaved in high school, she would
have lept at it as a great opportunity to show pennance and produce
a long document describing all the things she would have to do (Hail
Mary's, Our Fathers, staions of the cross, you name it) to be
accepted back into class.

Chris Cherpas (9980520.1023 PT) --

Right on!!

Best

Rick

···

--
Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken

[From Bruce Gregory (980520.1525 EDT)]

Chris Cherpas (980520.1152 PT)

You've earned the privilege to do whatever you want,
whether students are learning or not.

Thanks.

Best Offer

[From Bruce Gregory (980520.1542 EDT)]

Rick Marken (980520.1220)

Bruce Gregory (9805.1310 EDT)

> What about this nonsense involving the plan to get back into the
> classroom without disrupting. This seems to play no role in
> either your analysis or Bill's. Or did I miss something?

It's difficult to know what to say about this without having a
description of a particular case; it could either be a nice
opportunity for the student to try to figure out how to get what he
wants while living "within the system" or it could be an insulting
con. How it goes apparently depends very much on the skill of the
person manning the RTC room. It probably also depends on the goals
and skills of the student who is asked to "make a plan".

But I take it this is no different from your experience in school. Or is
there a difference, but it isn't significant, because it can't be modeled in
PCT? Or can it?

Chris Cherpas (9980520.1023 PT) --

Right on!!

Birds of a feather...

Best Offer