What's a teacher to do?

From Greg Williams (920906)

Rick Marken (920906.1030)

[Replying to Ed Ford:] It sounds to me like you are saying what Greg appears
to be saying -- a little control is good for the kid. I claim that there is
no reason (based on the PCT model) to think this is the case.

I say that SOMETIMES manipulation can be judged (afterwards) by a kid as
"good" for him/her. The PCT model does not imply that this is impossible or
even improbable. Of course, the outcome of manipulation depends on the kid's
control system, the model which the would-be manipulator has of the kid's
control system, and the skill of the would-be manipulator -- it takes a wise
counselor like Ed Ford to FLEXIBLY size up the chances for manipulation ending
up being "good" for the kid (as judged by the kid).

But there is certainly nothing in the PCT model implying that a parent or
teacher controlling for perceptions of his/her own OF A PARTICULAR KIND by
altering variables associated with a kid will INVARIABLY or ALMOST INVARIABLY
result in the kid judging such manipulations "good" for him. Unfortunately,
you apparently believe that PCT DOES imply that a PARTICULAR KIND of
manipulation (NOT control) is best for teachers to practice:

Educate -- don't control. We have to learn to educate better, not to control
better....
Education involves teaching a control system to control. Words can be used to
try to describe the kinds of perceptions that can be controlled in order to
control a higher order perception. Like in teaching tennis -- the "teachee"
usually comes in with a good idea of the higher level perception to be
produced (a great tennis game) but doesn;t know which sensations,
configurations, transitions etc to control in order to get this to happen. The
coach tries to communicate what s/he thinks are good perceptions to control
and, possibly, good reference level to get these perceptions too. The teacher
(a good one) doesn't MAKE the teachee exhibit a partiular behavior; the
teacher tries to help the person learn to control perceptions that will allow
the person to control.

You say that the teacher should "teach... control... by [attempting to
communicate what s/he thinks are good perceptions to control... The teacher
(a good one) doesn't MAKE the teachee exhibit a particular behavior; the
teacher tries to help the person learn to control perceptions that will allow
the person to control." So the "good" teacher should [note the normative,
which I don't think you can derive purely from PCT -- you must import some of
your own ethical presumptions, which are exterior to the science; but I'll let
that pass] control for his/her perception of actions by the teachee which can
be interpreted by the teacher as showing that the teachee is controlling well,
eh? How do you get from the PCT model to the claim that this kind of
manipulation is always best for the teachee? I just see too many potential
ifs, ands, and buts, even disregarding the is-to-ought problem. Why should the
teacher have the audacity to presume that he/she should suggest what are "good
perceptions to control" for this kid. Haven't you ever heard anyone tell their
sad story of holding a tennis racket "the way the coach showed me -- he said I
was controlling my serves EXCELLENTLY" and, years later, "accidentally"
discovered that holding the racket completely differently resulted in much
better scores? Sorry, but I can't buy your "teaching control" as always best,
and I certainly can't buy that your recommendation is implied by PCT.

Education is not control exerted by the teacher -- it is a process where the
teacher uses the teachee's ability to understand, imagine, remember, and
reorganize in order to help the teachee be able to control.

Here you are agreeing with me that education makes great use of manipulation.
My major problem is with your recommendation that one certain kind of
manipulation is best for manipulees in general. I think your recommended kind
of manipulation ("teach control") is probably OFTEN a good recommendation --
but not always. That's based on my own ideology (which comes out of ALL of my
experience, at least as I recall it), not -- because it can't be -- solely on
the PCT model.

Ed Ford (920906:1150)

Pat and I still think you are wise and your techniques are important. And we
also appreciate your hands-on understanding that manipulation (for the last
time today, NOT control) of others can in some cases be beneficial to those
who are manipulated -- I'm starting to term this "facilitation." You show
courage in not being swayed by theoreticians from using methods which you've
SEEN work. And I bet you are able to construct incredibly (to non-clinicians)
accurate models of parts of clients' control systems after interacting with
them for a short time -- you'd have to be able to do that to make quick but
reliable predictions of who will be willing to be facilitated and who won't!
Finally, Pat and I appreciate your appreciation of the importance of
flexibility in dealing with others.

Keep up your Good Work, Ed,

Greg