Who Decides Who Decides

It is difficult to decide which values to teach, but it is not nearly as difficult as knowing who decides who decides which values. Probably almost all of our ‘acculturating process’ actually represents the imposition of values; these values come from many potentially contradictory sources of reinforcement from various spheres of behavioral influence, be they home, school, other social institutions, peers, or elsewhere, but the student also possesses abilities to learn discrimination and therefore behave differently under different conditions. Many would say that ethically teachers are responsible for much of the student’s behavior and instilling within each child the selected best from the cultural heritage in order that, following school, the young adult will function productively. Most teachers decide that they truly want their students to be able to make decisions for themselves. If a teacher states precisely what power resides with the teacher and what decisions rest with the student, perhaps the student will continuously strive to earn more privileges rather than to feel sorry for him/herself by not being permitted to do something (Madsen & Madsen, 1998, p. 26).

Madsen, C. K. & Madsen, C. H. (1998). Teaching/Discipline: A Positive Approach For Educational Development. (4th ed.) Raleigh, NC: Contemporary Publishing Company of Raleigh, Inc.


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