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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Power

Power, by whatever name, is one of the most problematic of all behavioral interactions. We often euphemize power as we talk about responsibility, duty, or rights, or we just pretend that power does not actually exist. We will even ‘manipulate’ students into doing something that they do not think about: “Would you like to put your materials away before lunch?” It would appear that most of what we just assume to be the correct thing to do represents the imposition of our own values on the student (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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Temporal Span

The great teachers are those who are able to elicit a pleasurable response toward the most rigorous pursuits, but the problem for the teacher is not only to make difficult work tasks pleasurable but also to develop a capacity for work. This constitutes a process of teaching for delayed rewards over an ever-increasing temporal span so that the student will strive through some misery to seek long-term goals. Patience, repetition, and arduous industry are still required for long-term achievement and happiness in almost every activity of life. Most adults will testify with pride to those endeavors that represented, for them, hard work and true discipline (Madsen & Madsen, 1998, p. 25).

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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Motivation

Some students must be taught motivation, curiosity, or interest, that is, to establish their own goals. No thinking adult wastes time in idle pursuits that are difficult and meaningless. How can the teacher expect everyone automatically to want to learn, especially when it may represent work? The rewards of learning must be fully established (Madsen & Madsen, 1998, p. 24).

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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All People Probably Need the Same Things

In every group there are students who seem to be ‘gifted,’ as well as students who appear to have ‘problems.’ These students are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ because of standardized psychological test results, it is the behavior of each individual (good, bad, or nothing) that commands the teacher’s notice. Each the gifted, almost gifted, high normal, normal, low normal, slow, very slow, as well as those who are physically limited or ‘problematic’ in other ways all need to achieve socially and academically in every way possible. All people probably need many of the same things (Madsen & Madsen, 1998, p. 21).

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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Learning Environment

The extent to which success or failures occur in pupils’ learning can probably be attributed to the degree of success the teacher achieves in arranging the total school environment. Most teachers, administrators, counselors, and others seem convinced that the learning environment should be relatively positive (approving) rather than negative (disapproving). Results indicate that there are definite differences between the verbal reports of values and actual in-class overt behaviors (intention versus function). Precise methods could be assessed as to effectiveness and durability to ensure academic and social improvement and prevent potential problems that might interfere with learning. The judicious use of behavioral principles will make the application of the teacher’s own values more effective (Madsen & Madsen, 1998, p. 19).

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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The Present

At any time in the chronological development of a child, we are prone to look back into the child’s history to explain their present behavior. Many teachers quickly abdicate responsibility once history is known, but they hold the responsibility to discipline. A long involved analysis of the child’s many antecedent events (reinforcement history) rather than to focus on the manipulation and control of the present environment is generally both unproductive and unnecessary. During the very first processes of interacting with the child, the teacher should be able to find out just where the student is both socially and academically and assess the extent of any specific problems (Madsen & Madsen, 1998, p. 18).

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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Values-Techniques Differentiation

After questions relating to important value choices have been answered, effective techniques may then be used to enhance learning. It is important to discriminate between the values and the techniques. Many values (implicit or explicit) are reinforced by teachers without clear values-techniques differentiation. Of course, the choice of a particular technique represents a value choice itself. It also seems apparent that no teaching technique can be effectively divorced from the person who uses it. Effective methods, much like any human product (e.g., atomic energy, jet propulsion, governments), may be used either to the benefit or detriment of other human beings. Effective teaching is that which implements selected values. (Madsen & Madsen, 1998, p. 13) Behavior modification is the application of those techniques used for implementing values (p. 34).

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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Popularity?

The teacher’s approval is probably more important to the student than vice versa. It should not be given indiscriminately. Students may respond negatively when entertainment is not forthcoming, but if we really know what we believe, we are less likely to be influenced or manipulated by a reinforcing perception of our own popularity. The question of discipline is not one of strictness or permissiveness but one of cause-and-effect relationships. We discipline those we care about; others we leave alone (Madsen & Madsen, 1998, p. 11).

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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Role-Playing

We should teach ourselves and our students specific actions to deal with foreseeable emergencies with extensive role-playing. Correct responses may then be based on specified and practiced values and techniques, practiced and learned in advance (Madsen & Madsen, 1998, p. 9).

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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