instruction.
Glasser, identifies the teacher as the leader of the classroom. He believes
they need to work hard and effectively if they want to have successful students.
He says that their role is have the students understand that by working hard in
school / home is worth it in the long run, i.e. acceptance in college,
internships etc. Which in turn will have a positive and successful influence on
their lives. This is slightly different than Skinners theory where the students
immediately or almost immediately see the reward (extrinsic motivation), this
theory is more based on intrinsic motivation, influenced by the teacher.  This leaves the question then of how does the
teacher achieve this level of motivation for their students. Glasser says, you
can try and create positive relationships with the students. Have the students
become comfortable with you, while of course maintain professional boundaries.
So that they feel they can come to you as the teacher for mentoring and
support. As well, the teacher can create relevant learning experiences that the
students can use to demonstrate their success within your classroom.

How
his theory applies when developing lessons: When a teacher decides to practice
choice theory, they have to design the lesson in a way that satisfies the student’s
needs. Glasser believes that this will allow the students to learn more and
increase their activeness within the classroom while reducing the amount of disruption
due to interest in the lessons. He believed that students are able to connect
and feel a sense of power or freedom and enjoy themselves in a safe learning environment
when teachers design lessons in his way.

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1.      Coercion: “Coercion is the practice of forcing another
party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threats or force.” (Wikipedia – Coercion, n.d.) He believes that
this is minimized because it never inspires quality. He believes that students
aren’t designed to behave using reward and punishment systems such as Skinners.
Instead he believes that teacher should build up positive relations with the
students and be an inspiring leader instead.  

2.      Quality: When the teacher focuses on quality, the
expectation increases. They expect mastery or a high level of understanding of
the given concepts and encourage the students to re do their work and continue
trying until they have demonstrated a certain level of competence and high
quality work. While to some teachers this does seem harsh and de – motivating. The
students learn that they are capable of high quality work, they have a deeper
understanding of what they were learning and in turn this will result in better
grades thus in turn earning the benefits that come from higher grades and a
good work ethic.

3.      Self – evaluation: In this choice theory, self-evaluation
is common. Students are provided with the information from the teachers and
then they take ownership of their learning by self-evaluating their own performance.
In turn this promotes independence, free thinking, responsibility and it helps
the student reach their goals while becoming efficient decision makers who take
an active part in their own learning and education.

I
thought this theory was relevant as it shows a theory in contrast to Skinners.
Skinners theory is more based on extrinsic motivation and Glassers theory is
more based on intrinsic motivation. Glassers five basic needs that are
survival, love / belonging, power, fun and freedom seem to fit into my case
fairly well. When I think about the student and what he was doing or in what
manner he was behaving it really does fit into these needs. Especially the love
/ belonging one that Glasser states is the key need. The student in focus was
dealing with a divorce, the teacher had said to me that she believe the student
feels that he is blame for his parents to split up. This ties into love /
belonging need, he may have felt his parents didn’t love him enough to stay
together and this left him with a feeling of where he belonged as he wanted to
be in Germany with his dad but as well he wanted to be in Denmark with his
life, friends and mum. This unsettledness resulted in a lot of turbulent
behaviour stemming from these basic needs. As well with the power, fun and
freedom needs, I saw that a lot of behaviour also came from these needs. Which
I will explain further in my analysis.

I
have looked at Skinners theory from the early twentieth century, Glassers from
the end of the twentieth century and now I will look in Alfie Kohn’s work from
2006. Giving a few different theoretical perspectives from different time
periods over the last 80 years.

Alfie
critiques many aspects of what is the traditional education. His main criticism
falls on the use of competition or external factors as motivation.

He
believes that societies that are based on extrinsic motivations lose their effectiveness
over time.

Things
that he looks into and questions are the management system that take place in
the mainstream education. He says that positions of authority are unnaturally
scare and these systems assume that all people have this competitive nature
inside of them when in fact he doesn’t is the case. He says that systems such
as the positive enforcement systems only encourage students and people to only
seek out this positive enforcement rather than truly learn. This reflects back
into what my mentor teacher was saying that they would get too distracted by
the reward rather than the meaning or the requirement behind the reward system.
He believes that in an ideal classroom, curiosity and cooperation are key
factors. He says the student’s curiosity is what should determine what is
taught. This somewhat links into Glassers idea that we are led by 5 key needs
and this influences what we learn. What differs here to Glassers principles of
high expectations is that he argues that standards should be kept very minimal
and he is critical of standardized testing. He also says that a strict curriculum
and homework aren’t beneficial to student needs.

 

 

Kohn
believes in a more traditional classroom room. He says that most teacher rely
too heavily on extrinsic motivation rather than more intrinsic factors. He
believes that teachers should always keep cooperation as one of the key factors
within the classroom but also says that when curiosity is nurtured, rewards and
punishments are not necessary. 

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