Control Theory
My fundamental beliefs are that adults and children should have respect for one
another treating people as individuals. I believe that we should model a sense
of understanding, encouragement, trust, teamwork, and perseverance in all who we
come in contact with. I believe that everyone has should have the opportunity to
learn in a environment that is positive and encouraging. Recognizing my
fundamental beliefs I know that in the Skinner-Rogersí dichotomy that I fall
on the Rogerian side of the scale. My beliefs are consistent with that of

Rogers. I am also in favor of referent power and I would like to work with the
students as an interactionalist. With all of these frameworks in mind I looked
at a program that most fit my beliefs and frameworks. I believe that I can
initiate the program of Glasser and use it effectively in my teaching situation.

Many schools and programs regularly go through a process whereby they attempt to
develop a new philosophical base and a different practical approach to working
with students. Jones (1987) estimated that 80% of disruptive behavior is talking
to each other, 15% out of seat, the remaining 5% is spent on note passing,
playing with pencils or objects. The cost of student failure is absorbed. If we
are losing 30 to 50% of our time keeping on task as a result of small
disruptions, I would say to you that no other problem costs you 30 to 50% of
your entire school budget. In keeping this in mind, I would propose that our
middle school take a look at a program developed by Dr. William Glasser, M.D.

His model is consistent with my own beliefs and would fulfill the vision that
our school has developed. Integrated in Dr. Glasserís model are Choice Theory
(previously termed Control Theory), Reality Therapy, and the Quality School.

Choice Therapy is an explanation of behavior, Reality Therapy is a process
allowing Choice Therapy principles to be operationalized, and the Quality

Schools represent the application of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy ideas in

Education. William Glasserís model involves the initiation of what he calls
quality schools. Glasser (1992) contends that we must offer students an
education that they can see will satisfy both their immediate and future needs.

Students can only learn if they view their schools as a place that is at least
potentially need satisfying. If students do not perceive what we are offering in
school to be related to one or more of basic needs, they struggle against and or
withdraw from any or all of a curriculum that is not satisfying. Discipline
program after program fails, believes Glasser, while educators blame, complain
and search desperately for new Stimulus-Response program. He adds that the
temptation is always to increase the studentsí pain by using more detentions,
suspensions, and maybe even corporal punishment. The only thing that educators
are teaching students is that working hard and following rules will get them
what they want. Glasser believes schools must concern themselves with the
psychological needs for belonging, freedom, fun, and power. In an orderly class,
students are being taught in a way that is psychologically satisfying to them at
the same time. Learning must be satisfying at the time it is taught. Any school
can provide warmth and human care (belonging). This should be done with the
students and not to them or for them. Educators need to emphasize the power
inherent in a good education rather than grades and encourage creative thinking
because rote learning offers little power. School supervised work programs,
beginning at age ten and continuing until graduation, can also give power,
suggests Glasser. Team academic competitions also meet the need for power.

Glasser also proposes educators provide students with more freedom, by allowing
and encouraging students to pick instructors, classes and testing procedures.

This can also be accomplished by having students involved in the rule structure
of the classroom and the school. Quality schools eliminate coercion and use lead
management (Glasser, 1986). The emphasis is always on the quality of the work
done or the quality of the interaction among people. Quantity takes a back seat.

Quality work is the best that a student can do at this time. It is their best
effort and shows continuous improvement. It is useful, feels good, is never
destructive, and offers flexibility (ex. Authentic assessment). This would fit
in well with the concept of portfolio assessment that we are currently using in
the middle school. Quality schools use social contracts asking if you had what
you want in your classroom regarding the way your students interact