William Glasser is one of the greatest educational thinkers during the 20th and 21st Century. He contends that student behavior will not improve until educators and administrators change the way they work with students. Trying to force students to learn behavior responsibly is hopeless because it is contrary to their natural inclinations. Glasser believes all human behavior is purposeful. We can not blame anyone else but ourselves for good or improper behavior. He believes that students are satisfied with doing low-quality school work and unwilling to make an effort to learn.
Glasser states schools will not improve until they accomplish three things: 1. Provide a curriculum that is attractive to students. Over half of today’s students our not committed to learning when they find the school experience boring, frustrating or unsatisfying. Students learn better when they have an interest in the subject or learning is made fun. Curriculum should be limited to learning that is useful or otherwise relevant to the student and their lives. 2. Use non-coercive discipline to help students make responsible choices that lead to personal success. Teachers should not scold, coerce or punish students but instead should try and befriend them, providing them with encouragement and stimulation, and show an unending willingness to help the student to succeed. 3. Strongly emphasize quality in all aspects of teaching and learning. Teachers that dictate procedures, order students to work, and generally berate them when the fail to follow directions are increasingly ineffective with today’s students. This teacher functions as a Boss Teacher. Teachers that provide stimulating learning environment encourage students and help them function as Lead Teachers. Motivation is the key ingredient in learning. (Charles, 2011)
Glasser has stated that in order for schools to be successful they must meet student’s basic needs. Teaching is difficult and he often expressed sympathy for beleaguered teachers. Teachers who would rather be teaching high-achieving students instead of dealing with students that fail to meet education learning and behavior standards. The main discipline problems are not defiance and disruption but overwhelming apathy, resignation, and unwillingness to participate in class activities. We must stop teaching to meet testing requirements because the schoolwork is boring and fragmented. We must develop strategies that improve teaching, learning, and behavior management by moving to quality teaching and choice theories. In order to improve the quality of education, Glasser is adamant we give priority to student’s five basic needs. Failure to address these needs and the school is bound to fail. These five basic needs are: 1. Security - Student survival needs are met when the schools provide an environment that is kept safe and free from personal threats. 2. Belonging - When students receive the appropriate attention from their teachers, along with other students while actively participating in class they feel a sense of belonging. 3. Power - Teachers that engage students and actively encourage student participation in making decisions about classroom procedures, topics for study or discussion and/or assigns them classroom responsibilities, they sense power. 4. Fun - When teachers allow students to work and talk with others, engage in interesting activities and share their accomplishments they perceive their experience as fun. 5. Freedom - Teachers that allow their students to make responsible choices concerning studies, how they will approach their assignments and present their accomplishments they feel freedom. (Charles, 2011)
Teaching quality is often judged by how long students can retain fragments of information based on testing scores. Glasser contends education consists of too much memorizing lists of...