Wednesday, March 23, 2011

William Glasser & Quality Schools

I can't wait for my books that should be arriving on Quality Schools. I already have several of William Glasser's books: Choice Theory, Counseling with Choice Theory and The Language of Choice Theory. The Quality School is going to be arriving on my doorstep shortly. Aside from how you treat your student (in my case homeschooler) in terms of verbal contact, there's a basic difference in how children's learning and work is treated that returns dignity, respect, and a higher level of useful expectations to the children.

Basically, children work at their exercises until their work is an A or B level. Barely-passing work is no longer accepted. Since most curriculums build on former knowledge, this makes sense to me. Why are we accepting grades that are below par from children when mastery of material is so important for advancing to the next level? Or another way of putting it: Would you expect a D-grade student to retain enough to pick up when school starts again in the fall?

This is very fitting for my son. His schtick is doing the least possible work that he can get away from. Unfortunately that's rewarded with the current model. He can rush through a test, get a B or C on it, and know he's still passing his class. In Glasser's model, I might not even have a test; if my son does his minimum, he'll be sent back to do it again. And again. Until he puts effort into perfecting and mastering the material in question. A child doesn't really learn from red circles and low scores, and they'll never really know what they're fully capable of in this case. How about a green pen and making a child correct their own work when it's wrong?

There's so much more to Choice Theory than just this one idea of how to be "a better school." I highly recommend taking a look at some of these videos (I have no association with this man, Bob Hougland, but he has good videos):

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