Response to Glasser's Quality Schoolgreenspun.com : LUSENET : MEd Cohort III : One Thread
This is my response to Glasser: Response to: The Quality School-Managing Students without Coercion by: William Glasser, M.D.
Dr. Glasser9s book explains a method of school reform in which students are led to see the work they are doing as 3need satisfying2 and because of this, they are motivated to do quality work. In theory I believe most teachers, myself included , would be anxious to try this approach which according to Dr. Glasser , would create the 3perfect classroom2 - one that is free of discipline problems and filled with motivated, hard working students. I am somewhat skeptical. Although I value the ideals outlined in this book, I believe there are certain situations which might complicate the implementation of this system.
I agree with Dr. Glasser9s opinion which states that students will try harder if they find the work they are asked to do to be 3need satisfying2 . The aspect of this reform which concerns me, is that we all know that certain basic needs must be met before we , as human beings , will focus on other less important needs. It would be difficult ,if not impossible for a school to attempt to meet the basic needs ( love, belonging , security) which must usually be fulfilled be families. Although school is an important part of a child9s life, we must not presume to be able to meet all the complex needs of every child. In my opinion, schools have taken on too diverse a role in the child9s life as it is. Would we not be a better educational institution if we were able to focus on just the education of children? Our schools have already accepted many social responsibilities and we , as educators must do what we can to help our students, but I do not believe that taking on even greater responsibilities for each child9s needs beyond education, is a wise decision.
In my opinion, the most valuable message of this book , was the pervasive theme of caring. I believe that Dr. Glasser is correct in saying that we , as teachers, should convey the message to our students that we care about them and will not accept failure . We must help our students, especially those who struggle, to see us as an ally. They must know that we are there to help them learn and that we will not give up on them.
-- Anonymous, January 01, 1999
Hi, Kris! We just can't do it all, can we? As caring teachers, I think we often need to remember where our responsibilities "begin and end" so to speak. Some years ago, I found myself vacuuming the house on a weekend and pondering how I could help certain students develop better self-esteem, motivation, health habits, etc. Their home situations were lacking, (but not abusive), and I had to realize that their home environment was an area I had little control over. We can do our best to meet a child's needs during the school day and suggest counseling opportunities or outside agencies, but there's only so much we can do.
-- Anonymous, January 03, 1999
I agree with you when you say that education has too diverse a roll in the lives of children. I believe it would be impossible for a teacher to meet the basic needs of all of his or her students in the classroom. More than likely it would require fewer students in each class and a lot more time to interact with each individual. Teachers do tend to care about their students, but I know that it is frustrating when there is little time to get to know them. Glasser has some good ideas as far as making school work meaningful for students. I realized after reading this book that our schools and our society are very much into using coercion to motivate people. I'm not sure we as a society are able to change that quickly to a non-coercive approach. I hope we begin to move in that direction and certainly Glasser gives us some possible routes to take. Time will tell.
Gregg p.s. I'm sorry, I think I put this in the wrong place the first time I submitted it.
-- Anonymous, January 04, 1999
I agree with your review of the Glasser book. I also believe that the students should realize that most, if not all, teachers do really care about their performance in the classroom as well as their total well-being in the school setting. But there are limitations as to the extend which a teacher can provide support to ALL students. If time was not a factor, teachers would be able to accomodate more interaction with the students that are more needy. But I don't see this as a reality in the near term. I enjoyed your review of the Glasser book.
Don Erickson January 10, 1999
-- Anonymous, January 10, 1999
Hi Kris! I enjoyed reading your review of Glasser. I agree that his theme of caring was very powerful. I truly believe that students will try harder and learn more with a teacher who really cares about them. It reminded me that some of the most important lessons we teach our students do not come from books they come from our hearts. Our students learn so much by our actions, reactions, and interactions. We are definitely important adult role models for them! I agree that the schools have taken on incredible challenges. How do we provide for the varied needs of all our students? How do we teach them when their needs are not being met at home? Well, Glasser gave us a lot to think about! Each night as I leave my classroom I think about the lessons and activities that took place during the day. My goal is to have students who feel respected, cared for, and valued. I hope they see that fun and learning can really go hand-in -hand.
-- Anonymous, January 27, 1999