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The Quality School
Glasser Text Comments
International Falls Cohort
William Glassier, M.D., is a very well known critic of todays educational system, having published many books in this area.
He builds his case on the experience of W. Edwards Deming in Japan after WWII. Glasser says Deming made the Japanese people what they are today by proper management techniques and stressing quality. A boss drives, a leader leads. A boss says I., a leader says we. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes work interesting. These are just a few of his management examples.
Glasser points out that teaching is easy if students are interested, motivated, self evaluating, and discipline problems are non existent. He says a non-coercive atmosphere is a must. Eliminate all fear.
He also does not believe in the stimulus response theory. He believes every response comes from within a persons own head. Glasser gives the example of the man being robbed at gun point and refusing to give up his wallet, only the money. He calls this the control theory or choice theory.
Glasser says people have five basic needs: love, power, fun, freedom and survival. Students need to experience these in the educational system. Experiences that fulfill these needs become part of the quality world inside the persons head.
He gives five main points to achieving a Quality School. 1. Avoid adversarial relationships between students and teachers. 2. Reduce discipline problems. 3. Increase student motivation. 4. Awaken students to quality work. 5. Teach the life-long skill of self education.
Many of the statements Glasser makes about education are true in his Utopian setting. What person wouldnt agree that students do well if they motivated, interested, self-evaluating, and rewarded? Too bad society and family play large part in this picture that the teacher has no control over.
Glasser talks about Deming as the savior of Japan. The Japanese are a proud people. Surrender was not even an option, until it became the only option. Their economy and infrastructure were badly damaged. The United States gave aid and all the best technology of the time, putting them ahead of everyone else in the world for manufacturing equipment. The people of Japan desperately needed to feel proud of something. One must not forget that while every other major power in the world spends a great share of their budget on defense, Japan is defended by the United States for free. Think of what America could do for its people if it had no military expense. Deming certainly had some management ideas but he was not the savior of Japan.
The example of the criminal and the criminologist was not very good. What if the man had been killed? If one had to chose between their billfold or their life, the choice is obvious to most people. This direction is also the choice theory, and probably a better on percentage wise.
The lofty goals expounded by Glasser sound great in theory but in reality many other conditions come into play. Value systems, ethnic differences, financial disparity, non-existent family structure, crime, fear, depression, and teacher resources to deal with these all play a very critical part in the progress of a students. What does Glasser propose for this?
-- Anonymous, May 12, 1999