conflict theory

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conflict 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-Rogers 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. Glassers 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 Glassers 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 students 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