The Responsible Thinking Process is a school discipline
program that is
radically different from other classroom management programs,
classroom discipline programs or school behavior management programs.
Free book about the Responsible Thinking
Imagine a student discipline program that actually teaches students to take responsibility for their own behavior without in anyway trying to control them or do something to them to make them change the way they behave. And imagine a discipline program where there are no rewards, no special treats, and no punishment. Yes, no punishment. No predetermined time for suspension or detention. And where students decide the amount of time they are away from class or, in the case of serious acts of misconduct, away from school. And, surprisingly, with few exceptions, the students believe the program to be fair.
And yet, the same program provides remarkable results in improved discipline throughout the school, with reductions in suspensions and detentions, fighting and bullying, and where the teachers have more time to teach with less classroom disruptions. The success of this process has been demonstrated in schools from the west coast of Alaska to the east coast of the U. S., and in schools as far away as Australia and Singapore. (see section titled School Statistics)
Here is a process by which students are taught to monitor their own behavior by taking responsibility for what they do. Rather than telling students what to do where you do the thinking, why not ask them what they are doing in relation to the rules or standards of where they are? That means teaching them how to think on their own and create their own effective plans rather than someone else doing the thinking for them. Everyone in school, that is teachers, administrators, and students, should be held accountable for respecting the rights of others. Students have to be taught this skill. Punishment and rewards do not teach people to think, they are only a method of control. We are not designed to be controlled.
This process was developed by Edward E. Ford and is called the Responsible Thinking Process (RTP)®. It is based on Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), (See section titled About Perceptual Control Theory).
The key to building strong and lasting relationships is
spending at least an hour a day doing quality time together. Quality time is that
kind of time that is interactive, such as taking a walk, playing cards or scrabble,
working on a project together. It is definitely not watching TV or going to a movie,
or, with married couples, physical intimacy. What that time together does is build
sufficient relational strength such that when you have disagreements or argument,
there is sufficient strength in the relationship to help you rise above your differences,
set the other person as your No. 1 priority, and rise above the unhappy feelings,
and work things out.
Who is doing the thinking when you tell people what to do? You
have to ask what they think or what they are doing? Then, if a child, ask:
Should you be doing that, or what will happen if you keep doing that? Never ask "why",
unless you are teaching irresponsible behavior or you like dealing with excuses.
RTP is a process that teaches respect for others
by fostering responsible thinking.
What brings about the growing belief in students that they can make things better for themselves? What promotes change within another person, and what makes change possible?
First, it is the belief that someone cares, that someone really respects you and is willing to work with you until you can succeed.
Second, it is the belief that somehow it is possible to succeed, to make things better, and to resolve our internal conflicts.
The responsible thinking process, if properly used, is designed to teach educators how to teach students to develop a sense of responsibility for their own lives and to respect the lives of everyone around them.
This unique classroom discipline process is both non-manipulative and non-punitive. It creates mutual respect by teaching students how to think through what they are doing in relation to the rules of wherever they are. This gives students personal accountability for their actions.
The key component of this classroom discipline process is its focus on how students can achieve their goals without getting in the way of others who are trying to do the same thing. In short, it teaches students how to respect others.