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William Glasser’s Model

Classroom Management  William Glasser is a psychiatrist who
Lecture12 & 13 through his work with juvenile
offenders became interested in
helping teachers to deal with school
Reality Therapy/ Control discipline problems
Therapy: William Glasser
 Glasser believes that human needs
are defined more in terms of
successful social relationships.

Reality Therapy  Individuals who are unable to fulfill

needs in a realistic way and has taken
 “The essence of Reality Therapy is
some unsuccessful attempts to do so in
the acceptance of responsibility for a
less than realistic ways .
person’s own behavior which enables
the individual to achieve success and
happiness.” ◦ These individuals are either unvalued
in a present unsatisfied relationship,
 Glasser believes that human needs
are defined more in terms of
successful social relationships ◦ Lack what would even be called a

 Glasser believes that social and

 Glasser believes that good psychological
psychological problems are an
health depends on loving and being
outgrowth of bad decisions made about
loved and feeling worthwhile to
social relationships.
ourselves and others

 His approach is to help people identify

 Being responsible is essential in
behaviors that are inconsistent with
successful relationships with others.
accepted social norms, accept them as
Individuals must learn that their own
irresponsible, and replace them with
needs can be satisfied only in a
more socially desirable ones
reciprocal way


Correcting Unacceptable
Behaviors Reality Therapy
 Children who fail to satisfy their needs Interviews with students in which following steps are
followed can be useful:
create problems at school.
1. Help students identify their inappropriate
 Such students tend to be lonely, angry, behavior. Don’t accept excuses. Do not invite
frustrated and openly rebellious. excuses by asking students why they behave as
they do.
 The teachers role is to help them learn a
2. Have students identify various consequences if
way to behave that better satisfies their their inappropriate behavior continues.
needs. 3. Have students make value judgments about their
 Must help students to take responsibility for behaviour and its consequences.
4. Help students create plans to eliminate
their own behavior and for changing it as
inappropriate behavior.
necessary. 5. Help students stick to their plan or suffer the
 A number of things can be done by consequences if they fail to do so.
teachers to help students act more
NB: For interviews to be successful teachers need already established good
responsibly relationships and a relationships of trust is essential in reality therapy

Identifying Inappropriate Case of Gordon:

Teacher: Gordon, what was it you did to Owen out on the
behavior playground during the morning recess?
Gordon: I didn’t do anything.
 People find it difficult to admit doing something Teacher: What did you do to Owen just as he was starting to
wrong. use the swing?
Gordon: I hit him, but he hit me first. He never shares the
 They deny bad behavior by shifting blame or swing with any of the rest of us.
claiming that they couldn't help what they did. Teacher: So what did you do?
 To improve behavior students must first admit Gordon: I hit him.
their misbehavior. Teacher: Who else have you been fighting with this past week?
Gordon: Nobody.
 The teacher helps by getting students to identify Teacher: Who were you shoving yesterday by the drinking
the behavior considered inappropriate. fountain?
 No attempt is made to judge the behavior as Gordon: Sarah.
Teacher: And who did you throw sand at on the playground
good or bad. during the afternoon recess?
Gordon: Ruth.

In this case Gordon try to excuse their  Teachers can avoid such pitfalls by asking
behaviour by explaining that Owen them to state their own role in the difficulty.
started the fight also justifying that he This allows to avoid conflicts about “who
never shares. started it”.

 Trying to resolve “who started it” conflicts

Claiming that the other person started the interferes with helping students to take
conflict or problem is the usual way of responsibility for inappropriate behaviour.
shifting blame
 Making students to describe their behaviour is
When students attempt to make such better than having their teachers do it as this
excuses teachers need considerable enable them to “own” their behaviour.
skill to avoid ridiculing them or giving
support to their excuses


 The questions asked must direct  When questioned about lying children
students to state what they have done to often divert accusing of not trusting
cause the problem them.

 They will resist to admitting fault and  Discussions of trust usually weakens the
would lie. If they lie teachers must student-teacher relationship and fails to
ignore it. Ignoring lies will be difficult for help children act more responsibly
most adults
 As children get used to being more
 But, children would often have people responsible for their behaviour by having
focus on the lying than admit to to admit it, they are less likely to lie.
inappropriate behaviour

Identifying Consequences Teacher: “What is likely to happen if

school equipment gets broken during a
 The next step in reality therapy is to fight?”
help students identify whatever
adverse consequences are associated
with their inappropriate behavior. What would the student’s response be

 The way questions are formed is

important in helping students accept The question needs to specify the role of
responsibility for their behaviour the student using the domain and cues.

The way questions are formed, therefore,

is important in helping students accept
responsibility for their behaviour

Teachers questions contain clues about what

Teacher: In your fight with Jon, you were back by the responses are expected.
aquaria and the science equipment.
What could have happened to
those items during a fight? Clues help students to learn what their
Gordon: They could have been broken. teachers wish to discuss with them.
Teacher: If you broke them, who would have to pay
for them?
They limit the all kinds of responses that can be
Gordon: I would, I guess.
made and allow teachers to deal with the
Teacher: Yes. I agree. When you fight with others,
problem more directly without getting
what could happen to you or the other
person physically? sidetracked.
Gordon: I guess somebody could get hurt.
Unlike logical consequences model, a range of possible
consequences are explored in reality therapy. Students are
encouraged to change their behaviour consistent with
consequences they find acceptable


The teacher in the following example ask

Making Value Judgment questions that help Gordon make value
 After the consequences have been
identified, students are asked to Teacher: Gordon, you have said that school property
decide: could be broken, in which case you would have
to pay for it. And what is most important, you
have said that someone could get hurt, perhaps
1. Whether or not they want the even seriously. Do you want that to happen?
consequences to occur Gordon: No.
Teacher: What do you think about fighting then?
2. Whether or not they judge their Gordon: I guess I need to stop
behavior to be inappropriate

In this step it is wise to have students Creating a Plan

make a statement about all
 When students no longer accept their behavior as
consequences collectively appropriate and wish to avoid the consequences
associated with it, a plan can be devised to
overcome the problem.
Another useful tactic is to use helpful
additions such as “And what is most  Students must make value judgements about their
important, you have said that someone behaviour, because in the process of making a
could get hurt, perhaps even seriously” plan, they may resist changing their behaviour with
which they have found some satisfaction in the
But, it is not wise to discuss the statement with
students and the seriousness of injuries.  If they resist you just have to ask them what they
have already said about changing their behaviour

Teacher: I have noticed that some of your fights take

place in the hall just outside the classroom. Time out
What could you do immediately as you
come to class to get involved more productively  Sometimes students make commitment not
and be less likely to fight? to misbehave.
Gordon: I could come into class, take my seat, and  The students should be cycled again
start to work.
through the steps of reality therapy.
Teacher: What specifically could you do, say
tomorrow, when you come to class?  They may also be required to suffer the
Gordon: I have a book I’d like to bring. consequences they have already identified.
Teacher: Do you think that would work?  If students refuse to cooperate with
Gordon: Yes. reasonable classroom expectations, or if
Teacher: Why don’t you try it for a week and then let they violate rules they have previously
me know how you think you are doing. agreed to accept, a time out should be


Time out .. Control Therapy

 During time-out students are directed  In 1984, Glasser wrote Control
to create a written plan that they Theory, which has some significant
believe will solve their discipline additions to reality theory. Control
problems. theory is primarily a preventive
approach to discipline and reality
therapy is a corrective one
 Purpose of the written plan is to help
students achieve a greater sense of
commitment.  The main difference between the two
approach is in the central role of need

 The focus of reality therapy is on helping

students become more responsible in a Control Therapy cont’
behavioural sense.  Control theory has an expanded list of
human needs. Children can be taught
 When students behave more about these needs and how to satisfy
responsibly, their needs for social these in more legitimate ways. These
acceptance can be satisfied and their needs include:
status among their peers enhanced ◦ Love
◦ Control
 Their sense of personal worth increase ◦ Freedom
as a result ◦ fun

Love Control
 As human beings we need to love and  All of us need sufficient power to regulate
be loved, we need to belong, we need our lives as we desire.
to be accepted by others as significant  Unfortunately teachers usually deny
and important. children the opportunity to satisfy this need.
 We need to believe that we are  Children are considered too immature to
accepted by others for what we are make responsible choices.
and that this acceptance is  When children assert themselves, teachers
unconditional. ordinarily increase their own control
 Children usually try to satisfy their  This increase in control only encourages
need for love and acceptance through greater rebellion
behavior designed to get attention


Freedom  Freedom is a necessary component of

 Children not only need to be in control learning to be responsible
of their own lives but also need to be
free from control by others.  Wise teachers provide increasing levels
of freedom as students learn to use it
 However satisfying this need can also wisely
create conflict. ( eg: through decision making skills)

 Teachers usually interpret children’s

efforts to obtain freedom as affronts to  Children must learn that freedom exists
their authority. In addition they may only when consequences are carefully
doubt the ability of children to use taken into account
freedom responsibly.

Fun Balancing Needs

 Children are driven by the need for  Important part of control theory
fun, far more than parents and
teachers are usually willing to  Glasser advocates teaching children to
accommodate. balance their needs by having them
 Glasser believes that fun is as basic
forgo some control in favor of
developing friendships.
as any other need.
 People of all ages desire it  Each child need to feel accepted and
 Glasser believes that a relationship loved. These needs can be met if
exist between learning and our genetic friendships are cultivated.
need for fun.  Conflicts between need for freedom and
 When we have fun we can work for control must be balanced
long hours and enjoy it

Unfulfilled Needs and

 The need for freedom and control also  Promotes misbehavior in many forms.
must be balanced.
 Teachers can avoid these problems by
 Conflicts between freedom and discerning children’s needs and by
control can be a problem when
children want freedom but are helping them satisfy their needs
unwilling to grant the same privilege to legitimately.
their peers
 Needs should be recognized and
satisfied before patterns of
inappropriate behavior develop.


Eg: The pictures in our head

 Glasser believes that each individual has a unique
 Children’s sense of well being may way of determining how our basic needs can be
depend on getting attention from satisfied, which he describes as a set of pictures in
teachers, they may seek approval as a our heads.

sign that others accept them.

 These pictures our stored in our minds as long as
they continue to satisfy us.
 In a class of 30 or more what would
happens?  When we consider them no longer worthwhile we
replace them with more satisfying pictures

 What can teachers do?  Sometimes the picture we have do not correspond
to the real world, and irrational behaviour is often
the result

Glasser says we do not picture Conflict in Satisfying Needs for

ourselves doing badly. We all have a Control
view of being successful and happy.  According to Glasser we always have control over
what we do, even when we behave destructively.

We may at times choose to do self-  We react to the environment but are not directly
destructive things, but we do not controlled by it (eg: hurrying to take someone to
intend to destroy ourselves.
 Therefore, even those who appear to be controlled
Our pictures make sense to us; are not being controlled in a strict sense
otherwise we would not have them.
 They will only continue to follow others directions
only when it is satisfying for them too

 If control can be successfully negotiated Boss Management Vs Lead

with our close associates, we can Management
Boss Management
anticipate relative harmony. 1. The administrator or teacher (boss) establish
 The need to control is potent, when the task and standards for students.
others interfere with or need to maintain Students must simply adjust to the job as the
boss defines it.
control at a level we desire, we react in
2. The Boss usually tells, rather than shows,
various ways. students how to do the work and rarely asks
 Glasser says part of this satisfaction how it can be done better.
must include a sense of personal 3. The boss is the exclusive evaluator. Students
are considered unable or biased. Bosses
control. tend to settle for just enough quality work to
 As humans we like to control but get by.
despise being controlled, which causes 4. When students resist, the boss uses
problems in our relationships with others coercion, usually in the form of punishment,
to obtain compliance.


Lead Management Strengths and Weakness of Reality

1. The lead manager encourages students to Therapy/Control Therapy
discuss the quality of the work they want to
perform and the time constraints they wish to  Strengths
put on themselves. ◦ Promotes a high degree of autonomy
2. The lead manager constantly tries to fit the and responsibility for students.
learning task to the skills of students.
3. The lead manager provides students with
models of how they should perform and ◦ Help students see a wide range of
allows them to evaluate their own work,
acting on the assumption that students know possible consequences for their
not only what high quality work is but also behavior.
when they are producing it.
4. The lead manager is a facilitator,
establishing a no adversarial classroom ◦ Allow students to determine
atmosphere without coercion. solutions to their own discipline

Strengths … Weaknesses
◦ Help students understand their needs and
how to satisfy these needs legitimately. ◦ Difficult for teachers to help students
satisfy their need for control without
◦ Help teachers avoid promoting rebellion. feeling threatened themselves.

◦ They delineate clearly what a teacher ◦ Difficult to react properly when

needs to do for every misbehaving communicating with students about their
student. in appropriate behavior.

◦ Problem behaviors can be handled in ◦ Difficult to avoid giving responses that

classroom meetings involving the entire encourage students to make excuses for
class. Which helps all students their bad behavior.
understand the various discipline
problems and what to do about them.

Weakness… Counseling with Reality therapy

◦ Difficult to help students experience the
true sense of autonomy implied by control
theory if outside influences dictate what is  Counselors will take a lead manager approach
taught in school and how children should
be disciplined.  Admit there is a problem without placing blame
 No coercive threats or punishment
◦ Classroom meetings may consume more  Students may be sent to time out room
time than is desirable.
 Be warm and friendly, don’t argue with student
◦ Difficult to help students who do not want  Work out a plan for student to do something
to be in school to make plans to improve better
their behavior.
 Get student back to class in a timely manner
◦ Students may not have the necessary
skills to make plans that will help improve
their behavior


 Have to work with students to stop

How does reality therapy work in
placing blame on other students or schools?
 The core of Reality Therapy is the
 Help students see what behavior they idea that regardless of what has
can control and make plans to reach "happened" in our lives, or what we
attainable goals have done in the past, we can choose
behaviors that will help us meet our
needs more effectively in the future
 Work with teachers to develop
alternatives to punishment and rote