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The Personal
Family of

By the end of this topic, you should be able to:

Identify the foundation of the personal family models;


Explore the non-directive teaching model;


Point out the characteristics of the non-directive teaching model;



Discuss the importance of developing positive self-concepts for

conceptual growth.

The personal family of models is based on the humanistic psychology that
focuses on the learner. This model allows learners to gain self-confidence and a
realistic sense of self by building empathetic reactions to others (Joyce, Weil &
Calhoun, 2009). It allows learners to have the authority in deciding what he or
she will learn and how to learn. Therefore, the teachers see the learners as
partners. According to Devi (2010), this model indicates that academic
achievement can be increased by tending the psyches of the learners.
The main goals of the personal family of models are to:

Increase students' self-worth;


Help students understand themselves more fully;


Help students recognise their emotions and become more aware of the way
emotions effect other aspects of their behaviour;


Help students develop goals for learning;

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Help students develop plans for increasing their competence,


Increase the students creativity and playfulness; and


Increase the students openness to new experience.


In the following sections, you are going to learn a model introduced under the
personal family of models, which is the nondirective teaching model and aspects
pertaining to developing positive self-concepts.

What do you understand by the term non-directive?




This section will highlight the non-directive teaching model by focusing on the
ways a teacher could use this model to tap into students learning potential. The
role of a teacher is also clarified to distinguish the teaching and process with
other models of teaching.


The Non-directive Teaching Model

The non-directive teaching model was introduced by Carl Rogers as a form of

therapy in the learning process. It focuses on the need for positive human
relations in the learning process. Now, let us look at Scenario 1.
Scenario 1:
Brad is an 8-year-old pupil who creates problems in the classroom. He has lost
focus and becomes a constant clown in class, being laughed at by other pupils.
Many teachers have complained about Brad who likes to make jokes on
others.The following is the conversation between Brad and his discipline master.
Mr Orlando

: Brad, can I speak with you for a while?


: Okay.

Mr Orlando

: How are you getting on in class?


: I am doing fine.
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Mr Orlando
Mr Orlando
Mr Orlando
Mr Orlando

Mr Orlando

Mr Orlando
Mr Orlando

Mr Orlando

Mr Orlando


: How about the reading class?

: I have given the best but sometimes my friends like to laugh
at me.
: What did you do to make them laugh?
: I do not know. It is the words I say, I guess.
: Do you think they are enjoying the joke you make or
: What do you mean?
: Just because your friends are laughing does not mean that
the joke is funny.
: I should stop making jokes then. But then, I will not have any
friends to talk to. I thought if I make jokes, I will have more
: It is fine to make people laugh. Just make sure they are not
making fun of you. Likewise, you should not make fun of
: Now I realise why some of the teachers are not happy with
my jokes.
: What do you normally joke about?
: Mostly about my friends.
: Why do you joke about them?
: To have more friends. I thought the more I joke about them,
the more they will like me.
: Do you think your friends like to hear those jokes?
: I guess they are angry with me now for making fun of them.
Perhaps I should stop making jokes altogether and focus on
the teacher teaching instead.
: Do you know that it is possible to make people laugh without
getting into trouble?
: Perhaps I should start answering the questions posed by the
teacher and if I think of something funny about the lesson,
well, I might say it.
: That is a good idea, Brad.

Based on the scenario above, you will notice that Mr Orlando did not provide
any solution for Brad. The whole interview focuses on Brad and Mr Orlando
merely playing the role of a facilitator. The teacher manages to keep Brads frame
of reference and allows Brad to express his feelings. Besides that, Mr Orlando
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also manages to make Brad realise the problems he is facing in class. As you can
see, Mr Orlandos role is that of a facilitator who has a counselling relationship
with his pupil. He constantly guides Brad to explore his problem and to explore
new ideas on how to solve the problem. This is evident when in the end, Brad
comes up with the solution to his problem by focusing on the teachers teaching
and saying something funny about the lesson instead. The relationship between
Mr Orlando and Brad are seen as partners in learning where the teacher is not
being biased or stating his preference in solving the problem. Both the teacher
and the pupil share ideas openly and communicate honestly with each other.

How can one create a partners in learning environment?


Characteristics of Non-directive Teaching Model

There are several characteristics of the non-directive teaching model. They are:

The teacher shows warmth and responsiveness, expressing genuine interest

in the student and accepting him or her as a person;

(b)" It is characterised by permissiveness in regards to the expression of feeling;

the teacher does not judge or moralise;

The student is free to express feelings symbolically but is not free to control
the teacher or to carry impulses into actions; and

(d)" The relationship is free from any type of pressure or coercion. The teacher avoids
personal bias or reacting in a personally critical manner to the student.


What are the Roles of the Teacher in this


Do you know the roles of the teacher in this model? According to Joyce et al.
(2009), the roles of teacher in this model are to do the following:

See the world as the students see it;

(b)" Create an atmosphere of empathetic communication;


Mirror students thoughts and feelings;

(d)" Use reflective comments to raise students consciousness of their own

perceptions and feelings, thus helping them to clarify ideas;
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Accept all feelings and thoughts even those that other students may be
afraid of or may view as wrong or perhaps even punishable. Recognition
of both positive and negative feelings are important for emotional
development and positive solutions;


Act as facilitators; and

(g)" Develop partnership between teacher and student.

As you can see, the teacher plays an important role in making students
understand their own needs and values so that they can learn to direct their own
decisions with regards to their learning. The teacher should respect his/her
students abilities in identifying their own problems and to formulate solutions.
The teacher does not interpret, evaluate or offer advice; instead he/she reflects,
clarifies, accepts and demonstrates understanding (Joyce et al., 2009). Therefore,
this model focuses on facilitative learning. As you can see in the scenario above,
Mr Orlando directs his student to take responsibility of his own problem by
posing questions such as these:
What do you normally joke about?
Why do you joke about them?
Do you think your friends like to hear those jokes?
Mr Orlando successfully developed empathetic communication where he was
able to mirror his students' thoughts and feelings in clarifying their ideas.
Therefore, this model highlights equal partnership between teacher and student.
The teachers goal is aimed at helping students' understand their own needs and
values so that they can effectively direct their own educational decisions.

What are the types of questions you can pose in order to build equal
partnership between teacher and student?


Phases in the Non-directive Teaching Model

There are several phases in the non-directive teaching model. These phases are
important in building equal partnership between the teacher and the student.
Now, let us look at Scenario 2.

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Scenario 2:

: Excuse me Mr Singh. Can I have a word with you?

Mr S

: Sure, take a seat. What can I do for you?


: I am just upset with my grades for the English paper.

Mr S

: Oh, yes. You got an E for this paper. Why are you upset?


: I am not a stupid girl you know. Its just that I could not focus
during the test.

Mr S

: Why were you not able to focus? Is something bothering you?


: I could not get enough sleep. That is the reason I lost my focus.

Mr S

: Why couldnt you get enough sleep?


: I always worry about my grades and could not concentrate on my

studies. I am not as good as my other friends who score better
grades than me. Maybe, something is wrong with the way I study.

Mr S

: When do you normally revise your homework?


: Mostly at night. I get distracted by the loud noises my neighbours

make. My parents cannot help either. They are not good in English
therefore they are not able to guide me.

Mr S

: What about your friends? Did you ask for their help?


: I am actually quite shy to ask for their help. I am worried if they

think I am a nerd.

Mr S

: Why do you think as such?


: I do not know. Just my feelings.

Mr S

: You will never know how they feel unless you try asking them.


: I do not know. I always have a problem starting a conversation. I

would rather keep quiet than make stupid remarks.

Mr S

: How would you feel if I pair the students in your class so that you
will end up with someone to work on the next assignment?


: That would be okay I guess.

Mr S

: Do you think you will be able to talk to your partner about the


: I think I can work on that but promise me that you will not tell
anyone about my problem.
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The scenario above illustrates how Mr Singh helped one of his students to
uncover the emotions underlying a problem. This is achieved through the
students expression of his feelings. Mr Singh manages to allow the student to
direct the flow of thoughts and feelings. Joyce et al. (2009) claims that if the
students express themselves freely, the problems and their underlying emotions
will emerge. This process is facilitated by reflecting the students feelings thereby
bringing them into awareness and sharper focus.
There are five phases in the non-directive teaching model that one can follow.
These are shown in Table 9.1.
Table 9.1: Phases in the Non-directive Teaching Model



Defining the helping situation

Teacher encourages free expression of


Exploring the problem

Student is encouraged to define problem.

Teacher accepts and clarifies feelings.

Developing insight

Student discusses problem.

Teacher supports student.





Student plans initial decision-making.

Teacher clarifies possible decisions.


Student gains further insight and

develops actions that are more positive.
Teacher is supportive.

Action outside the interview

Student initiates positive actions

Source: Joyce et al. (2009)

Now let us look into each phase.


Phase 1
In this phase, the student is allowed the freedom to express herself/himself
freely. In the beginning, the teacher lays out the freedom for the student to
explore feelings, an agreement on the general focus of the interview, an
initial problem statement, some discussion of the relationship if it is ongoing, and the establishment of procedures for meeting. The teacher does
not make interpretation, evaluation or provide advice but he reflects,
clarifies, considers, explains and demonstrates understanding.

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(b)" Phase 2
In this phase, the teacher plays an important role in encouraging the
student to express either the negative or the positive feelings. The teacher
should probe further to explore the problem expressed by the student.
What is important is for the teacher to accept the responses provided by the

Phase 3
This phase allows the student to develop insights of the problem. This is
achieved through discussion of the problem and exploring the feelings of
the student. Here, the teacher further supports the student in developing
insights leading to creating innovative ideas.

(d)" Phase 4
This phase allows the student to move ahead and make decisions on how to
overcome the problem. Here, the teacher merely clarifies the alternatives
but the student makes the final decision.

Phase 5
In phase 5, the student develops actions that are more positive and plans
more integrated and positive actions to solve the existing problem. Student
will be able to provide a solution and the teacher supports the decision.


Characteristics of an Open Classroom

Siddiqui (2013) identifies several characteristics of an open classroom under the

non-directive teaching model. They are:

Objectives of school are grounded in the effective development, growth of

students self-concept, and student determination of learning needs;

(b)" Methods of teaching are based on students flexibility of learning and group

The role of the teacher is more of a facilitator, resource person, guide and

(d)" The students determine what is important to learn;


More emphasis is given to self-evaluation rather than teacher evaluation;



Progress is measured qualitatively rather than quantitatively.

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Advantages of Non-directive Teaching Model

There are several advantages of the non-directive teaching model. Among them are:

Teacher helps students to explore new ideas;

(b)" Students have freedom to make decisions and choices;


Teacher and student are partners in learning;

(d)" Teacher nurtures and moulds students to be the way they are; and

Teacher encourages students to think and reflect their uncertain feelings

and become better and be positive.




This section will introduce to you a pertinent concept, which is developing

positive self-concepts, that is related to personal family of models. Developing
positive self-concepts is important in learning as this allows learners to take
responsibility for their own learning. It becomes an integral link to the personal
family as it helps learners to develop and enhance their personal skills.


Developing Positive Self-Concepts

The importance of Developing Positive Self Concepts is based on the results of a

study conducted by Bruce Joyce. This study was carried out on 2,300 teachers,
with the focus on their level of interaction with their environments. The findings
of this study indicated that teachers attitudes could influence climate in the
classrooms. Joyce (2009) states that this aspect focuses on positive self-concepts of
learners based on the following:

Students are capable of responding to a great variety of teaching and

learning environment;

(b)" Students are able to master skills and strategies as they develop skills in
learning how to learn; and

The school climate has a strong influence on students performance.

Positive self-concepts highlight that all learners are capable of learning provided
they are given the opportunity and supported by the environment in school and
classroom. One of the factors leading to positive self-concept is states of growth.

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States of Growth

States of growth refers to how the environment plays a role in satisfying learners
development. Now let us see how the environment provides opportunity for
educational growth.
Based on Joyces study, the environment plays an important role in developing
positive self-concepts. Active people are said to view the environment as a set of
possibilities for satisfying interaction. They are also seen as proactive. On the
other hand, less active people are less aware of the possibilities while the least
active people expend energy protecting them from what they see as a threatening
or unpleasant environment (Joyce et al., 2009).
The social climate of the workplace also plays an important role towards growth.
A positive social climate with active colleagues is said to promote greater
Developing positive self-concepts are important and vital in the teaching process.
Teachers should aim towards developing students self-concepts to enhance their
personal growth. Joyce et al. (2009) provided clear distinctions on the personality
types of learners. They are:

Gourmet Omnivore
The first personality type refers to individuals who not only reach out for
opportunities in their environments but who generate or initiate those
opportunities for themselves and others. They are people who are active
and able to use the environment positively. They are aware of the
possibilities for growth, identify high-probability events and work hard at
squeezing them for their growth potential(Joyce et al., 2009). They are also
capable of initiating ideas, easily adapt and adopt to new form of learning
or changes taking place. They are also capable of balancing their personal
and professional lives. They bring ideas they gain in their personal lives
into the classroom. Students of this nature are active participants and
energetic learners. They will enrich the social environment of the classroom
with their passion and curiosity.

(b)" Passive Consumer

This type of personality is characterised as amiable, conforming and highly
dependent on their immediate social context. Passive consumers are people
who are generally inactive. They are very much dependent on others. If
they are with active consumers, they tend to be active as well. On the other
hand, if they are with passive consumers, they tend to be passive. Students
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of this nature will strive in environments that push them to explore and
interact with the surroundings.

Reticent Consumer
This category involves learners who are reluctant to interact positively with
their cultural environment. They push away opportunities for growth and
are very reluctant people. They reject opportunities for involvement in
decision-making. Students of this nature are likely to withhold from
participating in classroom activities. They have a tendency to blame their
environment the rest of the school depresses them professionally; their
neighbourhood and home depress them personally (Joyce & Calhoun,
2010). Individuals with positive self-concepts are said to evaluate
themselves positively, and are likely to make favourable inferences about
themselves and be accepting of their identity (Judge, Erez and Bono, 1998).
These personalities help teachers to plan and execute a conducive learning
environment to cater to the needs of the different types of learners. Joyce et
al. (2009) strongly feel the need to build a learning community that can
benefit all the different types of personality.

The three personality types discussed above reveal that there will always be a
mix of behaviours in the classroom. How does this impact the teachers ability to
foster positive self-concepts in all students? Joyce et al. (2009) mentions that the
Omnivores are self-actualising, the Passive-Consumers feel competent but
dependent and the Reticent-Consumers feel that they live in a threatening world.
Thus, it would appear that the Omnivores are the only ones who will develop
positive self-concepts.

Describe the three personality types mentioned by Joyce et al. (2009).

In order to build a conducive environment to cater to the needs of varying

behaviours of learners, teachers can develop a learning community that benefits
all personality types. The learning community plays an important role since it
influences the way students feel about themselves and the way they interact and
learn. Therefore, the learning environment should be flexible enough for learners
to foster growth. Among the ways of achieving this are for the teacher to:

Have high expectations for all students and push all towards excellence;

(b)" Have model activity and openness and encourage students to reach out to
the world;
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Create a cooperative learning environment where students work in groups

to share ideas, discover knowledge, and actively gather and interpret

(d)" Incorporate student interests into learning activities; and


Provide continuous and positive feedback to students.

Two important developmental theories are closely linked to the development of

states of growth. They are conceptual development and self-concept.

Conceptual Development
Conceptual development refers to the ways one perceives and describes the
world around them using concepts. Look at the scenario below and
compare traveller A and traveller B who have recently visited a foreign
country together.
Traveller A
Jaimie : How was your trip? Did you enjoy yourself?
: You are not going to believe the type of people I met there.
Jaimie : What do you mean?
: It was horrible. The people were unfriendly, the streets
were dirty and the way they prepared their food was...
Traveller B
Jaimie : How was your trip? Did you enjoy yourself?
: I had a fantastic time over there. The view was beautiful
and the food was rather interesting. I even managed to
learn how to cook a few local dishes.
Traveller A did not enjoy his trip to the foreign country. He could not get
along with the foreign culture and found fault with it. On the other hand,
traveller B enjoyed himself and took the trouble to learn how to cook a few
local dishes. He had wonderful things to say about the country compared to
traveller A. Traveller A has a low conceptual level while traveller B has a
higher conceptual level.
Joyce et al. (2009) claim people characterised under the low conceptual level
are suspicious of the different environment and tend to find fault in it while
the new sights, sounds and smells fascinate those from the high conceptual

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level. They are open to new experiences and are capable of dealing with
those experiences, which will lead to their personal growth.
(b)" Self-concept
Self-concept is closely linked to Maslows theory of personal growth. He
believes that self-concepts are accompanied by self-actualising behaviour.
This refers to the capability of a person to interact productively with the
environment. Joyce et al. (2009) believes that strong self-concepts are linked
to self-actualising behaviour. Some of the characteristics of selfactualisers are:

Acceptance and Realism

Self-actualised people have realistic perceptions of themselves, others
and the world around them.

(ii)" Problem-centring
Self-actualised individuals are concerned with solving problems
outside of themselves, including helping others and finding solutions
to problems in the external world. These people are often motivated
by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.
(iii)" Spontaneity
Self-actualised people are spontaneous in their internal thoughts and
outward behaviour. While they can conform to rules and social
expectations, they also tend to be open and unconventional.
(iv)" Autonomy and Solitude
Another characteristic of self-actualised people is the need for
independence and privacy. While they enjoy the company of others,
these individuals need time to focus on developing their own
individual potential.
(v)" Continued Freshness of Appreciation
Self-actualised people tend to view the world with a continual sense
of appreciation, wonder and awe. Even simple experiences continue
to be a source of inspiration and pleasure.
(vi)" Peak Experiences
Individuals who are self-actualised often have what Maslow termed
peak experiences, or moments of intense joy, wonder, awe and
ecstasy. After these experiences, people feel inspired, strengthened,
renewed or transformed.

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Self-concept and States of Growth

Developing Positive Self-concept focuses heavily on both self-concept and states

of growth in developing students learning potential. Studies by Joyce et al.
(2009) have indicated the correlation between self-concepts and states of growth.
This is seen as a strong tool to develop a cooperative learning community, which
will allow learners to reach out and learn to the maximum of their capacity.
The need to understand both self-concept and conceptual growth is evident to
allow teachers to find the best possible method of teaching their students. This
will lead teachers to create productive environment and to prevent students from
being deprived of the opportunities to learn.

How can a teacher decide which method is the best choice for a given



The personal family of models allows learners to take charge of their own
learning. The activities catered for the learners are student centred. The
opportunity and ability to learn is very much dependent on the learning
community that provides the opportunity for learning to take place. This will
allow learners to be able to acquire a greater range of skills and strategies for
their own personal growth.

" The personal family of models focuses on empathic reactions of learners.

" Learners have the authority to build their own learning.
" Teachers play the role of a facilitator to guide students learning.

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" Non-directive teaching model emphasises positive human relations in the

learning process.
" Positive self-concepts are essential in developing the personal growth of a

Conceptual development
Gourmet Omnivore
Non-directive teaching

Passive consumer
Personal growth
Reticent consumer
States of growth

Joyce, B., Weil, M., & Calhoun, E. (2009). Models of teaching. Boston, MA:
Pearson Education.
Judge, T. A., Erez, A., Bono, J. E. (1998). The power of being positive: The
relation between positive self-concept and job performance. Human
Performance, 11(2/3), 167-187.
Mujibul Hasan Siddiqui. (2013). Nondirective teaching model: An effective way
of counseling. Gra-Global Research Analysis, 2(4), 51-53.
Devi, K. R. (2010). Chapter 3: Theoretical constructions of models of teaching.


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