Uses in Schools & Education
Schools & Education
The idea and approaches of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy are also applied extensively with organisations, including schools, to replace external control psychology with Choice Theory as the psychology that underlies the whole operation or 'system'. In practice, this means moving from a 'boss-management' approach to one of 'Lead-Management'. Lead-managers continually work to create a non-coercive environment where students / workers can self evaluate and achieve quality work. The only way any organisation will achieve the goal (of quality work) is if the 'lead-manager' can persuade students / workers to continually upgrade 'the system' and all they do, by communicating and relating in ways that build trust. This is not to suggest some laissez-faire kind of approach, far from it. But it does mean that the Lead-Manager / teacher becomes more of a 'leader' and 'coach' rather than a 'boss' who tries to use external controls such as punishments, threats or bribes in order to 'motivate' people but in the process drives out creativity, belonging, trust, loyalty, enterprise, responsibility, 'joy in work' and other essential ingredients that lead to quality. Indeed, for a 'boss' the very idea of 'joy in work' would be an oxymoron!
The Quality School Training Programme:
This programme is based on the concepts first described in Dr. Glasser's book "The Quality School" (1992), and later in his 1998 book, "Choice Theory: A New Psychology Of Personal Freedom". The programme is geared toward helping individual schools create the necessary systemic change that can lead to the creation of a Quality School. In this process the role of the head teacher, utilising 'Lead Management' principles, is crucial to the process. It is essential to model the behaviour (of 'Lead Management') and 'walk the talk', otherwise it's all just a 'nice idea!'. Once the staff is committed to the vision of creating such a school and has begun to facilitate change in the school structure, 'Intensive Week' (i.e. the Certification training programme) training is provided.
Schools can also join the 'Quality School Consortium', which is a network of schools, mostly located in the USA, Canada and Australia, who have embraced the Quality School ideas and approach. The role of the consortium is to create networking opportunities for its member schools and to promote Dr. Glasser's Quality School ideas to new schools. The consortium organise an annual conference (usually in October) and produce a newsletter for distribution to Consortium member schools.
Progress of the Quality Schools Ideas in the UK:
Here in the UK we have a number of teachers who have undertaken the Reality Therapy Certification training and are endeavouring to be 'Quality School teachers in non-quality schools'. Despite how difficult a task this can initially be, all of them report how much more they now enjoy their teaching; that it is far less stressful; that they have much better relationships with their students; that discipline problems are minimal; and that student's academic results are positive. None of them would revert to 'the old way'!